1776 (1972)

It's raining on this July 4th, so with the parade done, outdoor activity is off for the day. Fortunately, the Drexel Theater showed 1776 this afternoon (and tomorrow morning). The only movie about what we celebrate on July 4th–the Declaration of Independence–is a musical. 1776 was a financially and critically successful Broadway show that had […]

It’s A Wonderful Life (1945)

Singin’ In The Rain is the best musical, Casablanca is the greatest love story, Vertigo is the best thriller, Bringing Up Baby is the best screwball comedy, Double Indemnity and Out of the Past are the tops in film noir, Chinatown is the best modern film noir, Tokyo Story is the finest non-English-language movie, Annie […]

What’s so great about movies?

A movie is a unique art form and as such should be unlike any other. This goal is most challenging for filmmakers who are making movies based on something else–another art form, such as a novel, play, short story, painting, ballet, or magazine article; or real life events, such as someone’s life or a historical […]

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 […]

BIG v. little

Why has big screen success eluded so many of our finest small screen comedians? It seems that without exception the biggest masters of television comedy have been denied any sort of movie career. Lucille Ball did make a lot of movies, but she rarely rose beyond chorus girl, wife, secretary, or friend of the leading lady, and she […]