|As reported last week, Filmbrain got his hands on a DVD that contains all of Stanley Kubrick's films prior to Killer's Kiss. Even though the quality on all the films couldn't possibly be worse, it was a great opportunity to see the early works of a director that Filmbrain considers one of the most important of the 20th century.|
Kubrick made two short films in 1951 -- the surprisingly wonderful Day of the Fight, and the rather blasé The Flying Padre. Made in newsreel style for RKO, The Flying Padre chronicles two days in the life of a priest who requires an airplane to reach all of his parishioners, so far apart are they. Annoyingly narrated by Bob Hite (sort of the Troy McClure of his day) with a soundtrack that sounds like leftover music from Leave it to Beaver, the film shows the priest flying to a funeral, settling an argument between a little girl and boy, and, in a very badly staged scene, flies a mother and her sick infant to a hospital. We also get to see the padre eating breakfast and shooting his rifle out on the plains -- guess the airplane alone wasn't enough for nine minutes. Visually there's not much to mention other than that the young Kubrick seems to have favored the low angle shot. There's some halfway decent editing during a takeoff sequence, but no signs of the greatness that was soon to come.
Next time: the far superior Day of the Fight.