Friday, January 30, 2009

My 2008 Movie Odyssey - Part XXV

Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
Charles Laughton is riveting as a defense attorney who takes on a murder case that seems doomed from the start, all the while thwarting the best intentions of his nurse, played by a very funny Elsa Lanchester, who is determined to keep him from killing himself with his vices. Laughton's client's case is shaky at best, but when his prime witness changes sides and testifies for the prosecution, things really get interesting.

Red River (1948)
Well, this marks the third time Walter Brennan has appeared in my movie odyssey, and I must say that he is fast becoming one of my favorite character actors from the 40s and 50s. This is an epic western with John Wayne at the head of a massive cattle drive. Unfortunately, one of the main plot points, wondering whether there actually is a railroad in Abilene, KS, was rendered impotent since I already knew that Abilene was a popular cattle drive destination during the wild (and not-so-wild) west. It was still an entertaining movie, but I did feel the vast landscapes would have been better served if the film had been in color.

Now, Voyager (1942)
This high character drama features wonderful performances from its leads but left no impact on me.

Sophie’s Choice (1982)
This is yet another Hollywood tale of luminous yet damaged people that the Academy loves to give Oscar nominations and awards to but always leaves me wanting something more, and this one was no exception.

Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959)
This is a fun film full of Disney magic. The competitive friendship between Darby and the king of the Leprechauns is a joy to watch, and the effects work just as well today as they did in 1959.

Coming up next: the conclusion of my 2008 movie odyssey which includes a bonus extra movie.

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