CHAMPION (1949)

Midge Kelly is the champion. How do we know he’s the champion? Because a ring announcer calls him such a half-dozen times before we even see his face. He is played by Kirk Douglas after all, and with that million-watt smile, those broad shoulders, and that perfectly coifed hair; who else could the champion? Champion, directed by Mark Robson and written by Carl Forman, then flashes back to Kelly’s humble beginnings, showing how the champion came to be. From riding the rails from Chicago to L.A. with his brother, Connie (Arthur Kennedy), then as a waiter for an oceanside diner … Continue reading CHAMPION (1949)

THE SECRET OF SANTA VITTORIA

Our collective view of World War II has changed greatly since the liberation of Europe and the defeat of the Axis in 1945. Information has come to light and disturbing discoveries have puckered our understanding of the last world war, but there once was time when WWII spawned a great deal of comedic material. Movies like Stalag 17 (1953), The Great Escape (1963), even the TV show Hogan’s Heroes (1965–1971) found the lighter aspects of the war — particularly in those who found ways to maintain humanity through frivolity. Life is often silly, even when it is under incredible duress. … Continue reading THE SECRET OF SANTA VITTORIA