In addition to being a great actress, Katharine Hepburn was one of the most beautiful women to appear on-screen; and nowhere else is she quite so beautiful as she is in Mary of Scotland, based on Maxwell Anderson’s play, where (following Helen Hayes, for whom the part had been written) she plays Scotland’s ill-fated Mary […]
Edward G. Robinson, tremendous, claimed the role that made him a star in Little Caesar, Mervyn LeRoy’s ultimately brilliant meditation on the unnaturalness and perniciousness of the American ethos of “rugged individualism,” which, to say the least, wars with humanity’s quest for sociability. LeRoy’s film, based on an unpublished novel by W. R. Burnett, also […]
George Cukor did not live to see the restored version of his A Star Is Born, the wholesale slashing of which, following the film’s lauded New York premiere, led Bosley Crowther, head reviewer then for the New York Times, to redub it A Star Is Shorn. In truth, the “restored” 1983 version is a misnomer […]
Clint Eastwood, Hollywood’s premier misogynist beginning with his first feature, Play Misty for Me (1971), has an unwholesome field day with Million Dollar Baby, a film so nasty about or towards its female characters that, here, Eastwood doesn’t need to have a Sondra Locke-lookalike’s getting her face slashed in order to make his point, as […]
Perhaps the most solitudinous love poem in the English language, where the poet’s lover, whom the poet addresses, may as easily be absent as present, someone to whom he speaks as though she were with him, Matthew Arnold’s phenomenal 1867 “Dover Beach” endorses fidelity, at least the illusion of love and peace, in a loveless, […]
Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel Dracula is the basis for two outstanding films, both from Germany, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922), about which I have already written, and Hans W. Geissendörffer’s Jonathan (1970). Tod Browning’s 1931 Hollywood Dracula and, like Jonathan, from West Germany, Werner Herzog’s 1978 Nosferatu are of some substance, and star, respectively, Bela […]
Having revisited in the wee hours one of my favorite movies, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, I have expanded my essay about it: https://grunes.wordpress.com/2007/03/01/ Enjoy again—or for the first time.