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EYE-BALL MovieZone – Oscar Movies 1959…

October 5, 2011
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EYE-BALL MovieZone –
Oscar Movies 1959:
EYE-BALL MovieZoneThe Nominees for the Best Picture in 1959 were:

1959 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 – 1959 – “Ben-Hur”:

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Summary: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

Ben-Hur (or Benhur) is a 1959 American epic film directed by William Wyler and starring Charlton Heston in the title role, the third film version of Lew Wallace’s 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. It was composed by Miklós Rózsa. It premiered at Loew’s State Theatre in New York City on November 18, 1959. The film went on to win a record of eleven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, a feat equaled only by Titanic in 1997 and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in 2003.

Plot: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

The film’s prologue depicts the traditional story of the Nativity of Jesus Christ.

In AD 26, Prince Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston) is a wealthy merchant in Jerusalem. His childhood friend Messala (Stephen Boyd), now a military tribune, arrives as the new commanding officer of the Roman garrison. Ben-Hur and Messala are happy to reunite after years apart, but politics divide them; Messala believes in the glory of Rome and its imperial power, while Ben-Hur is devoted to his faith and the freedom of the Jewish people. Messala asks Ben-Hur for names of Jews who criticize the Roman government; Ben-Hur counsels his countrymen against rebellion but refuses to name names, and the two part in anger.

Ben-Hur, his mother Miriam (Martha Scott), and sister Tirzah (Cathy O’Donnell) welcome their loyal slave Simonides (Sam Jaffe) and his daughter Esther (Haya Harareet), who is preparing for an arranged marriage. Ben-Hur gives Esther her freedom as a wedding present, and the two realize they are in love with each other.

During the parade for the new governor of Judea, Valerius Gratus, a tile falls from the roof of Ben-Hur’s house and startles the governor’s horse, which throws Gratus off, nearly killing him. Although Messala knows it was an accident, he condemns Ben-Hur to the galleys, and imprisons his mother and sister, to intimidate the restive Jewish populace by punishing the family of a known friend and prominent citizen. Ben-Hur swears to return and take revenge. En route to the sea, he is denied water when his slave gang arrives at Nazareth. As Ben-Hur collapses in despair, a local carpenter whose face is hidden from the viewing audience, but who is obviously Jesus, gives him water and renews his will to survive.

After three years as a galley slave, Ben-Hur is assigned to the flagship of Consul Quintus Arrius (Jack Hawkins), assigned to destroy a fleet of Macedonian pirates. As slave “Number 41,” Ben-Hur’s self-discipline and resolve are noticed by the commander who offers to train him as a gladiator or charioteer. But, Ben-Hur declines, declaring that God will aid him.

As Arrius prepares for battle, he orders the rowers chained but Ben-Hur to be left free. Arrius’s galley is rammed and sunk, but Ben-Hur unchains other rowers, escapes and saves Arrius’s life and, since Arrius believes the battle ended in defeat, prevents him from committing suicide. Arrius is credited with the Roman fleet’s victory, and in gratitude petitions Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus (George Relph) to drop all charges against Ben-Hur, adopting him as his son. With regained freedom and wealth, Ben-Hur learns Roman ways and becomes a champion charioteer, but longs for his family and homeland.

While returning to Judea, Ben-Hur meets Balthasar (Finlay Currie) and his host, Arab sheik Ilderim (Hugh Griffith), who owns four magnificent white Arabian horses. Ilderim introduces Ben-Hur to his “children” and asks him to drive Ilderim’s quadriga in the upcoming race before the new Judean governor, Pontius Pilate (Frank Thring). Ben-Hur declines, but hears that champion charioteer Messala will compete; as Ilderim observes, “There is no law in the arena. Many are killed.”

Ben-Hur learns that Esther’s arranged marriage did not occur and that she is still in love with him. He visits Messala and offers to forget Messala’s betrayal in exchange for freeing his mother and sister, but the Romans discover that Miriam and Tirzah contracted leprosy during their five years in prison and expel them from the city. They beg Esther to conceal their condition from Ben-Hur, so she tells him that his mother and sister have died in prison.

Enraged, and seeking his vengeance, Ben-Hur enters the race. Messala drives a “Pict Chariot,” with blades on the hubs. In the violent and grueling race, Messala attempts to destroy Ben-Hur’s chariot but destroys his own instead; Messala is trampled and mortally wounded, while Ben-Hur wins the race. Before dying, Messala tells Ben-Hur that “the race is not over” and that he can find his mother and sister “…in the Valley of the Lepers, if you can recognize them.”

The film is subtitled “A Tale of the Christ”, and it is at this point that Jesus Christ reappears. Esther is moved by the Sermon on the Mount. She tells Ben-Hur about it, but he will not be consoled; blaming Roman rule — not Messala — for his family’s fate, Ben-Hur rejects his patrimony and citizenship, and plans violence against the Empire. Learning that Tirzah is dying, Ben-Hur and Esther take her and Miriam to see Jesus Christ, but they cannot get near him; his trial has begun, with Pilate washing his hands of responsibility for Jesus Christ’s fate. Recognizing Jesus Christ from their earlier encounter in Nazareth, Ben-Hur attempts to return the long-ago favor by giving Jesus water during his march to Calvary but guards pull them apart.

Ben-Hur witnesses the Crucifixion. Miriam and Tirzah are healed by a miracle, as are Ben-Hur’s heart and soul. He tells Esther that as he heard Jesus Christ talk of forgiveness while on the cross, “I felt His voice take the sword out of my hand.” The film ends with an emotional reunion between Ben-Hur and his mother and sister, followed by a scene of the empty crosses of Calvary and a shepherd leading his flock.

EYE-BALL MovieZone Review …

One of the all-time great movies ever made – runs for well over 3 hours and was Wyler’s [Director] greatest epic – Heston proved himself the ultimate action/drama actor – this movie is replayed on Turner Classics more than any other movie – a favourite at Easter and other religious periods … just a great story and well told and presented – has action, religion, romance, intrigue, guile, heroics, revenge, suspense and characters who all excel in their contribution to teh story …

You must have this movie in your collection …

EYE-BALL MovieZone Rating [scale 0-10]: 9.0/10 …

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EYE-BALL MovieZoneReview – 1959 – “Anatomy of a Murder”:

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Summary: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

Anatomy of a Murder is a 1959 American courtroom crime drama film. It was directed by Otto Preminger and adapted by Wendell Mayes from the best-selling novel of the same name written by Michigan Supreme Court Justice John D. Voelker under the pen name Robert Traver. Voelker based the novel on a 1952 murder case in which he was the defense attorney.

The film stars James Stewart, George C. Scott, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara, Arthur O’Connell, Eve Arden, Kathryn Grant, Brooks West (Arden’s real-life husband), Orson Bean, and Murray Hamilton. The judge was played by Joseph N. Welch, a real-life lawyer famous for berating Joseph McCarthy during the Army-McCarthy Hearings.

This was one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to address sex and rape in graphic terms. It includes one of Saul Bass’s most celebrated title sequences, an innovative musical score by Duke Ellington (who plays a character called Pie-Eye in the film) and has been described by a law professor as “probably the finest pure trial movie ever made”.

Plot: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

In the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, small-town lawyer Paul Biegler (James Stewart), a former district attorney who lost his re-election bid, spends most of his time fishing, playing the piano and hanging out with his alcoholic friend and colleague Parnell McCarthy (Arthur O’Connell) and sardonic secretary Maida Rutledge (Eve Arden).

One day Biegler is contacted by Laura Manion (Lee Remick), wife of the loutish US Army Lieutenant Frederick “Manny” Manion (Ben Gazzara), who has been been arrested for the first degree murder of innkeeper Barney Quill. Manion does not deny the murder, but claims that his wife was raped by Quill.

Even with such a motivation, it would be difficult to get Manion cleared of murder, so Biegler pushes him into a position where he claims to have no memory of the event, thus giving them a chance of winning his freedom with a defense of irresistible impulse — a version of a temporary insanity defense.

As he sets about preparing his case, Biegler catches Laura Manion flirting with other army officers during a roadhouse party. He has to practically order her to stay away from “men, juke joints, booze, and pinball machines” and wear a girdle in order to play the part of a “meek little housewife” rather than that of a happy-go-lucky party girl. She also agrees to give up her tight-fitting clothes and wears a formal dress, glasses, a hat and a woman’s suit in court.

Biegler’s folksy speech and laid-back demeanor hide a sharp legal mind and a propensity for courtroom theatrics that has the judge busy keeping things under control. However, the case for the defense does not go well, especially since the local D.A. (Brooks West) is assisted by a high-powered big city prosecutor named Claude Dancer (George C. Scott). Furthermore, the prosecution goes all the way to block any mention of Manion’s motive for killing Quill, i.e. the raping of Laura. Biegler eventually manages to get the rape issue into the record and Judge Weaver (Joseph N. Welch) agrees to allow the matter to be part of the deliberations. However, Dancer’s cross-examination of Laura effectively portrays her as a woman who was not satisfied with her marriage and openly flirted with other men, including the one she claimed raped her.

A doctor casts doubt on whether she was raped or not, though Biegler questions the method he used to obtain the results, and psychiatrists give conflicting testimony to Manion’s state of mind when he killed Quill. Furthermore it comes out that even Lt. Manion doubted his wife, as Laura, a Catholic, had to swear on a rosary to persuade her husband that the sex with Quill was indeed non-consensual.

Quill’s inn is due to be inherited by Mary Pilant (Kathryn Grant), a mysterious Canadian who is suspected of being his mistress. Inquiries by Biegler’s partner Parnell McCarthy, however, reveal that she is in fact Quill’s daughter, but is anxious to keep this secret since she was born out of wedlock. Biegler, who is losing the case, tries to persuade her that Al Paquette (Murray Hamilton), a bartender who witnessed the murder, knows that Quill raped Laura but is covering this up, either out of love for Mary or loyalty to his late friend. Through Mary, Biegler tries to persuade Paquette to testify for the defense on these grounds but he refuses. Annoyed, Biegler leaves saying: “I’ll leave a pass for you and Al at the trial. You might like to watch Lt. Manion get convicted.”

Mary does actually attend the final day of the trial when the issue is raised about the panties that Laura was wearing on the night of the murder. These panties were never found at the spot she claims the rape took place. Mary, who was unaware of this, later returns to testify that she found the panties in the inn’s laundry room, presuming that Quill dropped them down the laundry chute when he returned home. Dancer insistently quizzes her that she was lying and that Quill was her lover. She shocks the court and torpedoes Dancer by stating that Quill was her father.

Biegler has played heavily on the issue that he is “just a humble country lawyer” facing a “brilliant prosecutor from the big city of Lansing”, a factor which has played well with the jury. After the closing speeches, however, he privately admits that Dancer delivered the “best summary I’ve ever heard in a courtroom”. It is to no avail, however: Manion is found “not guilty by reason of insanity”.

The next day Biegler and McCarthy go to see the Manions at their trailer park home in order to collect their fee only to find the trailer missing. A note left by Manion tells Biegler that he was “seized by an irresistible impulse” — the defense used by Biegler during the trial. Evidence left lying around indicates that Manion was actually a heavy drinker who beat Laura before they left. This might indicate that Laura’s sexual encounter with Quill was consensual (or that Manion believed it was) and that Manion killed Quill out of drunken jealousy; or that Laura was raped but that Manion killed Quill in a drunken rage and not due to irresistible impulse.

Biegler suggests to McCarthy that they solicit Mary Pilant to administer Barney Quill’s estate, quipping that it would be “poetic justice.”

EYE-BALL MovieZone Review …

Brilliant court room drama – the tryst between Stewart and Scott – opposing Attorneys – is well scripted – Lee Remick – a favourite actress appears in her first nominated Bets Picture … she plays the ‘flirty’ wife and plays her part well …

The movie does not reach any particular highs or lows and maintains the viewer’s interest in a guilty or acquittal verdict until the end …

Worth the download … recommended viewing – James Stewart is brilliant as always …

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

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EYE-BALL MovieZoneReview – 1959 – “The Diary of Anne Frank”:

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Summary: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

The Diary of Anne Frank is a 1959 film based on the Pulitzer Prize winning play of the same name, which was based on the diary of Anne Frank. It was directed by George Stevens, with a screenplay by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett. It won three Oscars.

Plot: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

The movie was based on the personal diary of Anne Frank, a Jewish girl who lived in a hiding place with her family during World War II. All her writings to her diary were addressed as ‘Dear Kitty’. The diary was published after the end of the war by her father Otto Frank (played by Joseph Schildkraut, also a Jew). By this time all his other family members were killed by the Nazis.

EYE-BALL MovieZone Review …

‘Schindler’s List’ this is not – that movie was shockingly confronting – this movie is also based on Jewish hardship at the hands of the Germans – you never see the Germans except from a window and over the radio … the fear when they march and sirens go by is real … it is only from stories like these that we can really appreciate what it is like to be persecuted …

It’s about two families and their siblings trying to co-exist in a loft above a factory – meaning they have to be absolutely silent during the day when workers are at the factory … The Black and White gives the movie more depth of realism – serious drama and not light-hearted – brutal in parts … but well worth the time to refresh ingrained memories – lest we forget …

EYE-BALL MovieZone Rating [scale 0-10]: 5.5/10 …

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EYE-BALL MovieZoneReview – 1959 – “The Nuns Story”

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Summary: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

The Nun’s Story is a 1959 Warner Brothers film directed by Fred Zinnemann and starring Audrey Hepburn. Based upon the 1956 novel of the same title by Kathryn Hulme, the story tells of the life of Sister Luke (Hepburn), a young Belgian woman who decides to enter a convent and makes many of the sacrifices required of her. However, at the outset of World War II, finds she cannot remain neutral in the face of the abject evil of Hitler’s Germany.

The book was based upon the life of Marie Louise Habets, a Belgian nurse who similarly spent time as a nun. The film follows the book fairly closely, although there is an added level of sexual tension present in the relationship between Dr. Fortunati (Peter Finch) and Sister Luke that is absent from the novel.

A major portion of the film takes place in the Belgian Congo, where Sister Luke assists Dr. Fortunati in surgical procedures of the area.

It was nominated for several Academy Awards including Best Actress in a Leading Role (Audrey Hepburn), Best Cinematography, Color, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture, Best Picture, Best Sound (George Groves) and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium.[1]

The Nun’s Story was a major box office success in its day and was considered, for a time, to be the most financially successful of Hepburn’s films and the one the actress often cited as her favorite. Hepburn met Marie-Louise Habets while preparing for the role, and Habets later helped nurse Hepburn back to health following her near-fatal horse-riding accident on the set of the 1960 film, The Unforgiven.

The Nun’s Story received its first official North American DVD release on April 4, 2006. The story behind the book and film was the subject of The Belgian Nurse, a radio play by Zoe Fairbairns broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Saturday, 13 January 2007.

Plot: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

There is No Wikipedia Plot Review …

EYE-BALL MovieZone Review …

Hepburn plays the NUN and is very convincing – Finch the Doctor in love with the Nun/Nurse … War comes and all is changed – family ties challenge the Nun’s vocation and she struggles with the choice to stay or go … it’s a real story and Hepburn is again brilliant.

Great viewing …

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

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EYE-BALL MovieZoneReview – 1959 – “Room at the Top”:

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Summary: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

Room at the Top is a 1959 British film based on the novel of the same name by John Braine. The novel was adapted by Neil Paterson with uncredited work by Mordecai Richler. It was directed by Jack Clayton and produced by James Woolf and John Woolf.

The film stars Simone Signoret, Laurence Harvey, Heather Sears, Donald Wolfit, Donald Houston and Hermione Baddeley. In smaller roles were Allan Cuthbertson, Raymond Huntley, John Westbrook, Richard Pasco and Ambrosine Phillpotts. There are also early cameos by Prunella Scales, Wendy Craig, Derek Benfield, Miriam Karlin, Derren Nesbitt and Ian Hendry. Wilfrid Lawson makes an uncredited appearance as Harvey’s uncle.

Signoret won the Academy Award for Best Actress for this film, while Baddeley’s performance became the shortest ever to be nominated for an acting Oscar (she had 2 minutes and 20 seconds of screen time).

Plot: [Pasted from Wikipedia] –

In late 1940s Yorkshire, England, ambitious young man Joe Lampton (Laurence Harvey), who has just moved from the dreary factory town of Dufton, arrives in Warnley, to assume a secure, but poorly-paid, post in the Borough Treasurer’s Department. Determined to succeed, and ignoring the warnings of a colleague, Soames (Donald Houston), he is drawn to Susan Brown (Heather Sears), daughter of the local industrial magnate, Mr. Brown (Donald Wolfit). He deals with Joe’s social climbing by sending Susan abroad; Joe turns for solace to Alice Aisgill (Simone Signoret), an unhappily married older woman who falls in love with him.

When Susan returns from her holiday, shortly after the lovers have quarrelled, Joe seduces her, and then returns to Alice. Discovering that Susan is pregnant, Mr. Brown, after failing to buy off Joe, coerces him to give up Alice and marry his daughter. Deserted and heartbroken, Alice launches on a drinking bout that culminates in her car-accident death. Distraught, Joe disappears, and, after being beaten unconscious by a gang of thugs for making a drunken pass at one of their women, his colleague, Soames, rescues him in time to wed Susan.

EYE-BALL MovieZone Review …

Post WWII romantic drama – Black and White – about class distinction and it’s played up to the hilt … was a hard movie – Harvey played his character with a false lower class accent and its noticeable …

The story is old hat and the troubled returning soldier with demons is another angle to play the forbidden love plot … The English and their perchance for ‘noisy’ footsteps for haunting effects … a movie with many twists and turns but the essential ‘family way’ question, the love of two woman twists, the Father who has the shotgun … well directed and a haunting music score … there are no soft scenes …

EYE-BALL MovieZone Rating [scale 0-10]: 4.5/10 …

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