I WAS AN ADVENTURESS (Gregory Ratoff, 1939) Devoid of any sort of charm, acting ability or sex appeal, dancer Vera Zorina comes to precise and electrifying life all too briefly in an excerpt from the ballet Swan Lake, where to Tchaikovsky’s phenomenal music, here on speed, she is choreographed by spouse George Balanchine, who doubles […]

THE AFFAIRS OF SUSAN (William A. Seiter, 1945)

Ingeniously written by Thomas Monroe, László Görög and Richard Flournoy, and directed to the hilt by William A. Seiter (Roberta, 1935; You Were Never Lovelier, 1942), The Affairs of Susan is one of the funniest Hollywood comedies of the 1940s, thanks mostly to Joan Fontaine’s brilliant, fabulous performance as Susan Darrel, a dynamic woman capable […]


Those who denigrate Fritz Lang’s last American film, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, usually describe its story as being overly contrived and “full of holes”—two attributes that a logical person might deem mutually exclusive. Some fault its legal naïvité despite the fact that the script from which Lang worked was written by Douglas Morrow, who graduated […]