Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My Week of Movie Watching

Crazed Fruit – Strange name, great film. This 1956 offering from director Ko Nakahira takes its name from a slang term for the post-WWII generation of spoiled Japanese youth. Fruit tells the story of 2 brothers and the girl that one, then the other falls in love with. The problem is, she isn’t what she seems to be. The film presents a group of young men who live in a world of wealth, women, drinking and irresponsibility. It’s not by accident that there doesn’t seem to be an adult close to them. The love between the sober, younger Haruji and the beautiful Eri seems to be storybook stuff, but unbeknownst to him, she is also involved with his worldly older brother. The films conclusion is simply one of the greatest I’ve ever seen, and I guarantee it will stay with you long after you see it. Highly recommended.
The Purchase Price – Pre-code William Wellman tidbit from 1932 stars Barbara Stanwyck as a woman on the run who becomes a mail-order bride for an uptight farmer. There isn’t much to recommend here – The films' tension is supposed to be developed by whether the farmer (George Brent) finally succumbs to Stanwycks charms. The problem is there is no reason why she should love him – He has all the charm of a bowl of cold porridge. This disc is part of the series of pre-code “naughty” films, but this one is a bit on the tame side. The only bit that is kind of clever is a scene that Stanwyck does on a train with 3 other mail order brides. The conversation is funny in that silly double entrendre way, and the fact that one of the women is eating a banana is surely not a co-incidence. Not really recommended, however.

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