Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Five (1951)

Starring William Phipps, Susan Douglas, James Anderson, Charles Lampkin, Earl Lee
Directed by Arch Oboler
(actor & director credits courtesy

After an atomic weapon is detonated, wiping out most life on Earth, five survivors come together, but the greed and hatred in one of them will threaten their new community.

Without a doubt, this is the finest of Oboler's films that I have seen, and it's a clear cut above the rest, thanks to good performances all around and fine photography from Sid Lubow and Louis Clyde Stoumen.  Oboler's script also gives each character insightful speeches which ironically comment on our world today as well as the post-apocalyptic world they inhabit.  I found it clever how Oboler was able to address racism and other issues in our world not so much by what his characters say, but through the situations he puts them in and how they react to each other.   It's unfortunate that this leads to a fairly bleak conclusion, but it's a powerful statement from Oboler worth revisiting again and again.

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