Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Black & White Gold

Sullivan's Travels is a delightful Preston Sturgess movie about a Hollywood film maker who, bored with churning out frothy comedies, wants to change direction and adapt 'O Brother, Where Art Thou' a worthy, depression set drama. As he's never experienced poverty he decides to live like a hobo to gain some understanding (much to the consternation of his studio execs) and a light, rather lovely comedy roadtrip ensues. With a quick witted script and some fine acting from Veronica Lake and Joel McCrea as the pair of psuedo bums, Sturgess balances the laughs, a little romance and a few poignant lessons about life effortlessly into what is a thoroughly enjoyable film and probably one of the best films I've seen in ages.

Before The Third Man, Carol Reed & Graham Greene worked together to fashion a wonderfully poised thriller called The Fallen Idol released in 1948. The young son of an Ambassador is left in the company of the butler, Mr Baines, and his harsh housekeeper wife for a weekend and quickly becomes embroiled in a web of secrecy and witness to the eventual dissolution of their relationship. Beautifully shot and with taut, restrained performances from the adult cast the tension builds deliciously until the climax and a torrent of emotion is unleashed. This is an excellent thriller that's sadly over shadowed by the pairs subsequent success.

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