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Unmerited Hero Worship

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Unmerited Hero Worship Among the plethora of Warner Bros. Home Video DVD released last fall the timing of their new and Blu-ray versions of Cool Hand Luke (1967) was ironic given its story: featuring Messiah-like hero worship of its title character played by the late great Paul Newman. But unearned and irrational praise – especially absent any fundamental substance – inevitably turns to disillusionment. In the movie it happens when Luke is [...]

Peeping Tom (1960)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Peeping Tom (1960) Ahead of its time this above average thriller about a voyeuristic cinematographer who films the women he terrorizes and then kills while the camera is rolling was so scandalous in its day that it actually ruined the career of its British director (and uncredited producer) Michael Powell. His reputation was subsequently restored and revered in part because of another director Martin Scorsese who sought him out and found Powell [...]

Bullet Code (1940)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Bullet Code (1940) This George O’Brien B-Western was directed by David Howard and written by Doris Schroeder from a story by Bennet Cohen. O’Brien plays Steve Holden a rancher who believes that he’s shot one of his crew – Bud Mathews (Robert Stanton) – during a nighttime raid on the herd. As it turns out Bud was helping the rustlers led by Cass Barton (Harry Woods) until he learned that they were planning to kill [...]

Unforgiven (1992)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Unforgiven (1992) Though I personally prefer watching his spaghetti Westerns it was great to see Eastwood finally get Oscar recognition. A replay of two years prior (ala Costner and his Western) Clint received the Director and Producer (Best Picture) Oscars while losing the Best Actor award on these his first Academy Award nominations! But his Best Actor loss was just bad timing he was up against Pacino who won his only Best Actor Oscar on his [...]

In Which We Serve (1942)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

In Which We Serve (1942) Producer director (with David Lean) and original screenplay writer Noel Coward earned an Honorary Award for this outstanding production achievement to go along with the only other Academy recognition he received in his career for this film: Best Picture & Best Writing Oscar nominations. He also played the lead role British Navy Captain Edward V. Kinross in this excellent war drama about the special love seamen have [...]

Girl Crazy (1943)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Girl Crazy (1943) Filled with Gershwin tunes like “Embraceable You” & “I’ve Got Rhythm” it stars Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney in one of their many enjoyable pairings. The cast also includes June Allyson (who sings at the beginning then disappears) TV’s Nancy Walker (a humorous role naturally) Guy Kibbee as Garland’s grandfather and Tommy Dorsey (as himself). This is a fairly good musical with an [...]

Bette Davis Collection – Volume Three

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Bette Davis Collection – Volume Three The Old Maid (1939) All This and Heaven Too (1940) The Great Lie (1941) In This Our Life (1942) Watch on the Rhine (1943) Deception (1946) – if A Stolen Life (1946) doesn’t serve as the end point of Bette Davis’s 10+ year run of unsurpassed greatness of films then this ill-named drama certainly does. Not that Ms. Davis isn’t terrific in it especially as she matches talents with [...]

Yakuza The (1974)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Yakuza The (1974) Produced and directed by Sydney Pollack (They Shoot Horses Don’t They? (1969)) with a story by Leonard Schrader that adapted by Paul Schrader and Robert Towne (Chinatown (1974)) this average action drama set in Japan stars Robert Mitchum as Harry Kilmer. It’s a Japanese gangster story about honor and fulfilling one’s debts that starts with greed and betrayal. It includes samurai sword battles that pale in [...]

Gems

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Oscar’s Best Snubbed Films  |  Gems  |  100 Years  |  AFI It’s been said that the present is no time to judge a movie’s quality or importance. Indeed, there have been many films which have suffered from (e.g.) bad timing that have not done well or have gone unnoticed until years later. And, many films that “bomb” at the box office (most notably Citizen Kane (1941)) are regarded as great movies of their [...]

Perils of Pauline The (1947)

August 29, 2014 // 0 Comments

Perils of Pauline The (1947) Directed by George Marshall this P.J. Wolfson biographical story about silent film serial actress Pearl White (the titled Pauline) was made into a fictionalized biography-comedy featuring Betty Hutton (as Ms. White) by screenwriter Frank Butler (Going My Way (1944)) with help from Wolfson. Betty Hutton plays Pearl White a seamstress in a sweatshop that loves music. In fact she’s sings a song mocking her boss [...]
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