Charles Laughton’s The Night of the Hunter is an American classic. But it is also a clear descendant of a movement from across the Atlantic: German Expressionism. This comes through most clearly in the breathtaking work of cinematographer Stanley Cortez (The Magnificent Ambersons).
Yet while The Night of the Hunter’s visual language is clearly indebted to the German films of the 1920s, its sets are far cry from the angular nightmares of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and its siblings. Instead, the work of art director Hilyard M. Brown and set decorator Alfred E. Spencer is grounded in iconic American architecture. Through the intimate collaboration of production design and cinematographer, an Expressionist battle between good and evil unfolds through the aesthetic material of American life.
The Angry Red Planet
1960 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 83 min. / Street Date June 27, 2017 / 17.28
Starring: Gerald Mohr, Nora Hayden, Les Tremayne, Jack Kruschen.
Cinematography: Stanley Cortez
Film Editor: Ivan J. Hoffman
Original Music: Paul Dunlap
Written by Ib Melchior from a story by Sid Pink
Produced by Norman Maurer & Sid Pink
Directed by Ib Melchior
Unjust though it may be, not all Savant reviews make the national news feed, but my old 2001 coverage of the pretty miserable MGM DVD of The Angry Red Planet got quoted all over the place,
The Bridge at Remagen
1969 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 117 min. / Street Date June 13, 2017 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store 29.95
Starring: George Segal, Robert Vaughn, Ben Gazzara, Bradford Dillman, E.G. Marshall, Peter Van Eyck, Hans Christian Blech, Bo Hopkins, Matt Clark, G&uunl;nter Meisner.
Cinematography: Stanley Cortez
Film Editors: William Cartwright, Harry Knapp, Marshall Neilan Jr.
Original Music: Elmer Bernstein
Written by Richard Yates, William Roberts, Roger Hirson
Produced by David L. Wolper
Directed by John Guillermin
“I’ve been thinking of the world cinematographically since high school,” Scout says. “Sometime around tenth grade I started looking out windows, at crowds of my peers, at the girls I had crushes on, and imagining the best way to film them. Lowlight, mini-dv or 35mm? Curious and washed out like the way Emmanuel Lubezki shot Y Tu Mamá También,
Written and directed by Samuel Fuller
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Shock Corridor stars Peter Breck as Johnny Barrett, an ambitious reporter who wants to expose a killer hiding out at the local insane asylum. In order to solve the case, he must pretend to be insane so they have him committed. Once in the asylum, Barrett sets to work, interrogating the other patients and keeping a close eye on the staff. But it’s difficult to remain a sane man living in an insane place, and the closer Barrett gets to the truth, the closer he gets to insanity.
Shock Corridor is best described as an anti-establishment drama that at times is surprisingly quite funny despite the dark material. The film deals with some timely issues of the era, specifically the atom bomb, anti-communism, and racism. It features everything from a raving female love-crazed nympho ward,
Orson Welles is celebrated as one of the foremost visionaries in the history of American filmmaking. He’s also renowned as the perennial artist against the system. While both of these factors make Welles perhaps the ideal auteur – someone satisfied with nothing less than a perfect articulation of his individual vision within the collaborative medium of filmmaking – it also presents some unique problems in examining works that were taken away from him.
The classically celebrated auteurs of studio era Hollywood (e.g., Hawks, Ford, Hitchcock) were known for creating individuated worldviews across their body of work either despite or even because of the strictures inherent in Classical Hollywood filmmaking. This was not Welles, who from his rise to infamy with the 1938 “War of the Worlds” broadcast to his first studio feature made a name by challenging the assumed utilities of a medium. Neither could
To start with After Six Days,
The Best-of-the-Year lists keep rolling in, so here's a batch of worthwhile entries unveiled in the past week: Film Comment - 50 Best Films | 20 Best Undistributed Films Indiewire - Critics Survey Glenn Kenny Scott Foundas Slant Magazine Michael Sicinski's "The Best of the Rest" Village Voice Film Poll The latest issue of Cineaste is on shelves now and includes, among other pieces, an article on rom-coms today by Adrian Martin, and a feature by David Sterritt on "Beats, Beatniks, and Beat Movies." Also make sure to look online for exclusive content from Aaron Cutler and Celluloid Liberation Front. Above: one of our favorite journals, La Furia Umana, is now shipping its fourth print edition, featuring multiple pieces on Nicholas Ray and Brian De Palma. The 18th online edition is due out by the end of the month, so we'll be checking up on Lfu again soon. On digital shelves is
My love of movies comes from watching them, obsessively and probably way too much. No matter how many I manage to watch though, even starting from an early age I’ve still not seen some that are deemed as masterpieces and that annoys me. There are classics out there that deserve to be seen and I do have a list in my head of ones that I will see no matter what it takes and one of these was The Night of the Hunter. When I had the chance to review the Arrow release of the film on Blu-ray I jumped at the chance, there is no better way to see it other than on the big screen. Now having seen it I feel very lucky I did, not just for the movie
One of the greatest, most influential directorial debuts in movie history, The Night of the Hunter was a major critical and commercial failure in 1955, and Charles Laughton never directed another film, which was bad for him, bad for us and bad for Norman Mailer, whose The Naked and the Dead was to be Laughton's follow-up project.
Based on Davis Grubb's gothic novel, it's a grim fairytale for adults set in poverty-stricken West Virginia during the depression and centres on a father going to the gallows for murder after concealing some stolen money in his little daughter's doll and swearing her brother to secrecy. An ogre in the form of a psychotic preacher (Robert Mitchum's best, most scary performance), who'd shared a cell with their father, is after the loot. When this monstrous figure of pure evil takes over the impoverished family, the children flee down the Ohio river,
Perhaps the most important indication of the esteem in which the film is now held
Written and directed by Samuel Fuller
Shock Corridor stars Peter Breck as Johnny Barrett, an ambitious reporter who wants to expose the killer at the local insane asylum. To solve the case, he must pretend to be insane so they have him committed. Once in the asylum,
Starring: Shelley Winters, Robert Mitchum, Peter Graves, Sally Jane Bruce, Billy Chapin
Running Time: 93 minutes
Extras: New digital transfer made from 35mm film elements restored by UCLA Film & Television Archive in cooperation with MGM Studios, with funding provided by the Film Foundation and Robert B. Strum, Optional original uncompressed Mono Pcm audio & 5.1 DTS-hd Master Audio, Isolated Music and Effects Soundtrack, Charles Laughton Directs The Night of the Hunter – A two-and-a-half-hour documentary on the making of the film featuring outtakes and behind-the-scenes footage, Archival interview with cinematographer Stanley Cortez, Original theatrical trailer, Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly artwork by Graham Humphreys, Booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic and filmmaker David Thompson.
The words ‘masterpiece’ or ‘classic’ are perhaps bandied about too much these days. Certainly few modern films aren’t deserving of such praise and that’s because, more often than not, they lack originality.
As with all lists, this is personal and nobody will agree with every choice – and if you do, that would be incredibly disturbing. It was almost impossible for me to rank them in order, but I tried and eventually gave up.
Directed by Samuel Fuller
Written by Samuel Fuller
Shock Corridor stars Peter Breck as Johnny Barrett, an ambitious reporter who wants to expose the killer at the local insane asylum. In order to solve the case, he must pretend to be insane so they have him committed. Once in the asylum, Barrett sets to work, interrogating the other patients and keeping a close eye on the staff.
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