NC-17 • 2 hours 10 min • 1972
1 hour 42 min • 1938
I’ve just about had it with directors who use the mythic mode as an alibi for unshaded characterizations, simpleminded plotting, and swells of artificial emotionality. Barry Levinson’s 1984 film preserves the Arthurian imagery of Bernard Malamud’s baseball novel while stripping away all its darkness and irony; what’s left is a sappy tale of youthful purity […]
Based on Gorky’s play, this is definitely not Jean Renoir’s greatest film; it seems cramped and tenuous (1936). Still, it carries some interest in its curious blend of tones and styles—it oscillates between vaudeville turns and stark tragedy. The cast, not distinguished, includes Jean Gabin, Louis Jouvet, and Vladimir Sokolov.
Not as bright as the best of Gregory La Cava’s improvisational comedies (My Man Godfrey, Stage Door), this 1935 effort still features some memorable moments (in a department store window) and a moving, melancholic subtext. Claudette Colbert, livelier than usual, is an executive secretary who marries her employer (Melvyn Douglas), only to find their relationship […]
NR • 1 hour 28 min • 1960
A systematic study of animal abuse, ranging from casual cruelties to household pets to inhumane medical experiments. Victor Schonfeld and Myriam Alaux directed; Julie Christie narrates over a score by Robert Wyatt.
Not the best example of director Clarence Brown’s work, this 1943 film is nevertheless faithful to William Saroyan’s achingly sentimental novel about a boy’s awakening maturity in the midst of war. If you can stand a teenage Mickey Rooney for nearly two hours, you’ll find it a solid piece of Americana. With Frank Morgan, Marsha […]
PG-13 • 1 hour 34 min
2 hours 59 min • 1979
1 hour 8 min • 1926
Kurt Maetzig, an assistant in the German film industry, joined the communist underground to fight the Nazis, and after the war became one of the leading filmmakers in the newly created German Democratic Republic. His 1947 debut, a study of a “mixed marriage” under Hitler that becomes an indictment of the German intelligentsia’s refusal to […]
G • 2 hours 14 min • 1974
Robert Walker makes a nervous Jerome Kern in this mediocre MGM musical biography, which has a large cameo cast and some uncredited direction by Vincente Minnelli (on wife Judy Garland’s numbers) in its favor. I wouldn’t want to be the MGM lawyer who let the copyright slip on this expensive Technicolor production—it’s now in the […]