1 hour 26 Minutes The Grandfather of all Spy Films. Without The 39 Steps, no Bond. No Bourne. No The Fugitive, the most obvious modern descendant of this film, which truly established Hitchcock on the map of international cinema. Fair value of The 39 Steps: $20.00. It’s must-see cinema, in the same way as Star […]
Film TitleThe 39 Steps
Hook up with a spy girl, get wrongfully accused of murder.
Film TitleDouble Indemnity
A confident insurance salesman falls for the femme fatale, and they plot to murder her husband.
Edward G. Robinson
In a just universe, we’d all toil tirelessly in Billy Wilder’s cinematic fantasy, never once questioning his authority or perspective. There have been more visionary artists to be sure – and certainly more ambitious – but few are as perfect a fit for any occasion. Because of his genius regarding the melding of humor, pathos, […]
A shy young heiress marries a charming gentleman, and soon begins to suspect he is planning to murder her
“Gaslighting” is the use of psychological manipulation to make a person doubt their own sanity, and even to lose it. The term derives from the 1938 British play Gas Light and its 1940 and 1944 film adaptations from Britain and Hollywood, respectively. It is somewhat surprising Alfred Hitchcock was not at the helm of the […]
Speaking of cowboys, Isabelle Steers (Thelma Ritter) says to aging cowboy Gay Langland (Clark Gable), “I love every miserable one of you, though you’re all good for nothing, as you well know,” to which he replies, “That may be, but it’s better than wages.” That motto (“it’s better than wages”) is referred to several times […]
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. […]
We are mad as Hell, and not going to take it anymore
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 […]
Film TitleThe Birds
Birds decide to attack all humans who refuse to practice social distancing
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 […]
Film TitleThe Last Man On Earth
A global pandemic and the inspiration for all zombie movies
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 […]
Film TitleThe Fighting 69th
James Cagney is a loudmouthed, self-centered braggart, and a soldier fighting in WW1. How will this turn out?
( “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 […]
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 […]