The 1950's

EXPRESSO BONGO (1959) – Blu-ray Review

The many musical performances, both in-world and integrated, are good (particularly a tightly coordinated split screen number) and the music itself is even better.  Director/producer Val Guest, for all his potshots taken at the coffee shop “rebellion” of the youth set, does a formidable of depicting the budding scene and the neon-y, urban and modernized world surrounding it.  The film is never better than when the kids get to groovin’ on the dance floor.  It’s the newfangled widescreen frame a-hoppin’ and a-boppin’.  Clearly, the espresso- or, er, “expresso”- is freely flowing!

JET PILOT (1957) – Blu-ray Review

It’s both Air Force propaganda and a failed Howard Hughes vanity piece.  It’s the final released film of legendary fallen director Josef von Sternberg.  It began at one major studio and ended up at another.  It’s got a redressed, drab, muddy Western set doubling for Russia in the film’s second half.  It might be silly at times, but it’s never dull.  There’s so, so, so much red meat here for a film historian to chew on.