Monday, September 26, 2011

Double Feature: King Solomon's Mines (1950) and Julius Caesar (1953)

King Solomon's Mines:

Deborah Kerr and Stewart Granger star in this Technicolor adaptation of Allan Quatermain's quest to find a woman's husband who went looking for the mysterious diamond mines of King Solomon. Though it is dated, it is easy to see why an adventure film like this got nominated for Best Picture amidst films like All About Eve and Sunset Boulevard.

The film received nominations for Best Picture, Best Cinematography (Color), and Best Film Editing. Though it won for the latter two nominations, the Best Picture nomination could have been given to something like Harvey or The Third Man.

Julius Caesar:

This rendering of Shakespeare's tragedy features solid performances from James Mason (as Brutus), Marlon Brando (as Mark Antony), and John Gielgud (as Cassius). Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz allows the material (and what material!) to speak for itself, and Miklos Rozsa's score complements it nicely.

The film received nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor (Brando), Best Art Direction (B&W), Best Cinematography (B&W), and Best Score (Dramatic or Comedy Picture). Though Brando is good, Mason and Gielgud deserved to be nominated along with him.

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