Movie Diary 5/4/2016

Crisis (Richard Brooks, 1950). Brooks’s directing debut has Cary Grant as a doctor waylaid in a Latin American country when the dictator (Jose Ferrer) requires an operation for a brain tumor. Weird idea, unusual tone at times, but Grant is quietly good. I’m sure this will shock you, but the political stuff about how leaders instill fear and baloney patriotism in the populace is completely of-the-moment today. Some of the lines are almost subliminally funny, as when Leon Ames’s American oil man proudly attests that the locals get to keep 30 percent of the oil money from their country.

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