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Rancho Notorious

by Glenn Erickson

We love this Fritz Lang western even though it’s not particularly good; only in hindsight do we realize that the brilliant director’s intentions may have been compromised. High-key lighting does Marlene Dietrich no favors, but she scores good scenes performing with Arthur Kennedy (revenged crazed cowpoke) and Mel Ferrer (tranquilized gunslinger). Lang fans will be…

Marco Polo ’62

by Glenn Erickson

You can’t argue with disc collectors eager to rediscover movies they loved at age 10, in terrific kiddie matinees. Cowboy star Rory Calhoun makes a perfectly fine Italian vagabond ladies’ man for this very un-serious ‘oriental’ adventure, and Yôko Tani is the requisite princess who needs kissing lessons. Tim Lucas’s welcome, info-packed commentary satisfies our…

Monsieur Hire

by Glenn Erickson

Highest honors go to this stylish, cinematically refined adaptation of a George Simenon thriller. Michel Blanc becomes a person of interest for a murder investigation mainly because he’s disliked and anti-social; Sandrine Bonnaire is the neighbor that he peeps at nightly, to stir his secret passion. Director Patrice Leconte directs with almost perfect control, turning…

Death Wish, 4K

by Glenn Erickson

Locked and loaded with a decent screenplay, Michael Winner and Charles Bronson acquit themselves well in this brutal 1974 hit that launched a decade’s worth of nasty vigilante movies. The lynch-mob formula presents crimes so awful that the audience demands violent retribution. The shock is that this incitement to ‘fight back’ is not direct right-wing…

The Movies That Made This Year’s Oscar Nominees

by Alex Kirschenbaum

Yesterday, here in the heart of Hollywood, an array of diverse and exciting flicks were honored with nominations for the 95th annual Academy Awards. While plenty of favorites were suitably recognized, there were quite a few surprises, too. And we talked to a lot of them! On our podcast The Movies That Made Me, Trailers…

The Asphyx

by Glenn Erickson

Awkwardly plotted but chilling just the same, this beautifully-filmed tale of Victorian experimentation with death has nightmarish qualities that won’t go away. Class actors Robert Stephens, Robert Powell & Jane Lapotaire bring believability to a deadly-serious idea that scores the ‘phantom-trapping’ concept years before Ghostbusters. The cinematographer was Freddie Young; both versions are included, along…