The Forty-First (1956, USSR)
Even Soviet war movies were good in 1956. Like many Soviet movies of this time, it feels like an alternate reality Hollywood movie, in this case an alternate reality Civil War western: A lost company of soldiers trek across a desolate landscape in search of their army, dragging an enemy agent along with them. And this isn’t The Fall of Berlin. The bad guys are mostly bad, but the good guys are all human. And the ending – ah, I love Russian sentimentalism. It’s my second favorite type of global superpower sentimentalism. Watched it all.
Around the World in Eighty Days (1956, USA)
I love how seriously the intro takes itself, explaining how technological progress has turned many of Jules Verne’s fantasies into reality, and may soon even make it possible to travel to the moon. That’s the spirit that eventually got them to the moon a decade later. But the movie itself is too farcical. Farce is all wrong for this story. Watched: 37 minutes. Beautifully shot, though. One of the best-looking widescreen movies so far.
The Violent Years (1956, USA, Wood)
Most 50s teenage gang movies seem like they’re made by peaceful, law-abiding adults who try to imagine what this “juvenile delinquency” they read about in the papers is all about. Something to do with music, guns, and .. mmmm dangerous gangster girls dragging innocent boys into the woods. Oh yes, yes yes yes. Ahem. Watched it all, with MST3K commentary.