Continue reading: The Misfits Review
The master craftsmanship on display (placing virtually the entire film within the confines of the apartment of hobbled photographer L.B. Jeffries -- the inimitable James Stewart -- referred to as "J.B. Jeffries" on the back of the DVD case) has few parallels in modern cinema. The story by John Michael Hayes is one of Hitch's simplest yet most gripping: Jeffries spies the cleanup of a supposed murder across the way from his Manhattan apartment -- a sinister Raymond Burr cleaning knives and whatnot. He tells his girlfriend (Grace Kelly) and she laughs. His nurse (the unforgettable Thelma Ritter) mocks him also, urging him to marry instead of peeping out the window at strangers. But slowly, the truth is revealed, and even his most ardent naysayers join in the plot to uncover the reality of what happened in the apartment across the way. By the end of the picture, Kelly is prepared to break into Burr's apartment via fire escape because she's certain of what has happened inside.
Continue reading: Rear Window Review
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
This bizarre oddity actually features real-life husband and wife Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, five years after they were married, and thrown into an absurd love story that makes minimal sense and barely holds your interest for more than a few minutes. The setup is this: Newman is a journalist in Paris, and he thinks Woodward (despite her mannish looks here) is a high-priced call girl. He claims he wants to write a story about her, which of course is an entry to a love affair.
Continue reading: A New Kind Of Love Review
For those of you interested in a historical retelling of the Titanic disaster won't find it here; like Cameron, director Jean Negulesco puts a family drama on the boat. It may as well take place in a flat in London: Woman (Barbara Stanwyck) is taking the kids to America in order to escape deadbeat dad (Clifton Webb). Only dad shows up unexpectedly on the boat and causes all sorts of havoc with his overbearing ways, gambling, and general obnoxiousness.
Continue reading: Titanic (1953) Review