Released by United Artist in 1959, Odds Against Tomorrow is the compelling story of three diverse men and a “One roll of the dice and we’re through forever” heist that brings these unlikely bedfellows together.
Available to be read in full at Fandor's Keyframe blog, my list of highlights from the Illuminating the Shadows conference at Northwestern University's Block Museum. Below, the moment that may interest my readers the most; should it prompt a comment urge, the splendid Fandor editor Kevin Lee would love to hear from you over there.
This public domain movie is a classic example of film noir and one of my favorite movies. In it, a guy is poisoned by radiation poisoning put in his drink, and he knows he is going to die, but with his remaining time he dedicates himself to discovering who killed him, and why.
Henry King, like King Vidor, with whom I once used to often get him confused, was a director who evolved with movies from the silent era to sound and then the threshold of Hollywood’s first great decline.
Since reading Moby Dick a few years ago, I’ve been interested in seeing different film and stage versions of it. I was especially intrigued to see John Barrymore playing Ahab, as sadly only one of his full Shakespearean roles survives on film.
The Killer is Loose has holes — blast it with a Tommy gun it has such holes. It’s a little movie with a story that churns single-mindedly forward until its title character sprawls dead on a well-kept suburban lawn and all is once again right with the world — you can get back to your TV dinner now.
At the unripe age of 21, Bernardo Bertolucci made his directorial debut directing a film Pier Paolo Pasolini lost interest in making after he had started work on Mamma Roma (1962), only his second directorial effort.
...Done right, the restored versions of classic films often look better, sharper, and truer to their original film elements than they may have ever looked before, particularly on something with the deep and wide visual range of a Blu-ray disc.
Topaze is a rather obscure but entertaining comedy-drama from RKO (sadly not on DVD, though it did come out on Laserdisc – but at time of posting it can be found online at YT), adapted from a French play by Marcel Pagnol, which sees Barrymore cast wildly against type.
As the Siren's contribution to her friend Raymond de Felitta's valiant efforts to resurrect the sadly shredded reputation of the marvelous George Stevens, she was going to write up the movie Giant. After noodling around for a couple of weeks, she decided that all she really needed was this scene, one that ranks with the Siren's favorites in all of 1950s cinema and constitutes a remarkable piece of acting by the perpetually underappreciated Rock Hudson.
It has been a few months shy of two years since I first learned about the cache of American films from the silent era found in the New Zealand Archive, and almost as long since I learned that a long-lost film by John Ford called Upstream was among them.
For decades Hollywood kept a tidy grip on the public reputations of its stars. When the talent got reckless, the studios moved quickly and discreetly to douse any brush fires - often with outside assistance, be it from cops or columnists.
I managed to see a sleeper a few days ago, “So Evil My Love,” (1948); it was one of those rare times I was actually able to sit down and watch a movie without interruptions ... It’s a story of a missionary widow (Ann Todd) who falls for a con-man (Ray Milland) who turns the pious woman into a cold blooded murderer.
Phenix City is a small Alabama town filled with vice. Illegal gambling houses running crooked games, prostitution, rigged elections, and murder are the status quo. A small group of vocal citizens have longed worked to rid their town of corruption but are always squashed by the local crime syndicate.
The Siren recently got an email from Raymond De Felitta about her James Agee post. That led to a back-and-forth about screenwriters and directors, which was a lot of fun, since Raymond is both. The Siren asked his permission to post our musings...
What is certain about seeing Mikio Naruse's earliest existing films is that the themes he would visit in his better known films were already well established. Both Flunky, Work Hard and No Blood Relation are about the sticky and fragile ties of love, money, happiness and family.