Archive for S Sylvan Simon

Student Bodies

Posted in FILM, Theatre with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2021 by dcairns

SPRING MADNESS, from a play by Philip Barry, is very Philip Barry, but not substantial the way HOLIDAY and THE PHILADELPHIA STORY are. Feels like they left something out. Since part of the plot is Lew Ayres & Burgess Meredith’s plan to journey to Soviet Russia, maybe part of what was gutted was politics.

The director is the intriguing S. Sylvan Simon, but I have yet to find an SSS film that has as much dynamic blocking as GRAND CENTRAL MURDER, which is a real masterclass in actor-camera dance moves, or, failing that, the rambunctious slapstick of the Red Skelton WHISTLING movies. He gets the thing going at a hell of a pace, I have to give him that, but nothing seemed to stick. Although Maureen O’Sullivan is a joy to watch, and Joyce Compton (Dixie Bell Lee from THE AWFUL TRUTH) clowns very well.

Lew & Burgess’s jimjams also deserve mention. Costumes by that great eccentric Dolly Tree. Some sociological interest here since the decorous student ball around which the story revolves masks a riotous and rather nasty spirit of wild hedonism not so far removed from the modern phenomenon of the spring break.

Superstition Mountain

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , on April 11, 2019 by dcairns

Fake mountain, real cinema. S. Sylvan Simon (and George Marshall) and LUST FOR GOLD, in this fortnight’s edition of The Forgotten, over at The Notebook.

Essays in Darkness

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , , , , on February 20, 2019 by dcairns

Got my copy of SO DARK THE NIGHT from Arrow. I wrote an essay for this one, and am delighted to be included in the package along with Farran Smith Nehme & Glenn Kenny (commentary track) and Imogen Sara Smith (video presentation). There was a delay in publication with this one so I’d completely forgotten what I’d written: I was relieved to find it not too shoddy. Peter Bogdanovich’s interview with Joseph H. Lewis was a great help, as was finding out a little about the credited screenwriters.

It’s a fine, offbeat noir and I recommend it. Funnily enough, I was just watching noir pixie Steven Geray in I LOVE TROUBLE (1948), an enjoyable Chandler knock-off helmed by S. Sylvan Simon and written by TV’s Roy Huggins (The Fugitive, The Rockford Files) where he was more typically cast as a louche club owner. If you’re used to seeing him do that kind of thing, Geray’s multiple departures from type in SO DARK will *astound* you.

So Dark The Night [Blu-ray]