Red River (1948, USA, Hawks)
John Wayne arrives in Texas and steals a good chunk of land from the people who stole it last. While turning it into a successful cattle ranch, he crosses the fine fine line between stoic Western hero and psychopath. (Yes there is a difference. It has to do with the way your eyes look while you slaughter people: Cold, or really cold.) Watched it all.
The Naked City (1948, USA, Dassin)
I love the style here. It’s all shot on location in New York, and the story sort of strolls along casually, with us just happening to be there to watch. But there’s still only a police procedural underneath, like everything on TV right now. Watched: 19 minutes.
The Bicycle Thief (1948, Italy, De Sica)
The realistic lives of the Italian working class are so real and gritty that even a stolen bicycle can make the difference between work and hunger. If you’re going to watch a neo-realist movie anyway it should probably be this one, because it’s actually pretty good. Watched it all.
Quartet (1948, UK)
Here’s how to make a literary movie extra boring: Have the author, W. Somerset Maugham, introduce the movie by explaining the Purpose of his Art. How to make it pathetic: Have him make a joke about some critics who once said something mean about him. Watched: 4 minutes.