Richard Kiley

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Blackboard Jungle Review


Good
Idealism in the public school system got its start here in 1955's Blackboard Jungle, based on the book that convinced America that our kids were not all angels and schools were not built from picket fence perfection. Today, Blackboard Jungle is surprisingly dated and ineffective, as its picture of high school violence and perversity seems quaint in comparison to Columbine-style massacres and Mary Kay Letourneau. Even the firey Sidney Poitier an Vic Morrow, playing the school's punks, seem set to a lower level than we've seen from them in later, mor compelling works.

Looking For Mr. Goodbar Review


Excellent
It takes a strong stomach to see Annie Hall playing a wanton slut of a woman, left behind by the sexual revolution. Nonetheless, Diane Keaton pulled a 180 in this gritty drama, about a schoolteacher for the deaf who experiments with drugs and (more importantly) wild sex, during the era of free love. Overflowing with symbolism and hopelessly depressing, this one is a true eye-opener. If you think you know Ms. Keaton -- you don't, until you've seen this one.

Pickup On South Street Review


OK
It's probably blasphemy, but I'll say it anyway: Pickup on South Street is simply an unremarkable film noir.

Samuel Fuller, best known for his masterful psycho-ward thriller Shock Corridor, made Pickup because he (per his interview on the new Criterion DVD) wanted to get inside the mind of the pickpocket, show how he lives, and really show the audience what he's all about. That's an admirable goal, and the film's opening scenes -- wherein a seedy-looking Richard Widmark is spied plying his trade on a subway -- give us about all the insight anyone really needs into the pickpocket life.

Continue reading: Pickup On South Street Review

Richard Kiley

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