Charles 'Buddy' Rogers and Clara Bow in Wings

‘Wings’ – The First Best Picture on SVOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Clara Bow takes top billing in Paramount’s lavish 1927 war drama Wings (1927) and Charles “Buddy” Rogers and Richard Arlen (both virtual unknowns at the time) play the buddies and fellow pilots at the center of the film, but the real star of this World War I picture is the amazing aerial spectacle: the dogfights […]

Gene Evans stars in Sam Fuller's 1952 'Park Row.'

‘Park Row’ on Amazon Prime Video

Free press and free enterprise are uniquely intertwined in Samuel Fuller’s Park Row (1952), the great American maverick director’s tribute to the pioneers of the modern American press in 19th century New York City. Gene Evans—Fuller’s burly alter ego in The Steel Helmet and Fixed Bayonets!—plays Phineas Mitchell, a newsman with big ambitions who goes […]

The cast of 'All About Eve' - Gary Merrill, Bette Davis, George Sanders, Anne Baxter, Hugh Marlowe, and Celeste Holm.

‘All About Eve’ on SVOD and Blu-ray/DVD

“Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.” All About Eve (1950), Joseph L. Mankeiwicz’s acerbic view askance at the Great White Way, is the writer/director’s Citizen Kane, a little less complex perhaps, but masterful in its own way in its cynical portrait of ambition on the boards. The barbed dialogue is […]

Paul Newman in Martin Ritt's 'Hombre'

Paul Newman in ‘Hombre’ on Netflix and Amazon Prime

Hombre (1967), adapted from the novel by Elmore Leonard, plays as a ruthless, revisionist take on Stagecoach. Paul Newman is the blue eyed “savage,” a white man raised by the Indians who rejects so-called civilized society for his spiritual family, who has chosen to go native rather than live in the lies and corruption of […]

Michael Redgrave, Margaret Lockwood, and Paul Lukas in Alfred Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes

Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Lady Vanishes’ and the pseudo-sequel ‘Night Train to Munich’ on Netflix

Hitchcock patented the romantic thriller with The Lady Vanishes (1938), a bright, breezy confection that takes his quirky cast (and the audience along with them) from an idyllic picture postcard of fantasy Europe to a nightmarish journey to the heart of the dark days of World War II that lay just ahead. This snappy, sophisticated […]

Essential Viewing: ‘Dr. Strangelove’ on Amazon Prime

The funniest film ever made about nuclear holocaust, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Stanley Kubrick’s screwball satire of cold war posturing and mutually assured destruction, didn’t begin as a comedy. The source novel, Peter George’s Red Alert, was a grave contemplation of the cold war gone hot […]

Orson Welles’s ‘Othello’ on Shout! Factory TV and Fandor

Orson Welles’ 1952 masterpiece Othello, his shoestring-budgeted adaptation of the Shakespeare tragedy, is an example of creative will overcoming physical liability. Using primitive (by Hollywood standards) equipment and a rotating crew, and interrupting his shoot to raise money, Welles shot in spurts over three years all over Italy and Morocco and matched images shot in […]