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EYE-BALL MovieZone – Oscar Movies 1957 …

September 29, 2011
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Oscar Movies 1957:
EYE-BALL MovieZoneThe Nominees for the Best Picture in 1957 were:

1957 Nominees:

[Oscar Best Picture Winner – highlighted – click Nominee Movie links provided to navigate your way up and down the page – each Movie has additional links to Bit Torrent “downloads’ links, Wikipedia Links for all the information about the nominated movie, and the EYE-BALL MovieZone Reviews and ratings. Movie posters appearing at this site have been copied from Wikipedia and other research related source sites.]

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EYE-BALL MovieZoneReview – 1957

“Bridge on the River Kwai”:

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Summary: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

The Bridge on the River Kwai is a 1957 British World War II film by David Lean based on The Bridge over the River Kwai by French writer Pierre Boulle. The film is a work of fiction but borrows the construction of the Burma Railway in 1942–43 for its historical setting. It stars William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins and Sessue Hayakawa. The film was shot in Sri Lanka (credited as Ceylon, as it was known at the time). The bridge itself was located near Kitulgala.

In 1997, this film was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and selected for preservation in the United States Library of Congress National Film Registry. A sequel, Return from the River Kwai, was released in 1989.

Plot: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

After the surrender of Singapore in World War II, a unit of British soldiers are marched to a Japanese prison camp in western Thailand. They are paraded before the camp commandant, Colonel Saito (Sessue Hayakawa), who informs them of his rules; all prisoners, regardless of rank, are to work on the construction of a bridge over the River Kwai to carry a new railway line.

Their commander, Colonel Nicholson (Alec Guinness), reminds Saito that the Geneva Conventions exempt officers from manual labour, but Saito slaps him hard across the face with his copy of the conventions. At the following morning’s parade, Nicholson orders his officers to remain behind when the enlisted men head off to work. Saito threatens to have them shot, but Nicholson refuses to back down. When Major Clipton (James Donald), the British medical officer, intervenes, Saito leaves the officers standing all day in the intense tropical heat. That evening, the officers are placed in a punishment hut, while Nicholson is locked in ‘the oven’, an iron box, without food or water.

Clipton attempts to secure Nicholson’s release, but Nicholson refuses to compromise. Meanwhile, the prisoners are working as little as possible and sabotaging whatever they can. Saito is concerned because, should he fail to meet his deadline, he would be obliged to commit seppuku (ritual suicide). Using the anniversary of Japan’s great victory in the 1905 Russo-Japanese War as an excuse to save face, he gives in, and Nicholson and his officers are released.

Nicholson conducts an inspection and is shocked by what he finds. Against the protests of some of his officers, he orders Captain Reeves (Peter Williams) and Major Hughes (John Boxer) to design and build a proper bridge, despite its military value to the Japanese, for the sake of his men’s morale. The Japanese engineers had chosen a poor site, so the original construction is abandoned and a new bridge is begun 400 yards downstream.

Meanwhile, three prisoners attempt to escape. Two are shot dead, but United States Navy Commander Shears (William Holden), gets away, although badly wounded. After many days, Shears eventually stumbles into a village, whose people help him to escape by a boat.

Shears is enjoying his recovery at the Mount Lavinia Hospital at Ceylon (with a pretty British nurse), when Major Warden (Jack Hawkins) asks him to volunteer for a commando mission to destroy the bridge. Shears is horrified at the idea and reveals that he is not an officer at all. He was an enlisted man on the cruiser USS Houston. He switched uniforms with the dead Commander Shears after the sinking of their ship to get better treatment. Warden already knows this and has had “Shears” reassigned to British duty. Faced with the prospect of being charged with impersonating an officer, Shears has no choice but to volunteer; Warden gives him the “simulated rank of major”.

Meanwhile, Nicholson drives his men, even volunteering to have them work harder to complete the bridge on time. When he asks that their Japanese counterparts join in as well, a resigned Saito replies that he has already given the order.

The commandos parachute in, although one is killed in a bad landing. The other three—Warden, Shears, and Canadian Lieutenant Joyce (Geoffrey Horne)—reach the river with the assistance of Siamese women porters and their village chief, Khun Yai. Warden is wounded in an encounter with a Japanese patrol, and has to be carried on a litter. The trio reach the bridge in time and plant explosives underwater under cover of darkness.

A train carrying soldiers and important dignitaries is scheduled to be the first to use the bridge the following morning, so Warden plans to destroy both at the same time. However, the water level drops, exposing the wire connecting the explosives to the detonator. Making a final inspection, Nicholson spots the wire and brings it to Saito’s attention. As the train is heard approaching, the two hurry down to the riverbank to investigate. Joyce, hiding with the detonator, breaks cover and stabs Saito to death; Nicholson yells for help, while attempting to stop Joyce from reaching the detonator. Joyce is killed by Japanese fire. Shears swims across the river, but is shot just before he reaches Nicholson.

Recognising the dying Shears, Nicholson exclaims, “What have I done?” Warden fires his mortar, mortally wounding Nicholson. The dazed colonel stumbles towards the detonator and falls on it as he dies, just in time to blow up the bridge and send the train hurtling into the river below.

As he witnesses the carnage, Clipton can only shake his head incredulously and utter, “Madness! … Madness!”

EYE-BALL MovieZone Review …

War drama and dated some what – Based on a true story – the realism of POW life can never be measured by the scenes in this movie – it has great acting – Holden and Guinness are brilliant – worthy download.

EYE-BALL MovieZone Rating [scale 0-10]: 6.0/10 …

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EYE-BALL MovieZoneReview – 1957

“Peyton Place”:

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Summary: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

Peyton Place is a 1957 American drama film directed by Mark Robson. The screenplay by John Michael Hayes is based on the bestselling 1956 novel of the same name by Grace Metalious.

Plot: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

The film is an exposé of the lives and loves of the residents of a small New England mill town, where scandal, homicide, suicide, incest, and moral hypocrisy hide behind a tranquil façade in the years immediately preceding and following World War II. At the core of its plot are three women. Constance MacKenzie is a prim and proper sexually repressed woman who had an affair with a married New York City businessman and bore him a child out of wedlock. She has struggled to shield her daughter Allison, a high school senior and aspiring author, from her tarnished past, leading her to believe she returned to Peyton Place with her newborn baby after her husband died. Selena Cross, Allison’s best friend, is a good girl living on the wrong side of the tracks. Her alcoholic step-father, Lucas Cross, terrorizes the family, abusing his wife and child behind closed doors.

Other characters include Allison’s classmate and confidant Norman Page, anxious to gain his independence; bad girl Betty Anderson, who longs to have a relationship with wealthy Rodney Harrington; and new school principal Michael Rossi, who attempts to crack Constance’s icy veneer.

EYE-BALL MovieZone Review …

I had never seen this movie before – it’s a gem – the first US Soap Drama was borne from this brilliant story – Lana Turner is exceptional – the story rolls and is about a small US town in 1941 facing a War and all its personalities –

It revolves around a school and the adolescence issues confronting society at the time – sex, town gossip, moral values within a society – the movie is as relevant today as when it was made – I highly recommend this download…

EYE-BALL MovieZone Rating [scale 0-10]: 7.0/10 …

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EYE-BALL MovieZoneReview – 1957

“Sayonara”:

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Summary: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

Sayonara is a 1957 color (Technicolor) American film starring Marlon Brando. It tells the story of an American Air Force flier who was an “ace” fighter pilot during the Korean War.

Sayonara won four Academy Awards, including acting honors for co-stars Red Buttons and Miyoshi Umeki.

The film’s screenplay was adapted by Paul Osborn from the novel by James Michener, and it was produced by William Goetz and directed by Joshua Logan. Unlike most 1950s romantic dramas, Sayonara deals squarely with racism and prejudice.

Plot: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

Lloyd “Ace” Gruver, a major and the son of a U.S. Army general, is stationed at Itami Air Force Base (now Osaka International Airport) near Kobe, Japan. He falls in love with a Japanese entertainer who is a performer for a Takarazuka-like theater company, whom he meets through his enlisted crew chief, Airman Kelly.

Kelly is about to wed a Japanese woman, Katsumi, in spite of the disapproval of the United States military, which will not recognize the marriage. The Air Force, including Gruver, is against the marriage. Gruver and Kelly have an argument during which Gruver uses a racial slur to describe Kelly’s fiancee. Gruver eventually apologizes, then agrees to be Kelly’s best man at the wedding.

Kelly suffers further prejudice at the hands of a particularly nasty colonel, pulling extra duty and all the less-attractive assignments. When he and many others who are married to Japanese are ordered back to the States, Kelly realizes he will not be able to take his wife, who is now pregnant.

Finding no other way to be together, Kelly and Katsumi commit double suicide. This strengthens Major Gruver’s resolve to marry his own Japanese lover. When asked by a Stars and Stripes reporter what will he say to both the “big brass” as well as to the Japanese, neither of which will be particularly happy, Major Gruver says, “Tell ’em we said ‘Sayonara.'”

(This ending differs from that of the book, in which Gruver says “sayonara” to his Japanese girlfriend and returns to the States.)

EYE-BALL MovieZone Review …

A Korean War drama with Brando as the star – once again I believe Brando was a very overrated actor and in this story he – the war scenes are irrelevant – the story is about cross race relationship at a time where Americans serving abroad were marrying the indigenous and bring them home – this movie is sensitive in dealing with this issue … recommend viewing.

EYE-BALL MovieZone Rating [scale 0-10]: 5.0/10 …

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EYE-BALL MovieZoneReview – 1957

“12 Angry Men”:

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Summary: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

12 Angry Men is a 1957 American drama film adapted from a teleplay of the same name by Reginald Rose. Directed by Sidney Lumet, the film tells the story of a jury made up of 12 men as they deliberate the guilt or acquittal of a defendant on the basis of reasonable doubt. In the United States (both then and now), the verdict in most criminal trials by jury must be unanimous one way or the other. The film is notable for its almost exclusive use of one set: with the exception of the film’s opening, which begins outside on the steps of the courthouse and ends with the jury’s final instructions before retiring, a brief final scene on the courthouse steps and two short scenes in an adjoining washroom, the entire movie takes place in the jury room. The total time spent outside of the jury room is three minutes out of the full 96 minutes of the movie.

12 Angry Men explores many techniques of consensus-building, and the difficulties encountered in the process, among a group of men whose range of personalities adds intensity and conflict. Elements of social influence can be observed throughout the movie, specifically in the areas of minority influence, informational influence, normative influence, interpersonal influence, and conformity. Apart from two of the jurors swapping names while leaving the courthouse, no names are used in the film: the defendant is referred to as “the boy” and the witnesses as the “old man” and “the lady across the street”.

In 2007, 12 Angry Men was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

Plot: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

After the final closing arguments are presented, the judge gives his instructions to the jury: The question they are deciding is whether the defendant—a teenage boy from a city slum—stabbed and killed his father. The jury is further instructed that a guilty verdict will be accompanied by a mandatory death sentence. The jury of 12 retires to the jury room, where they spend a short while getting acquainted before they are called to order. It is immediately apparent that they have already found the defendant guilty and intend to return their verdict to the court without taking time for discussion—with the sole exception of Juror number 8 (Henry Fonda). His is the only “not guilty” in a preliminary vote. His stated reason is that there is too much at stake for him to go along with the verdict without at least talking about it first. His vote annoys several of the others, the most vociferous of whom is Juror number 7 (Jack Warden) who has tickets for the evening’s baseball game.

With only Juror 8 voting not guilty and some of the other jurors anxious to be out of there, interpersonal influences come into play. This is seen here in the social influence from the rest of the jurors that encourages, or forces, the lone dissenting juror to conform. This also brings up the reality of normative influence, which occurs when members of a group change their actions and attitudes to conform to the norms of the rest of the group. The jurors see that the rest of the group has decided that the defendant is guilty, and they feel that disagreeing with this would be going against the norms of the group.

The film then revolves around the jury’s difficulty in reaching a unanimous verdict, mainly due to several of the jurors’ personal prejudices. Juror number 8 says that the evidence presented is circumstantial, and the boy deserves a fair deliberation—whereupon he questions the accuracy and reliability of the only two witnesses to the murder, the fact that the knife used in the murder is not as unusual as testimony promotes (to prove his point, he produces an identical one from his pocket), and the overall questionable circumstances (the fact that an elevated train was passing by at the time of the crime calls the two witnesses’ testimonies into doubt). Juror number 8 was consistent in the defense of his views, and consistent minorities are very influential.

Having argued several points and gotten no favorable response from other jurors, he reluctantly agrees that all he seems to be accomplishing is hanging the jury. He takes a bold gamble: he requests another vote, this time by secret ballot. He proposes that he will abstain from voting, and if the other 11 jurors vote guilty unanimously, then he will acquiesce to their decision. However, they will continue deliberating if at least one juror votes “not guilty.” In a secret ballot, Juror 9 (Joseph Sweeney) is the first to support Juror 8, not necessarily believing the accused is not guilty, but feeling that Juror 8’s points deserve further discussion. As stated in conversion theory, minorities influence through a validation process. This occurs when someone in a group breaks unanimity, which captures the attention of the rest of the group, and forces them to consider the argument of the minority more closely. Juror 8 serves as this minority, which shakes the confidence of the majority and forces the rest of the jurors to seek out new information about the case.

After Juror 8 presents a convincing argument that a witness who claimed to have heard the murder taking place could not have heard the voices as clearly as he had testified, Juror 5 (Jack Klugman)—who grew up in a slum—changes his vote to “not guilty.” This earns intense criticism from Juror 3 (Lee J. Cobb), who accuses him of switching only because he has sympathy for slum children. Soon afterward, Juror 11 (George Voskovec), questioning whether the defendant would have reasonably fled the scene and come back three hours later to retrieve his knife, also changes his vote. When Juror 11 changes his verdict, he is affected by informational influence, which occurs when a member of a group use responses from another group member (in this case, Juror 8) as a point of reference and informational resource.

Juror 8 then conducts an experiment that casts serious doubt upon the witness’ other claim: that upon hearing the murder, he had gone to the door of his apartment and seen the defendant running out of the building. At this Juror 3, who has been growing increasingly emotional and irrational as deliberations progressed, explodes in a rant: “He’s got to burn! He’s slipping through our fingers!” Juror 8 takes him to task, calling him a “self-appointed public avenger” and a sadist. At that, Juror 3 attempts to physically assault Juror 8, shouting “I’ll kill him!” and is restrained by two others. Juror 8 quietly points to his outburst as a demonstration of the kind of hyperbole that could well apply to the threats the witness claimed to have heard shouted by the defendant at the time of the murder.

After Jurors 2 (John Fiedler) and 6 (Edward Binns) also decide to vote “not guilty” to tie the vote at 6–6, increasingly impatient Juror 7 becomes tired and also changes his vote just so that the deliberation may end, which earns him nothing but shame. It would appear as if Juror 7 is displaying compliance, where he privately disagrees with the group, but publicly agrees with them. When scathingly pressed by Juror 11, however, Juror 7 insists that he truly believes the defendant is not guilty because he has come to have a reasonable doubt as the other jurors pore over the facts; in addition, it starts to rain during deliberation which means the game he is looking forward to will be postponed making his selfish reasons now moot. Here we see the minority coalition grow considerably, to the point that there is no longer a clear majority. Each time a member of the jury changes their vote, the majority grows weaker. At this point, people are less likely to be affected by any conformity pressures.

Juror 2 calls into question the prosecution’s claim that the accused, who was nearly a half a foot shorter than the victim, was able to stab him in such a way as to inflict the downward stab wound found on the body; Juror 5 then explains that he had grown up amidst knife fights in his neighborhood, and no one so much shorter than his opponent would have held a switchblade in such a way as to stab downward, as it would have been too awkward. This revelation augments the certainty of several of the jurors in their belief that the defendant is not guilty.

The next jurors to change their votes are Jurors 12 (Robert Webber) and 1 (Martin Balsam), making the vote 9–3. The only dissenters left are Jurors 3, 4 (E.G. Marshall), and 10 (Ed Begley). Outraged at how the proceedings have gone, Juror 10 proceeds to go into a bigoted and narrow-minded rage on why people from the slums cannot be trusted, of how they are little better than animals who gleefully kill each other off for fun—and as he speaks, one by one the other jurors turn their backs to him until only Juror 4 remains. Confused and disturbed by this reaction to his diatribe, Juror 10 continues in a steadily fading voice and manner, concluding with the entreaty, “Listen to me! Listen…!” Juror 4, the only juror still facing him, tersely responds, “I have. Now sit down and don’t open your mouth again.”

Again, interpersonal group influences come into play, and Juror 4 is pressed as to why he still maintains his vote. He states his belief that despite all the other evidence that has been called into question, the fact remains that the woman who saw the murder from her bedroom window across the street (through a passing train) still stands as solid evidence. After he points this out, Juror 12 changes his vote back to “guilty” to make the vote 8–4 again.

Then Juror 9, after seeing Juror 4 rub his nose (which is being irritated by his glasses), realizes that, like Juror 4, the witness who allegedly saw the murder had impressions in the sides of her nose, indicating that she wore glasses, but out of vanity did not wear them in court; he cannily asks Juror 4 if he wears his eyeglasses to sleep, and Juror 4 admits he doesn’t—no one does. Juror 8 explains that there was thus no reason to expect that the witness happened to be wearing her glasses while trying to sleep, and he points out that the attack happened so swiftly that she would not have had time to put them on. After he points this out, Jurors 12, 10, and 4 all change their vote to “not guilty.”

Last of all to agree is the rigid Juror 3 who, after a long confrontation with Juror 8, breaks down after glancing at and furiously tearing up a picture of himself and his son. It is established earlier in the film that Juror 3 had a bad relationship with the boy and it is exposed as the real reason why he so badly wanted the accused boy to be guilty. It was then after tearing up the picture, Juror 3 sobs over the loss of his love for his son and finally changes his vote to “not guilty,” leaving the final vote to be unanimous for acquittal. All jurors leave and the defendant is found not guilty off-screen, while Juror 8 helps the distraught Juror 3 with his coat in a show of compassion between the only two jurors to stand alone at any point during the deliberations. In an epilogue, the friendly Jurors 8 (Davis) and 9 (McCardle) exchange names (all jurors having remained nameless throughout the movie) and the movie ends with a panning shot of all jurors descending the courthouse steps to return to their individual lives.

The plot depicts the various personalities of people likely to be called to jury duty; however, two general personality types emerge: those who take the job seriously enough to weigh the evidence and deliberate as duty calls, and those who fail in that duty for whatever reason. There are many social and group influences at play in this film, particularly with respect to group majorities and group minorities. The theme stresses the importance of the jury system and pitfalls of rushing to judgment and displaying conformity.

EYE-BALL MovieZone Review …

Great cast of men facing off against one another in a jury room – where personal prejudices influence the decisions about whether a man is innocent or guilty of Murder. Its a great drama with many fine performances by much loved actors.

Recommended viewing.

EYE-BALL MovieZone Rating [scale 0-10]: 6.0/10 …

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EYE-BALL MovieZoneReview – 1957

“Witness for the Prosecution”:

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Summary: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

Witness for the Prosecution is a 1957 American courtroom drama film based on a short story (and later play) by Agatha Christie dealing with the trial of a man accused of murder. This trial film was the first film adaptation of the story, stars Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich, and Charles Laughton, and features Elsa Lanchester. The film was adapted by Larry Marcus, Harry Kurnitz and the film’s director Billy Wilder.

Plot: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

Sir Wilfred Robarts (Charles Laughton), a master barrister in ill health, takes Leonard Vole (Tyrone Power) on as a client, over the protestations of his private nurse, Miss Plimsoll (Elsa Lanchester), that the doctor had told him to stay away from criminal cases. Vole is accused of murdering Miss Emily French (Norma Varden), a rich, older woman who had become enamored of him, going so far as to make him the main beneficiary of her will. Strong circumstantial evidence all points to Vole as the killer.

When Sir Wilfred speaks with Vole’s German wife Christine (Marlene Dietrich), he finds her rather cold and self-possessed, but she does provide an alibi. Therefore, he is greatly surprised when she is called as a witness for the prosecution. While a wife cannot testify against her husband, it is shown that Christine was in fact still married to another man when she wed Leonard. She testifies that Leonard admitted to her that he had killed Mrs. French, and that her conscience forced her to finally tell the truth.

During the trial (in the Old Bailey, carefully recreated by Alexandre Trauner), Sir Wilfred is contacted by a mysterious woman, who (for a fee) provides him with letters written by Christine herself to a mysterious lover named Max. This correspondence gives her such a strong motive to lie that the jury finds Leonard not guilty.

However, Sir Wilfred is troubled by the verdict. His instincts tell him that it was too tidy, too neat. And so it proves. By chance, he and Christine are left alone in the courtroom. She takes the opportunity to take credit for the whole thing. When she heard him say at the beginning that a wife’s testimony would not be convincing, she decided to set it up so that hers would be for the prosecution and then be discredited. An ex-actress, she had played the part of the mystery woman so well that Sir Wilfred did not recognize her when he negotiated for the letters. She knew that Leonard was guilty; her testimony was the truth. Her letters are a fraud — Max never existed. When asked why she did it, she confesses that she loves Leonard.

Leonard appears and, now protected by double jeopardy, nonchalantly confirms what Christine had said. A young woman (Ruta Lee) then rushes into his arms. When he admits that they are going away together, Christine kills him with a knife in a fit of fury. Sir Wilfred remarks that Christine did not murder Leonard, but that she “executed him”. Miss Plimsoll then cancels Sir Wilfred’s holiday, realizing that he cannot resist taking charge of Christine’s defense.

EYE-BALL MovieZone Review …

Charles Laughton is brilliant in his role as an ailing Barrister – as is Marline Dietrich – Tyrone Power is also great as the bad guy … the story has a very unexpected twist in its closing moments and the storyline is held up beautifully till this plays out –

This was my first viewing of this movie and I enjoyed it immensely … Recommend viewing.

EYE-BALL MovieZone Rating [scale 0-10]: 6.0/10 …

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  1. evolving spiritist
    September 30, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Good work, your a harsh judge out of ten though. Movies you liked only rated 6/10.

  2. September 30, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Thank you Evolving Spiritist … aim to please!

    There is still much work to be done with this project and the ratings have been conservative I grant you –

    EYE-BALL MovieZone …

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