Thursday, March 19, 2009


* The Greatest Show on Earth was a lavish tribute to circuses, featuring three intertwining plot lines concerning romance and rivalry beneath the big top. DeMille's film includes spectacular action sequences, including a show-stopping train wreck.

High Noon with Gary Cooper won best actor. PLOT: This classic Western stars Gary Cooper as marshal Will Kane, about to retire from office and go on his honeymoon with his new Quaker bride, Amy (Grace Kelly). But, after learning that the Miller gang is due on the noon train.

Come Back Little Sheba
, although not nominated for picture, gave Shirley Booth the best actress award. You might remember Shirley as the maid in a sitcom called, "Hazel". PLOT:A movie version of the play by William Inge, COME BACK, LITTLE SHEBA is the story of "Doc" and "Lola" Delaney -- a sadly aging couple whose attention seems drawn indestructibly to lost dreams and failed ambitions. A grim and cold recovering alcoholic, Doc seems only able to numb the pain of his black-and-white existence with drink. Lola, on the other hand, desperate for warmth and affection, still longs for the little lost dog named "Sheba" missing for nearly a year which had provided her so much companionship and joy. Into this mix comes Marie, a carefree young co-ed happily dabbling at love and romance. When she rents a room from the Delaneys, their home is suddenly inhabited with the ghosts of their own failings -- Doc's professional failings, Lola's failings as a wife and mother, and the shared failings of their marriage.

The Quiet Man starring John Wayne Irish-American boxer John Wayne, recovering from the trauma of having accidentally killed a man in the ring, arrives in the Irish village where he was born. Hoping to bury his past and falls in love with Maureen O'Hara.

Although the top films of the year were drama, many of them were slap stick sort of comedy. It was the beginning of Bob Hope, with the movie called, Son of Paleface. Author wonders if it was the beginning of the Bob Hope and Bing Crosby adventures.

Danny Kaye is in this era with his high jinx and unbelievable body language on screen. He is a favorite and of the 28 films he made, Court Jester is still my favorite. It is a 1955 film and I am getting ahead of myself.

Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin made 16 comedies together, previously they had done night club acts and radio. Before their break up in 1956, they had moved on to television.

Jerry Lewis, in a book called, Dean and Me, states: , “In the age of Truman, Eisenhower, and Joe McCarthy, we freed America. For ten years after World War II, Dean and I were not only the most successful show-business act in history -- we were history.

You have to remember: Postwar America was a very buttoned-up nation. Radio shows were run by censors, Presidents wore hats, ladies wore girdles. We came straight out of the blue–nobody was expecting anything like Martin and Lewis. A sexy guy and a monkey is how some people saw us, but what we really were, in an age of Freudian self-realization, was the explosion of the show-business id.

Like Burns and Allen, Abbott and Costello, and Hope and Crosby, we were vaudevillians, stage performers who worked with an audience. But the difference between us and all the others is significant. They worked with a script. We exploded without one, the same way wiseguy kids do on a playground, or jazz musicians do when they're let loose. And the minute we started out in nightclubs, audiences went nuts for us. As Alan King told an interviewer a few years ago: "I have been in the business for fifty-five years, and I have never to this day seen an act get more laughs than Martin and Lewis. They didn't get laughs–it was pandemonium. People knocked over tables." Like so many entertainment explosions, we happened almost by accident.

Another movie of the 415 produced this year of 1952 is:

The Snows of Kilimanjaro starring Gregory Peck who lays gravely wounded from an African hunting accident he feverishly reflects on what he perceives as his failures at love and writing. Through his delirium he recalls his one true love Cynthia Green (Ava Gardner) who he lost by his obsession for roaming the world in search of stories for his novels. Though she is dead Cynthia continues to haunt Street's thoughts. In spite of one successful novel after another, Street feels he has compromised his talent to ensure the success of his books, making him a failure in his eyes. His neglected wife Helen (Susan Hayward) tends to his wounds, listens to his ranting, endures his talk of lost loves, and tries to restore in him the will to fight his illness until help arrives. Her devotion to him makes him finally realize that he is not a failure. Maybe it is Susan Hayward but this movie really gets into me.


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