A Commander receives a citation for an attack on General Erwin Rommel's headquarters, which is actually undeserved, as the Commander is unfit for his job. On top of that, unbeknownst to him, his wife is having an affair with one of his officers.
The most complete, newly restored version of Nicholas Ray's experimental masterpiece embodies the director's practice of film-making as a "communal way of life." Ray plays himself in the ... See full summary »
Schoolteacher and family man Ed Avery, who's been suffering bouts of severe pain and even blackouts, is hospitalized with what's diagnosed as a rare inflammation of the arteries. Told by doctors that he probably has only months to live, Ed agrees to an experimental treatment: doses of the hormone cortisone. Ed makes a remarkable recovery, and returns home to his wife, Lou, and their son, Richie. He must keep taking cortisone tablets regularly to prevent a recurrence of his illness. But the "miracle" cure turns into its own nightmare as Ed starts to abuse the tablets, causing him to experience increasingly wild mood swings.Written by
Eugene Kim <email@example.com>
37 minutes into the movie, Ed is at the bathroom sink and has just replaced the pill bottle in the medicine cabinet. As he closes the cabinet door, the director and the camera are reflected in the mirror. See more »
Back in 1956 this must have been a very daring flick indeed. Of course it has dated and today it packs less of a punch but it still remains a very sincere film anchored by a superb James Mason performance. Walter Matthau is similarly top rate though in a smaller and less flashy role. The direction is absolutely mesmerizing and I only felt slightly uneasy about the psychiatric approach of the day and the flashing red screen reflecting Mason's mental disintegration which was so in fashion in films of the time.
Even so, it was not enough to spoil the pleasure afforded by the many good aspects in this movie that I found quite riveting and intelligent for the most part. The bit where Mason snips the phone cord is as frightening as it is memorable, to me the highpoint of a honest yet never predictable work.
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