The Great Man: Moon-faced old Ed Wynn in a brief noncomic role almost steals the show from José Ferrer, the star, director and co-scripter, in this sardonic and literate Hollywood satire on the broadcasting industry. Ferrer appears as a newsman assigned to put together a worshipful “biography in sound” of a dead radio-TV idol whose true identity as a human monster must be concealed from the customers at all costs. Wynn portrays a bumbling but oddly dignified small-town New Englander who gave the deceased his start in radio. The movie is better than AÍ Morgan s novel, on which it is based, and has a special irony in the revised ending.
The Barretts of Wimpole Street: One of history’s favorite true romances gets a twice-over-heavily in this lavish remake of the 1934 success, with Jennifer Jones as the frail Elizabeth Barrett, Sir John Gielgud as her frightening father,t and Bill Travers as the poet Robert Browning. (Norma Shearer, Charles Laughton and Fredric March were in the earlier version.)
The Rainmaker: Hammy and stagey in spots though it is, this is an enjoyable rural comedy-drama. It tells ot a flamboyant but tenderhearted confidence man (Burt Lancaster) who convinces a freckled old maid (Katharine Hepburn) that she is a woman, and a pretty one.
Top Secret Affair: The high-powered news weekly is kidded in this romantic comedy. A spiteful editor (Susan Hayward) and a tough, sharp-witted army general (Kirk Douglas) are the love-hate antagonists. Some of the goings-on are farcically overdrawn, but in the main it s a diverting show.
The Wings of Eagles: Coming from a director as esteemed as John Ford, this is a disappointing entry—a loud, long and shamelessly corny biography of a naval airman (played by John Wayne) who became a Hollywood screenwriter and then a war hero. Maureen O'Hara is his miraculously age-defying wife.
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