Paul Muni is ‘Scarface’ in the original gangster masterpiece on Criterion Channel

The original Scarface (1932), loosely but boldly based on the notorious life and legend of Al Capone, didn’t invent the modern American gangster film. It blew it up. Films like The Public Enemy and Little Caesar had whetted the American moviegoing appetite for crime movies that reveled in vicarious thrills before delivering a sentence of […]

Gary Cooper bids ‘A Farewell to Arms’ on Amazon Prime

A Farewell to Arms (1932), the first screen version of Ernest Hemingway’s novel, is not the most faithful adaptation—at 90 minutes, it was greatly reduced and Hemingway himself was quite vocal with his displeasure at the adaptation of his semi-autobiographical story—but almost a century later it is still the most passionate and moving version. Gary […]

‘The Bride of Frankenstein’ – a delirious sequel on Peacock and Criterion Channel

Boris Karloff wrings even more pathos from his plight as the misunderstood monster and Elsa Lanchester’s hissing, birdlike performance as the bride made her an instant icon.