Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Underrated '55 - Tim Everitt ""

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Underrated '55 - Tim Everitt

Tim Everitt is a filmmaker who made a string of B films and independent movies in Hollywood, while also working as an animator and VFX artist for the major studios. He is currently living in Seattle, and is prepping a new movie that he would count lucky to make a future underrated list.
On Twitter, he is @tim_everitt.

Artists & Models (1955; Frank Tashlin)
Standout Martin & Lewis pic, that hooks you from the first scene, showing the deep bond between the sophisto Martin and his oddball friend. They’re sympathetic from the beginning, and that goes a long way. Then add Shirley Maclaine, game to match Lewis gag for gag, and you’ve got a movie. And Dorothy Malone, adding a whole lot of sex appeal. And the general theme of sex and hypocrisy still works. Director Tashlin was an animator, and the film moves like a Warners cartoon.Wonderful, and underrated because today’s crowd just doesn’t appreciate Martin & Lewis.

We’re No Angels (1955; Michael Curtiz)
Bogart as tough guy with a heart of gold, in a pink apron, in a black comedy, that ends up being more like It’s A Wonderful Life in tone. Except dark. Which is interesting. Ustinov gives his dry delivery, with all those odd pauses, and pretty much steals the show. You think he gets all the best lines, but it’s just him. Aldo Ray, Leo G. Carrol and Basil Rathbone show how studio filmmaking was better than today’s independent productions.Also, Vistavision and Technicolor.  Oh, and it’s Curtiz. For some reason this never shows up on lists of Bogart’s films.  But it’s more fun to watch than Petrified Forest or Key Largo.

The Seven Little Foys (1955; Michael Shavelson)
Bob Hope can carry a picture, and this family friendly show-biz story is unfairly bagged on because it’s not really an accurate bio-pic of the Foys. Therefore, critics of a certain age (who were writing in the fifties), who were fans of the Foys, and knew their story, really tore this film to shreds. But it’s truly an enjoyable and charming film, and deserves to be looked at today. I loved it as a kid.

Bride of the Monster (1955; Ed Wood)
Yes, it was 1955. Overall, Ed Wood doesn’t deserve the “worst director of all time” moniker, because there are plenty of films made that are just boring and unwatchable. Thousands of them, and they disappear fast. Wood’s films were never boring. They, in fact, contain off-the-wall visual sequences that make your jaw drop with incredulity. So underappreciated, or anti-appreciated, I’m putting it on the list.

The Cobweb (1955, Vincente Minnelli)
Hey, Minnelli directed film noir, as well as lavish musicals! This is noir in Cinemascope, too. It’s been unfavorably compared to Douglas Sirk films of the era, but I think it shows Minnelli really wringing drama and hysteria from unsympathetic characters, including Lillian Gish in a very dark and disturbing role. Also a lot of smoking and drinking, heavy even for the 50’s, and a little shocking today.  Also, Oscar Levant, in a mental hospital, cynical and insane.  Great melodrama, and deserves a look.

The Long Grey Line (1955; John Ford)
1955 is such a great year, just because of Cinemascope. John Ford only used it this once, and the compositions and epic feel are wonderful. The military setting and Irish immigrant angle were up Ford’s alley, and the film works with both the big production values and the intimate close scenes. Also full of my favorite Ford actors: Ward Bond, Harry Carey Jr., DonaldCrisp… Not to mention Maureen O’Hara. This was a major title in 1955, and a Ford film to boot, so you have to wonder why it isn’t ever listed with his westerns and other top efforts. It’s very entertaining and has great performances from O’Hara and Power. It’s not any more sentimental than The Quiet Man, and way more real than the soundstage scenes from She Wore Yellow Ribbon. It deserves to be raised up.


Unknown said...

Great listI saw "Artists and Models" on its first release in glorious technicolor and Vista Vision. For years after I looked for Bat Lady Comics to no avail! A trivia note is that they turn up as props in another under rated film- Blake Edwards "Gunn"(1967).
Lists like these are a sad reminder that at least cinematically we lived in a better world once. There are few current movies that have the entertainment value that will put them on a list 60 years from now.

Laura said...

Tim, I enjoyed your list. THE LONG GRAY LINE is on my personal list of "10 Classics" to finally see in 2015. It will be all the more moving since Martin Milner is in it and he just passed away.

I have fond memories of watching THE SEVEN LITTLE FOYS as a child, it was shown often by KTLA Ch. 5 in So. CA.

Best wishes,

Silver Screenings said...

Thanks for the introduction to "The Long Grey" line. I didn't realize John Ford had used CinemaScope. This will be one worth hunting down.