Storm Center (1956, USA)
Bette Davis believes that her small-town library should have books of all kinds in it, including pro-Communist propaganda, even if it makes some people angry. It’s a matter of principle, of being brave enough to expose yourself to ideas you disagree with. Watched it all. There actually weren’t all that many red scare movies in the 50s, and anti-red scare movies like this were better made, anyway. This one captures the mystical commitment librarians and book lovers throughout the ages have felt to the Idea of the Library as an intellectual free zone, a theme that for some reason feels relevant to some other things I’ve been writing about lately. (The child actors are awful, though. And the story is didactic, but I agree with the message, so I don’t mind.)
Et Dieu… crea la femme / …And God Created Woman (1956, France)
I wonder if there were people in the 50s who swore that they watched Brigitte Bardot movies for the plot and the dialogue. Watched: 10 minutes. I hate French movies, I really do. Even when they have such an .. interesting plot and well-formed dialogue as this one. It’s not a prejudice, I’ve given them every chance, but it almost never works.
The Mountain (1956, USA, Dmytryk)
The sets and scenery in this climbing movie are so spectacular that you hardly notice the characters, although they’re interesting in their own respect: Aging mountain climbing Spencer Tracy and his greedy asshole grave robber of a brother. Watched it all.