FULL MOON IN PARIS (Eric Rohmer, 1984)

Les nuits de la pleine lune—literally, Nights of the Full Moon—is the fourth entry in Eric Rohmer’s Comedies and Proverbs. This one is illustrative of a “country proverb”: “He who has two women loses his soul. He who has two houses loses his mind.” The “he” in this instance is a “she,” and indeed the […]

THE DEFIANT ONES (Stanley Kramer, 1958)

Compact, clear, niftily edited and formally, at times, breathtakingly beautiful, The Defiant Ones, about racial brotherhood, has stood the test of time. Certainly, unlike nearly every other film by producer-director Stanley Kramer, it hasn’t become a target of critical derision. Nevertheless, because of the extent and depth of that derision, it may be necessary to […]

I WANT TO LIVE! (Robert Wise, 1958)

Susan Hayward, “the Brooklyn Bernhardt,” seemed to arrive at her career peak playing singer-actress Lillian Roth in I’ll Cry Tomorrow (Daniel Mann, 1955), for which she was named best actress at Cannes, but she surpassed this celebrated work as another actual personage, Barbara Graham, whom the state of California executed for murder in 1955, in […]