Paul Czinner recorded, using a multiple cameras technique, the performance of prima ballerina Galina Ulanova of the Russian Bolshoi, doing “Giselle”, while the troupe was on tour in England in 1956.
Before The Naked Venus, Edgar G. Ulmer shot a 30-minute pilot for a TV series based on The Swiss Family Robinson, that no networks ever picked up. The inexpressive acting of the children caused the wreckage of this short feature, despite the efforts of their coach, Adrianna Ulmer. But the director took advantage of the Mexican location to sketch the theme of Nature as a beautiful prison – an idea he would brilliantly develop in The Cavern (1965). In fact, Ulmer started working on the production of The Cavern in 1957, and this work influenced this fascinating TV oddity.
Wakako, who runs a traditional restaurant in Tokyo, once had her portrait painted by an itinerant artist named “Goro” when she was a young girl living in China. Having treasured the painting for so many years, she decides to bring it to a Ginza art gallery in hopes of finding the long lost artist, but with his signature as her only lead the search initially goes nowhere. That is until she meets an unusual florist named Coney who helps her to uncover Goro’s true identity.
Samoa consists of two major islands. Western Samoa is inhabited by a very proud race of people who don’t particularly like Westerners so tourism is not really encouraged. Catherine and John try to understand Fa Samoa, the source of intense pride in their culture. They visit Robert Louis Stevenson’s house. They witness the Samoan art of tattooing, covering most of body. Charlie is of chiefly caste. He introduces us to Samoan culture and finds the most beautiful seascapes – the sort of sights that shape our image of the South Pacific.
Hell-bent on revenge, cocky reform-school runaway El Jaibo returns to his old neighborhood in post-World-War-II Mexico City’s poor and squalid slums, to reunite with his faithful gang of juvenile delinquents and street urchins. However, as the dangerous ringleader lives and breathes retribution, his destructive obsession to find the informant who supposedly sent him to jail will intricately interweave his bitter fate with that of Pedro, his weak, unwitting accessory, in a despicable act of pure evil. In the end, are humans inherently good or bad? Is immorality contingent with society?
Using his own money, actor Franchot Tone mounted this courageous film version of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. Tone is cast as Dr. Astroff, who falls in love with a woman beyond his reach. All the while, Sonia, the woman who loves Astroff, is neglected and ignored. The titular Uncle Vanya watches the passing parade of humanity, embittered over the opportunities missed in his own life.
Johnny One-Eye was adapted from one of Damon Runyon’s lesser-known stories. Pat O’Brien and Wayne Morris star as Martin Martin and Dane Cory respectively, former partners in crime who have long since split up. When a new district attorney puts the heat on, Cory, anxious to save his own hide, accuses Martin of an unsolved murder. Holed up in abandoned house, Martin is befriended by a little girl and her dog. It so happens that the girl is the daughter of the crusading DA, and thereby hangs the rest of this tale.
Real-life husband and wife John McCallum and Googie Withers top the cast of Devil on Horseback. A racetrack drama, the film centers on the activities of natural-born jockey Moppy Parfitt. As he gains prominence on the track, Moppy becomes insufferably egotistical. His “win at all costs” policy ultimately results in the unecessary death of a horse. Much to the delight of horse owner Charles Roberts and trainer Mrs. Cadell. Moppy finally learns that there’s something more to being a jockey than just talent.