inside job 1946

At a mere 65 minutes, you'd think it would be challenging for a film to be overly bad. Even a modicum of plot should be able to sustain a single hour's worth of celluloid, right? Usually, yes. But not always. Which brings us to 1946's Inside Job, which in spite of the above comment, does [...]

1934 You're Telling ME

It's a funny ol' world... Man's lucky if he gets out of it alive. - W.C. Fields as Sam Brisbee There are some stars I get and others I always thought I got. But perceptions and appreciations change over time, and there are occasions when I simply can't appreciate what others see in a much [...]

From a legendary film critic and movie fan extraordinaire,here is the highlights reel of a life spent at the movies. When a skilled writer such as Richard Schickel publishes yet another book—there are twenty-three listed in his latest, but he himself infers there’re more—what further praise can be said about his writing ease and spontaneity [...]

1939 the cat and the canary

“ . . . NOT FAR FROM NEW ORLEANS, THERE STILL EXIST, IN STRANGE SOLITUDE, THE BAYOUS OF LOUISIANA . . . ” By various means, by rowboat, motorboat or rather inexplicably appearing at the front door, seven people arrive at a spooky old mansion among cypress and oak trees heavily draped with moss.  The [...]

1945 Hotel Berlin

"Why can't I get Potsdam station on the telephone?" "Maybe because it isn't there anymore!" -Hotel Manager to Hermann Plottke (Alan Hale) With all the streaming services and MOD companies out there, it still strikes me funny some of the movies that are not available. Among these is the Warner Brothers 1945 release Hotel Berlin, [...]

1997 mouse hunt

Remember: A world without string is chaos. The setup is simple—two not-so-bright brothers inherit a rundown string factory and an old mansion. The essential element of conflict, so important both in drama and comedy, is pretty basic here—an enterprising rodent intent on frustrating the brothers’ occupancy of the house. The humor, if juvenile and more [...]

1935 don't bet on blondes

HE'D BET ON ANYTHING! Forgotten for decades until TCM resurrected him, Warren William was once one of the leading stars in the Hollywood sky. Though now known primarily as one of Errol Flynn’s pre-Captain Blood efforts, 1935’s Don’t Bet on Blondes is from start to finish William’s vehicle. Here William is in a role perhaps [...]

charlie chan

It seemed that no screen sleuth was so sacred in his role that he couldn’t be played by any number of other actors. Whether large or small, when beginning any survey of those innumerable private detective film series of the 1930s and ’40s, it must be remembered that there is that ultimate standard against which [...]

1933 blondie johnson

Here she is...Miss Public Enemy No. 1! Though acclaimed by most at the film that catapulted star Joan Blondell to the national scene, Blondie Johnson is at best an average movie. Though billed as the next entry in Warner Brothers’ long line of gangster classics and containing hints and snippets of the genre, it fails [...]

1961 scream of fear

“I can watch people’s eyes, and they can’t see mine.” — Penny Appleby’s (Susan Strasberg) explanation as to why she wears sunglasses Although founded in 1934, the most representative of the Hammer horror films are those made between the mid-1950s and the 1970s—excesses of blood, a somewhat audacious style, the frequent garish Technicolor (where are [...]