John Gavin

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Imitation Of Life (1959) Review


OK
Douglas Sirk's Imitation of Life sadly doesn't hold a candle to the 1934 original, which spoke to the difficulties of single parenting, race relations, and American entrepreneurship. By making lead Lora (Lana Turner) an actress instead of a pancake magnate, Sirk's film is robbed of much of the story's charm, turning this into some strange rendition of Mommie Dearest.

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Spartacus Review


Good
The original movie about gladiators, with Kirk Douglas taking the starring role in Stanley Kubrick's muddy epic (over three hours long) about slaves vs. Romans in the heyday of the Empire. Director Stanley Kubrick was obviously just collecting a paycheck for this one, though he stages some intricate battle scenes. Too bad he obviously couldn't have cared less about the lame love story and political machinations behind the scenes. Kubrick reported disowned this film, the only movie in his repertoire to earn such a fate.

Psycho (1960) Review


Essential
Thou shalt not take the term "genre-defining" in vain. How many movies, after all, really define a genre? That is, besides Psycho?

Alfred Hitchcock's first real horror movie not only set off a raging controversy and alarming threats of censorship, but it also ruined the morning shower for a generation of Americans. The shower scene, now one of the most famous and replayed moments in movie history, was just the knife's edge of this masterpiece of fear-dredging, Freudian obsession, and sadistic humor.

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