films seen
average score
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Shock Corridor

1963 / 101m - USA
Shock Corridor poster

Mental illness through the B-film lens. Possibly triggering for some, since the film isn't very subtle, nor does it try to be realistic. That's besides the point of course, this isn't exactly a serious drama, instead Fuller serves a nightmare with a lead who ends up in a downward spiral of angst and confusion.

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Johnny is a journalist who wants to win a Pulitzer and is willing to go the extra mile to get one. He gets himself committed into a psychic ward where the sole witness of a murder was placed. The longer he remains in the ward, the more Johnny starts to believe something is actually wrong with him.

The performances are exaggerated, the plot is pretty unsubtle and the sequences where Johnny slips into insanity are more than a little crummy. The pacing is decent though and Fuller does commit to the insanity, but it's not quite enough to turn this into a great and worthwhile film. This type of film has been done a lot better since.

Forty Guns

1957 / 80m - USA
Forty Guns poster

A western. It's a genre I used to avoid, and even though I've seen more of them these past couple of years, the appeal of the genre still escapes me. Forty Guns certainly isn't the worst I've seen, mostly due to the decent pacing and short runtime, but other than the fact that it wasn't a very long and/or slow film, there wasn't much here for me.

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Jessica is a rancher in Arizona. She controls the area with the help of 40 hired gunmen. Griff, a marshal, is sent out to clean up the place, but when he meets Jessica he falls madly in love. Relatives of Griff and Jessica are all too eager to get the conflict started, but the two are more interested in exploring the feelings they have for each other.

The black and white cinematography is relatively polished and Fuller doesn't needlessly stretch out the story. The characters didn't do much for me though, the story was very basic, and the typical western action wasn't very appealing. One of those films I'll have forgotten about tomorrow, but not the worst western I've sat through.

Pickup on South Street

1953 / 80m - USA
Crime, Thriller
Pickup on South Street poster

A pretty basic noir. Detectives with hats, shady characters doing shady things, a femme fatale and a crime-based plot. And lots and lots of talking. Endless conversations between mediocre actors that feel quite forced. Then again, the few action scenes there are just as uncomfortable.

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Skip McCoy is a pickpocket who picked the wrong wallet to steal. The woman he stole it from, Candy, had a microfilm tucked in her wallet that she was supposed to give to a communist spy. The FBI and police were on Candy's back, but now that McCoy has the chip he has to deal with all the unwanted attention.

I'm just not a big fan of these classic noirs. The stories are interesting enough, but the execution is usually pretty boring. Bland cinematography, poor performances and static action scenes don't do a lot of justice to the premise. At least these films tend to be rather short, but that's not much of a comfort when there's so little there.

Run of the Arrow

1957 / 86m - USA
Run of the Arrow poster

Cowboys and Indians. Run of the Arrow turned out to be a pretty pure western, which means it was always going to be a hard sell. Some pretty painful performances and horrible camera work don't help the appeal of the film either, making this one of the worst westerns I've seen so far.

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O'Meara, a soldier with the Confederates, can't accept the loss in the war and decides to join the Sioux Indians. After surviving a dangerous trial, he becomes part of their clan. But then the Sioux get wrapped up in their own war with the US Army, and O'Meara will be forced to pick sides once again.

There are some parallels with Dances with Wolves (but that's not exactly a positive), so fans of that film might get something extra out of it. Other than that, I simply don't see what the appeal of this film could be, but since there are plenty of western fans out there it's no doubt just a matter of personal taste. Unless you're a hardcore western fanatic though, I wouldn't give this one priority.