Archive for February, 2017

Saturday, February 18th, 2017

One Foggy Night

You wouldn’t normally think of John Ford as directing a low-budget art film, but that’s the best way to think of The Informer (1935). According to Joseph McBride’s excellent book Searching for John Ford, the project was rejected by Columbia, Fox, MGM, Paramount, and Warner Bros. before RKO agreed to let Ford make it on […]

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Saturday, February 18th, 2017

Who Cares Whodunit

What if someone created a murder mystery so entertaining you didn’t care who did the murder? That’s the case with The Big Sleep (1946). Based on Raymond Chandler’s first novel, the story draws private detective Philip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart) into an ever expanding circle of corruption and conspiracy. Eight deaths are woven throughout the book […]

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Saturday, February 18th, 2017

Something Astonishing

The Maltese Falcon (1941) is often cited as the very first film noir. Whether it is or not depends on your definition of a film noir. It has many of the elements we associate with the genre. On the other hand, director John Huston’s tight script and well-paced direction give it a lift that’s missing […]

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Saturday, February 18th, 2017

Haunted Images

Nobody does ghost stories like the Japanese. Just ask someone who has seen the contemporary Japanese movies, Ringu and Kairo. Ugetsu isn’t just a ghost story, though it’s the images from the ghost portion of the film that tend to linger in the mind and haunt the viewer for years to come. Ugetsu is generally […]

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Saturday, February 18th, 2017

Golden Treasure

Greed and human nature — it’s a common theme in both movies and literature, but rarely has it been handled as expertly as in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948). Following his service in World War II, director John Huston found the ideal project for his next film. It would be based on the […]

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Saturday, February 18th, 2017

Greatest Hollywood Musical

Is there anyone into classic films who doesn’t like Singin’ in the Rain (1952)? Given that 19-year-old Debbie Reynolds had never danced before, and the script had to be written around a group of songs with little in common, it’s a wonder (and a tribute to those involved) that this would turn out to be […]

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