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Go Out To A Movie



The Young Stranger (RKO)

With his first movie, teen-aged James MacArthur is marked as an actor to watch. It’s a thoughtful study of the delicate relationships between father and son, husband and wife. Jim plays a normally spirited young male, who gets into a fight at a movie theatre, winding up in the hands of the law. Policeman James Gregory doesn’t believe the boy’s honest plea of self-defense. But a worse blow comes when Jim’s father proves equally skeptical. James Daly does a fine job in this role, as a successful movie producer too busy to get to know his own son. Disapproving, but ready to pass the incident off as a prank, Daly merely puts pressure on theatre-manager Whit Bissell to withdraw charges. Kim Hunter is sympathetic as Daly’s wife, also neglected. FAMILY



Call it cool or crazy, it’s wacky fun from start to finish. It has lots of rock ’n’ roll. It has irresistible comic Tom Ewell. It has sumptuous Jayne Mansfield. It has shrewd character man Edmond O’Brien. As a retired but still prosperous racketeer, Ed hires Tom, an unemployed agent, to make an over-night singing star out of girlfriend Jayne. There’s a catch. Jayne has a fantastic shape and a gait that makes her a one-woman parade. But she can’t sing. Moreover, she doesn’t want a career; she’s an utterly domestic type at heart. From this feather-light material is fashioned a continuously entertaining comedy. Top musical personalities of the moment show up at their best, and Henry Jones adds extra chuckles as O’Brien’s gentle bodyguard. ADULT


Full of Life (COLUMBIA)

Here’s a new sort of vehicle for Judy Holliday, a warm and tender close-up of a family with endearingly everyday problems. Wife of writer Richard Conte, Judy’s about to have their first baby. Checks haven’t been coming in. and the couple can’t even afford to have needed repairs done to their house. So Dick’s old man, heartily portrayed by opera star Salvatore Baccaloni, is called in to use his skills in stone-masonry and bricklaying. Judy and her father-in-law get along fine. But Salvatore is resentful because his son hasn’t followed the family trade, and Dick feels the typical second-generation embarrassment over his dad’s old-country ways. Though there are laughs aplenty, they aren’t of the artificial sort, but founded firmly in character and believable reactions. FAMILY


The Barretts of Wimpole Street (M-C-M; CINEMASCOPE, METROCOLOR)

One of the world’s great love stories again reaches the screen, with Jennifer Jones as Elizabeth Barrett, Bill Travers as Robert Browning, John Gielgud as Edward Moulton-Barrett. This last character is so much the ogre that it’s on the verge of being funny—but Gielgud’s assured performance makes the man frighteningly real. He’s the worst of Victorian fathers, keeping his six sons and three daughters utterly cowed. Jennifer is an invalid, confined to her room, and it’s soon clear that her father, in his possessive affection, doesn’t really want her to get well. As the fellow poet determined to rescue her, Travers gives his debonair role a welcome light touch. Virginia McKenna is charming as the young sister, fighting for her own romance with a young soldier. ADULT



For once, Hollywood takes a quietly realistic look at itself, with sly wit, but without burlesque. There’s a talent hunt on to find an unknown as replacement for a temperamental star in an upcoming epic. Would-be director George Nader is assigned to handle the tests for the four young candidates, and he begins to feel personal interest in their situations. Julie Adams, only American in the quartet, has been pushed toward an acting career by her mother. Gia Scala has left a husband and child in France, to pursue her ambition. Italian Elsa Martinelli, a pert and smart little cookie, needs nobody’s advice. Austrian widow Marianne Cook comes out of her despair when George persuades her to help Sydney Chaplin, writer who’s hitting the bottle after losing self-confidence. ADULT



Funny, touching, lightly fanciful, this story of a farm family gives Katharine Hepburn a thoroughly lovable role. Resigned to her fate of spinsterhood, she keeps house for her menfolk, all of whom are devoted to her, but keep insulting her in their efforts to get her a husband. Only her father, splendidly portrayed by Cameron Prud’homme, truly understands her. Young Earl Holliman does a stand-out job as the harum-scarum kid brother, madly in love with pixie Yvonne Lime. Like Katie, Earl is bullied by older brother Lloyd Bridges. Suddenly, showman Burt Lancaster blows in at the drought-ridden farm, promising to bring rain—and excitement. Is he a faker? Should Katie marry him or sheriff Wendell Corey? The answers are enchanting, yet sensible. FAMILY

Bundle of Joy (RKO, TECHNICOLOR)

Nicely timed to celebrate their parenthood, the first co-starring vehicle for Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher has a cheerful, disarming air. It’s a music-trimmed remake of “Bachelor Mother,” with Debbie in the old Ginger Rogers role of the department-store employee who suddenly finds herself a mother, only because she happened to pick up an abandoned infant that was about to roll off the steps of a foundling home. Very earnest but a little awkward, Eddie does an acting debut as the boss’s son. considered to be the father of Debbie’s child. Adolphe Menjou is his dad, eager to become a grandpop. FAMILY

The Wings of the Eagles (M-G-M; CINEMASCOPE, METROCOLOR)

John Wayne stars in a strange movie based upon the strange career of flyerwriter Frank Wead. The story keeps shifting gears abruptly, from Keystone Kops comedy to tragedy, as the hero breaks rules to show post-World War I Navy brass the importance of flying, then is crippled in a household accident. Playing the loyal, waiting wife, Maureen O’Hara gets tossed as far out of the June Allyson pattern as possible. She smokes cigarettes jauntily; she laps up highballs; she turns to heaving crockery around when tension gets too tight. As a paralytic, Wayne is badgered into partial recovery by a Navy noncom friend, Dan Dailey. When the gallant cripple becomes a successful movie scenario writer, Ward Bond steps in with a kindly caricature of the movie’s own director, John Ford. World War II gets Wayne into battle action, with some impressive documentary clips. FAMILY


Edge of the City (M-G-M)

Simple and unpretentious, this understanding drama about ordinary people gives John Cassavetes and Sidney Poitier deeply sympathetic roles. Because of a family tragedy, young John thinks of himself as an outcast. A wanderer, he has cut himself off from his parents, even deserted from the Army. When he gets a job handling freight in a New York railroad yard, he begins to find healing in Sidney’s easy, relaxed offer of friendship. Sidney and wife Ruby Dee make him a welcome occasional guest in their home, introduce him to a shy young teacher (Kathleen Maguire), who also helps him. The fact that Sidney is a Negro has no bearing on the friends’ relationship. But it does influence Jack Warden, mean-spirited foreman, and the consequences are ugly. FAMILY


The Great Man (U-I)

The TV industry gets a real sharp going-over from director-star Jose Ferrer in this glittering comedy-drama. By its very nature, it’s full of talk, but all lively talk. The story imagines that a top TV and radio star, a folksy fellow, has suddenly been killed in a highway crash. Assigned to do a memorial program on radio—and perhaps to slip into the shoes of “the great man”—Jose sets about getting tape-recorded interviews from the coworkers and old associates of the deceased. Turns out they all hated the guy, with good reason in every case. There’s excellent acting in scene after scene (no flashbacks): Keenan Wynn, as the agent who discovered the late star, then got the knife; Julie London, as a slightly alcoholic singer who was among his many girlfriends; Jim Backus, press agent with no illusions; Ed Wynn, foolish, touchingly idealistic owner of a small radio station; Joanne Gilbert, Jose’s overworked secretary. Ferrer himself quietly plays the observer. ADULT


Starting off with a satirical salute to the world’s movie fans (all impersonated by Jerry Lewis), this pleasantly daffy comedy casts Jerry as an Anita Ekberg fan who wins a convertible in a theatre contest and is promptly Hollywood-bound. But his crooked co-winner is Dean Martin, gambler anxious to evade muscleman Maxie Rosenbloom’s efforts to collect. On their westward route, the oddly matched pair picks up Pat Crowley, dancer headed for a Las Vegas job. FAMILY


Similar in story line to the brilliant “Ninotchka,” this should be classified rather as a regular Bob Hope farce, giving Bob an unlikely teammate in the sprightly Katharine Hepburn. Bob plays an American flyer stationed in West Berlin; Katie, a Soviet flyer who leaves her native country in a fit of pique, without any political discontent. As you may imagine, Bob’s brusque American approach brings out Katie’s hidden femininity and stirs up political complications. FAMILY

Don’t Knock the Rock (COLUMBIA)

Because agent Alan Freed has been pushing too hard for publicity, singer Alan Dale gets a rough reception when he returns to the small town of his birth. The blue-nosed mayor sets off a nationwide movement to boycott rock ’n’ roll. Well, that’s enough plot—and a pretty silly business it is. But who cares about the story when Bill Haley and his gang are in there pitching? Also on hand are the Treniers, Little Richard and other big names of modern music. FAMILY


With the picturesque backgrounds of the Turkish Capital and the regal beauty of Cornell Borchers, this melodrama of international intrigue is a real eye-filler. Errol Flynn plays an American adventurer who falls in love with Cornell, loses her, then meets her for a second time after she has fallen victim to amnesia and married another man. In all the melodramatic to-do, Leif Erickson and Peggy Knudsen provide comic relief, as tourists. FAMILY


Other colorful locales (Spanish Morocco, this time) liven up an Eastern Western. The setting is supposed to be India of the last century, with Victor Mature as a daring outlaw, Michael Wilding as the British officer out to corral him, Anita Ekberg as the scantily clad dancing girl who is Mature’s sweetheart. Though the plot doesn’t make much sense, it’s all entertaining to look at, featuring some splendid galloping over the sand. FAMILY

Slander (M-G-M)

With Van Johnson as oppressed hero and Steve Cochran as blackhearted villain, outraged Hollywood attacks the scandal magazines. Van’s a puppeteer who has just struck it rich on TV; Steve, the publisher who threatens to expose Van’s prison past, not because this nearly unknown entertainer means big news, but because he could provide a clue to a juicy interlude in the life of a former neighbor, much more famous. In spite of pressure from wife Ann Blyth, Van refuses to save his own reputation at the cost of another’s. Though it’s an interesting idea, it’s presented in such a mood of furious anger that it becomes implausible. ADULT


Consider the setting alone, and you may classify this as a Western. But it’s actually more a feminine sort of picture, with Anne Baxter as a very genteel type who corrals rancher Charlton Heston without telling him that her personal history is on the gaudy side. Even without the addition of such a dubious wife, Heston’s family set-up is already complicated by his embittered, crippled kid brother, played by Tom Tryon. ADULT

The King and Four Queens (U.A.; CINEMASCOPE, DE LUXE COLOR)

An equally gentle Western gives Clark Gable five leading ladies. Mom Jo Van Fleet stands guard over the supposed widows of her bandit sons. One outlaw is thought to have survived, and Jo is determined to see that the wife, whichever girl she may be, remains true to her spouse. Like all the dames, Clark is after the hidden loot. He has a fine time flirting with the quartet: strong-minded Eleanor Parker, voluptuous Jean Willes, polite-mannered Barbara Nichols, flutter-brained Sara Shane. FAMILY


The Wrong Man (WARNERS)

From New York newspaper stories, director Alfred Hitchcock draws a dramatic role for Henry Fonda. Fonda plays a Stork Club musician, victim of a shocking mistaken-identity case. On his way home to wife Vera Miles and their children, he is arrested on a robbery charge, and confused witnesses attest that he is a wanted criminal. As the case drags on, with lawyer Anthony Quayle pleading for Fonda and police detective Harold J. Stone nursing misgivings, Vera’s mind gives way under the strain. At first, you can uneasily feel yourself in the same fix as the innocent hero, but the story is presented in a style too subdued for thrills. FAMILY



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