films seen
average score
Alive and kicking


Panic in the Streets

1950 / 96m - USA
Crime, Thriller
Panic in the Streets poster

I'm not the biggest Kazan fan, nor the biggest fan of noirs, so my expectations were pretty limited going into this film. The result still wasn't great, but it sure was a lot better than I'd figured. Maybe because it is a rather simple narrative without too much padding, but it never dragged as I feared it would.

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When a body washes up on the shore, the police quickly determine the man has been killed. The case becomes a lot more urgent when they find out the victim is infected with the pneumonic plague. They fear his killer may also be infected, so time is of the essence to safeguard the city from further harm.

The medical danger adds a little extra urgency to the film. It's still a little too dialogue-driven for my liking, but at least the pacing was solid and the chase for the killer keeps things moving along at a brisk pace. Thanks to the slightly more original premise, it's a film I might remember a bit more vividly than most other noirs I've watched.

A Face in the Crowd

1957 / 126m - USA
Drama, Music
A Face in the Crowd poster

Kazan goes off on a tangent again. A Face in the Crowd isn't so much a film as it is a construct to convey a message. I say message, but I really mean some broad and coarse whining about our species. Everybody's an asshole, stupidity reins supreme and in the end, we're all suckers for taking part in the deceit.

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Larry Rhodes is an absolute nobody who gets lucky. After a haphazard radio gig and an even more remarkable TV performance he suddenly makes it big. Producers and advertisers are trampling each other to exploit Rhodes' popularity, while he considers himself the next Messiah.

Big money abusing naive nobodies to influence the masses. The real question of course is whether those producing or nodding along to a film like this are any different from the people critiqued in this film. Annoying characters, bland critiques and a ridiculous runtime make for a pretty boring film.

On the Waterfront

1954 / 108m - USA
Crime, Drama
On the Waterfront poster

A Streetcar Named Desire

1951 / 122m - USA
A Streetcar Named Desire poster

East of Eden

1955 / 118m - USA
East of Eden poster

Classic US drama that doesn't hold back on the melodrama. Not sure if it's an age thing, or if it's just not for me, but I found this film excruciatingly kitsch. From the plot to the performances, everything is so incredibly overdone that I never managed to care one bit for all the drama on display.

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Cal grows up with his brother and father, a heavily religious man. His mother died when he was still young, but something doesn't sit right with Cal. He discovers his mother isn't dead after all, instead, she's running a brother in a nearby town. Cal doesn't tell his father and brother but tries to reconnect with his mom.

The performances are pretty cheesy, the colors and score are kitsch and all the drama is conveyed as if it's the end of the world. At two hours long, it's quite a chunk of film to wade through too. So far Kazan hasn't managed to impress me, but this is the worst of his films yet. Not my cup of tea.