THE BREAKING POINT
1950, Warner Bros., 97 min, USA, Dir: Michael Curtiz

The finest film version of Hemingway’s novel To Have and Have Not (and yes, that includes the Bogart-Hawks classic) shifts the story from Cuba to Newport Beach, California, but retains the novel’s core of noir-stained tragedy. As Skipper Harry Morgan, John Garfield essays his finest screen portrayal of a man whose domestic travails and mid-life crisis results in crime, flight and death. Garfield’s turn is perfectly matched by Patricia Neal, as a predatory femme fatale, and Phyllis Thaxter as his beaten-down but unswervingly loyal spouse. With Wallace Ford as a bottom-feeding attorney and the great Afro-Cuban actor Juano Hernandez.


THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL
1951, 20th Century Fox, 92 min, USA, Dir: Robert Wise

Klaatu barada nikto! Christ-like alien Klaatu (Michael Rennie) arrives in Washington, D.C., with one-eyed robot to Gort to try to curtail Earth’s weapons of mass destruction before they can jeopardize the universe. Patricia Neal turns in a memorable performance as one of the only human beings attempting to understand him in this still relevant anti-war, anti-nuclear proliferation masterpiece. "The universe grows smaller every day, and the threat of aggression by any group, anywhere, can no longer be tolerated. There must be security for all, or no one is secure. Now, this does not mean giving up any freedom, except the freedom to act irresponsibly." The lyrics to "Science Fiction Double Feature," an ode to 1950s sci fi classics, in The Rocky Horror Picture Show reference Michael Rennie and the title of this movie. With Billy Gray, Hugh Marlowe.


A FACE IN THE CROWD
1957, Warner Bros., 125 min, USA, Dir: Elia Kazan

Andy Griffith is mesmerizing as Larry "Lonesome" Rhodes, a wild Arkansas vagrant-turned-television sensation in Kazan’s provocative and poignant masterpiece about fame, fraud and the transition from radio to television. Equally captivating is Patricia Neal as Marcia Jeffries, the naive Sarah Lawrence college student who is the first to fall under Larry’s fraudulent spell. "Brilliantly cinematic melodrama … paints a luridly entertaining picture of modern show business." - Leslie Halliwell


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