1956, dir. Elia Kazan, screenplay Tennessee Williams. The first motion picture from a major American studio ever to be publicly condemned by the Legion of Decency, this twisted piece of Southern Gothic is still quite effective some four decades after its initial release. Tennessee Williams wrote and Kazan directed this tale of "Baby Doll," a child-like bride who sleeps in a crib and endures the ever-lurking (and sexual pressures) of her "adult" husband, an over-the-top Karl Malden. The film features excellent supporting performances, most notably from a bitchy Eli Wallach as Malden's revenge-seeking boss, and eerie black-and-white cinematography. But the film belongs to Carroll Baker as Baby Doll; she is the embodimentof adolescent sexuality and manipulation. A decadent delight. 114 mins.
1951, dir. Elia Kazan, screenplay by Oscar Saul. Marlon Brando is the brutish Stanley Kowalski, who psychologically strips his fragile sister-in-law Blanche (Vivien Leigh) until her breakdown is complete. Tennessee Williams' masterpiece is layered with sexual symbolism and haunting imagery, and features fine support from Karl Malden as a well-intentioned suitor and Kim Hunter as Stanley's beleaguered wife. 122 mins
1947, dir. Stuart Heisler. Wrenching, incisive drama about a nightclub singer whose marriage quickly disintegrates into alcoholic despair. The powerful, Oscar-nominated performance from Susan Hayward will hook fans of emotionally charged melodrama and classic character studies. 103 mins
1955, dir. Otto Preminger. Frank Sinatra received an Oscar nomination for his powerful performance as a heroin addict trying to go straight. He is married to a crippled woman (Eleanor Parker) who pressures him to stay with her, although he's in love with another woman (Kim Novak). 119 mins.
dir. Roger Corman, 1958. Robert Vaughn (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) stars as a white 35 year old teenage caveman with styled hair who seeks to discover what is in the uncharted jungles beyond his tribe's campsite. It is against the Word (and the Word is the Law), but he breaks it anyway. Soon he discovers a strange creature which kills with its touch. We later learn that this is not a prehistoric tale, but a post-apocalyptic tale, and the strange creature is a 500-plus year old irradiated scientist in a radiation suit. With Short Subjects!
dir. Edward L. Cahn, 1957. Starring Fay Spain and Frank Gorshin. Car Crazy! Speed Crazy! Boy Crazy! She's eighteen, she's blonde, and she's burning rubber on some crazy curves in this story of revving up and growing up in a teen-world of v-8's and dragstrips, where fast young dreams collide with crash-and-burn results. 70 mins.
With HOT CAR HARRY!
WHITE LIGHTA Color Performance each Saturday at 7:00