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A United Artists Retrospective Scrapbook: 1953


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Lots of B films for 1953, and unlike 1952, no Best Picture nominees in the pack here. But its a big pack, and the ranks include one that caused some to pass around the smelling salts at the time....

Genghis Kahn was made in the Philippines and arrived with UA backing in the US three years after it was made.

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The golden Arrow with Jean-Pierre Aumont and Burgess Meredith in the other male lead was even later: 4 years post its UK debut.

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Guerrilla Girl dealt with a woman who had joined the Communists after facing savage treatment at the hands of the nazis

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Luxury Girls was a saucy import from Italy.

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Earth was under threat from The Magnetic Monster, in the latest sci-fi

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Richard Greene played a double role in the swashbucker The Bandits of Corsica. Raymond Burr was in the supporting cast.

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the double roles continued in the B Western Son of the Renegade

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Venetian Bird found Richard Todd getting entangled in an assassination plot.

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Mahatma Gandhi- 20th Century Prophet was a documentary about the great man.

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That Man from Tangier was an adventure film from Spain.

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Shoot First was a British thriller with Joel McCrea, Evelyn Keyes, and Herbert Lom.

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Phantom from Space brought sci-fi back to the fore.

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John Payne and Donna Reed appeared in the swashbuckler, Raiders of the Seven Seas

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The Twonky mixed sci-fi with comedy.

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Next up for sci-fi followers?  The Neanderthal Man.

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Back to the west to meet the Marshal's Daughter

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SCANDAL! screamed the 1953 headlines. The Moon is Blue was the first American film in years to be turned down by the production code and to be condemned by the Legion of Decency to boot. Result? Many went to see just what the fuss was about and Maggie McNamera was up for an Oscar.

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Gary Cooper went to the South Pacific for Return to Paradise

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Yvonne De Carlo was off to Fort Algiers

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Volcano was an Italian film with Anna Magnani trying to restore her damaged reputation.

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London Town finally arrived in America..... 7 years after it was made. The musical featured Petula Clark and Kay Kendall.

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Gun Belt was a Western with George Montgomery and Tab Hunter

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Lew Ayres appeared in the noir No Escape.

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Edward G Robinson and Paulette Goddard appeared in the next noir, Vice Squad.

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Melba was a musical biopic about a praised opera star.

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A man named Biff Elliot played Mike Hammer in I the Jury

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Robert Stack vs the Indians in War Paint.

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Stack was back, fighting in the Korean war, in Sabre Jet

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Captain Scarlett was another swashbuckler

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the Joe Lewis Story was exactly that, no more, no less

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The Fake was a mystery film involving a detective trying to solve an art heist.

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Lew Ayres and Nancy Reagan starred in the sci-fi/horror Donovan's brain

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paul henreid and Lois "Miss Moneypenny" Maxwell were out to trap a killer in Man in Hiding.

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John payne and Evelyn Keyes starred in 99 River Street, an esteemed noir

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The Steel Lady was an adventure film set in war time. Tab Hunter was one of the costars

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The Village was a drama from Switzerland

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Robert Morley and Maurice Evans were the title pair in The Story of Gilbert and Sullivan. 

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Paul Muni went to Italy to make Stranger on the Prowl

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Shark River was an Eastern Western. it was set in Florida.

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James Mason, Claire Bloom, and Hildegarde Kneff were caught up in a spy ring in The Man Between,

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Then there was a B take on the famous tale from Johnstown

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Yesterday and Today was a compilation film of silent movies

Song of the Land was a nature documentary. Like the  film above, no pictures on hand.

Conquest of Everest was a documentary about the historic mountain climbing.

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Otto Preminger also did a German version on The Moon is blue....

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Beverly Michaels was a Wicked Woman

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And Kirk Douglas was in love in France with ramifications in Act of Love

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Found our missings... hopefully you are now complete. 😊

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This next one would be fun to watch due to the mighty Marvin Miller narrating with the same gusto he displayed in the Warner Brothers travelogues and UPA cartoons of this same time period. The billing "sea elephants make love" is rather provocative. (Intriguing curio: the image in the first poster depicts two males. Female sea elephants look quite different.) One year later, Walt Disney came under attack for merely showing the birth of a bison in the "True Life Adventure" feature VANISHING PRAIRIE, so it would be interesting to learn if there was any reaction to this film as well. I am sure that the billing promises more than it delivers.

Another trivial note of interest: Ed N. Harrison and Frances Roberts did most but not all of the color camerawork (i.e. the AFI site also lists the semi-famous National Park travelogue film-maker Guy Haselton, among others, assisting) which apparently stretches back to 1936. They were also among multiple contributors for another Walt Disney "True Life Adventure", WATER BIRDS, which won an Oscar seven months before SONG OF THE LAND was released. The Motion Picture Daily states that Harrison was filming in Kenya as of August 12, 1953 but what resulted from his trip is a mystery.

MPW-19697

MPW-25390

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