Network: A Look At A Classic

Film Title

Network

Synopsis

We are mad as Hell, and not going to take it anymore

Director

Sidney Lumet

Cast

Faye Dunaway
William Holden
Peter Finch
Robert Duvall
Wesley Addy
Ned Beatty

Network is certainly not the greatest movie ever made, and I would never argue that it achieves any lasting impact as a work of art. Its style is flat (like most television programs, appropriately enough), and you’ll hardly remember any of the visuals. Still, it remains my favorite films because I don’t believe a better […]

The Birds (1963)

Film Title

The Birds

Synopsis

Birds decide to attack all humans who refuse to practice social distancing

Director

Alfred Hitchcock

Cast

Rod Taylor
Jessica Tandy
Suzanne Pleshette
Tippi Hedren
Veronica Cartwright
Ethel Griffies

In his excellent nonfiction book Danse Macabre, Stephen King posits that the horror story is essentially conservative, a chronicle of the battle between Apollonian and Dionysian forces. These are the Light and Dark sides of the Force, respectively, if you prefer that terminology (obviously it is not only horror stories that utilize this formula). The […]

The Last Man On Earth (1964)

Film Title

The Last Man On Earth

Synopsis

A global pandemic and the inspiration for all zombie movies

Director

Ubaldo Ragona

Cast

Vincent Price
Franco Bettoia
Emma Danieli
Giacomo Rossi Stuart

The Last Man On Earth is a B & W classic starring Vincent Price. It is a dark and depressing movie based on Richard Matheson’s novel, I Am Legend. This film has to be the basis for dozens of zombie movies, including the classic Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. I debated even watching this […]

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 […]

A Note on Hitchcock’s Strangler Trilogy.

Flanked by Shadow of a Doubt (1943) and Strangers on a Train (1951), Rope. A budding pianist anxious to know if his debut concert will be a success, Philip asks Mrs. Atwater to read his palm. She grants his request and says: “These hands will bring you great fame.” Her prophecy should please him, but […]

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! […]

The African Queen (1951)

Film Title

The African Queen

Synopsis

World War 1 reaches Central Africa and an unlikely tandem decides to get involved.

Director

John Huston

Cast

Humphrey Bogart
Katherine Hepburn
Robert Morley
Peter Bull

Here at Ruthless, we are famous for 80’s Action and Christmas Movie Reviews. One genre that is seriously underrepresented at Ruthless is the classics. Movies with dialogue that pops and sizzles, and with great acting and character development. The African Queen is one of my favorite classics and stars two of the greatest actors to […]

The 1939 movie year: First in a series.

A recent question on Jeopardy reminded me 1939 was a banner year for the release of the greatest number of quality films ever in a single year. Most were the product of the studio system. I will briefly discuss some of my favorites, starting with my favorite film genre, the Western. Jesse James ( “He […]

It Happened One Night

I think this characteristic relates to is an explanation of why Capra’s body of work has evolved into being a touch-stone for political and social conservatives. They think that they are latching onto George Bailey, and Mr. Smith; in fact, they are really nostalgic for the dynamics of a patriarchal society that revolves around a big man, be it Mr. Potter or Jim Taylor. The longing is for the world at the beginning, not the end, of Capra’s movies. Or to put it another way, the conservatives are disregarding the economic sub-text, as unsubtle as it is, and honing in instead upon the sexual dynamics of Capra’s films.

Midnight Cowboy

Film Title

Midnight Cowboy

Synopsis

A love story wrapped around a ground-breaking film

Director

John Schlesinger

Cast

Dustin Hoffman
Jon Voight
Sylvia Miles
John McGiver
Brenda Vaccaro
Barnard Hughes
Ruth White
Jennifer Salt

MIDNIGHT COWBOY MOVIE REVIEW Movies have been often characterized as innovative, ground-breaking, trend-setting or wildly original, and these terms can be overused, but I cannot emphasize enough what a bold and courageous experiment in cinema was Midnight Cowboy. It is hard to comprehend that it has been 50 years since this Oscar-winning film was released, […]