Mystery · Thriller

Basil Rathbone, Fortune Hunter

There’s nothing more chilling than a villain with a large vocabulary. In the 1937 British thriller, Love from a Stranger, Basil Rathbone plays the kind of villain nobody wants to meet in real life. Rathbone’s villain is handsome, suave and articulate. But he would do anything to get your money – including marring you. We first meet Rathbone’s gold-digging character when he… Continue reading Basil Rathbone, Fortune Hunter

Comedy · Mystery

Edna May Oliver vs. The Glass Ceiling

Question: When was the last time you saw a movie in which… A female amateur sleuth did a better job of solving a mystery than a male detective? A middle-aged woman who LOOKS middle aged is the main character? A man becomes romantically interested in a middle-aged woman who is smarter than he? Happily, the last time we saw a… Continue reading Edna May Oliver vs. The Glass Ceiling

Mystery · Thriller

Alfred Hitchcock’s 3D Murder

We had an almost pure classic movie experience recently. Well, perhaps not us, exactly, but the woman sitting beside us in the theatre, at the screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder. It was, we might add, SHOWN IN 3D. Whee! (Note: If you haven’t seen Dial M for Murder, even in 2D, you really ought to ASAP. You… Continue reading Alfred Hitchcock’s 3D Murder

Mystery · Thriller

On Precise Correspondence when Spying

We believe modern Hollywood has been untruthful in its portrayal of the Spy Business. For example, modern spies never have trouble finding a parking spot. Furthermore, they never pay for parking. Not that we’re annoyed. The biggest Hollywood misconception, as far as we’re concerned, has to do with paperwork – correspondence paperwork in particular. Everyone in the developed… Continue reading On Precise Correspondence when Spying


Charlie Chan: Always a Taxi When You Need One

One of the amazing things about movie characters is their unlimited supply of vehicles. The protagonist’s car blows up? No problem! There’s always another car at the ready, and it never requires insurance or a trip to the vehicle registration office. Even famed detective Charlie Chan is never without wheels. In the 1944 mystery, Charlie… Continue reading Charlie Chan: Always a Taxi When You Need One

Drama · Mystery

Questions about (another) Trial of the Century

Gentle Reader, we have done you a disservice. We screened the 1937 drama They Won’t Forget but, oddly, we have formed no insightful opinions. We have nothing but questions. First: Why are the opening credits so creepy? Look: Don’t stare at it for too long. It’ll make you go cross-eyed. Next: What happened in this movie? Here’s… Continue reading Questions about (another) Trial of the Century