Friday, August 22, 2014

Nugget Reviews - 13


On the Riviera ( 1951 ) 14k


When a famous industrialist's business interests require him to be in London his aides hire a nightclub entertainer to impersonate him at home on the French Riviera to convince his chief rival that all is well with his business. Danny Kaye, Gene Tierney, Corinne Calvet, Marcel Dalio, Clinton Sundberg. 20th Century Fox.  Directed by Walter Lang.

Usually 1950s remakes of 1940s musicals turn out to be duds, but this film is an exception. Danny Kaye shines in On the Riviera as the nightclub entertainer hired to impersonate the great industrialist ( also played by Kaye ). Gene Tierney's talents are wasted in a fluffy role, but she's nice eye candy just the same.


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Tall Story ( 1960 ) Elct.


A forward young woman attends college for the sole purpose of snagging a famous all-star basketball player as a husband. Jane Fonda, Tony Perkins, Ray Walston, Marc Connelly, Anne Jackson. Warner Brothers. Directed by Joshua Logan. 

Although Tall Story may emit some giggles, it's rather lackluster as a comedy...even a light comedy. The film is slow in pace and the black and white filming gives the impression that the director couldn't make up his mind whether it is supposed to be amusing or serious. Seeing Fonda and Perkins looking so young and giggly is the highlight of this film.


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The Golden Voyage of Sinbad ( 1973 ) 14k


Sinbad takes off on another voyage, this time in search of the third piece of an interlocking golden pennant which will restore the kingdom of his illustrious passenger, the Vizier....but Koura, the evil magician is out to capture this pennant as well! John Philip Law, Tom Baker, Caroline Munro, Douglas Wilmer. Columbia Pictures. Directed by Gordon Hessler. 

Sinbad films are always entertaining and this one really delivers in the field of adventure, but has some shortcomings in its dialogue. Tom Baker makes an excellent villain and John Philip Law is the most convincing Sinbad we've seen yet. It's a shame that Schneer & Harryhausen did not bring Law back for their third Arabian escapade - Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger. 


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The Whole Truth ( 1958 ) Elct.


A film producer is framed for the murder of his leading lady but has a difficult time convincing the police that he even saw her dead body...twice. Stewart Granger, George Sanders, Donna Reed, Michael Shillo. Romulus Films. Directed by John Guillerman.

To tell the truth, The Whole Truth thinks itself a better noir than it is and leaves some loose ends dangling at the conclusion. Its setting is unique and the cast is good but overall it just fails to be memorable entertainment. 


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Laughing Sinners ( 1931 )  14k 


A Salvation Army officer comes to the rescue when a fun loving nightclub singer attempts suicide after her lover jilts her. Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Neil Hamilton, Guy Kibbee, Roscoe Karns. MGM Pictures. Directed by Harry Beaumont.

Crawford's star appeal is evident in this film, where she gets to display her singing and dancing ability, and Gable is adorable as the righteous Christian. However, films that attempt to preach Christianity against unrighteous folk always end up seeming like a sermon and never truly convince the audience. A good-hearted Andy Hardy film, or a Lassie picture, teaches more of the nature of Christianity than ten of these kind of films combined. Also, the ending of the picture implies that Crawford and Gable's characters will someday marry when they walk off into the sunset, but Salvation Army officers are not permitted to....do they ditch the order then? Maybe the screenwriter just didn't know about this. 

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