The Star Witness (1931) is bizarre, exciting, funny/unfunny, brutal, and generally off-kilter in a way that makes for engaging viewing. If its qualities were transposed to a modern studio picture, we might find it in some way "unsatisfying," but it can certainly hold up its end of a double bill, as it is doing on Saturday, Feb 25 at the Wellman retrospective at New York's Film Forum.
The movie's worst move, really, is
A significant element of the centennial includes the extensive restoration of 13 of the studio's most beloved titles such as To Kill a Mockingbird, All Quiet on the Western Front, Jaws, The Sting, Out of Africa, Frankenstein and Schindler's List.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment will kick off the celebration in January with a special 50th anniversary release of To Kill a Mockingbird, debuting on Blu-ray for the first time ever. Throughout the year, Universal will pay tribute to other influential films in the Universal library with special events and Blu-ray
"Crime must not pay" is one of the most debilitating rules the Hays Code imposed on Hollywood. It's relatively easy for a filmmaker to work around crazy bans on words ("pregnant"), body parts (gone, all those extreme-longshot buttocks) or gestures (Frank McHugh raises a finger in Parachute Jumper), but when a philosophical ideal is given the weight of narrative law, cinema is forced back into the nursery. The filmmakers operating under this draconian blue pencil developed devious skills to bypass rulings and imply rather than say the unsayable, and it arguably helped their craft, but at the same time, certain kinds of stories just become impossible to tell honestly.
And certain kinds of fun were ruled out too, like much of what happens in Sing and Like It, directed by the lightly likable William A. Seiter, who clocked up well over a hundred films,
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