20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)

Director: Richard Fleischer

Writer: Earl Felton (Screenplay)

Starring: Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Paul Lukas, Peter Lorre, Robert J Wilke, Ted de Corsia

 

Plot: A ship sent to investigate a wave of mysterious sinkings encounters the advanced submarine, the Nautilus, commanded by Captain Nemo.


Tagline – Walt Disney’s Mighty, Magnificent, Memorable 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea!

Runtime: 2 Hours 7 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Classic

 

Story: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea starts when scientist professor Pierre Aronnax (Lukas) gets assigned to investigate a large number of sinkings in the open ocean, joined by his trusted sidekick Conseil (Lorre). When the ship they are travelling on gets sunk by the creature, Peirre, Conseil and sailor Ned Land (Douglas) go in search of rescue finding the Nautilus seemingly abandoned on the ocean.

The Nautilus captained by Nemo (Mason) tests the men before letting them stay aboard learning the wonders from beneath the ocean and taking on the creatures that have been lurking in the deep.

 

Thoughts on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

 

Characters – Captain Nemo is the mysterious captain of the Nautilus, he doesn’t follow any over the rules of the ocean as he plans his own way to clean it up with his loyal men, he reluctantly lets the three survivors onboard knowing Professor Aronnax could help his work. He does get frustratingly tired of Ned’s behaviour which puts his crew in danger at times. Ned Land is a sailor that is one of the few survivors from the shipwreck, he doesn’t like Nemo and wants to focus on collecting treasure over learning from the ocean. Professor Pierre Aronnax is one of the most famous scientist in the world, he is welcomed on board the ship because of his reputation which impress Nemo, he jumps at the chance to make huge waves in science onboard the ship. Conseil is the assistant to the professor who quickly starts to side with ned when it comes to the methods being shown onboard the vessel.

PerformancesThis is a strange way to bill the cast, because James Mason is the main character and he is great to watch when it comes to his speeches and ideas for what his character wants. Kirk Douglas is mostly the comic relief which is fun to see for the most part. Paul Lukas fits the posh scientist role in the film which is the one that can simplify things for the audience. Peter Lorre makes for a good sidekick figure for whoever his character helps.

StoryThe story here follows the character of Captain Nemo that must educate three new crew members of the wonders of the ocean, showing them the answers are here instead of in how the world is acting. This is one that shows us science need exploring rather than questioning which takes out characters across the world to see things never imagined for the 1800s. While the story does give us entertainment, it would have been nice to see them ship take on a real creature for more than five minutes instead of going into the science versus sailing talk we most explore.

Adventure/Fantasy/Sci-Fi The adventure side of this film takes our crew around the world to places they would have never seen to see places only few would have, make new discoveries. The fantasy mixes into the sci-fi because of the films setting in the 1800s where the technology isn’t like anything imaginable.

SettingsThe film keep sus out at sea for most of the film, it is the interior of the Nautilus which is fantastic creation here show us just what was in the minds of the people.

Special EffectsThe effects for the time were great, they show us what could have been achieved with practical effects and clever camera work.


Scene of the Movie –
Squid battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not much creature action.

Final ThoughtsThis is a must watch classic of cinema, it reaches levels you might not have expected for the time only to become something you need to admire.

 

Overall: Must watch classic.

Rating

 

 

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Sabrina (1954)

Director: Billy Wilder

Writer: Billy Wilder, Samuel A Taylor, Ernest Lehman (Screenplay) Samuel A Taylor (Play)

Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, Walter Hampden, John Williams, Martha Hyer

 

Plot: A playboy becomes interested in the daughter of his family’s chauffeur, but it’s his more serious brother who would be the better man for her.


Tagline –  the chauffeur’s daughter who learned her stuff in Paris!

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One for the Classic Film Fans

 

Story: Sabrina starts as we meet the daughter of the playboy family’s chauffer Sabrina (Hepburn) who has been in love with one of the son’s of the house David (Holden), after Sabrina spends time in Paris, she returns with a better knowledge of fitting in to higher society. David on the other hand has been match made by his brother Linus (Bogart) to continue to grow the family business.

When David needs to recover from an injury, Sabrina ends up spending time with Linus as the two brothers end up battling over the beautiful woman.

 

Thoughts on Sabrina

 

Characters – Sabrina is the beautiful daughter of the chauffeur, that gets herself educated before returning to the family that looked down on her, hoping to impress the son she is attracted too, she seems to be a character drawn to a better life and looks to marry her way to it. Linus is the straight talking serious brother that conducts the business and wants to stop David from marrying Sabrina. David is the man that has fallen for Sabrina, he is known as a playboy having a routine for seducing women. We have the rich family and the help family that believe they shouldn’t be together.

PerformancesThe performances in this film are good, we have three of the most famous stars in Hollywood history. Audrey Hepburn is the star of the film that showed the grace she had in any film she was part off.

StoryThe story here follows one woman that dreams of being in the higher society and her way there is through her love of one of the sons of the family her father works for. This isn’t the most overly entertaining story as it seems to show just how Sabrina just wants to plan her own way to get to the top, I am not sure if I am misreading the film, but it does show how the two different classes act towards each other.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy works for the time, but most of the laughs are based on how the reactions of the higher society act. The romance does seem to show the wrong idea of what love is for the people involved.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show the different living standards the characters are used to, what they can buy and how they can get there.


Scene of the Movie –
Paris cooking class.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Hasn’t dated very well.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of those classic films that has struggled to date the way others have, it tells a story for the time, but not our time which can make it harder to connect too.

 

Overall: The dated classic.

Rating

 

 

James Stewart Weekend – Rear Window (1954)

rearDirector: Alfred Hitchcock

Writer: John Michael Hayes (Screenplay) Cornell Wollrich (Short Story)

Starring: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr, Judith Evelyn

 

Plot: A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Vintage Suspense Thriller

 

Story: Rear Window starts as L.B. Jeff Jefferies (Stewart) stuck in his apartment with a broken leg who has been spending his time watching his neighbours waiting to heel up. Jeff gets daily visits from his nurse Stella (Ritter) who offers him life advice when it comes to Jeff’s love life with the beautiful and in his words perfect Lisa (Kelly) who wants to settle down but Jeff just can’t see it happening.

When one of his neighbours goes missing and Jeff sees the husband leave 3 times during the night he becomes suspicious that something much more foul has come into play. Jeff brings in Lisa to help look for clues but what can they find out?

 

Thoughts on Rear Window

 

StoryWe have seen films that have overcomplicated stories and become a mess this film here keeps everything very simple as one man is trying to solve a potential murder from his apartment. The story follows how he must figure out what has happened without being able to go and see himself which is all good too keep us on edge.

Mystery/Thriller When you look for a good mystery film this one does keep you guessing throughout the film as you are kept on edge wondering how the truth can come out.

Characters/PerformanceJeff is an interesting character that finds himself having to play detective from his own room, he builds a new dimension for the hero character who is unable to go and solve the crime. Lisa does feel out of place in this film because she comes off way to high class for be involved in the story.

James Stewart does single handily carry this film with his performance while Grace Kelly adds the beauty to it all.

SettingsThe whole film is shot from the room that Jeff is stuck in as he is watching his neighbours but when he sees the murder we see how he can’t do anything because of his broken leg but still wants to play detective, this all adds another dimension to the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most influenced and important thrillers you will ever see.

 

Overall: A must watch for all the fans of Hitchcock, thriller or mystery fans.

Rating90

 

 

Seven Samurai (1954)

sevnDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Writer: Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto, Hideo Oguni (Screenplay)

Starring: Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima, Daisuke Kato, Isao Kimura, Seiji Miyaguchi, Yoshio Inaba

 

Plot: A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Master Class

 

Story: Seven Samurai starts as we see the small poor village getting approached by bandits that they have already raided but decide to wait until the barley is ready which one of the villagers over hears. Searching for answers some of the villagers decide to go in search of poor hungry samurai to fight back against the bandits.

When the villagers find Kambei (Shimura) he purposes they need seven samurai including himself to defend the village once he learns just how desperate the villagers are. Kambei recruits the further six samurai Katayama (Inaba), Shichiroji (Kato), Kyuzo (Miyaguchi), Heihachi (Chiaki), Katsushiro (Kimura) and Kikuchiyo (Mifune) to come and protect the village putting aside all their difference they fight for honour.

 

Thoughts on Seven Samurai

 

StoryThe story shows how the villagers must defend themselves from bandits and just how they went about that happening. We get to see the honour of a samurai who are willing to fight not for money but for the right thing. This story is simple to follow but most importantly it is about how you can help somebody with their problems if you believe in the right things.

Action/Adventure When you look at the action inside tis film we get brilliantly choregraphed fight sequences for the time would have been something nobody would have seen and they still stand the test of time now.

Characters/PerformanceEach of the samurai has their own characteristics which makes us have added laughs for some but know they will be a force when it comes to battle. The performances are all good to throughout as we see the events of the film unfold.

SettingsThe settings for this film are constant as we see most of the film happen within the small village that needs defending, this helps us show just how close the community living there is making us support them through their struggles with the bandits.

Final ThoughtsThis is the classic people say it is, while it might be a little bit long you barely notice the 3 hour plus run time.

 

Overall: Essential viewing for anyone that wants to know how to make a truly special film.

Rating

 90