Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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The idealistic but hard-working daughter (Loretta Young) of a Swedish-American farmer travels to the capitol to get a nursing degree but winds up working as a servant for a wealthy politician (Joseph Cotten). Thoroughly charming romantic comedy is perhaps a bit too mechanical in its plotting, but is still considerably smarter than much of what passes for rom-com today; Young won the Best Actress Oscar, perhaps more in recognition of her staying power (she'd been around since silent pictures 20 years earlier) than to her fine but hardly revelatory performance; delightful supporting cast includes Ethel Barrymore, Charles Bickford, James Arness and Lex Barker.
An American writer (Joseph Cotten) arrives in post-WWII occupied Vienna with the hopes of a job from an old friend, only to discover that the friend has mysteriously died; with the assistance/resistance of the friend's girlfriend (Alida Valli) and a taciturn military policeman (Trevor Howard), he attempts to solve the mystery. I first saw this when I was a teenager and perhaps too young to fully appreciate it, as I wasn't impressed that much back then; now, I can recognize how great the film is, the bristly intelligent, darkly comic script by Graham Greene, the brilliant filmmaking of director Carol Reed, the superlative performance by an ace cast, the haunting b&w cinematography of Robert Krasker and the taut editing of Oswald Hafenrichter; only the gratingly annoying, ever-constant zither music prevents it from being a perfect 10.
A British civil servant (Julie Andrews) falls in love with a Russian agent (Omar Sharif) while vacationing in Barbados; their relationship is complicated by the unknown identity of a spy within the British government. Complex, leisurely paced -- perhaps too leisurely paced -- Cold War thriller is more cerebral than action-oriented, requiring the viewer to pay attention throughout. Andrews and Sharif make a nice screen pairing, and there's terrific support from Anthony Quayle, Dan O'Herlihy and, especially, Sylvia Syms as a bitter, cynical but ambitious wife of a government functionary
On April 14, 1912, five days out on her maiden voyage, the British liner Titanic -- the largest and allegedly safest passenger ship in the world -- strikes an iceberg and begins sinking, without enough lifeboats for the 2,200 souls aboard. Classic adaptation of Walter Lord's classic, bestselling book recounting the great maritime disaster, it remains the most historically accurate of the many Titanic movies (aside from showing the ship going down in one piece -- though some survivors had indicated as such, the fact that the ship broke apart was not confirmed until it was discovered in two pieces at the bottom of the Atlantic in 1985), and while James Cameron's Oscar-winning 1997 blockbuster beats this film for spectacle, this movie includes more of the key events from the Titanic myth: the Californian sitting 10 miles away, incurious about the distress rocks going up on the large liner in the distance; the elderly Strauses declaring their intention to stay together; chief baker Charles Joughin (George Rose in a marvelous performance) getting drunk, thus allowing him to survive hours in the cold water; and much more. Director Roy Ward Baker keeps things moving along briskly, and he achieves a considerable amount of emotional devastation in a climactic montage of people in the stern praying as the great ship takes its final plunge.
At a rugby-obsessed private school in Ireland, a shy athlete (Nicholas Galitzine) and a bookish musician (Fionn O'Shea) are roomed together and develop an unlikely relationship. Predictable, by-the-numbers coming-of-age-and-coming-out comedy-drama benefits from the unique setting and engaging cast; nevertheless, this has been seen so many times before, and given how Andrew Scott and Moe Dunford steal the focus as battling teachers, a more mature romantic drama might've been more satisfying.