‘Carnival of Souls’ on HBO Max and Criterion Channel

Carnival of Souls (1962), an imaginative tale of a chilly church organist who is haunted by apparitions (looking very zombie-like in greasepaint make-up) is a minor masterpiece of independent genre filmmaking of the sixties. Candace Hilligoss stars as a young woman who stumbles out of the river after the car she was in goes through […]

Burt Lancaster is the ‘Birdman of Alcatraz’ on Amazon Prime Video

Filmmaker John Frankenheimer earned his first major big screen success with Birdman of Alcatraz (1962), his third theatrical feature and his second collaboration with producer/star Burt Lancaster (they would make five films together all told). Lancaster delivers an angry, brooding performance as real life criminal Robert Stroud, a violent killer who developed into an internationally […]

Carroll Baker and Ralph Meeker in the film by Jack Garfein

‘Something Wild’ – a 1962 rediscovery on Criterion Channel

Not to be confused with the Jonathan Demme screwball comedy/thriller by the same name, the 1962 Something Wild is an unusually frank and sensitive drama about a teenage girl recovering from rape. The film opens on the assault, a non-explicit scene that communicates both the violence of the rape and the terrible sense of violation […]

Shirley Clarke directs this pioneering American independent film

Shirley Clarke’s landmark ‘The Connection’ on Criterion Channel

The Connection (1962), the debut feature from Shirley Clarke, turns a stage play originally produced by New York’s revolutionary Living Theater as a play within a play into an innovative work of cinema. Clarke was a pioneering American independent filmmaker before that label was even invented and her work was unpreserved and largely unavailable until […]

Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea in the classic western by Sam Peckinpah

‘Ride the High Country’ – Sam Peckinpah’s sunset western on VOD and disc

Ride the High Country (1962), the second feature by Sam Peckinpah—and his first unqualified masterpiece—is a laconic tale about the end of the frontier that both celebrates and deconstructs the romantic view of old west nobility and heroism. He casts two old hands at the genre—Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea—as old friends and veteran lawmen […]

Alberto Sordi stars in Alberto Lattuada's brilliant satire from Italy

The paternal hand of the ‘Mafioso’ on VOD and Criterion DVD

Mafioso (Italy, 1962), Alberto Lattuada’s brilliant satire of Sicily’s “paternal” mafia, became the cinematic rediscovery of 2006 when it was revived and shown at the New York Film Festival. Alberto Sordi plays the Sicilian son made good, a business professional in Milan who, bubbling over with sentimental zeal, brings his Milanese wife and two adorable […]

Anthony Quinn, Peter O'Toole, and Omar Sharif star in the Oscar-winning epic from director David Lean

David Lean’s masterpiece ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Lawrence of Arabia (1962), David Lean’s epic adventure based on the true-life story of T.E. Lawrence (played by Peter O’Toole in a compelling, complex performance), is the most beautiful big screen film ever made, which means it’s grandest attributes suffer on video no matter how big your screen is. It’s also a fiercely intelligent drama […]

Kirk Douglas stars with Edward G. Robinson in the 1962 melodrama by director Vincent Minnelli.

‘Two Weeks in Another Town’ – Old Hollywood meets the 1960s on VOD and DVD

Two Weeks in Another Town (1962) is one of my favorite Vincent Minnelli films of the 1960s, a movie melodrama (as in a melodrama about the movies) set in the Italy, where has-beens and struggling talents come to cash in on cut-rate productions and one washed-up actor (Kirk Douglas) tries to find his confidence after […]

Peter Wyngarde and Janet Blair star in the adaptation of the Fritz Leiber novel from director Sidney Hayers

‘Burn, Witch, Burn!’ on Amazon Prime

Burn, Witch, Burn! (1962), also called Night of the Eagle, is a smartly-turned thriller about witchcraft, skepticism and dark magic adapted from the Fritz Leiber novel “Conjure Wife” by two of the masters of fantasy, horror and suspense: Richard Matheson and Charles Beaumont (both veteran Twilight Zone scriptwriters). Peter Wyngarde stars as the college psychology […]