Category Archives: film criticism

Mister Peter Has His Lunch Stolen

CAUTION: Contains “spoilers.” Don’t you just hate it when a good movie goes to hell in the final five minutes or less of running time? Consider the case of Warner’s Supernatural Super-hit of 1947, by which I mean “The Beast … Continue reading

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Those Poor Templars!

Talk about bad press–the movies certainly haven’t been good to Knights Templar. Originally formed during the Crusades to protect pilgrims to the Holy Land, the order grew into an international powerhouse by dint of its side-business of acting as bankers for … Continue reading

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Cinemas Paradiso

CAUTION: Contains “spoilers.” Giuseppe Tornatore’s 1988 “Cinema Paradiso” is one of those crowd-pleasers that never fails to bring a tear to viewers’ eyes. On the surface a simple tale of an Italian schoolboy whose fascination with the movies leads to … Continue reading

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It’s Not “Dodge City.”

CAUTION: Contains “spoilers.” Michael Curtiz’s “Virginia City” (1940) was conceived as a “top this” to his successful 1939 town-tamer epic “Dodge City.” Both starred Errol Flynn as a dashing troubleshooter at large in a wide-open town full of treachery. In … Continue reading

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A Not-so-Merry “Christmas”

CAUTION: Contains “spoilers.” Robert Siodmak’s 1944 adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham’s “Christmas Holiday” is the least-seen of his nine major contributions to the canon of film noir. It’s missing-in-action status is all the more surprising in that it starred Deanna Durbin, … Continue reading

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Terence Fisher’s Science-Fiction Films

CAUTION: Contains “spoilers.” Although best remembered as a specialist in Gothic horror, during a hiatus from Hammer Films Fisher was able to explore a new territory, that of the Science-Fiction film. “The Earth Dies Screaming” (Lippert, 1964), “Island of Terror” (Planet … Continue reading

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So Who Did Kill Owen Prescott?

CAUTION: Contains “spoilers.” Despite the near-legendary impenetrability of its plot, as derived from Raymond Chandler’s novel by Leigh Brackett and William Faulkner, it seems to me that at least one aspect of Howard Hawks’ 1945/1946 film noir “The Big Sleep” … Continue reading

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