Yankee Doodle Dandy–on DVD

No film in the James Cagney filmography best illustrates what can only be called "The Cagney Conundrum" than does the 1942 Michael Curtiz film, "Yankee Doodle Dandy". What is "The Cagney Conundrum," you ask? It is the fact that James  ...

“The Apartment” (1960) DVD Review

It’s amazing, for a film that won the Oscar for Best Picture the year it was released, and was made by one of Hollywood’s Golden Age directors, how underrated Billy Wilder’s 1960 black and white drama-comedy "The Apartment" is. This  ...

Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983), DVD Review

Of the six films of Japanese director Nagisa Oshima that I have seen, his 1983 color film "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence" ("Senjō No Merī Kurisumasu or 戦場のメリークリスマス") is easily his least impressive. It’s not a terrible film, but it’s not  ...

Midnight Express (1978)

   British director Alan Parker’s 1978 film, "Midnight Express," based upon a non-fiction book, by William Hayes and William Hoffer, was considered somewhat controversial upon its release, but looking back on it, over three decades later, one has to wonder  ...

Invasion OF The Body Snatchers (1978)

In rewatching the 1978 version of "Invasion Of The Body Snatchers," after many years (I originally saw it in a double feature with "Coma"), I was presented with one of the best examples of why a critic needs to be  ...

The Damned (1969)

    Watching Luchino Visconti’s 1969 film, "The Damned "("La Caduta Degli Dei," literally "The Fall Of The Gods"), not long after I watched James Dean’s last film, "Giant," was an interesting synchronicity, because both films center around the lives of  ...

The French Connection (1971)

Director William Friedkin’s 1971 classic police thriller, The French Connection, which won the 1971 Academy Award for Best Picture (and four others) over A Clockwork Orange, Fiddler On The Roof, The Last Picture Show, and Nicholas And Alexandra, is not  ...

Classic TV: DVD Review of “The Comedian”

The penultimate teleplay in The Criterion Collections’ DVD set called The Golden Age of Television is the 1957 Playhouse 90 broadcast of Rod Serling’s The Comedian, originally aired on February 14th, 1957. And it’s one of the best of the  ...

Requiem For A Heavyweight (1962)

I likely saw the film version of "Requiem For A Heavyweight" when I was quite young. My dad was a big Jackie Gleason fan, and, along with "The Hustler," that film was among the man’s best film roles. But, in  ...

The Cocoanuts

The Marx Brothers have never been as good as some other great comedy teams, be it the verbal brilliance of Abbott & Costello, the pathos laden antics of Laurel & Hardy, nor the violent slapstick of The Three Stooges.  ...