Written by Stanley Greenberg Friday, 03 December 2010 00:00
Because of the response to our column on movies, I realize we have many film buffs out there. This column will bring back memories of some not-so-popular movies. The selection had no particular genre or theme in mind, only terrific and almost forgotten films.
How many do you remember?
The Ox-Bow Incident (1943): A dark, brilliant insight into mob rule. A trio of drifters are held for a swift lynching in the murder of a rancher. Henry Fonda and Dana Andrews star in this black tale.
The King of Comedy (1983): Robert De Niro kidnaps Jerry Lewis and holds the great star hostage until he’s allowed to appear on his show as a comedian.
Diner (1982): It expresses the fears, fantasies and frustrations of a generation with needs for freedom and romance. Great performances by then young and up-and-coming stars Mickey Rourke, Kevin Bacon and Ellen Barkin.
Night of the Hunter (1948): Robert Mitchum as an evil preacher scared me as a young boy. He had “love” and “hate” tattooed on his knuckles. A dark, black and white film full of evil shadows. Shelley Winters.
Pennies From Heaven (1981): Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters sing their way into your heart with classical popular tunes.
Of Mice and Men (1939): John Steinbeck writes about down-and-out men working on ranches. Burgess Meredith and Lon Chaney Jr. are picked on by a cruel and jealous boss.
Sweet Smell of Success (1957): Burt Lancaster as a vicious gossip columnist, modeled after Walter Winchell. Tony Curtis acts as a henchman to help the columnist.
The Manchurian Candidate (1962): Deals with McCarthyism and political communist intrigue in the campaign of a presidential candidate. Cold war paranoia is the theme.
House of Games (1987): David Mamet creates an aura of puzzlement. We are led into a mysterious and sordid world. A baffling drama where nothing is as it seems. Joe Mantegna.
Easter Parade (1948): Two great stars and Irving Berlin tunes is a recipe for a great musical. Fred Astaire and Judy Garland sing and dance and the charisma of the two great stars is magical.
I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang (1932): Paul Muni is wrongly convicted of a robbery and eventually escapes prison. He is recaptured and sent back to the corrupt prison.
Other films: Kiss Me Deadly (1955)-Ralph Meeker, Charade (1963)- Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant in Europe.