Now With More Than 3000 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 2500 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to MAKSQUIBS@yahoo.com . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, July 27, 2009

UP THE DOWN STAIRCASE (1967)



A funny thing happened to this new-teacher-in-a-tough-school tale, it improved with age. Perhaps it’s the verisimilitude of mid-60s NYC (for ‘67, the jumps in ambient sound are as unusual as the roughness in Joseph Coffey ‘s spirited lensing). Perhaps it’s because Sandy Dennis, as the newbie teacher, had yet to hit the tipping point in tics & mannerisms that would scuttle so much of her work. Perhaps it’s getting to see an entire cast made up from the NYC/B’way acting pool, especially a fascinating perf from Patrick Bedford (straight from Brian Friel’s PHILADELPHIA, HERE I COME) as a cold-blooded intellectual English teacher. Perhaps it’s the sheer modesty of the story’s conclusion, Dennis simply decides to stick out the year. Whatever. Somehow the partnership of helmer-Robert Mulligan & producer Alan Pakula honor a nearly formless quality far removed from the expected naïf teacher/tough kids/life’s lesson tropes of so many similar pics. Check out TO SIR WITH LOVE, a much bigger hit from the same year, to see how differently films can age.

No comments: