This month, my fiancee and I had eclectic choices of film; everything ranging from dramatic silent pictures to a Swedish horror to the discovery of a talented British actor by the name of Ralph Richardson.
Here is the list of the films we viewed this month.
"D.O.A." - Starring Edmund O'Brien. This was an awful film noir piece and the only really redeeming quality was the story. The directing was awful, the acting was horrendous and even the soundtrack was terrible. I think if this had a bigger budget, a different cast (I could see James Cagney in the lead) and a better director, maybe someone like Carol Reed or Michael Curtiz, then it would have been much better.
"The Fallen Idol" - Starring Ralph Richardson. After viewing "The Third Man" years ago, I always had a feeling that Orson Welles assisted in the directing of the movie. However, after watching "The Fallen Idol," I can safely say that Carol Reed is a splendid director. Although the child was bothersome, it was a splendid thriller.
"The Heiress" - Starring Montgomery Cliff, Ralph Richardson and Oliva Weilland (I could spell the last name wrong). This was based on a Henry James (I just finished reading "The Turn of the Screw" and about to read "The Aspern Papers") and this was certainly enjoyable. For me, there was nothing wrong with this picture and the female actress was superb in her metamorphosis from an innocent figure to a cold woman.
"Our Hospitality" - Starring Buster Keaton. For me, I have never laughed out loud at a Buster Keaton movie, but I have always had a good time and respected his talents as an actor, director and writer. Unfortunately, this was a letdown, except the ending.
"Last Laugh" - If I ever write a book on silent films, this would be in the top 25 because it contains such a heart wrenching story and even though the ending, which I won't reveal, was done strictly for the studio, it was still fun to see.
"She Came C.O.D." - Starring Bette Davis and James Cagney. After watching "Jimmy the Gent," I yearned to see more of Cagney and Davis on screen together. I got my wish with this fun romance. It certainly isn't the greatest Cagney or Davis film, but it was what it was and I didn't ask for anything more.
"Hour of the Wolf" - Ingmar Bergman can do it all: horror, drama and comedy. This horror film is certainly one of the best of all time, but for some reason, I left feeling empty because, I don't know what it was, something was missing. My fiancee and I still have no idea to this day, but we still admired every aspect of the picture.
"Shadow of a Doubt" - Starring Joseph Cotten. What a career Cotten had since he was in some of the best motion pictures of all time: "The Third Man" and "Citizen Kane." This guy could carry a picture by himself and was talented, especially being in an Alfred Hitchcock film.
"Fall of the House of Usher" - Terrible adaptation of the Edgar Allen Poe story. It was so bad we shut it off at the halfway point. I have never seen a decent Poe adaptation. Maybe I will (recommend one please!)