Monthly Archives: September 2019

52 Before 62 — #29 The Hanging Tree (1959)

Poster of the movie The Hanging Tree.jpgDirected by Delmer Daves

Screenplay by Wendell Mayes and Halsted Wells, from the novelette of the same name by Dorothy M. Johnson

Starring Gary Cooper, Ben Piazza, Karl Malden, Maria Schell, and George C. Scott

Gary Cooper was a movie star of the highest order, with a career lasting something like 35 years, coming up as an extra and even appearing in the first Best Picture winner, Wings.  Career longevity aside, though, he always felt like a wooden actor to me.  Of course, being a movie star, and being a good actor, are frequently two different things: acting requires the ability to act, being a movie star is more about charisma and charm than anything else.  And it almost feels idiotic to argue he was a wooden actor, given he won two Oscars, and was nominated for three others, so somebody thought he had skills.  But I say he was a wooden actor, and so he was. Continue reading

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52 Before 62 — #28 I Remember Mama (1948)

I-remember-mama-1948 poster.jpgDirected by George Stevens

Screenplay by DeWitt Bodeen, from the play of the same name by John Van Druten, which was based on the novel of the same name by Kathryn Forbes

Starring Irene Dunne, Barbara Bel Geddes, Phillip Dorn, Steve Brown, Peggy McIntyre, Oscar Homolka, Ellen Corby, and Edgar Bergen

George Stevens might be one of the most underrated directors in history, which is sort of an insane thing to think about a man who has two Oscars for Best Director.  But ask anybody to name ten directors working before 1960 and you’d probably not hear his name mentioned once.[1]  He might not even be in the top 20. Continue reading

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