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sarah has written 59 reviews for films rated ★★½ .

  • The Shining Hour

    The Shining Hour

    ★★½

    Like a Rebecca sans the gothic elements. I might be making it sound cooler than it really is, because in actuality the drama in this film is pretty tiresome. There's absolutely no chemistry between Joan Crawford and either of her leading men, and it's only really worth watching to see Joan and her giant shoulder pads carry Margaret Sullavan out of a burning building.

  • The Whole Town's Talking

    The Whole Town's Talking

    ★★½

    Lacking in a lot of comedy, but I did get a good chuckle out of seeing Edward G. Robinson refuse a cigar offer by insisting he doesn't smoke. Edward! G! Robinson!!! The man who has a cigar glued to the corner of his mouth in all his film roles!! I love when old hollywood gets self-referential.

  • Anna Christie

    Anna Christie

    ★★½

    Garbo talks! And not only that, it's through the wonderful words of screenwriter Frances Marion! I was only really interested in watching this film because of these two ladies, so I'm satisfied in that regard, even if the end product is kinda dull.

  • Torn Curtain

    Torn Curtain

    ★★½

    I love Paul Newman and Julie Andrews' lack of chemistry, go generic white couple give us nothing!

  • Employees' Entrance

    Employees' Entrance

    ★★½

    The last capitalist we hang shall be the one who sold us the rope 😌

  • The Crimson Kimono

    The Crimson Kimono

    ★★½

    Disappointed. It feels like neither the noir elements nor the romance elements were particularly fleshed out, so what’s left is a weak murder mystery and a rushed love story. I couldn’t really buy into either.

  • Sweet Bird of Youth

    Sweet Bird of Youth

    ★★½

    Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Sweet Bird of Youth are both Tennessee Williams adaptations directed by Richard Brooks and starring Paul Newman. They both feature Madeleine Sherwood, they both include overbearing southern patriarchs, and they both have animal symbolism in their titles. Only difference is that one is my favorite film of all time, and the other is… this.

  • Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys!

    Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys!

    ★★½

    Not great (kinda horrible, actually), but worth watching just for those small moments of domesticity between Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. I'm gonna take all the serotonin I can get during this quarantine, and if that means watching mediocre 50s movies all day long, then so be it!

  • The Rose Tattoo

    The Rose Tattoo

    ★★½

    Burt Lancaster is literally insane... There's a line in this film where Anna Magnani describes him as her "husband's body with the head of a clown", and that one little phrase is evident in half of his filmography. I've never seen an actor exude such chaotic energy.

  • Mr. Skeffington

    Mr. Skeffington

    ★★½

    It’s very depressing, really, to see how old age is viewed through a Hollywood lens. Cinema isn’t kind to any woman over the age of fifty :/

  • Caught

    Caught

    ★★½

    I cannot make heads or tails of this film. I feel like all of Max Ophüls’ English films have weird narrative issues—probably through no fault of his own?— but Caught is just so strangely paced, I don’t know what to think. Despite the odd narrative choices, the signature Ophüls camera movements make this a really beautiful watch. There are so many lovely tracking shots!!

    (Also, I’m 99% sure Paul Thomas Anderson based the department store modeling scene in The Master on this film! There seem to be other parallels, too. I know PTA is a huge Max Ophüls fan, so the references seem likely?)

  • Gambling Lady

    Gambling Lady

    ★★½

    Took a break from my month-long Halloween watchlist to indulge in a little pre-code Barbara Stanwyck action. It always surprises me just how much plot these types of films manage to squeeze in a one-hour runtime— it gets a bit tedious, especially when a lot of them preach the same message of forgiving one’s husband for his “diversions” (i.e. cheating!). Now that I’ve had my non-horror fix for this month, I’m going back to my tried-and-true Boris Karloff films 😁