YOUNG MAN WITH A HORN
1950, Warner Bros., 112 min, USA, Dir: Michael Curtiz

Dorothy Baker’s novel, inspired by the life of cornetist Bix Beiderbecke, gets the full-blown Hollywood treatment. Star-crossed jazzman Kirk Douglas (musically dubbed by Harry James) hits the high and low notes, with a formidable Lauren Bacall and empathetic Doris Day as the women in his orbit. A daring Carl Foreman script complements memorable supporting performances by Hoagy Carmichael and Juano Hernandez, with dazzling direction by Michael Curtiz.


THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (1956)
1956, Universal, 120 min, USA, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock remakes his own entertaining but lightweight 1934 thriller as a melancholy examination of the pleasures and nightmares of family life. When the son of James Stewart and Doris Day is kidnapped while on vacation, the couple’s long-simmering resentments threaten to get in the way of their attempts to rescue him. Although the film is rightly celebrated for setpieces like the famous Albert Hall assassination sequence, the depth of Hitchcock’s vision is more effectively felt in the film’s quieter moments: The scene in which Stewart tells Day their son has been kidnapped is one of the most powerful in all of Hitchcock’s cinema.


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