Stray Dog (1949, Japan, Kurosawa)
The same theft turns two war veterans in two different directions: One towards becoming a cop, the other to become a criminal. But they’re both in a sense similar, stray dogs burning up with anger and despair. Watched it all. In post-war Japanese movies you never see any sign of the American occupation forces, because of censorship. But in movies like this you do see how society was changing under their impact.
Fängelse / The Devil’s Wanton (1949, Sweden, Bergman)
If you were to make a parody of an Ingmar Bergman movie, it would probably be about a movie director who has long, philosophical discussions with his bohemian friends about life, the nature of evil, and the atom bomb. The parody wouldn’t be funny at all, and that would be the great joke. Watched: 16 minutes.
Mighty Joe Young (1949, USA, Schoedsack)
It pays off to pay attention to the credits. This one has Ray Harryhausen working on the special effects. Watched: 3 minutes, then fast-forwarded to see Harryhausen’s stop motion scenes, which are amazing. It looks like they were having fun thinking up creative ways for the stop motion gorilla (who has the face of a Wallace & Gromit character) to interact with the live action characters.
Døden er et kjærtegn (1949, Norway, Carlmar)
A car mechanic who talks like an old-timey radio announcer gets picked up by a married woman who also talks like an old-timey radio announcer. Their shared speech impediment becomes the basis for a dangerous romance. Watched: 28 minutes.