4 items from 2016
Robert Wagner as a social climbing psycho killer? I knew it! 'Mr. CinemaScope Smile' grins only once or twice in this movie, and then only to fool an unsuspecting woman. A great cast brings tension to Ira Levin's outrageous tale of murder. Joanne Woodward has a powerful role, but my heartthrob this time out is lovely Virginia Leith. A Kiss Before Dying Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1956 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 95 min. / Street Date May 3, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Robert Wagner, Jeffrey Hunter, Virginia Leith, Joanne Woodward, Mary Astor, George Macready, Robert Quarry. Cinematography Lucien Ballard Art Direction Addison Hehr Film Editor George A. Gittens Original Music Lionel Newman Written by Lawrence Roman from a novel by Ira Levin Produced by Robert L. Jacks Directed by Gerd Oswald
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
- Glenn Erickson
The icon-establishing performances Marilyn Monroe gave in Howard Hawks’ Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and in Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot (1959) are ones for the ages, touchstone works that endure because of the undeniable comic energy and desperation that sparked them from within even as the ravenous public became ever more enraptured by the surface of Monroe’s seductive image of beauty and glamour. Several generations now probably know her only from these films, or perhaps 1955’s The Seven-Year Itch, a more famous probably for the skirt-swirling pose it generated than anything in the movie itself, one of director Wilder’s sourest pictures, or her final completed film, The Misfits (1961), directed by John Huston, written by Arthur Miller and costarring Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift.
But in Don’t Bother to Knock (1952) she delivers a powerful dramatic performance as Nell, a psychologically devastated, delusional, perhaps psychotic young woman apparently on »
- Dennis Cozzalio
By Doug Oswald
Jefferson Cody (Scott) trades rifles and other items with a group of Comanche Indians in exchange for a captive settler, Nancy Lowe (Nancy Gates). Her husband has offered a large reward for her return. After the exchange they’re met by outlaw Ben Lane (Claude Akins) and his sidekicks Frank (Skip Homeier) and Dobie (Richard Rust) who help Cody during an Indian attack at Comanche Station. Lane and Cody are old enemies and he and his men have been searching for Nancy. Lane wants a piece of the $5,000 reward in return for helping protect Nancy on the journey to her husband. Cody reluctantly agrees and forms an uneasy alliance due to the Indian threat.
Cody befriends Dobie, who wants »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
This is definitely the time of year when film critic types (I’m sure you know who I mean) spend an inordinate amount of time leading up to awards season—and it all leads up to awards season, don’t it?—compiling lists and trying to convince anyone who will listen that it was a shitty year at the movies for anyone who liked something other than what they saw and liked. And ‘tis the season, or at least ‘thas (?) been in the recent past, for that most beloved of academic parlor games, bemoaning the death of cinema, which, if the sackcloth-and-ashes-clad among us are to be believed, is an increasingly detached and irrelevant art form in the process of being smothered under the wet, steaming blanket of American blockbuster-it is. And it’s going all malnourished from the siphoning off of all the talent back to TV, which, as everyone knows, »
- Dennis Cozzalio
4 items from 2016
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