The Cranes are Flying (1957, USSR)
These Mosfilm movies do something extraordinary. They make me want to go and live in the old USSR. Even in wartime. The world of the Mosfilm Dream is not a happy place, as such, but a place that is in tune with its basic humanity. An honest place. It’s hard to believe, I know. Watched it all. While some Soviet movies feel like they’ve copied the best of Hollywood, this one reminds me more of a British war movie, one of the less cheerful Powell & Pressburger ones, perhaps, where everything is falling apart, but you stick to your duty, because what else is there?
The Great Claw (1957, USA)
The reason they’re calling this movie The Great Claw is probably that Attack of the Giant Stupid Space Chicken sounded too silly. So imagine how the audience must have felt when the giant stupid space chicken shows up. (To be fair, it does have a great claw.) Watched: 13 minutes.
The Story of Mankind (1957, USA)
This comedy, featuring medium stars and has-beens in various scenes from history, is a failure in every way possible. But at least now we know that we have Chico Marx to blame for the popular belief that Columbus discovered that the Earth was round. We also learn, after all this time, that Harpo Marx’s wig is red. Aha! Well, yes, that does fit. Too bad we can’t see it in any of their good movies. Legend Films, care to colorize? Please? Watched: Bits and pieces.