Split Second

It opens very like Losey’s Figures in a Landscape, and from there to many and many another film, John Sturges’ The Satan Bug or Wise’s The Andromeda Strain or Richardson’s Blue Sky and so on.

Screenplay Irving Wallace—Chester Erskine—William Bowers, music Roy Webb, cinematography Nicholas Musuraca.

The Cactus Springs Snack Bar is strictly from The Petrified Forest (dir. Archie Mayo)...

The historical intersection of Fascist thugs and the atom bomb. Question of hostages. A ghost town, Lost Hope City. “I hate heroes.”

Key Largo (dir. John Huston) has a part to play, among other things.

A.W. of the New York Times, “a fairly taut adventure”.

Halliwell’s Film Guide, “routine suspenser.”

 

The Conqueror

The uniting of the tribes across the Gobi Desert.

Love of a Tartar beauty is the “destiny” that drives it.

A somewhat cowardly suitor of the Merkits must be addressed, above all and finally her father, ancient enemy of the Mongols.

Desert tribesmen, squabbles among primitives.

Wang Khan in his walled city is another type.

Thus Temujin proceeds.

The casting of John Wayne is said to have been fortuitous, or serendipitous, or his own idea. It’s one of his rarest performances.

A.H. Weiler (New York Times), a noted imbecile, thought Oscar Millard’s screenplay with its careful evocations of twelfth-century utterance was worth a laugh.

Directors make the best critics, Henry Levin (Genghis Khan) and John Gilling (The Brigand of Kandahar, from Terence Young’s Zarak).

 

The Enemy Below

U.S. destroyer escort vs. “pigboat” en route to a rendezvous with “Raider M” for a British codebook and home.

Thus the war, emblematically. The positions are further defined in great detail, the “feather merchant” American skipper now extremely deft with the apparatus of war, the German who served the Kaiser and has no use for Hitler or modern warfare without “human error”.

This particular disposition is a very rare understanding, the military war and the political war.

Variety’s “duel of wits” is rather na´ve, Time Out Film Guide follows suit.

Halliwell’s Film Guide is even feebler, “unsurprising” and “pat”.

 

The Hunters

“The time is always now, the place is always here,” with Eliot.

Korean War “jet jockeys”, some seasoned by World War II and some not, therein (cf. Godard’s Le Petit soldat) lies all the difficulty.

“Stumps us completely,” wrote Howard Thompson of the New York Times, taking the critical we.

Every day it’s punchups with MiGs out of China.

“FU” say the Sabres.

It was the same way on Guadalcanal (Flying Leathernecks, dir. Nicholas Ray), you have to leash them and carry them, young pilots.

“They must make this stuff out of Stalin’s socks,” Chinese cigarettes.

The cause of the war, as explained by Terence Young in Inchon an essential repeat of the Nazi offensive, a repeat of the Kaiser’s, and so forth.

Halliwell’s Film Guide echoes Thompson, adding, “propaganda element very strong.”