JULIETTE, OR KEY OF DREAMS (Marcel Carné, 1951)

Vastly underrated, wrongly dismissed by some as being “cold,” Marcel Carné’s Juliette ou La clef des songes engages the beauty of romance and the power of love. It is certainly not the equal of Jean Cocteau’s splendiferous Beauty and the Beast (1946), with which it shares some elements; but then what is? Carné has made […]

HOME BEFORE DARK (Mervyn LeRoy, 1958)

At 136 minutes, Mervyn LeRoy’s low-key Home Before Dark, about a woman back home after she is released from a mental hospital, probably requires a bottle of good unblended scotch to navigate and get through; but it’s largely absorbing, attractively wintry gray (the black-and-white cinematography is by Joseph Biroc), and beautifully acted by Jean Simmons […]