Garden of Evil (1954, USA, Hathaway)
Heading out into mythical Mexico to rescue a trapped miner, Gary Cooper personifies the old-fashioned macho Stoic ideal of someone who is ready to unleash emotions or violence when appropriate, but always remains in control, unlike his too-greedy, too-angry, too-cynical friends, who are the unbalanced fragments of Cooper’s balanced whole. Susan Hayward inspires his chivalric devotion not because he doesn’t suspect he’s being played, but because that’s beside the point, when after all it is the right thing to do. Watched it all.
Salt of the Earth (1954, USA)
“The International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers present .. ” is among the top things you don’t want to see at the beginning of a film. Commie-fighters at the time thought so too, and launched a campaign against it, thus securing it eternal fame as a Blacklisted Movie. Watched: 7 minutes, right up to “I tell you, this installment plan, it’s a curse on the working man!”
Sign of the Pagan (1954, USA)
Attila the Hun looks like he has walked out of a Sword & Sorcery fantasy, and there are some great scenes where the power of Paganism and Christianity collide. But also a lot of dull, wholesome Romans. Watched: 12 minutes.