THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA
1954, Park Circus , 128 min, United States, Dir: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz returns to the show business milieu of ALL ABOUT EVE for this story of a filmmaker (Humphrey Bogart, playing a slightly modified version of Mankiewicz himself) who discovers a peasant girl (Ava Gardner) dancing in a nightclub and transforms her into a star. Before long Bogart falls in love with his creation, but his possessiveness and the pressures of stardom send her frantically looking for an escape.


GUYS AND DOLLS
1955, Park Circus/MGM, 150 min, USA, Dir: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Frank Loesser’s Broadway hit, inspired by Damon Runyon’s tales of Times Square hoods and gamblers, becomes one of the 1950s’ most enjoyable musicals in the hands of director Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Needing $1,000 to rent space for his floating crap game, Nathan Detroit (Frank Sinatra) bets Sky Masterson (Marlon Brando, in his only song-and-dance role) that he can find a girl immune to Masterson’s charms – specifically a strait-laced missionary (a wonderful Jean Simmons). “Luck Be a Lady” is just one of the great songs here.


NO WAY OUT
1950, 20th Century Fox, 106 min, USA, Dir: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

After a man dies while under the care of new black doctor Luther Brooks (Sidney Poitier in his feature debut), the patient’s racist brother (Richard Widmark) refuses to allow an autopsy that would prove the physician’s actions were justified. As tensions in the community escalate, Dr. Brooks gets his autopsy the only way he can - by giving himself up for murder. Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee make brief appearances in this tense drama, one of the most blistering critiques of racism ever filmed.


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