SAM WOOD was a versatile American director/craftsman whose best work drew some fine performances from Hollywood’s golden age stars. His earliest silent film dates back to 1919. He made star vehicles for both Gloria Swanson and the ill-fated Wallace Reid during the 1920s. In the 1930s … Continue reading King’s Row
GEORGE SIDNEY was one of MGM’s best directors of Musicals and Swashbucklers throughout the 1940s and 1950s. He later moved to Columbia and directed Kim Novak in three of her best roles (opposite Tyrone Power in a fine biopic The Eddy Duchin Story), then playing … Continue reading Scaramouche!
The Big Trail 1930 (the first really important “A” Western from the sound period and John Wayne’s first significant role. Ford only realized his potential after Stagecoach in 1939); Walsh continued to make pleasant entertainments throughout the 1930s, like Baby Face Harrington 1935 and Big … Continue reading Ten Walsh titles that I cannot live without
“Ford and Hawks, the directors closest to the Griffith tradition, project different aspects of Griffith’s personality. Ford, the historical perspective and unified vision of the world, Hawks the psychological complexity and innate nobility of characterization” (Andrew Sarris, The American Cinema). This “historical perspective” covers an … Continue reading John Ford’s Twilight
I’ve always loved seamless and elegant mise-en-scene and I’ve always loved romantic and family melodrama. Therefore, among my favourite film makers are The Archers (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger), Jacques Tourneur, Nicholas Ray, Vincente Minnelli and Max Ophuls . And of course, Douglas Sirk, whose … Continue reading ‘All that Heaven allows’ and Sirkian melodrama
The American actor Richard Davalos, who played James Dean’s brother (Aron) in East of Eden (1955), has died. No-one would ever forget his performance as the half-crazed fiance (of Julie Harris) watching his love slipping away in the direction of Dean. Although his role in the Kazan … Continue reading Richard Davalos, East of Eden actor, dies at 85
Her most engaging performance ever was for Jacques Demy in his intoxicating musical The Young Girls of Rochefort. But her sister Francoise Dorleac got the best lines and some of the most engaging scenes with Gene Kelly who was still able to hoof it gloriously … Continue reading Catherine Deneuve