365 Film Challenge Part 22: 1950s Special

Film #55: Father Brown

Alec Guinness plays the eponymous priest who is a keen amateur detective. The film opens strongly with the police raiding a building to find a priest filling a safe, returning the items stolen by a parishioner. After that it slacks of a bit into a gentle, pedestrian mystery as Brown has to take a priceless cross to Rome and keep it safe from a mysterious criminal mastermind.

This Danish poster was my favourite of the search results.

It’s a creaky in places, and the pace a tad too slow, but unfortunately it’s Guinness who’s the weak link for me, it’s such an affected performance as he tries to play this outwardly bumbling priest that it made a hard watch for me. It became aggravating at times, and rather spoiled my enjoyment of the movie. 4/10.

Film #84: Indiscreet

It was the leads that attracted me to check this out, as Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman have both impressed me before. Bergman plays a successful actress who returns to London and has given up on love, but then she meets a charming diplomat, who she falls for quickly because, well, it’s Cary Grant, innit?

But the course of true love never did run smooth, and the two have to face various obstacles and misunderstandings along the way. It’s charming enough and the leads are decent, and an easy watch but it’s a little slow and throwaway, with the ending lurching towards silliness. Watchable, but nothing special. 6/10.

Film #92: On The Waterfront

Before The Godfather, this was probably Marlon Brando’s most famous role, with the “coulda been a contender” scene having achieved iconic status. He stars here as Terry Malloy, a former boxer who now works the docks run by a corrupt union boss.

Terry is used to lure an informer to their death and afterwards, falling for the dead man’s sister, he becomes conflicted about whether or not he should give evidence against the corrupt officials and their crimes. Famous for bringing Brando’s method acting to bigger attention, he’s an undeniably charismatic and watchable presence. He captures the quiet, worn down nature of the character, his guilt and inner conflict. Malloy’s a sad figure, a man who has seen his dreams die and unhappy with where he’s wound up. And there is something quiet, natural and real about Brando’s portrayal.

Brando is superb in the role and the story, while simple, is engaging and well done. 9/10.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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