Vertigo (1958)

Not just one of Alfred Hitchcock's masterpieces, Vertigo (1958) is one of the best movies. This psychological thriller remains as controversial and unique as when it was first released, in part due to its themes of necrophilia and romantic obsession, unresolved plot discrepancies, off-putting plot twists, as well as Kim Novak's acting job–with some saying […]

Detour (1945)

You should be watching the Bruins and Blackhawks battle for the Stanley Cup or a baseball game, preferably the Red Sox. Or you should be biking, barbecuing, or swimming. However, if you really want to take in a movie, I recommend Detour (1945). Edgar Ulmer's masterwork is barely over an hour, making it a nice […]

North By Northwest (1959)

North By Northwest is probably Hitchcock’s most fun picture. Rear Window, my favorite, has fun elements, but the brutal homicide–off-camera, granted–at its core is the subject of much graphic byplay. Northwest’s violence, on the other hand, is comic. Even the UN stabbing is bloodless. And sex constantly threatens to overtake the thriller aspects of the […]

Bigger Than Life (1956)

Bigger Than Life is a terrific combination of three film types that flourished in the repressed cinema of the 1950s: the thriller, the suburban melodrama, and the “message movie.” However, a description of its fairly simple premise—James Mason is a teacher addicted to cortisone used to treat a chronic illness—makes it sound less than compelling. […]

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 […]