Category Archives: Uncategorized

Ah, Sweet Futility

Re-watching “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” last night reminds me once again that John Huston, like most great artists, had an over-arching theme that inspired him. Unfortunately for his chances of being popularly acclaimed as A Great Director, his … Continue reading

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Good Try: “The Woman Who Came Back.”

CAUTION: Contains “spoilers.” Producer-director Walter Colmes wasn’t Val Lewton and Republic Pictures wasn’t R.K.O., but “The Woman Who Came Back” (1945) is still a good stab at duplicating the Lewton formula of atmosphere and mood over fake-fur and fangs. This … Continue reading

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Give Me a Soldier….

Another thing about science-fiction films–no film genre did more to glorify the military. In countless films the military joined hands with science to vanquish all sorts of threats–aliens, zombies, revived dinosaurs–and this pattern was set early. In “The Thing from … Continue reading

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Yes, but where is the “Science”?

A while back I wrote about an important year for the film genre that we call “Science-Fiction.” It was 1951 and two very different films were competing for box-office glory. “Destination Moon” was a serious look at how a manned … Continue reading

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“The Bad Son”–a Westerns Archetype

One of the pleasures of long-lived film genres with deep roots is the variety of stock situations and character archetypes that they generate.  “The bad son,” as a type may not be as well-known as “the town-tamer” or “the gunfighter” … Continue reading

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“The Big Country”–It’s Big, But Is It an Epic?

CAUTION: Contains “spoilers.” “The Big Country” technically could be classed as range-war western, but while the typical range-war western is big on action and depicts tit-for-tat escalating cycles of violence, “The Big Country”–other than a brief but bloodless skirmish near … Continue reading

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The Draculas in the Middle

CAUTION: Contains “spoilers.” Hammer Films’ Dracula series initially were linked like the chapters of a book. Thus the second chapter of the series, “Dracula–Prince of Darkness,” literally begins with a re-cap of the closing moments of their initial film “Dracula” … Continue reading

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