DESIGN FOR LIVING (Ernst Lubitsch, 1933)

I have never read Noel Coward’s play Design for Living or seen it performed, but I understand that Ben Hecht’s script for the film, which Ernst Lubitsch, no less, directed, retains just one of Coward’s lines, presumably at least in part because, shortly before Hollywood imposed its production code, Coward’s risqué dialogue was considered too […]

THE LOVE PARADE (Ernst Lubitsch, 1929)

Count Alfred Renard, Sylvanian consul ejected from wherever for Franklinian profligacy, marries his Queen Louise, whose advisors fear her perpetual spinsterhood, but quickly chafes at her subordination of him. Isn’t the man, after all, King of his castle? Ultimately, the Queen capitulates: a distasteful resolution.      Tedious and irritating, this film from director Ernst Lubitsch, from […]

THE BIG RED ONE (Samuel Fuller, 1980, 2004)

Episodic, to reflect the episodic nature of war, writer-director Samuel Fuller’s shoestring-budgeted The Big Red One was his “dream project” based on his experiences as a member of the U.S. First Infantry, in the Second World War, in Vichy French Africa, Sicily, Omaha Beach (on D-Day), Belgium and France, and culminating in the liberation of […]