One year for manslaughter? Well, I guess Elvis just wouldn't fly, image-wise, as that bad of a dude. But this story may still be his least heroic, as the former jailbird becomes a music star, only to get punched in the throat when he becomes an egomaniac. Will he get his voice back? That's the ultimate question that Jailhouse Rock asks us to care about. Which we don't.
Marlon Brando proved he wasn't cut out for westerns with this, one of his few stabs at the genre.One-Eyed Jacks is a long, meandering, and poorly constructed film that has faded even further since its release -- none of which is terribly surprising, as this was Brando's sole attempt at directing a film. The plot concerns a criminal (Brando) who falls in love with a Mexican girl, among other misadventures. Unfortunarely, the slick-haired Brando doesn't come close to looking the part, and the movie's randomness quickly becomes a major turnoff. Note that many current-era DVDs are extremely badly mastered, with atrocious video and audio that comes primarily out of the rear speakers.
For those who like their spy thrillers convoluted, talky, and depressing, John Le Carre's The Spy Who Came In from the Cold sticks James Bond in the belly with a sucker punch. Sad and chilly, the story gives us Richard Burton as an aging British spy who reluctantly semi-retires to work in a library, where he meets a communist gal (Claire Bloom) he fancies. He picks up a final job -- defect to East Germany, but not really; the job is to feed the communists misinformation. Or is he serious? What about the girl? The Berlin Wall makes for an ominous and chilling symbol, a reminder of our Cold War heritage. Burton and Oskar Werner (who plays his nemesis) earned various acting nominations.