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  • The Star

    The Star

    ★★★½

    Potent, somewhat overripe melodrama which serves as solid proof that Hollywood's callous attitudes toward over-40 women have been in place for decades.

  • Perri

    Perri

    ★★★½

    These Disney nature documentaries get decidedly more cloying and manipulative as they go along through the '50s. Perri follows the life of a female squirrel and her fellow woodland creatures, buoyed along by beautiful photography and an appealing, often syrupy score. It's overlong, frequently blurring the line between documentary and narrative film. I give it props, however, for including a surreal squirrel's dream sequence as visually resplendent and weird as anything from "The Three Caballeros" or "Fantasia."

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  • Lydia

    Lydia

    ★★★

    Merle Oberon as a worldly, flirtatious Boston blue blood reminiscing over the past loves in her life. Lushly produced and nicely acted romantic melodrama is neither here nor there. I enjoyed it, despite the story and mood having a vague similarity to other, superior films like Mr. Skeffington, Letter from an Unknown Woman, Magnificent Ambersons, even Citizen Kane (maybe it was Joseph Cotten's presence).

  • Kathy O'

    Kathy O'

    ★★★½

    Pretty good, surprisingly pragmatic story of a child actress (Patty McCormack, The Bad Seed) trying to assert her independence at a 1950s Hollywood studio. Despite a pat ending, this behind-the-scenes drama was a good find - the fact that it takes place during the Christmas season was a nice bonus. This particular one is done by Universal in a glossy style not dissimilar to Douglas Sirk's movies from that time (1958). Two underrated adult actors, Dan Duryea and Jan Sterling, offer fine support. (the film is viewable on YouTube)