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.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

THE GALLANT HOURS (1960)

In spite of its stiff, reverential tone, and cringe-worthy Male Chorale underscoring, Robert Montgomery’s docu-flavored WWII bio-pic, with James Cagney as Admiral Halsey, makes for an unusual, and unusually interesting, war pic. Told almost entirely behind-the-scenes, it’s an action-free look at war’s boardroom decision makers, talky as hell, believably so. What else would these officers do other than talk thru the ramifications of a strategic move to the right or the left? The acting is deliberate, carefully parsed out, and when the staging threatens to go flat, the constricted space of shipboard situation rooms keeps the players nearly on top of each other. As Halsey, freshly appointed, with the Guadalcanal crisis already closing in, Cagney’s portrait is all balance, determination & decency; a company man not averse to risk, and comfortable with his instincts. Calmly powerful, with no grandstanding, Cagney still has what he called ‘a goodie’ up his sleeve, making Halsey an awful lot like Harry S. Truman, the little man in the big job. It’s an acting choice that must have amused his director/co-producer, Robert Montgomery, a longtime Hollywood Republican who had been Eisenhower’s White House image consultant. The film is never quite as good as it wants to be, and the constant narration (some by Montgomery) drones on nearly as much as the four-part a cappella harmonies, but it’s not your typical war pic. You root for it to work.

DOUBLE-BILL: Montgomery co-starred with John Wayne in THEY WERE EXPENDABLE/’45, John Ford’s remarkable (and remarkably underappreciated) WWII/Philippines drama.

No comments: