Give Us This Day (1949, UK, Dmytryk)
An Italian-American bricklayer has big dreams and works hard, but circumstances go against him, and we watch his hope die, slowly, over the course of decades. Watched it all. I don’t know if it is because the other movies of this year were unusually terrible, or because there was something in the air, but the ones that are good, they’re good. They’re alive – and honest. Like this one.
She Shoulda Said ‘No’! (1949, USA, Newfield)
The ‘teen-agers refer to it as “tea” or “tomatoes”, but the technical name for this latest threat the police defends our kids against is “marihuana”. If we were only to scale up to a full-out war, maybe we could eradicate this killer drug once and for all. Watched: 7 minutes. I question the use of the theremin in the soundtrack, though. It makes this horrible, evil, deadliest of drugs sound kind of intriguing. As does the scenes of frantic dancing.
Pinky (1949, USA, Kazan)
I don’t know. The concept here, a white girl who’s legally considered colored because of her black grandmother, and comes home to the Dirty South and starts confronting everyone and everything, ending up in one of those righteous courtroom scenes – it’s a little convenient. The message seems to be that even in a movie about racism, the main character still has to be white. Then again, it’s only been 9 years since Santa Fe Trail, a movie that openly celebrated slavery(!), so I guess it’s progress. Watched it all.