The Star is a straight-up shot at a washed-up has-been. Her star years behind her, Davis's Elliot tries to fight her way back to the screen, failing to realize she's no longer a sexy vamp (Davis was 44 at the time) and nobody cares about her Oscar (here Davis is seen clutching one of her real statuettes) any more. It ultimately falls to old flame Barry Lester (Sterling Hayden in a remarkably soft and surprisingly quiet performance) to coax her back into reality, though his big idea -- that she should become a salesperson at Saks Fifth Avenue -- comes off as a little bit insulting.
Continue reading: The Star Review
Ranking as filmcritic.com's #1 movie of all time in our recent Top 100 Films of the Millennium feature, I suppose we have some explaining to do as to why we picked it. Not only is the movie wickedly funny, it's a subversive anti-war film that shows just how easily a conflict could erupt and the end of the world be brought about. The cast is top notch, and Sellers would have stolen the show if George C. Scott, Pickens, and Sterling Hayden didn't keep taking it back. Never for five seconds is this film less than perfect -- from its devilish gags (courtesy of co-writer Terry Southern) to its hilarious improvisations (courtesy, of course, of Sellers) to its simply unpredictable plot. I've seen this movie two dozen times and each with each viewing not only do I get something more from it, but I keep thinking the ending is going to change.
Jungle is one of Hayden's finest hours, earnest and searing as he finds himself wrapped up in the perfect crime -- a jewel heist which is (unfortunately) a rather simple safecracking affair. This time out, Hayden's desperate gambling addict looks about ready to do anything in order to get back to the pastoral farm where he grew up -- and we believe it.
Continue reading: The Asphalt Jungle Review
In Italian: Molto bene.
Continue reading: The Godfather Review
Continue reading: The Killing Review
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.