‘Hell is a City,’ directed by Val Guest

Movie, 1960 By no means a bad film, although one which maybe tries a little too hard in places, starting off like an inappropriately lit film noir, in which the Mancunian setting doesn’t really translate, and working in subplots when the main story itself feels a little underdeveloped. A little clunky, although there’s still much to admire. If Manchester isn’t Chicago or New York, the … Continue reading ‘Hell is a City,’ directed by Val Guest

“The Entertainer,” directed by Tony Richardson

Movie, 1960 Film about hand-to-mouth seaside entertainer, wonderfully played by Laurence Olivier, whose entrapment takes down family members and potential backers for his insubstantial, gloomy looking future shows. The ups and downs of booze fuelled theatres and run down matinees are well portrayed in close up cinematography, trysts in caravans and determined money-chasing chorus girls. The effect is of a seedy, down-at-heel feel. The cast … Continue reading “The Entertainer,” directed by Tony Richardson

“L’Avventura”, directed by Michelangelo Antonioni

Movie, 1960 Hugely poignant, atmospheric film about the relationship between the best friend and lover of a woman who disappears on a trip to a Sicilian island. The disappearance serves no other purpose than to push the characters off, not so much into action or purpose, but more into an impressionistic set of scenes which are invested with a certain amount of gloom and intensity … Continue reading “L’Avventura”, directed by Michelangelo Antonioni

“The Angry Silence”, directed by Guy Green

Movie, 1960 Psychological study looking at the strains and pressures building on a strike breaker working in a factory. An industrial drama in which sympathies lie with the individual rather than on any groups, particularly the local union branch, which is shown manipulating and unable to control events and reactions against the main character. Straightforward direction and acting allow the full domestic impact to come … Continue reading “The Angry Silence”, directed by Guy Green

“The House in Marsh Road”, directed by Montgomery Tully

Movie, 1960 B-movie and British chiller-thriller, and a story of a poltergeist, infidelity, drunkenness, revenge and tragedy. While tame by any standards, this is an enjoyable film with some good atmosphere generated by moody shots, gloomy interiors and pleasingly over-the-top music. Hardly a classic, but effective and entertaining into the bargain, with an engagingly quirky premise and an opening which portrays a culture of living … Continue reading “The House in Marsh Road”, directed by Montgomery Tully

"The Apartment", directed Billy Wilder

Movie, 1960 Unquestionably funny comedy – the best sort – which pulls laughs from a great script and leading players, and yet does so by lightly hopping over heavy duty 20th century loneliness, alienation, infidelity, prostitution, ethics, depression, chauvinism and bullying, to name just a few. Because the film’s so watchable, the corrupt world becomes acceptable and romanticised, really nailing home a few points which … Continue reading "The Apartment", directed Billy Wilder

"13 Ghosts," directed William Castle

Movie, 1960 Take out the outrageous Illusion-O gimmick, which neatly and effectively removes most of the tension in the film and leads in to some fairly tedious special effects, and 13 Ghosts is a pretty effective haunted house movie. While younger characters and cast members grate, Margaret Hamilton (the witch in The Wizard of Oz) is a sinister, enjoyable presence playing a twisted housekeeper along similar … Continue reading "13 Ghosts," directed William Castle