Saturday, April 21, 2012

Did anyone ever really trust a Romanian Count before WWII?

And as you see in Watch On The Rhine you couldn't trust them during the war either. As well I added Room at the Top and Talk of the Town to my list, creeping closer to 400.

Watch On The Rhine (1943) - Bettie Davis and Paul Lukas who won best actor, are refugees from Europe at the start of WWII. They are committed Fascism fighters raising money to send back to Europe so they go back to Bettie Davis's family in Washington DC. And as my post title hinted, a Romanian count is living there spending all his time playing poker at the German embassy. He tries to sell Paul Lukas out, fails and is killed by Paul Lukas who takes all of his fundraising and flees back to Europe.

This film is more of a propaganda film, it was made during the war and without knowing how it will end (obviously) this film has a interesting characteristic to it. Like Mrs. Miniver a year earlier, movies about WWII made during WWII are more intense than those made after the war. But it did go up against Casablanca, so it wasn't the best film, but worthy of the top ten, even in the top five.

Room At The Top (1959) - English film from the new era of movie making that occurred in the late 1950's in England. A gritty drama about a man who will do whatever it takes to succeed right after the end of WWII. He keeps angling for a better job and looks to marry a rich man's daughter. Along the way he falls in love with a married woman who he promises to be with, but then goes with the rich girl. She gets drunk, dies in a car accident and he gets himself nearly beaten to death but is brought to the wedding on time and marries the rich girl he got pregnant.

It reminded me somewhat of A Place in the Sun, but not as good. That and you can't compare Laurence Harvey to Montgomery Clift, or the rest of the cast for that matter. Since this was the last film to see for 1959, and the 390 film I saw overall, here is the final verdict for the year. Ben-Hur is still the best picture, a classic epic. A Nun's Story would be second from fine acting from Audrey Hepburn, close third is The Diary of Anne Frank, depressing but still a great drama. Anatomy of a Murder gets fourth because Otto Preminger is a great director, with the exception of Skidoo, and Room at the Top fifth since it was a tough year.

The Talk Of The Town (1942) - A somewhat preachy movie that has an incredible acting team with Carey Grant, Jean Arthur and Ronald Colman about a man being framed for arson and murder. Carey Grant is the town anarchist and all around angry guy. He's framed for burning down the factory and killing a night watchman. He flees from jail and hides out at Jean Arthur's rental home who she is preparing for law professor Ronald Colman. While there he thinks Carey Grant is the gardener, gets into great philosophical discussions with him, all the while Jean Arthur is trying to get Ronald Colman to take up Carey Grant's case but wouldn't do it anyway since he is going to be nominated for the Supreme Court.

As you can guess it all works out for the best, but a good film anyway. It did lose to Mrs. Miniver and rightfully so.

No comments:

Post a Comment