Violent Playground (1958)

As one of Britain’s earliest answers to Rebel Without a Cause or The Blackboard Jungle (both 1955), Violent Playground was the first British movie to address the realities of the post-war teen demographic. It did so by portraying the sociology of a tough inner-city estate as a breeding ground for youth crime. The film’s location shooting…

The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

This highly regarded film is said to have inspired one of Samuel Goldwyn’s famous Goldwynisms: “I don’t care if the film doesn’t make a nickel. I just want every man, woman, and child in America to see it.” “It is seldom,” wrote Bosley Crowther in the New York Times, “that there comes a motion picture…

Brothers in Law (1957)

As British as fish & chips, Brothers in Law stars Richard Attenborough and Ian Carmichael. Produced by the Boulting brothers and directed by Roy Boulting, this is another of their satirical 1950s swipes at the British Establishment. PLOT Newly qualified barrister Roger Thursby (Carmichael) joins his flatmate, Henry Marshall (Attenborough) as a trainee at a…

A Kiss Before Dying (1956)

A Kiss Before Dying (1956) was adapted from popular writer, Ira Levin’s 1953 novel of the same name. It won the 1954 Edgar Award for “Best First Novel.” But before that Darryl F. Zanuck had snapped up the film rights in the same year as its publication with a view to producing a film version. United…

Plein Soleil (1960)

Plein soleil, variously titled Purple Noon (USA and UK ), Delitto in pieno sole (Italy) and otherwise known as Full Sun, Blazing Sun, Lust for Evil, or The Talented Mr. Ripley, was lauded by critics. It won for it’s screenwriters, René Clément and Paul Gégauff , an Edgar Award for Best Foreign Film Screenplay from the Mystery Writers of America in 1962.…

It’s a Wonderful World (1939)

The last couple of months have seen us screening quite serious classics that didn’t really have many laughs … well, none actually. So it seems about time we took up a request that someone made last month for a Claudette Colbert movie (see a summary of her career below). Colbert was a versatile star in…

Paisà (1945)

NOTE: Paisà or paisàn (pai-zahn) is an American Italian slang word, meaning “buddy” or “compatriot”. Nominated for both the Academy Award for Best Writing (Original Screenplay) and the BAFTA Award for Best Film from any source, Paisà/Paisan was the most popular Italian film at the box office in 1945-46 – though not in Italy (for reasons that may become…