The Little Princess

An allegory of the Boer War, for which see very importantly and most abstrusely Losey’s The Go-Between.

The observed kiss also occurs under quite similar circumstances in Koster’s A Man Called Peter, but with a difference.

Master Po has a text,

little girls should feed daintily
Mrs. Ts’ao take note
so herewith a silver spoon
remember me and eat with manners


The Blue Bird

A fine analytical dream that takes apart a young girl’s misery and explains the world to her, miraculously effecting a truce with Napoleon and setting a lame girl on her feet.

The other Lang is also a genius, there’s no doubt about it, a monumental film.

Nugent of the New York Times thought Maeterlinck was the bunk to begin with, and classed this film with Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz as cinematic hokum.

So New York Times film criticism limped along, and there was World War II.

Gale Sondergaard’s cat, Eddie Collins’ dog, Mr. & Mrs. Luxury (“the Luxuries”), Light and the various other attractions of the dream, would seem to have gone for nothing, but Fellini ended La dolce vita the same way.


Song of the Islands

“O’Brien has gone Hawaiian.”

“It’s female psychiatry, that’s what it is.”

Donovan’s Reef gives this the full and complete analytical treatment later on, until then there’s South Pacific and whatnot to pass the time agreeably, as you might say.

John Ford comes into it because of one T.S. at the New York Times, who wrote, “although no less than four authors have struggled to create some semblance of plot around the argument of a pair of island-plantation owners, this corner is practically unable to find it.”


On the Riviera

“The Happy Ending” like “Choreography” is a tour de force finale, matched by the placid yacht off the Mediterranean coast of Zenda.


The King and I

Undoubtedly a metaphor of postwar Occupation.

The film evidently combines the stage production (confirmed by Variety and the New York Times) and a study of Oriental court paintings “et cetera” for the right effect.

Siam, Burma, England, Moses and Uncle Tom’s Cabin (this in a Siamese dance-drama described by Crowther as a “ballet” and “quaint”) permutate the integers in a Rodgers and Hammerstein film masterpiece.

“Poor songs”, says Time Out Film Guide, “(‘Hello Young Lovers’, ‘Getting to Know You’).”


Desk Set

The computer is a timesaver in certain mechanical matters such as arithmetic and data retrieval, you get out of it what you put into it. God, the human mind, and women are not replaced by it.

This is amusingly conveyed as a love affair between a methods engineer and a research director at a television network in New York, they sweep each other off their feet, the new vice-president has kept her on a string for seven years.

Critics were rather bluff on the amusement quotient, they are such excellent timewasters.

“This is from the Bible, Book of Amos, chapter one.”


Snow White and the Three Stooges

The fairy tale remembered in exquisite detail for widescreen and color with a cast that includes Guy Rolfe, Patricia Medina and the title characters.

Edson Stroll is Prince Charming, Carol Heiss the Princess.

Lang could not have done anything more to make the work perfect, which it is, and the Stooges are deadpan for once in their lives considering the grisly spectacle from the Brothers Grimm.

“Ye Stooges Three, Sole Purveyors of Yuk,” a patent medicine supposed to have grown hair on Curly-Joe.

A masterpiece.

A detail of the wizard’s study also figures in Cocteau’s La Belle et la bÍte and resembles Death in Bergman’s The Seventh Seal, and the ice ballet in the middle is a prefigurement of the Queen of the Night’s dispelling in the latter’s The Magic Flute.