Drama · Thriller

Marlene Dietrich, Queen of Light(ing)

“We’re in China now, sir, where time and life have no value.” These few words define the parameters of Shanghai Express (1932), a film about a Dangerous Time And Place where characters have little control over anything, namely rail travel from Peking to Shanghai. The word express in the film title is a bit of sneering irony;… Continue reading Marlene Dietrich, Queen of Light(ing)


The Visual Poetry of Director John Ford

Director John Ford was famous, in part, for his westerns. Indeed, he made John Wayne a superstar in 1939’s Stagecoach, and his filmography includes The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Fort Apache and My Darling Clementine. He won four Oscars for directing (a record, last time we checked), and was the first director to win two… Continue reading The Visual Poetry of Director John Ford

With Thanks

Look! Top 30 Classic Movie Blogs

Feedspot has just released a list of the Top 30 Classic Movie Blogs on the web. The list was compiled by Feedspot’s internet gurus, who analyzed search and social metrics. “This is the most comprehensive list of Top 30 Classic Movie Blogs on the internet,” says Feedspot founder, Anuj Agarwal. “These websites…are actively working to educate, inspire, and… Continue reading Look! Top 30 Classic Movie Blogs

Book Reviews

What We Read on our Summer Holiday (#ClassicFilmReading)

Every year, the fab Raquel at Out of the Past issues a Summer Reading Challenge, the goal of which is to read six books related to classic film. (See details HERE.) Turns out we have a gazillion unread books on Old Hollywood. Thanks to Raquel, we’ve cleared up some of our reading backlog – and became… Continue reading What We Read on our Summer Holiday (#ClassicFilmReading)

Comedy · Drama

Fred MacMurray’s Study in Ego

When it started making talking pictures, Hollywood intensified its plundering of Broadway. No, really. Hollywood, pressed for dialogue and actors that studios felt were trained to deliver it, began luring Talent to California with promises of sunshine, opportunity and Money. Although Broadway has long been a place where Hollywood shops for ideas, the advent of… Continue reading Fred MacMurray’s Study in Ego

Adventure · Excitement

A Night at the Movies: 1917 Version

If we had a time travel machine, we’d take you on a random weekend in New York City in 1917. We could shop for a clothing fad that’s all the rage, called the Trench Coat. Then we could visit Coney Island to ride the new “Top” roller coaster. And in the evening? Why, the movies,… Continue reading A Night at the Movies: 1917 Version

Comedy · Drama

Mary Pickford, Hollywood Tycoon

This is Mary Pickford. She’s 25 years old in the above photo, taken on the set of the comedy-drama Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1917). She plays a poor teenage girl from the country, sent to the City to live with two sour aunts. Yes, we know – she doesn’t look like a teenager. She’s also… Continue reading Mary Pickford, Hollywood Tycoon


The Plaza Suite Wedding War

Plaza Suite (1971) is a movie where you have to decide, early on, if you can accept its parameters. The film, based on the successful Neil Simon Broadway play, is an omnibus of sorts, comprised of three one-act plays about three successive couples who rent suite 719 in New York’s Plaza Hotel. The original Broadway… Continue reading The Plaza Suite Wedding War

Comedy · Drama

The Seditious Rules of the Game

The most uncomfortable films are those that denounce Society’s questionable choices. These films say I know what you’re doing, and they’re not intended to make audiences feel good about themselves. One such film is La Règle du Jeu (The Rules of the Game), released in France in the summer of 1939. Director Jean Renoir shows us the world… Continue reading The Seditious Rules of the Game