Category Archives: theater

Love in a Fog: “The Divorce of Lady X” (1938)

     “The Divorce of Lady X”  (1938)     After a brief immersion in the London fog, the pastel carnival of colors assaulting the viewer’s eyes at the start of Ted Whelan’s “The Divorce of Lady X” is not unlike … Continue reading

Posted in comedy, Laurence Olivier, London, movie remakes, Movies, music, Romance, theater, women, writing | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Reserved Seating: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, July 2019 Edition, Vol. A7

Reserved Seating:  Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, July 2019 Edition, Vol. A7     Movies are a funny business (Unless the studios are attempting a comedy, in which case Hollywood can be the most depressing place on Earth.) and the … Continue reading

Posted in books, Boston, comedy, Drive-In Movies, History, Movies, Mystery, photography, politics, silent movies, Television, theater, women, writing | 3 Comments

Variety is the Spice of Life: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, June 2019 Edition, Vol. 57

Variety is the Spice of Life: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, June 2019 Edition, Vol. 57     In keeping with the CSR tradition of taking an entire month to upgrade, update and perform a much needed Spring Cleaning on the … Continue reading

Posted in biography, books, comedy, History, horror, movie reviews, Movies, photography, Romance, sex, theater, women, writing | 8 Comments

Lonelyhearts: “Play It Again, Sam” (1972)

  “Play It Again, Sam”  (1972)     It would seem like a smart move to begin the film version of Woody Allen’s theatrical opus “Play It Again, Sam” with the airport finale from”Casablanca”, as the difference in screen image between the … Continue reading

Posted in comedy, film noir, Humphrey Bogart, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Romance, theater, women, Woody Allen, writing | 4 Comments

Nakedly Revealing: “Oh! Calcutta!” (1972)

`           “Oh! Calcutta!”  (1972)     “In America, sex is an obsession. In other parts of the world, it’s a fact.”                             … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, dance, erotica, Film Reviews, movie reviews, Movies, Musicals, Reviews, sex, theater, writing | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Concession Stand Bites: “Dracula” (1931)

“DRACULA” (1931) Starring Bela Lugosi, Dwight Frye, Helen Chandler, David Manners, Edward Van Sloane. Directed by Tod Browning and an uncredited Karl Freund. Written by Garret Ford, from the play by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston, based on the … Continue reading

Posted in books, horror, movie reviews, Movies, Pre-Code Movies, Reviews, theater, vampires, writing | Tagged , | 1 Comment

True Confections: “Trottie True” (1949)

         “Trottie True”   (1949)     “Trottie True” (stupidly retitled for U.S. distribution as “The Gay Lady”) is a colorful not quite rags to riches story (more like a tale of working class to upper crust … Continue reading

Posted in British films, comedy, movie reviews, Movies, Musicals, Romance, theater, women, writing | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Dear Cinema Santa: 2018 Edition

         Dear Cinema Santa:  2018 Edition     Once again dear friends (and you folks in Vermont) it is that time to weigh in on the past year’s accumulation of greedy impulses and dissatisfaction with the world … Continue reading

Posted in art house cinema, blogging, Boston, Christmas, holidays, humor, Mai Zetterling., Movies, theater, vermont, women, writing | 5 Comments

Ho Ho Ho: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Dec 2018 Edition, Vol. $50hr

Ho Ho Ho: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Dec. 2018 Edition, Vol. $50hr     If not the oldest profession, it certainly would counted high on the list of most depicted professions on the silver screen. We are, of course, … Continue reading

Posted in books, cinema, Eartha Kitt, History, Italian cinema, Movies, Musicals, sex, Sophia Loren, theater, westerns, women | 11 Comments

Seasons Gratings: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, 2018 Advent Calendar Edition, Vol. 50% off

Seasons Gratings: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, 2018 Advent Calendar Edition, Vol. 50% off     In observance of this festive holiday season, the good folk at Chandler Swain Reviews have decided to desist from the usual obvious jabs at Hillary … Continue reading

Posted in books, Boston, Christmas, Doris Day, holidays, humor, Movies, photography, politics, theater, women, writing | 8 Comments

Staged Fright: “The Climax” (1944)

          “The Climax”  (1944)     Based upon the 1909 play by Edward Locke, George Waggner’s “The Climax” is a film with obvious pretensions toward elevating the Universal horror film to a more sophisticated and urbane … Continue reading

Posted in 1940's movies, Boris Karloff, horror, Movies, music, Romance, theater, writing | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Motions: “A Pair of Briefs” (1962)

                    “A Pair of Briefs”  (1962)         If one were to leave the theater a mere two minutes after the start of Ralph Thomas’ “A Pair of Briefs”, … Continue reading

Posted in British films, comedy, movie reviews, Movies, Romance, theater, women | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Party Crashers: “The Penthouse” (1967)

           “The Penthouse”  (1967)     Two strangely loquacious thugs named Tom (Tony Beckley) and Dick (Norman Rodway) stage an early morning invasion of a penthouse apartment, occupied by Bruce (Terence Morgan), a real estate broker … Continue reading

Posted in British films, crime, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Reviews, theater, women, writing | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

From the Ashes: “Frankenstein” (1910)

                “Frankenstein”  (1910)     Though appreciably compromised in its filmic translation from the novel by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (an introductory title acknowledges the film to be a “liberal adaptation”), not only due … Continue reading

Posted in books, fRANKENSTEIN, horror, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, science, silent films, silent movies, theater, writing | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Labor Pains: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Sept. 2018 Edition, Vol. 925/Remedial Reprint

_______________________________________________________________ Labor Pains:  Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Sept. 2018 Edition, Vol. 925/Remedial Reprint     The American cinema celebrates many things-  vacuous comic book heroics, scatological crudity, infantilism, serial sadism, non-NRA gun violence  -but the labors of the American working … Continue reading

Posted in books, Boston, comedy, History, Movies, Musicals, New York City, politics, Reviews, silent movies, theater, women, writing | 7 Comments

Labor Pains: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Sept. 2018 Edition, Vol. 925

Labor Pains:  Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Sept. 2018 Edition, Vol. 925     The American cinema celebrates many things-  vacuous comic book heroics, scatological crudity, infantilism, serial sadism, non-NRA gun violence  -but the labors of the American working man and … Continue reading

Posted in books, Boston, comedy, History, Movies, Musicals, photography, politics, Puzzles, Romance, theater, women, writing | 13 Comments

Father’s Daze: “Casanova Brown” (1944)

      “Casanova Brown”  (1944)     “Casanova Brown” is an example of the importance of the use of what might be best described as the pixilated lilt in filming humorous materials. A romantic comedy in which a chronic … Continue reading

Posted in 1940's movies, books, comedy, movie remakes, Movies, parenting, Reviews, Romance, theater, women, writing | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Without a Clue: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Aug. 2018 Edition, Vol. 52

Without a Clue:  Classic Film Images Photo Quiz,  Aug. 2018 Edition, Vol. 52     With the summer winding down, it seemed appropriate to publish a photo quiz that was (in our estimation, since we know the answers), a breeze, … Continue reading

Posted in books, Boston, History, movie reviews, Movies, photography, Reviews, silent films, theater, women, writing | 2 Comments

Revisit: The Colour Out of Place: “South Pacific” (1958)

       “SOUTH PACIFIC” (1958) (Originally posted on April, 15, 2013) The 1958 Joshua Logan film of “South Pacific” is a perfect demonstration of the value of the movie soundtrack album as a preferable experience over a film. In … Continue reading

Posted in books, Movies, Musicals, Romance, theater, women, World War II, writing | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Panic Rooms: “Tread Softly Stranger” (1958)

          “Tread Softly Stranger”  (1958)     When gambler Johnny  Mansell (George Baker) overextends his bookie debts, he flees London, returning to his working class hometown of  Rawborough to visit with his steel mill accountant brother … Continue reading

Posted in British films, crime, film noir, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Reviews, Romance, theater, women, writing | Tagged | 2 Comments

Camera Obscura: “I Am a Camera” (1955)

       “I Am a Camera”  (1955)    The first thing one notices in “I Am a Camera” is that the tone is completely wrong. In Christopher Isherwood’s Farewell to Berlin, the second of two novels comprising The Berlin Stories, the … Continue reading

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Stolen Kisses: The Birth of Adult Cinema

      The Birth of Adult Cinema:  “The Kiss” / “Après le bal”       (1896/1897) “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [“hard-core pornography”] as I … Continue reading

Posted in cinema, Culture, erotica, History, Movies, sex, silent movies, theater | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Passion Play: “Matinee” (2009)

                “MATINÉE”   (2009) A man and a woman encounter each other on a mattress and engage in heated coital action until reaching mutual satisfaction. With the exception of an equality emphasized in … Continue reading

Posted in acting, erotica, movie reviews, Movies, pornography, Reviews, Romance, sex, short films, theater, women, writing | Leave a comment

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

Posted in British films, Film, Film Reviews, Kenneth Branagh, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Reviews, theater, writing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Summer Beach Books: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, June 2017 Edition, Vol. 925

Summer Beach Books:  Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, June 2017 Edition, Vol. 925 At the dawn of the upcoming summer vacation season, it can never be too early to begin the selection process in making seasonal selections of those printed … Continue reading

Posted in book reviews, books, Boston, comic books, History, horror, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Reviews, Romance, theater, women, writing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in blogs, books, Entertainment, Film, food, humor, Movies, Musicals, photography, Puzzles, Reviews, Romance, theater, women, writing | 3 Comments

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

Posted in biography, book reviews, books, Film, History, Movies, photography, Romance, theater, women, writing | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

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

Posted in blogs, books, Film, Film Reviews, History, horror, humor, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, politics, psychiatry, Reviews, theater, women | Leave a comment

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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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

Posted in cinema, comedy, Culture, Film, French cinema, German cinema, horror, humor, Italian cinema, Movies, Mystery, Puzzles, sex, theater, women | 1 Comment

What’s the Matter With Jack?: “The Odd Couple” (1968)

        There’s a wonderful Jack Lemmon moment in Gene Saks’ film of Neil Simon’s stage play”The Odd Couple” in which the suicidal news writer Felix Ungar (played by Lemmon) sits dejectedly in a sleazy (though overly lit) exotic dancer bar, … Continue reading

Posted in acting, comedy, Film Reviews, Jack Lemmon, movie reviews, Movies, Neil Simon, Reviews, theater, writing | Tagged | 1 Comment

I Been Naughty But in a Nice Way: Cinematic Santa Wish List for 2014

    In the continuous spirit of the late lamented Sears Wish Book- that compendium of childhood greed (ignoring the adult sections which focused more on anti-urchin merchandise such as clothing and dehumidifiers) that provided invaluable practical experience in the lost … Continue reading

Posted in blogs, Christmas, cinema, Film, holidays, humor, movie remakes, Movies, Musicals, politics, Reviews, theater, writing | Leave a comment

NOVEMBER 2014 CLASSIC FILM IMAGES QUIZ, VOL. 5050

“Don’t do as we do, do as we say!”: Mid-Term Election Edition: November 2014 Classic Film Images Quiz, Vol. 5050      To those selfish American citizens who enter into the month of November only with eager thoughts of holiday cheer … Continue reading

Posted in books, Culture, Film, Film Reviews, Gary Oldman, History, humor, movie reviews, Movies, Musicals, politics, Puzzles, Reviews, theater | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Gallows Humor: “The Bat” (1926)

      “The Bat” is a rather creaky manor house murder mystery play by Mary Roberts Rinehart and Avery Hopwood, substantially derived from Rinehart’s 1908 novel The Circular Staircase with the embellishment of a costumed super-criminal, all of which has been … Continue reading

Posted in acting, books, comedy, crime, Edgar Allan Poe, Film Reviews, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Reviews, silent movies, theater, writing | Tagged | Leave a comment

Ozarks Satyricon: “Futz” (1969)

       Tom O’Horgan brings his Total Theater blend of contortionism, tongue poking and vocal gargling in his film of Rochelle Owens’ “Futz”, a play which he previously directed off-Broadway and here attempts to lift the immersive environmental elements of … Continue reading

Posted in Film, Film Reviews, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, theater | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Cavorting in Lockstep: “Barefoot in the Park” (1967)

       Gene Saks’ film of Neil Simon’s Broadway hit retains much of the feel of a stage production as it feels artificial and performed by the two leads in a manner which suggests Proscenium Arch (most of the … Continue reading

Posted in comedy, Film Reviews, movie reviews, Movies, Neil Simon, Reviews, Robert Redford, Romance, theater, writing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Chandler’s Trailers: “Gilda Live” (1980)

       Prominently emblazoned on the poster advertising “Gilda Live” is the curious assertion that “Things like this can only happen in the movies”, a rather bizarre statement for a film which is a shameful compendium of lukewarm leftover … Continue reading

Posted in 1980's movies, acting, Boston, comedy, Film Reviews, Mike Nichols, movie reviews, Reviews, theater, women | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Chandler’s Trailers: “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (2007)

      If Johnny Depp lacks the particular furnace-in-the-belly manic projection of a Len Cariou from the original Broadway production, he still projects an admirable ferocity (it helps that his rogue’s gallery of prior roles has given his an … Continue reading

Posted in acting, Film, Film Reviews, Johnny Depp, movie reviews, Movies, Musicals, Reviews, Stephen Sondheim, theater | Tagged , | Leave a comment

From Little Acorns: “New Faces” (1954)

        Essentially a filmed record of the successful Broadway review originally titled “The New Faces of 1952”, the film version retains most of the original stage version’s talent including such notable talents as Paul Lynde, Ronny Graham, Alice Ghostley, … Continue reading

Posted in black cinema, comedy, dance, Eartha Kitt, Film Reviews, movie reviews, Movies, Musicals, Reviews, theater | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Ruins Among the Love: “Jesus Christ Superstar” (1973)

     Norman Jewison is not what you would call a particularly imaginative director; his skill set positioned somewhere in a middle ground of narrative competence and skilled craftsmanship that is all tool frequently taken for granted amid the never ceasing … Continue reading

Posted in 1970's movies, Film, Film Reviews, movie reviews, Movies, Musicals, religion, Reviews, theater | Tagged | 1 Comment

Through a Pint Glass, Darkly: Hellraisers: The Life and Inebriated Times of Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Peter O’Toole, and Oliver Reed by Robert Sellers

     Hellraisers: The Life and Inebriated Times of Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Peter O’Toole, and Oliver Reed is a paean to talent squandered, lives ruined and endless acts of debauchery, violence and vandalism resulting in personal insult, broken marriages and … Continue reading

Posted in acting, book reviews, books, Film, History, Ireland, Movies, Reviews, Richard Burton, theater, writing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

In a Fog: “Steaming” (1985)

      Just what do women talk about when men aren’t around? Within the context of  the commercial cinema the so-called fairer sex has remained, inexplicably, something of a mystery, both in terms of an honest, unfettered exploration of … Continue reading

Posted in acting, comedy, Film, Film Reviews, Joseph Losey, movie reviews, Movies, theater, women, writing | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

A Brief Rumination on the Modern Cinema and the Demise of Classical Dance in the Movie Musical

     At what point in film history did the movement of dancers in a musical film become an impediment to the director’s visual leanings?       In the classical Hollywood studio era musical, the frame is carefully composed to elicit a … Continue reading

Posted in black cinema, Boston, cinema, Culture, dance, Film, Film Reviews, movie reviews, Movies, music, Musicals, theater | 1 Comment