Three films, that’s all we need to appreciate the appeal and talent of Ava Gardner. A screen legend, certainly; beautiful and desirable, of course; and underestimated as an actress. If you only saw her late in her life, you got the remnants of her legend, but unfortunately not the full power of how she commanded … More A Look at Ava Gardner
Some of the best stories are of a flawed protagonist who exhibits complexity of personality and reveals himself (or herself) to have a pivotal moment(s) where their character undergoes an unexpected action, yet they remain true to their basic moral fabric. What this is not: a fairytale moment of metamorphosis of The Grinch suddenly growing … More Good Guy/Bad Guy
This blog is a companion to my “Almost Noir” posting. I listed Eddie Muller as a noir expert, he is a film historian, host on TCM and keeper of the noir genre. Muller published a fascinating book on film noir, Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir, in 1998, and has updated and expanded … More Dark City: Film Noir
I had been kicking around the notion of writing about actor Martin Balsam for awhile, then fellow blogger Pete’s desert island film list mentioned him in several films. Balsam was a face everyone will recognize; his work lives on in his hundreds of appearances on the big and small screen. He was an actor’s actor. … More Martin Balsam: A Very Busy Character Actor
I am going to present you two stacks of DVDs (no Blu-ray disks mixed in). You are going on a trip and these are the only entertainment you will have. No TV, cable or internet. Which one would you choose? No trading between stacks. Stack 1 Roman Holiday (1953) – Reporter Gregory Peck and Princess … More DVDs: Which Stack?
Here’s a man who squeezed every bit of life out of 103 years. Last year, I wrote a blog about Kirk Douglas the producer, to tell a story not many people thought about. Douglas the movie star, was the way most fans knew him. Douglas, the producer, filled in more information about the man, his … More Kirk Douglas Remembered
The story begins with an odd but distinguished fellow arranging the death of an unseen person on a falling elevator. Next, a clergyman on a bicycle stops outside of an English country manor, the Bruttenholm estate, where a foxhunt is about to begin. This fellow looks oddly familiar. The film jumps to after the hunt where … More The List of Adrian Messenger (1963)
This is the story of Kirk Douglas, filmmaker. Yes, he was a big movie star, and he used the stature to produce, star and occasionally direct his own films. Douglas saw his frequent co-star, Burt Lancaster, develop and produce his own films. Producing and owning the copyright on his films was smart, and the tax … More Kirk Douglas: Producer
Two very different films on a related subject from the early 1960’s. One of the reasons I enjoy films from this time period is the frank subject matter, often adapted from best sellers, that take the viewers to the edge of reality with minimal soap opera or totally unrealistic and annoying love interests. These are … More Seven Days in May / Fail Safe (films)
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