Category Archives: Film

Amore in a Gothic Vein: “La strage dei vampiri” (1962)

             “La strage dei vampiri”   (1962)    Italy’s Golden Age of Horror may seem to have begun as an imitative movement  following the successful rejuvenation of the Gothic horror film by Hammer Films in 1957, … Continue reading

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Shades of Gray: “Juste avant la nuit” (1971)

          “Juste avant la nuit”   (1971)      If Claude Chabrol is casually regarded as the Gaellic Hitchcock, the too easily accepted comparison betrays a basic misunderstanding of not only the French filmmaker but of … Continue reading

Posted in Alfred Hitchcock, art house cinema, Claude Chabrol, crime, erotica, Film, Film Reviews, French movies, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Reviews, writing | 4 Comments

Unbalanced: “La bestia uccide a sangue freddo” (1971)

            “La bestia uccide a sangue freddo”   (1971)     “What else have you done? You moved the body and took away the weapon. Then you called the police, asking me to come immediately … Continue reading

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Ghost of a Stance: “Sleuth” (2007)

      “Sleuth”   (2007)     In their peculiar and particularly unsatisfying production of  Anthony Shaffer’s play “Sleuth”, scenarist Harold Pinter and director Kenneth Branagh have fashioned not so much a reworking of the popular thriller, nor even merely a … Continue reading

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Night Visitors: “Invasion of the Saucer Men” (1957)

                   “Invasion of the Saucer Men”  (1957)      A flying saucer lands in a deserted field and wreaks havoc in the lives of an alcoholic drifter, a pair of teen lovers … Continue reading

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Where’s the Pork?: “The Ramen Girl” (2008)

           “The Ramen Girl”    (2008)      Much that is wrong with the modern American cinema is not the limited to the widespread gravitation toward an increasingly youthful demographic and the immature cultural curiosity to which it is … Continue reading

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What a Dip: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, August 2017 Edition, Vol. H2O

What a Dip: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, August 2017 Edition, Vol. H2O     During the current climate in which it seems many who should know better, by all appearances, are all wet, allow us to present this month’s … Continue reading

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Duh is the New Sexy: “About Cherry” (2012)

__________________________________________________________         “About Cherry”  (2012) In days of old, the pastor, priest or conveniently situated village moral wag would extend the quivering finger of damnation at those to whom the communal boundaries of decency were found to … Continue reading

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мать, Mayday I?: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz; May 2017 Edition; Vol. 80 proof

мать, Mayday I?:  Classic Film Images Photo       Quiz; May 2017 Edition; Vol. 80 proof      Greetinks Komrades. Admittedly it was a difficult task to conceive of, compile and complete this month’s edition of Amerika’s favorite non-nuclear … Continue reading

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Are Those Odor Eaters Or Are You Just Glad To See Me?; Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, April 2017 Edition, Vol. 46%

Are Those Odor Eaters Or Are You Just Glad To See Me?; Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, April 2017 Edition, Vol. 46%     Being that films are occasionally regarded as “motion” pictures, it seems reasonable that in bringing a … Continue reading

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If I Fell: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz; March 2017 Edition, Vol. 543210

If I Fell: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz; March 2017 Edition, Vol. 543210     If life teaches us anything, it is that gravity is not our friend (neither are silly award show envelope fumbling accountants [Fake News Encounters of … Continue reading

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Dangerous Dames: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Feb. 2017, Vol. 36-24-36

Dangerous Dames: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Feb. 2017 Edition, Vol. 36-24-36      “Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble”: resounds the infamous witch’s incantation exemplified by the vomitable vaudeville warblings currently on display by the intellectually challenged trio of Beltway harridans … Continue reading

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Time is a Cruel Mistress: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Jan. 2017 Edition, Vol. 1812

Time is a Cruel Mistress: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Jan. 2017 Edition, Vol. 1812     One of the odd paradoxes occurring with each New Year’s holiday is the assertion that it is a year later, when in fact … Continue reading

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The Gift That Keeps On Giving: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Dec. 2016 Edition, Vol. 241

The Gift That Keeps on Giving:  Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Dec. 2016 Edition, Vol. 241     It is said that it is better to give than to receive, though this overlooks the fact that in the act of … Continue reading

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“Get Off Our Land, White Man” (The Rest of You Too): Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, November 2016 Edition, Vol. 1620

“Get Off Our Land, White Man” (The Rest of You Too): Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, November 2016 Edition, Vol. 1620    This year, the season of Thanksgiving finds greater than normal reasons to give thanks, not the least of … Continue reading

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Who Was That Masked Man and/or Lady?: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Oct. 2016 Edition, Vol. 00/00

Who Was That Masked Man (and/or) Lady?: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, October 2016 Edition, Vol. 00/00     With the arrival of the traditional time of year for the emergence of chain rattling ghosts of the past, evil goblins, … Continue reading

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Why Can’t a Woman Be More Like a Man?: Classic film Photo Quiz, Sept. 2016 Edition; Vol. 362436

Why Can’t a Woman Be More Like a Man?: Classic Film Photo Quiz, Sept. 2016 Edition, Vol. 362436     If the events of the recent political season have taught us anything, it’s that women have achieved a true equality … Continue reading

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No More Undocumented Aliens!: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, August 2016 Edition, Vol. 30, 000, 000

No More Undocumented Aliens!: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, August 2016 Edition, Vol. 30,000,000     If we have learned anything from this election season, it is that it has never been more imperative that the sanctity of national borders … Continue reading

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Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow: A Death of the Day of CFU

 Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow: A Death of the Day of CFU     It was a long time coming. The January 11 cessation of the very existence of the CFU (Classic Film Union) branch of the TCM website, came as not … Continue reading

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It’s My Party: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, July 2016 Edition, Vol. 54

It’s My Party: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, July 2016 Edition, Vol. 54       In these days of American celebration, let us not forget those attributes of the human spirit which have helped cement our nation as the place … Continue reading

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Life in Bloom: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, May 2016 Edition, Vol. 111

Life in Bloom:  Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, May 2016 Edition, Vol. 111     Despite the grand apocalyptic allusions to global warming, orbital rotational shifts or the mysterious shortage of stylishly lapelled union suits, there can be no question that Spring is … Continue reading

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Writers as Artists: Classic Film Photo Quiz, April 2016 Edition, Vol. X

 Writers as Artists:  Classic Film Photo Quiz, April 2016 Edition, Vol. X      Without writers the world would be full of blank pages and a seriously diminished need for bookmarks. Even the world of cinema, with its highly overdeveloped … Continue reading

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Holy Unexpected: “Heaven Help Us” (1985)

               “Heaven Help Us”   (1985)      When considering the curious slide in quality in the most popular film genres of the past, if there is a source of more continuously disappointing results … Continue reading

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Chandler’s Trailers: “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral” (1957)

      John Sturges’ rousing “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral” could never be confused with an historical study aid; the film is structured as an illustrative compliment to the ballad form, here colorfully vocalized by Frankie Laine, and commensurate with the said form, the … Continue reading

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March Madness: Classic Film Photo Quiz, March 2016 Edition, Vol. 33

MARCH MADNESS: Classic Film Photo Quiz, March 2016 Edition, Vol. 33        Welcome to the headquarters of cynical, uncaring, insubordinate, insensitive, boorish, childish behavior-  OK, outside of the current carnival sideshow masquerading as a job interview for the nation’s … Continue reading

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Skinned: “Srpski film” / “A Serbian Film” (2010)

“Srpski film” / “A Serbian Film”  (2010) Starring Srdjan Todorovic, Sergej Trifunovic, Jelena Gavrilovic, Katrina Zutic, Ana Sakic. Written by Srdjan Spasojevic & Aleksandar Radivojevic. Directed by Srdjan Spasojevic. Is there anything more repellent than the attempted sugar-coating of diseased depravity under … Continue reading

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TEARS ON MY PILLOW: Classic Film Images Quiz, Feb. 2016 Edition, Vol. 66

TEARS ON MY PILLOW:  Classic Film Images Quiz, February 2016 Edition, Vol. 66     Tears of sadness, tears of gladness, tears of sorrow and tears of joy. One thing is for certain: the movies are awash in a flood … Continue reading

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Baby, You Can Drive My Car: Classic Movie Photo Quiz, Jan. 2016 Edition, Vol. 500

Baby, You Can Drive My Car: Classic Movie Photo Quiz, Jan. 2016 Edition, Vol. 500      Sometimes it simply seems a burden in being a film critic, but evidently  that is child’s play in comparison with the Sisyphean effort women … Continue reading

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ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS MY TWO FRONT SEATS: 2015 SANTA CINEMA WISHLIST

         DEAR CINEMA SANTA, 2015 EDITION      During this festive season, when the brief wisps of sunlight become briefer, granting increased concession to the agents of nocturnal chills, howling blasts of wind and the occasional welcome … Continue reading

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Cowboys Will Be Boys: “The Sons of Katie Elder” (1965)

           “The Sons of Katie Elder”  (1965)      If the challenge for any film is for that movie to deliver an original and memorable experience, then that challenge may become doubly daunting in the case … Continue reading

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Blue Lives Matter: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, November 2015 Edition, Vol 10-4

BLUE LIVES MATTER:  CLASSIC FILM IMAGES PHOTO QUIZ, NOV. 2015 EDITION, VOL. 10-4      Consider for a moment the sad state of societal disorder in which divisive intolerance has become a favored substitution for erudite enlightenment and a ludicrous … Continue reading

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Kitty Litter: “Confessions of a Psycho Cat” (1968)

           “Confessions of a Psycho Cat”  (1968)     While the variety of adaptations of Richard Connell’s seminal short story The Most Dangerous Game is impressively eclectic-  with the tale attracting cinematic interest from filmmakers on both ends … Continue reading

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Garters, Glitter and Gauze: “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (1975)

     “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”  (1975)     Frank N. Stein:  There’s no crime in giving yourself over to pleasure.     Audience Response (Boston):  There is in Massachusetts.     Long a staple of the disappearing urban … Continue reading

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Revelations: “Twilight’s Last Gleaming” (1977)

“Twilight’s Last Gleaming”  (1977) Starring Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Paul Winfield, Charles Durning, Burt Young, Gerald S. O’Laughlin, Melvyn Douglas, Joseph Cotten, Richard Jaeckel, William Marshall. Screenplay by Ronald M. Cohen & Edward Huebsch, based on the novel ‘Viper Three’ … Continue reading

Posted in books, Burt Lancaster, Cold War, crime, Film, Film Reviews, movie reviews, Movies, politics, Reviews, Richard Widmark, Vietnam, writing | Tagged | 1 Comment

Pressure Point: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, October 2015 Edition, Vol. 40

PRESSURE POINT: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, October 2015 Edition, Vol. 40  If one thing is certain, it’s that if the current White House claims the world is enjoying an historically unprecedented condition of peace and harmony, you had better … Continue reading

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Rambling Rogues: “Hatari!” (1962)

          “HATARI!”      (1962)         When considering the 1962 wildlife adventure “Hatari!”, it often appears as though director Howard Hawks has created the world’s first feature-length music video (discounting Disney’s “Fantasia” as having grander artistic aspirations) as throughout … Continue reading

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From the Crazy, Mixed-Up Files of Chandler Swain: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, September 2015 Edition, Vol. 411

From the Crazy Mixed-Up Files of Chandler Swain:  Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, September 2015 Edition, Vol. 411 MEMO FROM THE LET’S GET SOMETHING OFF OF OUR CHEST DEPT: There comes a time in the life of every website when a digital version … Continue reading

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Littled Big Man: “Duke: We’re Glad We Knew You” edited by Herb Fagen

Littled Big Man: Duke: We’re Glad We Knew You edited by Herb Fagen      If one attempts a brief summation of a message one is left with in Herb Fagen’s tributary book Duke: We’re Glad We Knew You, it’s that its subject- … Continue reading

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La beauté du monde: Classic Film Images Quiz, August 2015 Edition, Vol. 36-24-36

La beauté du monde: Film Images Quiz, August 2015 Edition, Vol. 36-24-36      Welcome all purveyors of cinematic curiosity to yet another edition of America’s most pointless monthly game, and a source of possible future litigation by the National Organization … Continue reading

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“Bend Over and Cough”: Classic Film Images Quiz, July 2015 Edition, Vol. RX VII

“Bend Over and Cough”:  CLASSIC FILM IMAGES QUIZ,  July, 2015 Edition, Vol. RX VII      Greetings and salutations, to all Obamacare insured and all other ships adrift at sea, and welcome to another unnecessary edition of that most irritating … Continue reading

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Chandler’s Trailers: “Wagons East” (1994)

      John Candy’s final film (he died during the shooting) is a western comedy which will inevitably lead to comparisons to Mel Brooks’ “Blazing Saddles”, an inexplicably overrated effort (but couldn’t that literally define all of his films?) which for … Continue reading

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Zzzzzzz: CLASSIC FILM PHOTO QUIZ, JUNE 2015 EDITION, VOL. 987654321

Zzzzzzz:  Classic Film Photo Quiz, June 2015 Edition, Vol. 987654321      Another month has come and gone and that can only mean one thing (well, actually it could mean several things, but time is short, though not as short … Continue reading

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Shrinkage: “Fantastic Voyage” (1966)

          “Fantastic Voyage”      (1966)      Has anything given science fiction a worse reputation than the movies? Beyond the obvious necessity of conceiving original ideas to stimulate a movie audience (speaking in general non-genre … Continue reading

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Make Him Dance, Boys: “Pale Rider” (1985)

     In “Pale Rider”, director Clint Eastwood has fashioned not so much a remake of “Shane” as a reinterpretation of the story’s key elements mixed with a retooling of the basic supernal retributive conventions of his own 1973 “High … Continue reading

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Mother, May I?: Classic Film Images Quiz, May 2015 Edition, Vol. 6

Mother, May I?:  Classic Film Images Quiz, May 2015 Edition, Vol. 6 In this month’s edition of America’s favorite waste of time, The Classic Film Images Quiz-  brought to you, as always, by the international smugglers who supply “the streets” … Continue reading

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Chandler’s Trailers: “The Guilt Trip” (2012)

     If there is a gap of attitudinal understanding (more like a chasm if Hollywood is to be believed) between parents and their adult children, one must wonder what influence the movies have played in both defining and enthusiastically … Continue reading

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Deep Breaths: “Cold Turkey” (1971)

   “Cold Turkey”, Norman Lear’s satirical swipe at the American Heartland, shows the intended imprint of its bite in the very opening moments with a collection of welcome signs to the tiny hamlet of Eagle Rock, Iowa that undercut the original … Continue reading

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Chandler’s Trailers: “Breakheart Pass” (1975)

    This aberration in the Alistair MacLean canon moves the author’s signatory plot twists, secret identities and hidden motives to the Old West in “Breakheart Pass”, a film plagued with the very fact that it does feature what is, by … Continue reading

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The Eyes Have It: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, April 2015 Edition, Vol. 20/20

The EYES Have It:  Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, April 2015 Edition, Vol. 20/20      Being that film is a visual medium, this latest edition of America’s Favorite Internet Diversion That Is Porn-Free Yet Still Causes Participatory Social Embarrassment, … Continue reading

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Deconstructing Norman: “Psycho” (1998)

     To look upon Gus Van Sant’s supposed shot-by-shot  (it’s not) remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” as a grand experiment is to excuse meaningless directorial hubris as a substitution for genuine artistic evolution. It is difficult to fathom what … Continue reading

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