Aug 262014
 
NIGHT PASSAGE is famous as the movie that caused a rift between its star James Stewart and the director who was supposed to helm it, Anthony Mann. Mann quit the picture early on and was replaced by James Neilson. It's not generally regarded as being up to the standard of the earlier Stewart/Mann Western collaborations, but as an hour and a half of entertainment, it's pretty darned good.
Aug 122014
 
(This post originally appeared on July 25, 2009, about another movie from our Tennessee Williams mini-marathon five years ago.) This is one I had seen before, but it’s been close to forty years since I watched it, and on late night TV at that, cut up for commercials and probably shortened to run in a two-hour time slot, as well. So it was almost new to me. There’s not nearly as much Tennessee
Aug 052014
 
(This post originally appeared in slightly different form on July 23, 2009.) Livia’s working on a book with a Tennessee Williams connection (that book, of course, was KILLER ON A HOT TIN ROOF, the second in her Delilah Dickinson series), so we decided to watch some of the movies based on Williams’ plays that we’d either never seen before or hadn’t seen in a long time. I’m certain I’d never
Jul 152014
 
(This post originally appeared on January 12, 2010.) I’ve been trying to catch up on some older movies, and the plot of this one from 1946 sounded intriguing: a GI comes back from combat in the South Pacific with amnesia, a fact that he conceals from his doctors. Everybody tells him his name is George Taylor. When he gets back to the States he sets out to discover who George Taylor is. His
Jul 082014
 
(This post originally appeared on August 27, 2009.) This is another one of those movies that’s been on TV many, many times, and somehow I never watched it until now. Based on a novel by James Jones, it’s the sort of small town melodrama/soap opera that Hollywood did so well during the Fifties. Frank Sinatra plays Dave Hirsch, a former GI returning to the town where he grew up. He’s also a
Jul 012014
 
(This post originally appeared on October 26, 2009.) I graduated from high school in 1971, which means I’m a little older than the characters in this movie that takes place on the last day of school in 1976. The emphasis is on that year’s juniors, who will be seniors the next year, and the eighth-graders who will be the incoming freshmen. To make the film resonate even more with me, it takes
Jun 242014
 
(This post originally appeared in somewhat different form on July 19, 2009.) I’ve never been much on “mockumentaries”, although I’ve seen some that were pretty entertaining, like A MIGHTY WIND. One of my daughters is a fan of Craig Ferguson, though, and she picked up a copy of THE BIG TEASE, a movie Ferguson co-wrote and starred in fifteen years ago. It’s supposed to be a documentary about
Jun 172014
 
(This post originally appeared in slightly different form on August 25, 2010.) When we started to watch this one, I commented that I’d never seen it before, and Livia asked, “How could you have missed it? It was on TV all the time when we were kids.” Well, that’s true enough, but when I was a kid, I watched Westerns, comedies, Tarzan movies, war movies, monster movies . . . You get the idea.
Jun 102014
 
(This post originally appeared on August 11, 2009. It sure doesn't seem like almost five years ago.) ZULU is a John Ford cavalry Western. Oh, I know John Ford didn’t direct it, and there’s not an Apache in sight, but scene after scene in ZULU plays as if the filmmakers had watched FORT APACHE, SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON, and RIO GRANDE a dozen times each before making ZULU. Take the opening