Greatest Movies Through 1960

Best Movies Compiled From Many Sources

Archive for January, 1956

The Searchers (1956)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1956

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119 Min – PG – view video trailer

Director: John Ford
Starring: John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles, Natalie Wood

Genres: Adventure, Western

IMDB 8.1 / Amazon 4.5 / MRQE 89 / Decent Films A

Oscars: none

Ranked #15 Greatest Movies Through 1960, included in 26 of 41 lists of best movies, a Zagat Top Movie

As a Civil War veteran spends years searching for a young niece captured by Indians, his motivation becomes increasingly questionable.  IMDB 8.1 rating from over 38,327 users

A favorite film of some of the world’s greatest filmmakers, including Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg, John Ford’s The Searchers has earned its place in the legacy of great American films for a variety of reasons. Perhaps most notably, it’s the definitive role for John Wayne as an icon of the classic Western–the hero (or antihero) who must stand alone according to the unwritten code of the West. Amazon 4.5 stars from over 355 users

The reputation of John Ford’s The Searchers as a classic but troubling Western in which John Wayne plays an Indian-hating racist is so widely accepted that it’s a bit of a surprise to discover that the film, and the character, are in fact more complex than the reputation suggests. A tense, unsettling tale of obsession and vengeance, The Searchers tells the story of Civil War veteran Ethan Edwards’s relentless pursuit of a Comanche band led by the war chief Scar (Henry Brandon), who has led a murderous raid on a settler household and kidnapped his young niece Debbie. Accompanying Ethan is the girl’s adopted brother Martin (Jeffrey Hunter), who hopes to rescue his sister, and, as years go by, begins to fear that Ethan would rather see the girl dead than living as a Comanche. Read full Decent Films review (rated A, Superior artistic-entertainment for Teens & Up)

MRQE 89% from over 63 reviews

Madison Public Library

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The Court Jester (1956)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1956

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101 min – view video clip (no trailer found)

Director: Melvin Frank, Norman Panama
Starring: Danny Kaye, Glynis Johns, Basil Rathbone, Angela Lansbury

Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Family

IMDB 7.7 / Amazon 4.8/ Decent Films A+

Oscars: none

Ranked #70 Greatest Movies Through 1960

A hapless carnival performer masquerades as the court jester as part of a plot against an evil ruler who has overthrown the rightful king. IMDB 7.7 rating from over 6,475 users

Danny Kaye spoofs Robin Hood and Scaramouche in this inventive slapstick swashbuckler. Portraying the clownish but good-hearted entertainer Hawkins, he infiltrates the court of the corrupt Basil Rathbone (up to his usual brand of cruel villainy) disguised as the legendary king of jesters, Giacomo… this is Danny Kaye at his comic best. Amazon 4.8 stars from over 214 users

See Errol Flynn in The Adventures of Robin Hood — and then see Danny Kaye in The Court Jester. As the former is the ultimate Hollywood swashbuckler classic, the latter is the ultimate swashbuckler spoof, and one of Kaye’s finest, funniest hours. Not only does it terrifically succeed where movies like Mel Brooks’s Robin Hood: Men in Tights miserably fail, The Court Jester also as merry, high-spirited, and wholesome as the adventures it parodies, with none of the cynical, anarchic spirit (or content issues) of the likes of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Decent Films A+ with superior artistic/entertainment value

MRQE over 16 reviews linked

Madison Public Library – my grade: A

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The Ten Commandments (1956)

Posted by Technoheaven on January 1, 1956

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220 min – rated G – view video trailer

Director: Cecil B DeMille
Starring: Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter

Genres: Adventure, Drama, History

IMDB 7.9 / Amazon 4.5 / MRQE 69% / Decent Films A

Oscars: nominated for 7, won 1 (Best Effects)

Ranked #38 Greatest Movies Through 1960, a Zagat Top Movie

The Egyptian Prince, Moses, learns of his true heritage as a Hebrew and his divine mission as the deliverer of his people. IMDB 7.9 rating from over 28,155 users

Based on the Holy Scriptures, with additional dialogue by several other hands, The Ten Commandments was the last film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. The story relates the life of Moses, from the time he was discovered in the bullrushes as an infant by the pharoah’s daughter, to his long, hard struggle to free the Hebrews from their slavery at the hands of the Egyptians. Amazon 4.5 stars from over 568 users

An aura of King-Jamesesque authority and grandeur hangs over Cecil B. DeMille’s last and arguably greatest film, the 1956The Ten Commandments. Suffused with all of DeMille’s considerable talent for archaic staginess, melodramatic pageantry, and opulent spectacle, The Ten Commandments is like an artifact of an earlier era, with something of the world of silent film about it. Charlton Heston’s statuesque presence and rumbling line readings in perhaps his best role complete the effect; he’s like Michelangelo’s Moses come to life. Read full Decent Films review (rated A, Superior artistic-entertainment for Kids & Up)

MRQE 69% from over 76 reviews

Madison Public Library

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