ELMER GANTRY (Richard Brooks, 1960)

Elmer Gantry may not be a very good movie, but it’s enjoyable. It’s Sinclair Lewis’s 1927 novel given the Peyton Place-treatment, and although it’s trash it seems to know that it is and never misses a chance to entertain. It’s skillfully written by Richard Brooks (who won an Oscar), who also directed, and acted quite […]

OUR DAILY BREAD (King Vidor, 1934)

OUR DAILY BREAD. “There’s nothing for people to worry about when they’ve got the earth!”      In response to the Hoovervilles that cropped up across America during the Depression, King Vidor made Our Daily Bread. Risking financial ruin, he bankrolled the film himself.      An unemployed city couple, defaulting on their rent, start a cooperative in Arcadia, […]

THE RIVER (Jean Renoir, 1951)

The world’s greatest filmmaker in the first decade of sound, France’s Jean Renoir was stranded in Hollywood during the war and a bit after (the marvelous 1945 The Southerner is one result of his U.S. stay), and during the fifties, although no longer the bohemian quasi-Communist and cutting-edge artist of younger days, he made a […]