Barbara Lawrence

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A Letter To Three Wives Review


Excellent
It's almost too clever. Joseph L. Mankiewicz's biting story presents three girlfriends headed out for a day trip who receive a letter addressed to the group -- the writer, one Addie Ross, has run off with one of their husbands. But which one?

What follows is some of the best dialogue to come out of the postwar era, a parlor room mystery as we dig into the pasts of the three women to try and figure out which husband has had enough. Keeps you on the edge of your seat but, boy, does the film take itself seriously at times.

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Unfaithfully Yours Review


Essential
Best suck down a cup of coffee -- or two -- before hitting play on the DVD for Unfaithfully Yours, one of Preston Sturges' best films, and perhaps his most undersung.

Rex Harrison was rarely the go-to guy for comedy, but he's put to incredible use in Unfaithfully as a British composer/conductor in America. His younger wife (Linda Darnell) and legion of fans are fawning, and he's obviously wealthy beyond his dreams, with servants galore. We spend the first half of the film getting to know Harrison's Sir Alfred in typical screwball fashion, but at the midpoint Alfred learns that wife Daphne may be having an affair with Alfred's secretary.

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Thieves' Highway Review


Excellent
If one were to imagine a list of promising setups for films, the one that backgrounds Jules Dassin's 1949 film Thieves' Highway - a pair of men racing to get a load of apples to market - would be near the bottom... and yet Dassin pulls it off, with a vengeance.

Army vet Nick Garcos (Richard Conte) has just come back to his hometown of Fresno, bringing with him presents that he acquired working as a mechanic on a ship in the Far East. Everyone's happy to see him and receive his shower of gifts and cash from his beaming-with-pride parents to his extremely blonde girlfriend Polly (Barbara Lawrence), who's upset initially to only receive a doll and then beams with joy when Nick points out the ring the doll is holding. Then Nick mentions the Mandarin slippers that he brought for his dad and everyone goes quiet. Turns out there's a reason that his dad hasn't stood up since Nick got home, he delivered a truckload of produce to a produce dealer in San Francisco, Mike Figlia, who refused to pay, got Papa Garcos roaring drunk, and sent him on the road, where he crashed and had to have his legs amputated. Nick vows to get even if he has to "gouge the money out of Mike Figlia's corpse."

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The Street With No Name Review


Good
Standard-issue noir. The Street with No Name takes great pains to narrate how its hero goes undercover to infiltrate a crime ring in "Center City," purported in the oppressive voice-over to be a real location where real crimes have occurred. Part straight-up gangster picture, part elementary school film strip ("The FBI solves crimes using a number of methods..."), The Street with No Name is an archetype of its genre, though unfortunately not a terribly memorable one.
Barbara Lawrence

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Thieves' Highway Movie Review

Thieves' Highway Movie Review

If one were to imagine a list of promising setups for films, the one that...

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