David Weisbart

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Valley Of The Dolls Review


Very Good
Of all the camp classics available for your derision and laughter, Valley of the Dolls is surely one of the campiest, the kind of movie whose promotional stills are reproduced on T-shirts for sale in your finer gay gift shops, the kind of movie that has close to 30 memorable quotes listed online, the kind of movie so delightfully absurd that even Roger Ebert (of all people) was moved to pen an even more campy farce of a sequel.

A lurid '60s sensation about three young women who come New York to make it on big, bad Broadway, Jacqueline Susann's steamy bestseller was rushed to Hollywood and put on the screen fast. The result is one of those unwatchable/irresistible messes that's even more fun once you memorize the dialog and sing along with the musical numbers.

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Rebel Without A Cause Review


Excellent
Rebel Without a Cause, the second of the three films James Dean starred in before his untimely death, is the movie that made him an instant legend. Released just 27 days after his fatal car crash, the film froze him in time and later took on even more legendary proportions when his co-stars, Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo, also died premature deaths. (Amazingly enough, Dennis Hopper, who appeared in two Dean movies, is still alive.)

Nicholas Ray's study of the epidemic of juvenile delinquency that terrified post-war parents in the '50s is still compelling today even if the delinquency depicted -- leather jackets, switchblades, drag racing -- seems positively quaint by today's shoot-up-the-school-with-an-Uzi standards. Dean takes the role of Jim Trask and runs with it, chewing up the scenery when the script demands it and then throttling back into profound stillness in his moodier moments.

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Them! Review


Good
Who doesn't love a giant ant movie? Who? Them! is at once high camp and a decent monster flick, thanks to a good-sized budget for sets and the dulcet voice of Edmund Gwenn, as a scientist who's on hand to explain to the military -- with educational films, even -- why ants in the New Mexico desert have suddenly grown to a thousand times their normal size. (Hint: A-bombs!) Eventually we know they'll have to go after the queen, just another big puppet that looks hysterically bad (and is really the only bad special effect in the film). But along the way we are treated to Gwenn, screaming at a cop with a machine gun to "Get the antennas! He's helpless without them!" Priceless.
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David Weisbart Movies

Valley of the Dolls Movie Review

Valley of the Dolls Movie Review

Of all the camp classics available for your derision and laughter, Valley of the Dolls...

Rebel Without a Cause Movie Review

Rebel Without a Cause Movie Review

Rebel Without a Cause, the second of the three films James Dean starred in before...

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