Bad Boys for Life
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Bong Joon-ho's Parasite might leave you asking who are the real bottom feeders in the black comedy about social structures. There's plenty of food for thought as this picture is deeper than than what it may seem like on the surface.
There are a couple of scenes in "Nora Prentiss" where a married man and his mistress express their attraction for one another. I found these scenes to be heartbreakingly real and the film to be a sobering cautionary tale against adultery .
Ann Sheridan plays a chanteuse who has gone through a long line of men who have broken her heart. She meets a successful doctor played by Kent Smith. The married doctor has two children and a marriage that's grown stale.
Smith is an uninspired choice for the role. I would have loved to have seen someone like James Stewart or Henry Fonda in the role. Nonetheless, this is a well scripted and directed film.
The precursor to Billy Wilder's "The Big Carnival" (aka "Ace In The Hole") about the newspaper business betraying the public trust by feeding into its lower instincts. Wilder's film is the better of the two, but director Cy Endfield delivers what should have been a headline grabbing crime picture. Unfortunately, this film is not well known.
Endfield's protagonist in "The Underground Story," is a deeply flawed reporter who cavorts with underground figures for his own personal gain. When a former employer, a powerful newspaper magnet, tries to hide a murder committed by his son and instead blame the crime on an African-American housekeeper Endfield's protagonist faces the moral and ethical dilemma of his life.
The film's flaws are mainly in the casting. I don't buy Dan Duryea's performance in the lead role. Unlike Kirk Douglas in "The Big Carnival," Duryea is unable to transcend the material and give more weight to the character's journey.
Even worse, for me, is the casting of Mary Anderson as the African-American character. Anderson is an excellent actor. You may remember her as the nurse in Alfred Hitchcock's "Lifeboat." But, Anderson is white. That's a problem. Although, clearly in 1950 this type of casting barely raised a whisper of an ejection, if at all.
Nonetheless, this is Endfield's first of his powerful one-two punch against the news business. His "The Sound of Fury" released later in the same year, 1950, is the better of the two pictures, but both are worthy films of your time.
Also released by the title. "Try And Get Me," this little known crime film is an unabashedly empathetic look at how an innocent, hard-working American is lured into the world of crime. It's also a cautionary tale at how the news media often paints portraits of perpetrators that lack color fairness.
This was the second consecutive movie director Cy Endfield took on the Fifth Estate. Also, in 1950, "The Underworld Story," skewered powerful news moguls and career-thirsty reporters. Both films would be an excellent double-feature
The Sound of Fury features a diabolical performance by Lloyd Bridges as the antagonist who lures the downtrodden Frank Lovejoy character into crime.
It also offers a climatic scene that I found fabulously directed and filled with tension and drama.
The Superman origin story is given an evil turn when the meteor delivered child hits puberty and turns his super powers on anyone coming between him and his desires. Elizabeth Banks and David Denman provide convincing performances as loving parents who slowly become convinced their adopted boy isn't supe, but sinister. Jackson A. Dunn plays the horrible anti-hero, The film lacks originality, but is a fairly well-done B-move.