FILMS IN REVIEW
(From 1959 and 1960)
My Meteoric Rise And Fall as a Film Critic
by Hugh Aaron

36 Pages
List price $5.95

Published for nearly thirteen months in a local weekly newspaper, these reviews ceased being published due to a shocking event explained in the Afterword. As noted in the Foreword, theater managers refused to grant the critic a reviewer's pass. The reason why will be obvious once you've read the reviews.

This collection of twenty-seven, sometimes irreverent, reviews exists for the sole purpose of giving the reader delight. They contain a refreshing intimacy. One has the feeling that the reader is ever present in the reviewer's mind.

The twenty-seven movies reviewed herein, made before the sixties cultural revolution, are unlike the movies we see today. They were made before explicit sex became the norm and we became an audience of voyeurs. Sex was implied, and somehow, racier. Violence was rare and the villains clearly bad. Viewers easily identified with their characters of choice. The themes were unambiguous and designed to entertain or teach.

Although their makers were guided by the profit motive, they disdained any attempt to cater to our baser instincts. The stars were our idols, more perfect than the rest of us. They seemed to have fun performing even when it wasn't the case. Feelings, emotions were freely on display. Yet the subtleties of relationships were visible and more powerful than the cruder ones commonly shown now.

These movies with their mostly happy endings, always offering some justice, gave us pure escape into a saner, rational world than the one we knew. In today's sophisticated and cynical atmosphere they seem quaint, even naive, but if we are willing to watch them while temporarily suspending our sophistication, we are apt to find ourselves having a good time.

A LIST OF THE REVIEWS

  • Imitation of Life
  • Green Mansions
  • It Happened to Jane
  • Woman Obsessed
  • Room at the Top
  • Ask Any girl
  • The Horse Soldiers
  • Say One for Me
  • South Pacific
  • This Earth is Mine
  • The Nun's Story
  • Beloved Infidel
  • Operation Petticoat
  • Cash McCall
  • The Bramble Bush
  • The Mouse That Roared
  • On the Beach
  • Suddenly Last Summer
  • The 400 Blows
  • Please Don't Eat the Daisies
  • Sapphire
  • The Unforgiven
  • The Fugitive Kind
  • Seven Thieves
  • The Magician
  • Grand Illusion
  • Conspiracy of Hearts

An excerpt from a review of Ingmar Bergman's The Magician

We have, I think, a Shakespeare in our time. He is a Shakespeare by another name: Ingmar Bergman. I say this, not that Bergman is directly like Shakespeare. No, Bergman is Bergman, no doubt about it. Rather he is a Shakespeare in stature. As Shakespeare used words, Bergman uses motion photography. As Shakespeare drew complex, profound characters struggling with each other, Bergman draws characters struggling with themselves and a total world of chaos and terror. Shakespeare chose great human themes; Bergman chooses great idea themes. The Magician is no less proof of Bergman's genius than was Wild Strawberries and the Seventh Seal. The man creates works of art.

©2018 Stones Point Press