Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz.

All about Eve

*Written to coincide with “Directed by JLM” on The Criterion Collection.

Director of “All About Eve”
Director of “Cleopatra”
Producer of “The Philadelphia Story”
Producer of “Woman of the Year” and the man who introduced Katherine Hepburn to Spencer Tracy
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s boss at MGM
Younger brother of Herman “Hank” J. Mankiewicz”, alcoholic, legendary raconteur, and the co-writer of “Citizen Kane”

All About Eve. JLM Rated. Criterion Collection.

ALL ABOUT EVE (1950) A+

One masterpiece from one of the greatest screenplays ever written (by Mankiewicz from Mary Orr’s short story “The Wisdom of Eve”). Highlighting the greatest, the most cherished, the most quoted and the most imitated performance by Hollywood’s greatest actress Bette Davis as Margo Channing.

No Way Out. JLM Rated. Criterion Collection.

NO WAY OUT (1950) B

One efficient Fox Noir that marked the debut of Sidney Poitier (and both Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis in smaller roles).

There was a Crooked Man. JLM rated. Criteriona Collection

THERE WAS A CROOKED MAN (1970) B

One very clever Western featuring Hollywood’s first well-adjusted gay couple (well-adjusted to jail in the Arizona territory circa 1883). They are beautifully played by Hume Cronyn and John Randolph taking over from Bette Davis and Thelma Ritter.

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. JLM Rated. Criterion Channel.

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947) B-

Fox movie that is regarded by some (especially Gene Tierney fans) with affection, Memorable score by Bernard Herrmann.

The Five Fingers. JLM rated. Criterion Channel

THE FIVE FINGERS (1952) B-

One moderately effective Fox espionage thriller starring James Mason.

Julius Caesar. JLM Rated. The Criterion  Collection.

JULIUS CAESAR (1953) B-

A solid but hardly triumphant adaptation of “Julius Caesar” with Marlon Brando and James Mason.

The Barefoot Contessa. JLM rated. The Criterion Collection.

THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA (1954) B

One beautifully photographed movie (Jack Cardiff) lacking in style, With Ava Gardner at her most radiant. and Oscar-winner Edmund O’Brien.

Guys and Dolls. JLM Rated. The Criterion Collection.,

GUYS AND DOLLS (1955) B-

A solid but hardly triumphant adaptation of Frank Loesser’s “Guys and Dolls”. With Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra.

A Letter to Three Wives. JLM Rated. The Criterion Collection

A LETTER TO THREE WIVES (1949) C+

His double writer/director Oscar winner “A Letter to Three Wives” still looks great. However, what seemed innovative at the time – the letter being read by Celeste Holm informing Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell and Ann Southern that she has just run away with one of their husbands – today feels like a rejection from a daytime soap. C+

House of Strangers

HOUSE OF STRANGERS (1949) C+

An effective Fox film noir starring Edward G. Robinson, Susan Hayward, and Richard Conte. Remade as “Broken Arrow” in 1954 with Spencer Tracy.

Sleuth. JLM Rated. The Criterion Collection.

SLEUTH (1972) C+

Not the sophisticated concoction it was in ‘72, it still has its moments.

The Quiet American. JLM rated. Criterion Collection.

THE QUIET AMERICAN (1958) C-

A solid but hardly imaginative and not triumphant adaptation of Graham Greene novel.

Cleopatra. JLM Rated. The Criterion Collection.

CLEOPATRA (1963) C-

Then, of course, there is “Cleopatra”. Taking over from Rouben Mamoulian the result was a disaster of enormous proportions. The terrible acting and dialogue (a lot of it written on the fly by Mankiewicz) The enormous sets, the silly costumes and, of course, Roddy McDowell as Octavian. It can be enjoyed, in small portions, as camp.

The Honey Pot

THE HONEY POT (1967) C-

The Honey Pot” boasts a nice performance by Maggie Smith but not much else.

Suddenly Last Summer. JLM Rated. The Criterion Channel

SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER (1959) C-

The unfortunate and out-of-control Tennessee Williams adaptation “Suddenly Last Summer” with a visibly ill Montgomery Clift and a poorly directed Elizabeth Taylor giving one of the most hysterical (and hysterically funny) monologues in Hollywood history.

YearFilmDistributorMy
Rating
1946Dragonwyck20th Century FoxD+
1946Somewhere in the Night20th Century FoxD+
1947The Late George Apley20th Century FoxF
1947The Ghost and Mrs. Muir20th Century FoxB-
1948Escape20th Century FoxD+
1949A Letter to Three Wives20th Century FoxC+
1949House of Strangers20th Century FoxC+
1950No Way Out20th Century FoxB
1950All About Eve20th Century FoxA+
1951People Will Talk20th Century FoxD
19525 Fingers20th Century FoxB-
1953Julius CaesarMetro-Goldwyn-MayerB-
1954The Barefoot ContessaFigaro/United ArtistsB-
1955Guys and DollsSamuel Goldwyn/ Metro-Goldwyn-MayerB-
1958The Quiet AmericanFigaro/United ArtistsC-
1959Suddenly, Last SummerColumbiaC-
1963Cleopatra20th Century FoxC-
1967The Honey PotFamous Artists ProductionsC-
1970There Was a Crooked ManWarner Bros.B
1972SleuthPalomar PicturesC+

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