- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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response to previous reviewer
- kevin sellers
Point well taken, Stephan. I was definitely guilty of the sin of "presentism" in my review. And you're absolutely right. For 1957, this film was cutting edge, especially as shown to American audiences in Atlanta and points south. (Actually, one wonders if this film was even distributed widely in Dixie. I mean, didn't they have problems down there with "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner"?) However, I still feel that this would have been a more powerful film if the Rock Hudson/Sidney Poitier relationship had been the central one rather than Rock and Dana Wynter. And Richard Brooks really shoulda given the Black cast members introductory shots a la the Caucasians. P.S. Nice to know that people actually look at what I write on this site much less enjoy it, as you so kindly wrote. Means a lot.
Something Of Value (1957)
Are these the same gentle Kikuyu depicted in OUT OF AFRICA circa 1914? While I generally enjoy reading most of kevin sellers "reviews," I felt compelled to add my two cents worth this time. Come on, Kevin, unless yours was a rhetorical statement, you and I both know why someone like Rock Hudson was cast as the white male lead in this American made picture. MONEY. Rock was fresh off the success of GIANT and WRITTEN ON THE WIND (1956). His popularity was something MGM hoped to cash in on, especially with American audiences. When writing a solid film review, to be as objective as possible, one must consider the time of the films production (among other things), and you do, however within that context "modern" sensibilities are often "out of place." You stated that this was a 1957 (U.S.) movie depicting 1945-56 postwar British East Africa. For anyone familiar with geopolitical history, that really says it all. This was still the studio system era, and then (as now) producers hope to profit from their movies. Hence some of the "awkward" casting that can be reflected upon. Also, the target audience was primarily white and English speaking. Considering all that and throw in that the American South was very similar to Apartheid East & South Africa at that time, and SOMETHING OF VALUE becomes a much bolder statement. Much of this was a location shoot, and I think that director Richard Brooks had to be something of an Eisenhower to pull off as "fair" a treatment of the subject matter as he was able to, at the time. This was a great movie for Sidney Poitier and other black cast members. And ala PATHS OF GLORY it most definitely made a statement, and I think paid the price for it. As it was (even with audience pandering), I think the film still lost money at the box office. SOMETHING OF VALUE (1957) was most definitely a film ahead of it's time! I think (with solid production values) that a remade film rendition of Richard Ruark's novel would fair better today.
something of value
- kevin sellers
Did you notice that, following the credits, there were introductory photos of the major white characters but not of the blacks? There in a nutshell you have the problem with this well meaning but poorly executed story of racial conflict in Kenya, circa 1945. The underlying assumption is that the problems of the Brits are to take precedence over those of the Kikuyu. Reinforcing this assumption is the disappearance of the leading African character, played with quiet passion by Sidney Poitier, throughout the hour long, middle portion of the film. What we are given instead are the much less compelling marital problems of Rock Hudson and Dana Wynter as well as some admittedly gripping scenes of revolutionary violence. Thus, a film which commendably speaks out against bigotry subtly, and I'm sure unconsciously, engages in it. And while one is inclined to cut this film, made in 1957, certainly not the most racially enlightened of times, some slack, there is at the same time, while watching it, a general sense of letdown that Hollywood always seems to lag behind the movements for social justice rather than being a harbinger. So, let's give it a C plus for at least addressing an important issue as well as a handful of fine performances from Poitier, as noted, Wendy Hiller, Juano Hernandez, Ivan Dixon, William Marshall, Robert Beatty, and Walter Fitzgerald. Unfortunately, Rock Hudson and Dana Wynter are not among them. His Illinois accent stands out like a garish trailer park in a society supposed to be English and she's a total bore with her breathy voice and vacant stare that may have worked well in "Body Snatchers" but is misplaced here. P.S. Miklos Rosa's weird score features African rhythms and songs as well as what can only be described as 50s sci fi sounds. Somehow, it works.
Other title better!
Africa Ablaze was the better title. Great to see William (Blackula) Marshall in something else.
Why have not heard of this before?
Bad title for a good film!
Something of Value
This by all means is a great movie and I'd like to see it out on dvd to add to my movies I've collected through the years . The special effects and the shadows and the heart pounding music of this movie is well worth the buy.Nancy Bouwman
Something of Value
I was so in to this movie and wanted to see if it was on DVD, so I could give it to my mother-in-law as a christmas gift, she is a huge Sidney Poitier fan. I could not believe its not on DVD for everyone to see.
please release something of value on dvd!
- jon pierce
why has this great film been released on dvd?it is truly a classic with a cast of stars and a fantastic story line.PLEASE release it on DVD!!
Something Of Value in letterbox.
- Dick Nakamura
This movie was filmed in 1.85 to 1 aspectratio. It has been showed in Full Screen in the past. Can TCM show it in Letterbox.
SOMETHING OF VALUE
This movie, SOMETHING OF VALUE WITH ROCK HUDSON, should be released on DVD for the public to enjoy.
A Valuable Movie Worth Owning
Oscar Material. All the actors are Superb and well written. I wish to purchase this movie. I have been looking for this movie for 49 years.I first saw this movie at age 12 at a cinema and I am now 61. Please make it available for purchase. Contact Me.Sincerely,Audrey Garrison
WRONG RATIO RUINS VALUE
Something of Value is a film worth seeing. TCM, however, airs the film in the 1.33:1 pan-and-scan ratio rather than the film's original theatrical ratio.
VALUE TO "SOMETHING OF VALUE"
A WELL CHOSEN CAST AND WELL PERFORMED.SIDNEY POITIER AND ROCK HUDSON DO THESCRIPT JUSTICE IN THIS BLACK/WHITE NOIRMOVIE. WORTH WATCHING AND PRODUCING ONCD FOR SALE.