Who Really Directed It?

I love lists almost as much as I love movies. I’ve started compiling a list of movies directed by people other than the credited director. Many movies are credited to multiple directors (Singin’ in the Rain and There’s Something About Mary are but two), but those don’t count. I’m talking about situations where, for one […]

Paul Newman, 1925-2008

The first modern movie star and one of the last surviving Hollywood legends, Paul Newman, died today of cancer at the age of 83. Aside from his awesome talent, matinee idol looks, and renowned philanthropy, Newman’s greatest legacy is the longevity of his career. The fact that he is as familiar to moviegoers from the […]

Entertainment Weekly’s New Classics and the AFI’s new lists

No sooner has the American Film Institute put out another movie ranking (the best 10 movies in 10 genres) than the magazine Entertainment Weekly has published a new list of the top 100 movies of the past 25 years. The book calls them “new classics.” I will write an article soon with my opinions of […]

Cyd Charisse (1921-2008)

Unfortunately, actress-dancer Cyd Charisse, the last survivor of the golden age of the Hollywood musical died yesterday at the age of 86.  Charisse added her own brand of class and sex to such classics as Singin’ in the Rain, The Band Wagon, and Silk Stockings, paired in each film either with Fred Astaire or Gene […]

Capra Corn

I’m not really a big Frank Capra fan. Earnestness is typically the biggest turn-off for me when it comes to entertainment. This goes for movies, as well as TV and music. (For instance, I should have liked the West Wing, but I could never get through an episode. It seemed so calculated.) Well, anything called “Capraesqe,” […]

The Big Heat (1953)

The most striking thing about this violent crime drama is its bloodlessness. This is a bracing dose of modernity that presages the likes of Chinatown, L.A. Confidential, and the Sopranos, yet not a single drop of blood is shed. Even as the body count mounts, with as many murders happening on screen as off, with […]