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Related: 1950s

Films: Garden of Eden (1955) - Night and Fog (1955)

Deaths: José Ortega y Gasset (1883 - 1955) - Robert Warshow (1917 - 1955)

Births: Arthur Baker - DJ Spooky - Kool Herc

Literature: Lolita (1955) - Vladimir Nabokov

The Night of the Hunter (1955)
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Key work of art: Broadway and 103 rd Street. New York (1955) William Klein

The DS (also known as Déesse, or Goddess, after the punning initials in French) was a model of Citroen automobile manufactured and sold between 1955 and 1975. The DS is characterized by long, smooth, fluid body lines, a hydraulic suspension system, front-wheel drive, and a large, preternaturally comfortable interior. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citro%EBn_DS [Jan 2005]

American cinema: from grindhouse to arthouse

Grindhouse moves giddily through the decades, passing from '30s "road to ruin" pix to the '40s burlesque and dope films, and into the '50s, when grindhouses became "art houses." The two strains collided in 1955 when huckster Kroger Babb bought the U.S. rights to Ingmar Bergman's Summer with Monika. -- Gary Morris, http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/18/18_grind.html

The Night of the Hunter (1955)

The Night of the Hunter (1955) - Charles Laughton
Notice the words love and hate have been tattooed across his knuckles.

The Night of the Hunter is a 1953 novel by American author Davis Grubb. The book was a national bestseller and was voted a finalist for the 1955 National Book Award. In 1955 the book was adapted by Charles Laughton and James Agee as the film The Night of the Hunter.

The story concerns an ex-convict who, acting on a story told him by his now-dead cellmate, cons the cellmate's widow into marrying him in hopes that her children will tell him where their father hid the money from his last robbery. After killing their mother, he embarks on a hunt for the children, who have sensed his evil and are running from him.

The plot was based on the true story of Harry Powers, who was hanged in 1932 for the murders of two widows and three children in Clarksburg, West Virginia. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night of the Hunter [Sept 2006]

The Night of the Hunter is a 1955 film noir based on the novel by Davis Grubb. It was adapted for the screen by James Agee and Charles Laughton. Laughton would also direct the film, which has since been deemed "culturally significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. The film's lyric and expressionistic style had a tremendous influence on directors, including Jean Renoir, Terrence Malick, and the Coen Brothers. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Night_of_the_Hunter_%28film%29 [Sept 2006]

  • The Night of the Hunter (1955) - Charles Laughton [amazon.com] In the entire history of American movies, The Night of the Hunter stands out as the rarest and most exotic of specimens. It is, to say the least, a masterpiece--and not just because it was the only movie directed by flamboyant actor Charles Laughton or the only produced solo screenplay by the legendary critic James Agee (who also cowrote The African Queen). The truth is, nobody has ever made anything approaching its phantasmagoric, overheated style in which German expressionism, religious hysteria, fairy-tale fantasy (of the Grimm-est variety), and stalker movie are brought together in a furious boil. Like a nightmarish premonition of stalker movies to come, Night of the Hunter tells the suspenseful tale of a demented preacher (Robert Mitchum, in a performance that prefigures his memorable villain in Cape Fear), who torments a boy and his little sister--even marries their mixed-up mother (Shelley Winters)--because he's certain the kids know where their late bank-robber father hid a stash of stolen money. So dramatic, primal, and unforgettable are its images--the preacher's shadow looming over the children in their bedroom, the magical boat ride down a river whose banks teem with fantastic wildlife, those tattoos of LOVE and HATE on the unholy man's knuckles, the golden locks of a drowned woman waving in the current along with the indigenous plant life in her watery grave--that they're still haunting audiences (and filmmakers) today. --Jim Emerson for amazon.com

    Kiss Me Deadly (1955) - Robert Aldrich

    Kiss Me Deadly (1955) - Robert Aldrich [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Kiss Me Deadly a chilling film noir from 1955 based upon a Mickey Spillane Mike Hammer mystery. Ralph Meeker plays Hammer, tough-guy private eye who is just slightly less brutal and modestly more honest than the crooks he chases. As everyone tries to get a hold of the secret "whatsit," the body count and paranoia keep rising to an unexpected ending. It is considered to be the American godfather to the French New Wave, directed with skill by Robert Aldrich and introducing Cloris Leachman.

    In 1999 the film was deemed "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiss_Me_Deadly [Dec 2004]

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