The Asphalt Jungle (1950)

“There’s nothing so different about them. After all, crime in only a left-handed form of human endeavor.”” ‘The Asphalt Jungle’, directed by John Huston in 1950, is an American film noir starring Sterling Hayden, Sam Jaffe and Jean Hagen. Jaffe plays Erwin “Doc” Riedenschneider, a newly released prisoner who builds a gang to steal jewellery….

The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)

“I was continuing to shrink, to become… what? The infinitesimal? What was I? Still a human being? Or was I the man of the future? If there were other bursts of radiation, other clouds drifting across seas and continents, would other beings follow me into this vast new world? So close – the infinitesimal and…

Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

“Twelve people go off into a room: twelve different minds, twelve different hearts, from twelve different walks of life; twelve sets of eyes, ears, shapes, and sizes. And these twelve people are asked to judge another human being as different from them as they are from each other. And in their judgment, they must become…

Early Kubrick

“There is war in this forest. Not a war that has been fought, or one that will be, but any war. And the enemies who struggle here do not exist, unless we call them into being. This forest, then, and all that happens now is outside history. Only the unchanging shapes of fear – and…

Gun Crazy (1950)

“Bart, I’ve been kicked around all my life, and from now on, I’m gonna start kicking back.” ‘Gun Crazy’, directed by Joseph H. Lewis (and partly written by Dalton Trumbo) in 1950, is an American film noir that draws on the same source material as the later ‘Bonnie and Clyde’. John Dall plays Bart Tare,…

The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)

“You mean just stop? Cold turkey? You don’t understand! The pain…” ‘The Man with the Golden Arm’, directed by Otto Preminger in 1955, is an American drama focusing on the descent into drug addiction and crime of a professional drummer and gambler Frankie Machine, played by Frank Sinatra. Machine has been released from prison where…

Strangers on a Train (1951)

“Everyone has somebody that they want to put out of the way. Oh now surely, Madam, you’re not going to tell me that there hasn’t been a time that you didn’t want to dispose of someone. Your husband, for instance?” ‘Strangers on a Train’, directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1951, is an American thriller based…

Une Femme Coquette (1955)

Available online here, ‘Une Femme Coquette’, directed by  Jean-Luc Godard in 1955, is a short French movie, once of the director’s earliest works. It follows a woman as she tries to mimic the flirtatious actions of an escort she meets but smiling at a random man. The man then pursues her to her flat where…

Johnny Guitar (1954)

“There’s only two things in this world that a ‘real man’ needs: a cup of coffee and a good smoke.” ‘Johnny Guitar’, directed by Nicholas Ray in 1954, is an American western starring Joan Crawford, Sterling Hayden and Mercedes McCambridge. Crawford plays Vienna, the owner of a small casino that is on the verge of…

Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

“Moses supposes his toeses are roses, but Moses supposes erroneously. Moses he knowses his toeses aren’t roses as Moses supposes his toeses to be.” ‘Singin’ in the Rain’, directed and choreographed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen in 1952, is an American musical starring Kelly, Donald O’Connor, and Debbie Reynolds. Kelly plays Don Lockwood, a…

Lift to the Scaffold (1958)

“Is there any movie that’s more perfectly French, more perfectly Parisian, and more perfectly 1950s than Louis Malle’s debut ‘Lift to the Scaffold’? Melville’s ‘Bob Le Flambeur’, perhaps, or Cocteau’s ‘Orphée’, but there is also in Malle’s movie a strong indication of the new directions French cinema would soon take.” ‘Lift to the Scaffold’, directed…

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

“Don’t you know that a man being rich is like a girl being pretty? You wouldn’t marry a girl just because she’s pretty, but my goodness, doesn’t it help?” ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’, directed by Howard Hawks in 1953, is an American adaptation of the comedy musical from 1949. Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell play a…