Carnival of Souls (1962)

Carnival of Souls
Director: Herk Harvey
Writer: John Clifford, Herk Harvey
Cast: Candace Hilligoss, Frances Feist, Sidney Berger, Art Ellison, Stan Levitt, Herk Harvey
Seen on: 6.6.2021

After a terrible car accident that leaves Mary Henry (Candace Hilligoss) the only survivor, she is ready to leave town. Fortunately she has a job offer as an organ player in Utah. As she makes her way there, she sees a long abandoned building that used to house a carnival. And a man (Herk Harvey) seems to follow her around. Mary tries to settle in, but she becomes increasingly disconcerted, sure that the man has something to do with the carnival.

Carnival of Souls is an atmospheric film that needs very little to become pretty creepy. Definitely worth visiting cinematic history with this one.

The film poster showing a drawing of a woman running from something. Behind her we can see a carnival building with dancers in front of it. Below her is the woman in a car that is half-submerged in water, as well as the head of a man.
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Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Lawrence of Arabia
Director: David Lean
Writer: Robert Bolt, Michael Wilson
Based on: T. E. Lawrence‘ writing and life
Cast: Peter O’Toole, Omar Sharif, Anthony Quinn, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, José Ferrer, Anthony Quayle, Claude Rains
Seen on: 10.4.2016
[I saw the 227 min, 70mm roadshow version.]

During World War I, T. E. Lawrence (Peter O’Toole) is stationed in Egypt. He is knowledgeable but doesn’t fit in easily with the army. To the Arab Bureau’s Mr Dryden (Claude Rains) that makes him the ideal candidate to meet with Prince Faisal (Alec Guinness) and generally assess the power distribution and the development within the Bedouin communities. Lawrence sets off and finds himself drawn into their world more and more.

Lawrence of Arabia is one of those classics everybody keeps raving about and that I had never seen (there are quite a few of those, unfortunately). So when it was announced that they’d show it in a local cinema, I knew I had to go. And I can say that it was a good choice to see it on the big screen. It’s a stunning film, although not unproblematic, especially not from today’s point of view.

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Two Weeks in Another Town (1962)

Two Weeks in Another Town
Director: Vincente Minnelli
Writer: Charles Schnee
Based on: Irwin Shaw‘s novel
Cast: Kirk Douglas, Edward G. Robinson, George Hamilton, Cyd Charisse, Daliah Lavi, Claire Trevor

Jack Andrus (Kirk Douglas) was an actor until he had a nervous breakdown and was admitted into a facility where he was slowly getting better. Then an invitation reaches him from director Maurice Kruger (Edward G. Robinson): he should come to Rome, where Kruger is working on a movie in which Jack could have a small part. Jack can’t resist and so he finds himself in Rome for two weeks. But things there aren’t all fun and games: Kruger and his wife Clara (Claire Trevor) are constantly fighting, the film’s young star Davie (George Hamilton) is erratic, and Jack’s ex Carlotta (Cyd Charisse) is also in town and immediately on Jack’s case. But maybe that’s just what he needs.

I really liked this movie. It’s a tad campy in parts and the ending is overblown, but somehow it all works wonderfully anyway.

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Cape Fear (1962)

Cape Fear
Director: J. Lee Thompson
Writer: James R. Webb
Based on: John D. MacDonald‘s novel The Executioners
Cast: Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum, Polly Bergen, Lori Martin

Sam Bowden (Gregory Peck) is a successful lawyer with a nice family. But when Max Cady (Robert Mitchum) – who Sam got convicted with his testimony for attacking a young girl – is released from prison, Max starts to threaten Sam’s entire life and family. He stalks all of them, but particularly Sam’s daughter Nancy (Lori Martin), but always just within the law – until he forces Sam to resort to desperate measures.

Despite the excellent performances by both Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck, that movie was a bit slack and underwhelming.

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