Movie Review: The Misfits (1961)

Marilyn and Clark’s final flick is winner ___ 8/10
Review by Brian Wright

Roslyn: Did you ever think about gettin’ married again?
Gay: Oh, I think about it; never in daylight.

Roslyn: If I’m going to be alone, I want to be by myself.

Guido: You have the gift for life, Roslyn. The rest of us, we’re just looking for a place to hide and watch it all go by.

Directed by John Huston
Screenplay by Arthur Miller

Clark Gable … Gay Langland
Marilyn Monroe … Roslyn Taber
Montgomery Clift … Perce Howland
Thelma Ritter … Isabelle Steers
Eli Wallach … Guido
Kevin McCarthy … Raymond Taber
Estelle Winwood … Church Lady

This 1961 film is unique in several ways: a) it is the final film for Marilyn Monroe (that she completed) and Clark Gable (who died a few weeks after filming of a heart attack some attribute to doing his own stunt work), b) it was not a commercial success at the time of release but gained critical respect for its writing and acting, c) because of lack of control of production costs, the film was the most expensive black and white film to that time at $4 million, and d) adding to the troubles of production were the 108 degree heat of the northern Nevada desert and the imminent end of Monroe’s marriage to writer Arthur Miller. Continue reading

Movie Review: Blood Diamond (2006)

Exciting old-style action-adventure movie with a lingering message (9/10)

As I was growing up in middle class America in the 1950s and 1960s, I got to see plenty of movies.  We lived in Overland Park, Kansas, a post-WW2 suburb of the Kansas City metro area.  The little town was something out of a Norman Rockwell painting or a Jean Shepherd—author behind the movie, A Christmas Story—reminiscence.

Written by Charles Leavitt
Directed by Edward Zwick

Leonardo DiCaprio … Danny Archer
Djimon Hounsou … Solomon Vandy
Jennifer Connelly … Maddy Bowen

The small downtown included TG&Y (dime store), two drug stores (a Rexall outlet and locally owned “McDaniels”), A&P Groceries, a Sears catalog-order store, an A&W Root Beer franchise, a couple of restaurants, etc… and the Overland Park Theater.  When we were just kids, Mom and Pop would shuttle my brother and me to the matinees on Saturday.

I suppose then they went shopping or something—wink, wink—but we never thought to ask.  When you’re a child of nine or even nineteen: the universe revolves around you and your parents do not have lives apart from seeing to your every need or whim.  Anyway, sorry to get off track. Continue reading