THE BIG COUNTRY (William Wyler, 1958)

Sparked by a rich, pulsating score by Jerome Moross, The Big Country is William Wyler’s heartfelt Cold War allegory, set in the Old West, depicting the murderous feud between adjacent ranchers Major Henry Terrill and Rufus Hannassey, characters based on U.S. president Dwight Eisenhower and Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev. The somber, engrossing film adapts David […]

CARRIE (William Wyler, 1952)

Victor Milner’s gray, faded black-and-white cinematography suits the mood of Theodore Dreiser’s turn-of-the-century urban naturalism in his dense, painstaking Sister Carrie, from whose title Hollywood excised the first word not to confuse audiences into thinking that the heroine was a nun. Carrie Meeber isn’t that, nor as a nervous Paramount studio or “actress” Jennifer Jones […]

THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (William Wyler, 1946)

Written by Robert E. Sherwood from MacKinlay Kantor’s blank-verse novella, Glory for Me, The Best Years of Our Lives is William Wyler’s finest, most moving film, the one most infused with his humane sensibility and least compromised by melodrama. It essays the civilian readjustment of three soldiers upon their return home to Boone City somewhere […]