Maclean’s Movies

Maclean’s Movies

CLYDE GILMOUR April 25 1959
Maclean’s Movies

Maclean’s Movies

CLYDE GILMOUR April 25 1959

Maclean’s Movies

CLYDE GILMOUR

BEST BET

THE MATING GAME: Debbie

Reynolds as a Maryland farmer’s frolicsome daughter and Tony Randall as a stern young federal tax-sleuth are co-starred in this noisy but goodhumored comedy. It’s an Americanized version of H. E. Bates’ English novel. The Darling Buds of May. The tax man is soon softened up by the boisterous informality of the family he is investigating, but his sharkmouthed boss (Fred Clark) turns out to be much tougher. With Paul Douglas, Una Merkel, Philip Coolidge.

THE CAPTAIN’S TABLE: A brusque freighter skipper (John Gregson) is given temporary command of a luxury liner and quickly learns that passengers are the most troublesome kind of cargo. A British comedy, this one begins promisingly and has some robust laughs scattered throughout but its style becomes strained amidships.

COMPULSION: Somewhat detached in its handling of emotional tensions, this smooth screen treatment of Meyer Levin’s book nonetheless generates its own sort of cobra-like hypnosis while quietly restaging the 1924 Chicago murder of little Bobby Franks by the thrill-thirsty teen-agers, Leopold and Loeb. The killers are well played by Bradford Dillman and Dean Stockwell, with Orson Welles in an overfleshed but powerful portrayal of Clarence Darrow, their lawyer. All the names are changed but the story is factual.

FLOODS OF FEAR: Hollywood’s Howard Keel appears in this British melodrama as a convicted murderer who escapes during a flood and sets out to punish the real killer, who “framed” him. The plot is hackneyed and much of the dialogue is corny but the film at least does what it tries to do—imitate the standard American crime-and-violence thriller. With Anne Heywood, Cyril Cusack.

HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILE: An illuminated plastic skeleton known as “Emergo” comes prancing out over the customers’ heads as the newest of Hollywood’s mechanical gimmicks. The device, however, is more ludicrous than exciting. As a haunted-house yarn, the film rates “fair,” but no higher. With Vincent Price, Carol Ohmart.

THE SPY ON VVIEHELMSTRASSE: A brisk, sober-sided espionage drama starring Jack Hawkins as a lifetime British secret agent who becomes one of Hitler’s most trusted generals before the Gestapo begins to shadow him. Rating: good.

GILMOUR’S GUIDE TO THE CURRENT CROP

AÍ Capone: Real-life crime drama. Good. Anna I.ucasta: Drama. Fair.

Auntie Mame: Comedy. Good.

Bachelor of Hearts: Comedy. Fair.

Bell, Book and Candle: Comedy. Fair. The Big Country: Western. Excellent. The Buccaneer: Historical drama. Fair. The Defiant Ones: Drama. Tops.

The Doctor’s Dilemma: Edwardian satire

by GBS. Fair.

The Fearmakers: Drama. Good.

Gideon of Scotland Yard: Detective comedy-drama. Poor.

Gigi: Musical. Excellent.

Good Day for a Hanging: Western. Fair.

The Hanging Tree: Western. Fair.

He Who Must Die: French drama. Good. The Horse’s Mouth: Comedy. Good.

Ice Cold in Alex: British drama of war in desert. Good.

Imitation of Life: Drama. Good.

Intent to Kill: Suspense. Good.

It Happened in Rome; Anglo-Italian romantic comedy. Fair.

I Want to Live!: Death-cell drama. Good. I Was Monty’s Double: True-life hoax thriller. Good.

The Tourney: Cold War drama. Good. Lonelyhearts: Newspaper drama. Fair. Madame Butterfly: Filmed opera. Good. Me and the Colonel: Comedy. Good. Night of the Quarter Moon: Race-bias drama. Fair.

A Night to Remember: True shipwreck drama. Excellent (upgraded from “good” after second viewing).

9 Lives: True action drama. Good. Orders to Kill: Drama. Excellent.

Party Girl: Gang drama. Good.

The Perfect Furlough: Comedy. Good.

A Question of Adultery: Drama. Poor. The Restless Years: Drama. Fair. Rockets Galore: British comedy. Good. Separate Tables: Drama. Good.

The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw: Wild West comedy. Fair.

The Square Peg: Spy comedy. Fair. Stranger in My Arms: Drama. Fair.

Tempest: Historical drama. Good.

These Thousand Hills: Western. Good. The Trap: Suspense drama. Fair.

The Vicious Circle: Scotland Yard crime mystery. Fair.

Virgin Island: Romantic comedy. Fair.