Larry Thomas’ “Movies to See” from Motion Picture, Nov. 1957

Larry Thomas, associate editor of Motion Picture magazine, contributed a monthly “Movies to See” column where he’d star-rate and give brief reviews of the films to look forward to each month. Four stars stood for “Excellent,” three stars for “Good” and two stars for “Fair.”

These were his thoughts on the releases of November 1957!

(Photographed by Lindsey for TMP)
(Photographed by Lindsey for TMP)

Time Limit – 4 Stars
Directed by Karl Malden
Starring Richard Widmark, Richard Basehart and June Lockhart

Larry says:

  • “Veteran actor Karl Malden wins his spurs as a director with this movie.”
  • “The ending will stun you, but it will cause you to examine your own conscience to determine who was right, who was wrong.”
  • “The acting is superb.”
  • “Don’t miss it!”

Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? – 3 Stars
Directed by Frank Tashlin
Starring Tony Randall, Jayne Mansfield and Betsy Drake

Larry says:

  • “The laughs start as soon as the credits flash on the screen, and build continuously, in this barrage of funmaking at the expense of the advertising, TV and film business.”
  • “There are highly inventive comic complications, poured on with machine-gun rapidity.”
  • “Miss Mansfield is a delight, Miss Drake an attractively angular contrast to Jayne’s more obvious charms.”

The Golden Virgin – 3 Stars
Also known as The Story of Esther Costello
Directed by David Miller
Starring Joan Crawford, Heather Sears and Rossano Brazzi

Larry says:

  • “Newcomer Heather Sears is brilliant as Esther Costello.”
  • “Miss Crawford has never been better, and Heather Sears’ interpretation is something not to be missed.”

Accompanying Thomas’ three picks for the month was a feature called “Picture Parade” which also gave brief reviews of some of the films of the time, with no credited author.

Man of a Thousand Faces – 3 Stars
Directed by Joseph Pevney
Starring James Cagney, Dorothy Malone and Jane Greer

Picture Parade says:

  • “[Lon] Chaney’s personal life was equally interesting as his screen career, and this movie, with James Cagney in the title role, does a fine job of recreating a now legendary man.”
  • “It’s a top-rate film biography.”

The James Dean Story – 3 Stars
Directed by Robert Altman and George W. George

Picture Parade says:

  • “It’s a moving hour and 20 minute tribute to Dean.”
  • “A bit long and sometimes a bit morbid, but it will help keep the Dean legend alive.”

Operation Mad Ball – 3 Stars
Directed by Richard Quine
Starring Jack Lemmon, Ernie Kovacs and Kathryn Grant

Picture Parade says:

  • “This is a screwball comedy about Army life which gives Jack Lemmon a chance to exercise his gift for funny business.”
  • “Things get into a frenzy guaranteed to crack your funny bone.”

4 thoughts on “Larry Thomas’ “Movies to See” from Motion Picture, Nov. 1957

    1. Time Limit is well worth a watch. A bit stage-y, but I liked it. It’s the only film Karl Malden ever directed in full, so it’s interesting to see for that reason, too.

      Man of a Thousand Faces is decent. It isn’t super factual and it’s a bit difficult to buy Cagney as Chaney when they both have such well-established personas on their own. You’ll enjoy it more if you can think of it as a plain drama film rather than a biopic, separate it from the man it’s supposed to be about haha.

      The others, I have yet to watch!


        1. Always good to support your local library by boosting their circulation numbers! I’ve been thinking of doing another A-Z library series, like I did in 2012. Browsing their shelves is a fun way to discover movies.


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