Drama

Ingrid Bergman and the Most Boring Love Affair in the Movies

Have you ever spent time with a couple who talk and talk about their perfectly rapturous relationship? By the end of the evening, you’re placing bets on how long this union can possibly last. There is such a couple in the 1939 drama, Intermezzo: A Love Story, starring Ingrid Bergman and Leslie Howard. Now, please… Continue reading Ingrid Bergman and the Most Boring Love Affair in the Movies

Drama

Pick a Vice, Any Vice: Night Nurse (1931)

We often say old movies are much tamer than today’s movies. But hang on a minute. We just screened a film from 1931 that is pretty darned salacious. Night Nurse is a pre-code film about a young woman (Barbara Stanwyck) who graduates from a nursing program and takes a job as a night nurse to… Continue reading Pick a Vice, Any Vice: Night Nurse (1931)

Drama

Stella Dallas’ Big Decision

Stella Dallas (1937) is a drama determined to make you teary-eyed. If the first sad scene doesn’t do the job, just wait a few minutes. This film has one of the most memorable endings from the classic Hollywood era. But we’re not going to spoil the ending because you need to see it for yourself.… Continue reading Stella Dallas’ Big Decision

Drama · Thriller

Jack Nicholson vs. the Dept. of Water and Power

Chinatown (1974) is not a Feel Good film. Jack Nicholson stars as 1930s-era private detective Jake Gittes, a cynical and persistent investigator who stumbles upon corruption in the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. The film is loosely based on the so-called California Water Wars of the 1920s, when water was being diverted from… Continue reading Jack Nicholson vs. the Dept. of Water and Power

Biopic · Drama

Gary Cooper as the Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth

Even if you’re not a baseball fan – or a classic movie fan – you know this line: Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. You can just hear it, can’t you, echoing over the stadium PA system. It’s from a 1943 movie called The Pride of the Yankees,… Continue reading Gary Cooper as the Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth

Drama

How Bette Davis Turned 18 Minutes into a Whole Movie

*Spoiler Alert* We found a Bette Davis film that made us cry. Now, as much as we adore Ms Davis, we never cry at her films, not even if she’s dying of cancer or preparing to live in a leper colony. These things make us sad, but not tearful. However, we just watched the drama Phone Call from… Continue reading How Bette Davis Turned 18 Minutes into a Whole Movie

Drama · Thriller

The Sidney-Poitier-as-Social-Barometer Film Theory

We’re working on a Sidney Poitier film theory. We started developing this theory while watching the 1950 thriller No Way Out, in which Poitier portrays a young doctor at a busy city hospital. As the film opens, Poitier is asked to fill a shift in the hospital prison ward, where he examines two white prisoners. The two are brothers, and are sporting gunshot wounds… Continue reading The Sidney-Poitier-as-Social-Barometer Film Theory

Drama · Musical

The Great Gabbo: Mad Ventriloquist Skills

The next time you’re in the mood for a truly strange film, give this one a try. Now, we don’t mean strange as in occultist or supernatural; we mean strange as in, What kind of movie is this? We’ve recently glommed onto The Great Gabbo (1929), an early “talking picture”. It stars Erich von Stroheim as… Continue reading The Great Gabbo: Mad Ventriloquist Skills

Drama · War

Why John Wayne has to do Everything Around Here

There’s a delicious meta moment in the 1951 drama, Operation Pacific, a film that mostly takes place on a submarine during WWII. In the film, the submarine crew is watching a Cary Grant movie that is also set in a submarine. One of the crew members quips, “It’s amazing what Hollywood can do with submarines.” It’s amazing… Continue reading Why John Wayne has to do Everything Around Here

Drama

How Sidney Poitier Taught Us Forgiveness

There is something of a miracle in the 1963 drama, Lilies of the Field. The film, adapted from the 1962 novel by William E. Barrett, stars Sidney Poitier as a traveling carpenter who experiences car trouble in Arizona. Here he meets a strict Order of Eastern European nuns trying to scratch a living out of the dry… Continue reading How Sidney Poitier Taught Us Forgiveness