A WALK WITH LOVE AND DEATH (John Huston, 1969)

Although he eventually directed her to a richly deserved Oscar for her sly, manipulative Maerose in the satirical crime comedy Prizzi’s Honor (1985), John Huston openly regretted starring teenaged daughter Anjelica, in A Walk with Love and Death, too early. In the face of the largely derisive notices Anjelica received, the elder Huston felt guilt. […]

THE WEDDING NIGHT (King Vidor, 1935)

Three very good performances from Gary Cooper, Helen Vinson and Ralph Bellamy spark The Wedding Night, an affecting early production code-era drama for which King Vidor won the directorial prize at Venice. Edith Fitzgerald’s script, from a story by Edwin H. Knopf, revolves around Tony Barrett (Cooper), a young writer whose successful first novel has […]

THE KARAMAZOVS (Petr Zelenka, 2008)

Sigmund Freud, no less, considered Dostoievski’s The Brothers Karamazov (1880) the greatest novel ever written; and, while numerous books and essays of his refer to it, it is a focus of his 1928 article “Dostoievski and Parricide,” and his speculative masterpiece about the origin of culture, Totem and Taboo (1913), reeks of it. Modeled on […]

THE BEAUTIFUL PERSON (Christophe Honoré, 2008)

Originally made for French television, La belle personne updates to the present Marie Madeleine Pioche de la Vergne’s (Madame de La Fayette’s) 1678 novel La Princesse de Clèves, transferring its sexual and other intrigues from royal court to high school, in this case, a distressingly dilapidated one. When the action starts, young, popular Nemours, who […]