IRON MAN
1951, Universal, 81 min, USA, Dir: Joe Pevney

Jeff Chandler stars as Coke Mason, a Pennsylvania coal miner who is talked into becoming a boxer by his gambler brother (Stephen McNally). Coke’s wife (Evelyn Keyes) thinks her husband’s violent streak can make them millionaires, not caring that’s he’s becoming a villain in the public’s eyes. In the end, Coke fights for the title against … Rock Hudson! Based on the novel by W.R. Burnett and featuring Jim Backus, Joyce Holden and James Arness.


WRITTEN ON THE WIND
1956, Universal, 99 min, USA, Dir: Douglas Sirk

Commonly acknowledged as one of pantheon director Douglas Sirk’s most sublime masterworks, this tale of two friends - rich, alcoholic Robert Stack and poor, sensible Rock Hudson (who also works for him) - runs the gamut of emotions, examining the consequences of the pair’s mutual love for radiant Lauren Bacall. But Sirk doesn’t stop there as he subtly explores, through back story and character, the loneliness and spiritual degradation caused by unchecked materialism. He also manages to skillfully sidestep soap opera cliches while still delivering glossy, superior popular entertainment. Dorothy Malone won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress as Stack’s promiscuous sister with a long-unrequited yen for Hudson.


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