Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart in John Huston's 'The African Queen'

‘The African Queen’ – Bogie and Hepburn on Netflix

The African Queen (1951) – Humphrey Bogart is Charlie Allnut, the hard-drinking captain of a sputtering steam-powered boat that gives the film its title. Katharine Hepburn is Rose Sayer, a spirited missionary spinster serving the Lord in German East Africa with her brother (Robert Morley). It’s September 1914, the early days of World War I, […]

Pioneers of African-American Cinema

Blu-ray / DVD: Pioneers of African-American Cinema

Pioneers of African-American Cinema (Kino, Blu-ray, DVD) – The legacy of African-American filmmaking—specifically films made by and for African-American audiences before Hollywood integrated its casts and gave leading roles to African-American actors—is largely unknown to even passionate films buffs, in part because the films were rarely seen by white audiences in their day, and in […]

Jason Robards is Al Capone in Roger Corman's 'St. Valentine's Day Massacre

‘The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre’ on Amazon Prime

The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (1967) gave Roger Corman, the director-producer who earned the nickname “King of the Bs,” the biggest budget of his career to date. After more than 40 films, most of them for the budget-challenged AIP, he was hired by 20th Century Fox and given the resources of their studio, casting department, […]

Toshiro Mifune in Akira Kurosawa's 'Drunken Angel,' co-starring Takashi Shimura

‘Drunken Angel’ and ‘Stray Dog’: Kurosawa Noir on Criterion Channel

Like filmmakers all over the world, Akira Kurosawa’s films took a darker turn after the end of World War II, when the national demands of rousing propaganda films were no longer an industry imperative and filmmaker and audiences faced the challenges of life after war. Here are two of his most interesting and most compelling […]

Harold Lloyd in 'Safety Last,' his most famous thrill comedy.

Criterion Streams: Harold Lloyd’s ‘Safety Last’ on Hulu

Safety Last (1923) is the most famous of Harold Lloyd’s silent comedies and first of his “thrill pictures,” films that he built around slapstick ingenuity in the midst of daredevil stunts. This one has a doozy: Lloyd scales an office building in downtown Los Angeles, fumbling and fighting with obstacles the entire way. The image […]