White Heat (1949, USA, Walsh)
Here’s how it goes with movie tropes: They go out of favor, then return self-aware, building on everything that came before. That’s why you don’t need a big intro here, you just throw viewers into the middle of a James Cagney gangster story, with the dials turned to Nightmare, and they’ll know their way around. It was the same with Key Largo. The result is maybe the greatest gangster movie ever made. Watched it all.
Madame Bovary (1949, USA, Minnelli)
Once in a while during a movie intro I start thinking about Ben-Hur, for no apparent reason. And then I notice that the music is by Miklos Rozsa. Anyway, when it concerns literary classics like this, known primarily for being a great novel, maybe I’ll read it one day, or maybe I won’t, but there’s not much bloody point watching the movie version, now is there? Watched: 6 minutes.
The Small Back Room (1949, UK, Powell & Pressburger)
This reminds of that 1979-81 series The Sandbaggers, where we followed the manouverings and infights of the bureaucrats who stay at home while James Bonds go out into the world. Here it’s a research center during the war. There’s the same tone, and the same basic story: Smart people working with and against the whims of their politically apt superiors. Watched it all.
Thirst / Törst (1949, Sweden, Bergman)
I think it’s very wicked of this young upstart “Ingmar Bergman” to make all these parodies of the works of his famous namesake. Watched: 17 minutes.