THE LONG HAUL
1957, Sony Repertory, 100 min, UK/USA, Dir: Ken Hughes

Harry Miller (Victor Mature), an American GI married to a British war bride (Gene Anderson), signs on as a long-haul lorry driver and finds the business rife with corruption, especially gangster Joe Easy (Patrick Allen). When Easy’s girl Lynn (Diana Dors) takes a shine to Harry, his sturdy moral fiber is stretched every which way. A well-wrought and amusingly sleazy British version of Hollywood trucking tales like THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT and THIEVES’ HIGHWAY, this satisfies the craving of noir addicts with its underworld misfits, shadowy atmospherics and voluptuous Dors doing all she can to mess with Mature’s marriage. With a thrilling climax right out of THE WAGES OF FEAR.


MY DARLING CLEMENTINE
1946, 20th Century Fox, 97 min, USA, Dir: John Ford

John Ford directs one of the most beautiful, melancholic, lyrical Westerns ever made, painting an atmospheric interpretation of Wyatt Earp (Henry Fonda), the Earp siblings (Ward Bond, Tim Holt), Doc Holliday (Victor Mature) and their escalating feud with the cattle-rustling Clanton family (Walter Brennan, John Ireland and Grant Withers). Although Ford hews closer to the legend than to the cold hard facts (especially with the fictionalized female characters, Cathy Downs as Clementine and Linda Darnell as Chihuahua), that is, in large part, the point of the film - an elegiac vision of a heroic age when almost-mythological personalities walked the earth as real, flesh-and-blood people. Poignant, exhilarating and gorgeous from beginning to end.


SAMSON AND DELILAH
1949, Paramount, 131 min, USA, Dir: Cecil B. DeMille

No one brought the Bible to the big screen with more gusto than director Cecil B. DeMille, who initially tried to adapt the tragic love story of the strongman and his Philistine temptress in the mid-1930s. Victor Mature and Hedy Lamarr smolder in the title roles, with strong support from George Sanders, Angela Lansbury and Henry Wilcoxon. A huge box office hit, this Technicolor epic picked up Oscars for Best Art Direction and Costume Design.


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