Movies I’ve recently seen: From Here to Eternity ֍ Tick, Tick… Boom! ֍ Terror in a Texas Town ֍ One Hour with You & ֍ No Way Out

I haven’t been going to theaters recently, but here are a few, mostly old movies that I’ve watched at home. The fact that four of the five movies are in black-and-white tells you that that most of these pictures are vintage.

And if you want to find out how to stream any of these, click on the movie’s title.

A- From Here to Eternity (1953)

Life in the army can be hell; especially when your commanding officer decides he doesn’t like you. One particular enlisted man (Montgomery Clift) takes his punishment but refuses to do what his conscience will not let him do. That’s only one of several conflicts and love affairs involving Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, Frank Sinatra, and Donna Reed going against type as a prostitute. This is all happening at Pearl Harbor in 1941, and the attack is getting closer.

B+ Tick, Tick… Boom! (2021)

Another new musical, and this one is about making a musical. Tick… is also a biography of Jonathan Larson (Andrew Garfield), the author of the Broadway hit Rent . Don’t expect to see or hear anything from that big hit. The film mostly focuses on Larson’s first, never-produced musical, Superbia. He struggles with money, lovers, and the business of show business–while his friends are dying of AIDS. The best scenes have Larson creating songs and showing them to the people who might change his life. By the way, Larson died of an aortic aneurysm just before Rent opened.

B+ Terror in a Texas Town (1958)

I sometimes look down at B westerns, but this one deserves watching. True, the hired killer (Nedrick Young) only wears black, but he has only one good hand along with some very strange things going around in his head. More importantly, the hero is a Swedish whaler (Sterling Hayden) who comes to town to live with his father; but his father is soon murdered. There’s a touch of High Noon in the story, but just a touch. Directed by Joseph H. Lewis of Gun Crazy fame, from a screenplay by the great blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, using the pen name “Ben L. Perry.”

B One Hour with You (1932)

Ernst Lubitsch remakes his silent comedy, The Marriage Circle, as a musical. Like the original, it’s about adultery and dreams about adultery. There’s singing and dialog in rhyme, but no dancing. What was subtle in the silent original is often too obvious with dialogue (and singing). But there are occasional gags that are so funny they leave you gasping for air. Starring Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald.

B No Way Out (1950)

This is what a message movie looked like in the middle of the 20th century. Sidney Poitier plays the hero, but he doesn’t get star billing. He plays a new doctor in the County Hospital, where he must deal with a family of racist criminals led by Richard Widmark. Things get worse when one of the criminals dies in Poitier’s care. There’s a riot, but we only hear people talk about it. Some extremely implausible incidents ruin the last act. Warning: The n-word is used frequently. Directed and partly written by Joseph L. Mankiewicz.

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