Archive for February 11th, 2009


by Allan Fish

(USA 1957 96m) DVD1/2

Every dog has his day

p  James Hill  d  Alexander Mackendrick  w  Clifford Odets, Ernest Lehman  story  “Tell Me About it Tomorrow” by Ernest Lehman  ph  James Wong Howe  ed  Alan Crosland Jnr  m  Elmer Bernstein  art  Edward Carrere 

Burt Lancaster (J.J.Hunsecker), Tony Curtis (Sidney Falco), Martin Milner (Steve Dallas), Sam Levene (Frank d’Angelo), Susan Harrison (Susan Hunsecker), Barbara Nichols (Rita), Jeff Donnell (Sally), Emile Meyer (Harry Kello),

Two magnificent cynical media exposés, both made in 1957 and both climax with the megalomaniacal central character being left by a woman he loves in his rooftop penthouse overlooking the urban lights.  One was Kazan’s A Face in the Crowd, the other Mackendrick’s sublime, venal drama literally plucked from the newspapers.  In this case the gossip columns of the monstrous J.J.Hunsecker on the New York Globe.  We open to see the vans taking out his daily dose of vitriol and one is hungrily picked up by the anxious Sidney Falco, a hustling press agent who, were he alive today, has the sort of morals to sell his own daughter’s virginity on ebay to the highest bidder. But he is only the lackey, the dog to someone much worse – Hunsecker. 

            Sidney Falco is a press agent who’s down on his luck, having not got a mention in Hunsecker’s column for any of his clients for five days straight.  Hunsecker is not speaking to him after he bungled an assignment of breaking up the romance of Hunsecker’s kid sister and her musician boyfriend, but the more Falco tries to please Hunsecker and get the musician in trouble with the law, the deeper he’s sinking. (more…)

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31 Days of Oscar@….T.S., From over there at Screen Savour…Prediction(s) for Best Actress.

Screen Savour’s T.S. is Rooting for Melissa Leo

For me, the race is between Melissa Leo in “Frozen River” and Anne Hathaway in “Rachel Getting Married.” I’d be thrilled if either were to win, but if I forced to pick one, I’d vote for Leo. Her performance as a desperate mother at the edge of absolute poverty affected me emotionally in a way the others didn’t quite. In addition to “Frozen River” being one of the year’s best, Leo’s performance is the heart of that tragic and mature film. There is depth and subtlety to her performance, and moreover, it feels genuine. Hathaway reaches that same level of genuineness and would be equally very deserving for her full-bodied and fragile role as a recovering addict.
I feel the other performances — those of Meryl Streep, Angelina Jolie, and Kate Winslet — were all very self-conscious performances, often exceedingly caricatural. Leo and Hathaway absolutely disappear into their roles
[Editor’s Note: This is T.S., From Over There at Screen Savior….Oscar @ Prediction.]
I suspect Winslet will win, in response to some absurd notion that she is a long sufferer of No-Oscar-Syndrome. But Leo (or Hathaway!) deserves it.

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