1952 in Movies

Movie reviews for movies released theatrically in 1952.


1. High Noon, directed by Fred Zinnermann (10/10*)

I saw this as a teen, and so I may have been a little more receptive to the less-than-subtle message of this film. That being said, it’s a classic.


1. Ikiru, directed by Akira Kurosawa (10/10)

I can’t find my review, but I feel like this is one of those movies which words fail to properly describe. Certainly, the film was relatively unique at its time given its subject matter (though the Italians dealt with similar issues in the 40s). It’s one of Kurosawa’s best and it is a must-see.


3. Forbidden Games, directed by Rene Clement (9/10)

Unfortunately, I did not record my thoughts about this remarkable film that attempts to see the destructive ways of adults through the eyes of children. The spiritual predecessor of Grave of Fireflies.


4. The Narrow Margin, directed by Richard Fleischer (8/10)

This is about as tense as production code-era Hollywood films get. The narrow corridors, the lack of a score, everything makes this pretty amazing. The only problem is the lame twist about 2/3rds through. If that didn’t happen, this would be an outright classic. It’s still good though, and well worth checking out for any fan of the genre.  A definitive train movie.


5. Le plaisir, directed by Max Ophuls (8/10)

This is a wonderful movie for fans of camera work. The first and final stories are particularly astounding, containing some of the most amazing shots in all of cinema. The first part of the middle story also contains some astounding shots. The pacing is quite annoying, as it really does feel like this was a too-short feature made into a feature
by adding two other stories too it (which isn’t how it happened, but perception is everything). The pacing just doesn’t work. The middle lags whereas the other two are quick little vignettes which are brilliant because of the direction. Still, a must a for the shots.


6. Clash by Night, directed by Fritz Lang (6/10)

It’s just a hunch, but I feel like Lang was interfered with. I feel like his previous films testify to an authenticity that is not present in the Hollywood ending that ruins this movie.


7. Viva Zapata, directed by Elia Kazan (6/10*)

Brando as a Mexican is hard to take, but I still think I likely judged this unfairly.


8. The Bad and the Beautiful, directed by Vincent Minnelli (6/10)

What might have been a thoughtful comment on Hollywood is ruined by a somewhat contrived structure and over-acting (I’m looking at you, Kirk Douglas).


9. Singin’ in the Rain, directed by Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly (5/10*)

Watched as a teenager.

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