Vertigo (1958)

Film Title

Vertigo

Synopsis

A traumatized former police detective falls hopelessly in love with a woman who doesn’t exist

Director

Alfred HItchcock

Cast

Jimmy Stewart
Kim Novak
Barbara Bel Geddes
Tom Helmore
Ellen Corby

“The language of the camera is the language of our dreams.”-James Baldwin. No director was more fluent in that language than Alfred Hitchcock. Vertigo is the most conspicuous example of his fluency. Vertigo is a Pygmalion and Galatea story. The question in this case, who is Pygmalion and who is Galatea? When, is a better […]

Heaven’s Gate (1980)

Film Title

Heaven's Gate

Synopsis

The Gate Is Broken

Director

Michael Cimino

Cast

Kris Kristopherson
Christopher Walken
John Hurt
Sam Waterson
Brad Dourif
Joseph Cotten
Jeff Bridges
Isabelle Hupert
Mickey Rourke
Willem Dafoe

I had just emerged from the hills on highway 93 at the north end Flathead Lake on the way to Kalispell when I saw the first bumper sticker that read, To Hell With Heaven’s Gate. I was soon to see many more. This was August of 1981. Over a year after the film wrapped, ugly […]

The Truth Of The Matter

Keeper of the Flame (1942) Directed by George Cukor. With Spencer Tracy and Kathrine Hepburn. 36 Hours (1965) Directed by George Seaton. With James Gardner, Eva Marie Saint, and Rod Taylor The “truth of the matter” can be an elusive concept. What is real? This is the persistent theme in the works of Philip K. […]

Third Encounters Of A Close Kind -or- Standing On A Corner In Muncie, Indiana

Ruthless Reviews presents: I Love a Mystery! Follow our tireless critics of the A-1 Detective Agency as Jack, Doc and Reggie ferret out the best, and worst in movies. Sponsored by Pee Clean, “never fear the pee police again, use, Pee Clean and have clean pee!” Your host:So fellas, tonight we have a blast from […]

2001, A New View: Or Stanley Kubrick’s Forgotten Hal Edition

OK, as to be expected, the visionary, prophet, and his own cameraman, Stanley (99 takes is never too much) Kubrick, fucked it up. You know, Stanley, the Huck Finn to Spielberg’s Tom Sawyer. 2001 is a Frankenstein murder mystery. In this case the good doctor is his own monster. What’s up with the three scientists […]

Twilight (1998)

Film Title

Twilight

Synopsis

A retired and washed-up private eye accepts one last challenge

Director

Robert Benton

Cast

Paul Newman
Gene Hackman
Susan Sarandon
James Garner
Reese Witherspoon
M. Emmet Walsh
Stockard Channing
Liev Schreiber

Harry Ross (Paul Newman) is an ex cop, ex P.I., ex drunk, who knows being a detective is a hell of a way to make a living. Robert Benton’s 1998 film noir, Twilight proves it. It becomes like a law of nature, especially when you get close to the beautiful people of Hollywood. Star power. […]

The Fighting 69th (1940)

Film Title

The Fighting 69th

Synopsis

James Cagney is a loudmouthed, self-centered braggart, and a soldier fighting in WW1. How will this turn out?

Director

William Keighley

Cast

James Cagney
Pat O'Brien
George Brent
Jefferey Lynn
Alan Hale
Frank McHugh

( “Faugh a Ballagh” ) A battle cry of Irish origin meaning ‘clear the way’ was first used as a regimental motto of the Royal Irish Fusiliers back in and now the motto of the Royal Irish Regiment. It was adopted by the the Fusiliers back in 1798 after the exploits of Sgt Patrick Masterson […]

John Welsh’s Look At Turner Classic Movies

For a movie lover, life can change for the good even in these troubled times when Turner Classic Movies re-enters. Yes, I went without TCM for years, when last week a miracle occurred. Yes, a miracle. Great films are on my television screen. What need have I of HBO or Showtime? Ha! I say Ha! […]

Miller’s Crossing

Film Title

Miller's Crossing

Synopsis

Gangsters, Prohibition and a guy with a gambling problem trying to play both sides

Director

Joel & Ethan Coen

Cast

Gabriel Byrne
Albert Finney
John Turturro
Jon Polito
Marcia Gay Harden
Steve Buscemi
J.E. Freeman

I had trouble finding a hook for a critique of the excellent Coen Brother’s film, Miller’s Crossing. I read several reviews, even going so far as to read Roger Ebert’s pedestrian analysis. As to be expected, Ebert, who seemingly offers reviews from beyond the grave like a Dracula with press credentials, the piece was about […]

A Monster’s Ode to John Welsh

In the 1970s and 1980s I worked on several movies by the Arkansas based filmmaker, Charles B. Pierce. He achieved minor fame and a cult following for his films, The Legend of Boggy Creek and The Town that Dreaded Sundown. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Both included with Amazon Prime] The Legend of Boggy Creek was a pseudo […]