Gone With The Wind (1939)

June 16, 2010

“We’re alike. Bad lots, both of us. Selfish and shrewd.”
Adjusting for inflation, this is the highest-grossing film of all time. Gone With The Wind is a film richly deserving of the term epic – it’s a love story, of sorts, played out against a backdrop of the civil war, and of the reconstruction that followed.
Gone [...]

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)

April 23, 2010

This song of the Man and his Wife is of no place and every place; you might hear it anywhere, at any time.
Sunrise is a silent, black and white, film about a man (George O’Brien) who is caught in a love triangle, between two women, one his wife (Janet Gaynor) – a country sort, [...]

Ben-Hur (1959)

March 31, 2010

“I know there is a law in life, that blood gets more blood as dog begets dog. Death generates death, as the vulture breeds the vulture!”
Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston) is the oldest son of a noble family in Judea. Accused of attempting to kill the new Roman governor, his once-friend Messala (Stephen Boyd) sentences [...]

The Searchers (1956)

March 30, 2010

“They ain’t white. Not any more. They’re Comanch.”
The Searchers is the story of Ethan Edwards (John Wayne), who begins the film by returning to his brother’s holding. Edwards is a loner, a civil war veteran who refused to surrender his sword and has been doing… something, in the three years since the war ended. There’s [...]

Jaws (1975)

March 15, 2010

He ate the light.
The movie that launched the concept of the “Summer Blockbuster”, and as a result is directly responsible for a) Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and b) Michael Bay.
Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) is Chief Of Police of Amity, a holiday island strikingly reminiscent of Martha’s vineyard, who’s called out [...]

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

In one week, I can put a bug so far up her ass, she don’t know whether to shit or wind her wristwatch.
Jack Nicholson plays Randle P. McMurphy, a man transferred to hospital from prison for an assessment on his mental condition. There, he comes into conflict with Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher), teams up with [...]

Raging Bull (1980)

March 9, 2010

Shut up. You just shut up. I’ll fucking take care of you later.
Raging Bull is a Martin Scorsese-directed film starring Robert De Niro as Jake LaMotta, the “Bronx Bull”, Middleweight Champion of the world. It’s based on LaMotta’s 1970 autobiography, though much has been compressed, amalgamated or extrapolated.
I find it a [...]

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939)

March 5, 2010

You fight for the lost causes harder than any other.
Jimmy Stewart plays Jefferson Smith, selected as a stooge to be a temporary Senator for an unnamed state, so that Jim Taylor (Edward Arnold) can get his dam plan through. Smith, though, is an innocent with a pure belief in the principles of [...]

His Girl Friday (1940)

You’re wonderful, in a loathsome sort of way.
Our second Cary Grant film, this Howard Hawks-directed comedy from 1940 sees him starring as the cynical and manipulative newspaper editor Walter Burns opposite Rosalind Russell as Hildy Johnson, ex-reporter and ex-wife. Hildy brings her new fiancee to the newspaper, to show him off [...]

Bonnie And Clyde (1967)

February 25, 2010

…We rob banks.
I’d not seen this before, or heard very much about it. It’s clear to me now that this was an error. This is a movie that takes a true story, and then takes fairly great liberties with it, not to make it “more cinematic” or for commercial concerns, but because [...]