SUDDEN FEAR (David Miller, 1952)

An entertaining thriller, Sudden Fear delights the senses while generating some real suspense. Two years prior to her unexpected pinnacle of artistic glory (not that she herself noticed), the role of Vienna in Nicholas Ray’s Johnny Guitar, Joan Crawford plays Myra Hudson, a wealthy socialite-playwright—a role of exquisite vulnerability. Emoting in exaggerated fashion, Joan has […]

SAME OLD SONG (Alain Resnais, 1997)

In hommage to a British television mini-series, Dennis Potter’s The Singing Detective (1986), Same Old Song (On connaît la chanson) is an unusual musical film; when they open their mouths to let out with a song, the characters are actually lip-synching familiar tunes in popular recordings. These songs reveal what the characters are thinking.      Alain […]

STAVISKY . . . (Alain Resnais, 1973)

Alain Resnais’s pre-World War II tragedy depicts actual French history for its elusive reality; there is about it an air of surmise. This suits its protagonist (Jean-Paul Belmondo, excellent), the Ukrainian-born son of Jewish immigrants, passing for Gentile, whose fraudulent financial dealings, including the floating of worthless bonds, in 1934 upheaved the government, undoing the […]