Drama · War

Planning a Great, Gutsy Escape

We inherited several traits from our paternal grandmother, among them a love of calorie-rich food and an admiration for the actor James Garner. Our grandmother would Drop Everything if Garner made an appearance on television. Who could blame her? He was handsome, charming and easy-going. He was also a fine dramatic actor, as evidenced in The Great… Continue reading Planning a Great, Gutsy Escape

Drama · Western

The Last Film of Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable

American playwright Arthur Miller once wrote a screenplay for his wife, Marilyn Monroe, called The Misfits (1961). It’s a somber, take-no-prisoners story, set in the bleak landscape surrounding Reno, Nevada. “Nevada is the Leave-It State,” explains Thelma Ritter in the film, meaning it’s the place to leave your spouse, your money and your nuclear fall-out. (Nevada… Continue reading The Last Film of Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable


Charlie Chaplin Says Goodbye

At the time, Limelight (1952) was intended to be Charlie Chaplin‘s last film. Although he did make two more films* after relocating to Europe, Limelight was his final Hollywood production. It is a last testament of sorts; a farewell to his Little Tramp character. Limelight was made during a difficult period in Chaplin’s life. The FBI… Continue reading Charlie Chaplin Says Goodbye

Drama · Science Fiction

George Orwell’s 1984 as Melodrama

Even if you haven’t read George Orwell’s dystopian classic, 1984, you’re familiar with its dark political satire. A cruel dictator is named “Big Brother”, the Ministry of Love conducts hate rallies, and the Ministry of Truth redrafts history. It’s a cautionary tale for any age. Sadly, because human history has recurring themes, despotic governments are… Continue reading George Orwell’s 1984 as Melodrama


Why Clark Gable is a Perfect Rhett Butler

The last Oscar nomination Clark Gable received was for his portrayal of Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind (1939). Now, Gone With the Wind is one of those prestige movies with a giant “NOMINATE ME!” sticker on its forehead. It has big names, big music and big dresses; indeed, it nearly collapses under the weight… Continue reading Why Clark Gable is a Perfect Rhett Butler

Drama · Science Fiction

The Brave Person in Every Sci-Fi Movie

Something we admire about sci-fi films is the courage one or more characters must display to defeat the monster. Battling a sci-fi monster is not easy, whether it’s a giant insect, a mutant sea creature, or an alien from outer space. Despite all danger and difficulty, one or more characters must eventually say, “Enough,” and… Continue reading The Brave Person in Every Sci-Fi Movie

Drama · Holiday

Making a Holiday Film? Watch This One First

Dear Reader, we can’t wait until your holiday film is in post-production. We have our favourites, but we’re waiting for your holiday film – the one you’ve written and/or directed and/or starred in. We know you’ll sidestep the usual holiday film clichés. What’s this? You haven’t started filming? You’re stuck for ideas? Well, you’ve come to… Continue reading Making a Holiday Film? Watch This One First

Drama · War

The Beautiful Refugees of Casablanca

Look at the people in the above photo. These are actors portraying refugees in a fashionable nightclub in French Morocco during WWII. This photo was taken in Soundstage 7-8 at Warner Bros. Studio in California. Look at how these actors are dressed. These are refugees of Means; they are not poor. If they were poor,… Continue reading The Beautiful Refugees of Casablanca


The Human Comedy: The 1943 Original vs. the 2015 Reboot

Remember that rule in Creative Writing 101 about every story having a Beginning, a Middle and an End? We (as in, yours truly) are fond of this formula; it’s what we’ve come to Expect. But not everyone cares about it. American author William Saroyan, for instance, didn’t follow this rule in his 1943 novel, The Human… Continue reading The Human Comedy: The 1943 Original vs. the 2015 Reboot


Greta Garbo’s Study in Self-Loathing

It’s only fair to tell you, Dear Reader, that we (as in, yours truly) have an unaccountable bias against Greta Garbo. We’re baffled by it. Every time we start watching a new-to-us Garbo film, we cross our arms and silently challenge The Great Garbo to impress us. But by the end of the film, we’re… Continue reading Greta Garbo’s Study in Self-Loathing