YOUNG MAN WITH A HORN
1950, Warner Bros., 112 min, USA, Dir: Michael Curtiz

Dorothy Baker’s novel, inspired by the life of cornetist Bix Beiderbecke, gets the full-blown Hollywood treatment. Star-crossed jazzman Kirk Douglas (musically dubbed by Harry James) hits the high and low notes, with a formidable Lauren Bacall and empathetic Doris Day as the women in his orbit. A daring Carl Foreman script complements memorable supporting performances by Hoagy Carmichael and Juano Hernandez, with dazzling direction by Michael Curtiz.


THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI
2014, Sony Repertory, 161 min, UK, USA, Dir: David Lean

David Lean won the first of two Academy Awards for Best Director for this epic portrait of the clash of wills between a British POW, Col. Nicholson (Alec Guinness, who initially turned down the role), and a tradition-bound Japanese officer (silent-film star Sessue Hayakawa) over the building of a railway bridge in the jungle during WWII. William Holden stars as the cynically realistic American POW who is forced to trek back into the hellish jungle to destroy the bridge with Jack Hawkins and his rag-tag team of commandos. Brilliantly adapted by Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson from Pierre Boulle’s novel, with an unforgettable score courtesy of Malcolm Arnold. “There has been a lot of argument about the film’s attitude toward war. I think it is a painfully eloquent statement on the general folly and waste of war.” -David Lean


HIGH NOON
1952, Paramount, 85 min, USA, Dir: Fred Zinnemann

No movie hero ever walked taller than Gary Cooper in HIGH NOON. As Marshal Will Kane, he’s ready to turn in his badge and settle down with his new wife (Grace Kelly) until he learns a criminal is arriving on the noon train bent on revenge. When the locals turn a deaf ear to Kane’s pleas for help (even deputy Lloyd Bridges refuses), the lawman must face a gang of killers alone. This iconic Western, named by the AFI as one of the 100 greatest films of all time, won four Oscars, including a Best Actor award for Cooper and Best Song for “Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin’.” With Katy Jurado. Favorite film of former president Bill Clinton, who screened it a record 17 times at the White House.


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