JIM THORPE: ALL-AMERICAN (1951)

Our Summer Games Film Festival continues with this biopic of a great Native-American athlete of the early 20th Century that doesn’t quite succeed at making any sense out of a messy human life.

JOURNEY TO ITALY (1954)

Italian Robert Rossellini directs his Swedish wife, Ingrid Bergman, in English in this surprisingly modern take on a marriage which, finding itself in unfamiliar territory, immediately disintegrates.

SANSHO THE BAILIFF (1954)

A classic Japanese film where every frame looks like a classical painting. From a plot perspective, the weepiest of weepies.

IMITATION OF LIFE (1959)

This over-the-top melodrama about mothers and daughters from director Douglas Sirk was considered populist trash at the time and is today seen as high art.

THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA (1954)

A Hollywood satire decades ahead of its time, but also in my opinion a total mess as an actual movie.

DET SJUNDE INSEGLET (1957)

Ingmar Bergman’s allegorical classic about the absence of God during a plague really, really hit home with me on this viewing. Wonder why?

SHANE (1953)

A (very) widescreen western about the consequences of violence, or something, which I would’ve enjoyed more if not for the super-whiny little kid.

SOME CAME RUNNING (1958)

A mid-century melodrama in which Frank Sinatra plays a soldier returning to a small town. It has some interesting shots but never really rises above its potboiler status.

THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH (1952)

If you love circuses, good for you. This Best Picture winner is way too long and has way too much circus, and when the characters actually talk to each other it’s even worse.

A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951)

There are several great performances in this Southern Gothic adaptation of a famous stage play, but the whole thing is really not for me.