The Browning Version (1951)
Director: Anthony Asquith
One of the things I’ve noticed about black and white movies is that the very limitation requires the actors and the director to do some important things to seize the audience’s attention. Namely, they must focus on the most expressive things we know of, the most beautiful, the homeliest, the gentlest, the cruelest, the most innocent, the most deeply plunged into guilt: the human face, and the human hands. No cheap effects are possible.
When you combine that requirement with a script that makes every word count, and you have actors who know what they are about, especially in the 1950’s, when excellent playwrights also wrote for the big screen and brought with them their spare and intensely concentrated sense of human drama, you can get real greatness, in stories that can never be dated, because they are not about this or that political condition or this or that new social movement, but about man himself, his glory and his shame.
That’s what we have in The Browning Ver…
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