THE MORTAL STORM (Frank Borzage, 1940)

Viktor Roth, a Jewish university physics professor, is revered by students until Hitler becomes Germany’s chancellor, at which point even Roth’s Aryan stepsons turn against him. Opposing Nazi nonsense about blood differences amongst “races,” he dies in a concentration camp. Daughter Freya—her mother is Gentile—breaks off her engagement with Nazi Fritz Marberg and falls in […]

THE KID (Charles Chaplin, 1921)

Writer-director Charles Chaplin made cinema’s most brilliant satirical comedies, works of genius; but his first feature film, The Kid, has little to recommend it. Obliquely echoing Oliver Twist (the transmutation of the Dickens material is much the most interesting aspect of the film), The Kid shows Chaplin’s Tramp finding and raising an abandoned baby born […]