Donald Pleasance and Gary Bond in the 1971 Australian drama by Ted Kotcheff

Australian cult film ‘Wake in Fright’ on Amazon Prime Video

Wake in Fright (1971), one of the seminal works of the New Australian cinema of the seventies, is a brutal, blackly funny thriller of an urban schoolteacher (Gary Bond) posted to the Australian Outback, which is a sun-blasted nightmare as far as he’s concerned. He can’t leave fast enough when his Christmas vacation arrives, but […]

Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman in the 1955 film by Douglas Sirk

‘All that Heaven Allows’ – Love as suburban opera on Amazon Prime Video

Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman were so successful in Douglas Sirk’s Magnificent Obsession that they all reteamed for All that Heaven Allows (1955) as Sirk became Universal’s house melodramatist. He turned improbable plots into social commentary and pulling back the covers of middle class hypocrisy with an ironic visual style and an almost operatic emotional […]

Charles Laughton and Kathleen Burke in the 1932 horror classic based on H.G. Wells' 'The Island of Dr. Moreau'

Are we not men? – ‘Island of Lost Souls’ on Amazon Prime Video

Dr. Moreau: What is the law? Sayer of the Law: Not to spill blood, that is the law. Are we not men? “Are we not men?” That question is at the heart of Island of Lost Souls (1932), the first adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel and (for all the changes from the novel) still […]

Leo Gordon and Neville Brand in the prison drama by Don Siegel

‘Riot in Cell Block 11’ on Amazon Prime Video

It may not have been obvious at the time but Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954) was a perfect match of film and filmmaker. Don Siegel later made a name for himself with his gritty Clint Eastwood collaborations (not to mention his brilliant Invasion of the Body Snatchers) but was just a promising journeyman director […]

John Krasinski

Coming to Amazon Prime Video in August 2018

Amazon Prime Video debuts the new original series Jack Ryan, starring John Krasinski as the Tom Clancy hero, and the Agatha Christie mystery miniseries Ordeal by Innocence with Bill Nighy, Alice Eve, and Matthew Goode in August. New movies include the streaming debut of the Amazon Studios action comedy Gringo with David Oyelowo, Joel Edgerton, […]

Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson star in the 1954 melodrama classic by Douglas Sirk

‘Magnificent Obsession’ – The grand melodrama of Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman on Amazon Prime Video

Jane Wyman’s Helen Hudson is the widow of a self-sacrificing surgeon. Rock Hudson’s Bob Merrick is an arrogant millionaire playboy whose reckless ways and attitude of entitlement indirectly lead to the death of Helen’s husband and to an accident that leaves her blind. The “magnificent obsession” of the title refers to a spiritual philosophy of […]

Burl Ives and Robert Ryan star in the western noir by Andre de Toth

‘Day of the Outlaw’ – snowbound western noir on Amazon Prime Video

Day of the Outlaw (1959), a western set in a snowbound mountain town on the high frontier, is one of the toughest, most tension-filled pictures from Andre de Toth, a studio filmmaker who could be counted on to bring a savage edge to his assignments. The town is already coiled like a spring thanks to […]

Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfus, and Robert Shaw star in Steven Spielberg’s summer blockbuster

‘Jaws’ – the original summer blockbuster on Amazon Prime Video

Jaws (1995), Steven Spielberg’s meticulously-directed, tension-filled, career-redefining thrill machine, has been pegged as the original modern summer blockbuster. And while that is true, this pop-culture masterpiece is more than simply a well-tooled thriller. Spielberg brings a sense of community, family, and humanity to the supermarket thriller from Peter Benchley, a book more designed than written. […]

Yael Stone and Noah Taylor in the Australian crime drama 'Deep Water'

‘Deep Water’ on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Acorn TV

Noah Taylor is veteran police detective Nick Manning and Yael Stone (180 degrees from her Orange is the New Black Jersey girl Lorna) his young partner Tori Lustigman in the Australian crime drama miniseries Deep Water (2016). It’s set in Bondi Beach, a suburb of Sydney famous for its tourist beaches and nightclubs that was […]