films seen
average score
Alive and kicking
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The Ladykillers

1955 / 91m - UK
Comedy, Crime
The Ladykillers poster

I'd watched the adaptation of the Coens ages ago. Clearly not their best film, hardly their worst. It did make me quite curious about the original, and so I finally got around to giving that one a go. It's an amusing little comedy that feels a little stuffier than needed, but still contains some enlightened moments.

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A gang of five is planning a bank heist. To bring their plan to fruition, they rent a room from an old lady and pretend to be a classical music band. The lady is fooled by their ploy, the leader of the gang comes with a grand idea to involve the old lady in their heist plans. Not everyone is board, but they go through with it anyway.

Once you know the plot the film does lose some of its appeal. Not all performances are equally great either, but the film does have typical British charm and the pacing is decent, especially for an older film. I'd expected worse, what I got was a fairly amusing crime comedy. I do prefer the Coens version, though by a slimmer margin than expected.

Sweet Smell of Success

1957 / 96m - USA
Crime, Thriller
Sweet Smell of Success poster
The Man in the White Suit poster

A slice of rather simplistic social critique. While the film hides behind its central plot for a good 30 minutes, it quickly becomes apparent that everything has to make way for an "important message", as director Mackendrick shuns every form of subtlety to get his warning across.

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Stratton is an inventor who is looking for the perfect fabric: threads that don't break and repel dirt. He gets himself hired at various mills and does some lab work on the side in each of them, until he finally hit the jackpot. While this fabric sounds perfect, it has the potential to bring an entire industry down.

The performances are mediocre, characters are very one-dimensional, and the plot feels like a big setup. The film is often categorized as a comedy, but the whiny tone doesn't help its case. At least the plot was rather light, and the runtime was limited, other than that there wasn't too much to enjoy here.

Whisky Galore!

1949 / 83m - UK
Comedy, Crime
Whisky Galore! poster

Some themes and topic and invariably more interesting than others, so a film about whisky is always going to have a small advantage. Though the whisky in Whisky Galore! is little more than a motive for some comedy capers, the film itself didn't turn out to be completely terrible.

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A small island near the Scottish mainland is craving some whisky, but the war has made it very difficult to get any supplies. When a ship with 50.000 cases of whisky sinks near the shore, the island folk are fed up with it and devise a plan to get some of those cases on their island. To do that, they'll have to get past the army though.

It's a very simply comedy really, with an extremely straightforward plot and predictable gags. The pacing is decent and the overall tone is light enough, but the performances are rather weak, the comedy just isn't funny enough and it's all just a little too predictable. Apart from the ending maybe, that at least got a real good snigger out of me.