HAMLET (Grigori Kozintsev, 1963)

In one of the weirdest developments in DVD-land, Grigori Kozintsev’s powerful, black-and-white Hamlet is now available for us to visit—sort-of: in place of Boris Pasternak’s translation to the Russian vernacular, the English subtitles instead show Shakespeare’s text! Consistency with a vengeance: at least in the English-translated credits, Pasternak’s name has been erased! Perhaps he never […]

LOVE ON THE DOLE (John Baxter, 1941)

For the longest time, the British government did not want a film made of Walter Greenwood’s 1936 novel of the 1930s Depression, Love on the Dole. (Between book and film, a stage version appeared, by Ronald Gow, starring Gow’s wife, Wendy Hiller.) The British Board of Film Censors didn’t wish this portrait of unemployment and […]

HIGH NOON (Fred Zinnemann, 1952)

One of the most hotly debated American films of the 1950s, High Noon is widely regarded as scenarist Carl Foreman’s subversive assault on McCarthyism. (His script is based on John W. Cunningham’s story “The Tin Star.”) But there are problems with this interpretation of the film as a “morality play” with contemporary relevance. Indeed, the […]

THE INHERITORS (Walter Bannert, 1982)

William Bannert’s Die Erben, from Austria and West Germany, addresses the resurgence of fascist organizations in those countries at about the time the film was made. It focuses in particular on a German neo-Nazi organization that targets teenaged boys for recruitment. These impressionable, disaffected youths find the rebelliousness towards parents and identity crisis that are […]