Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, and Claudia Cardinale star in Luchino Visconti's adaptation of Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s novel

Last chance: Burt Lancaster is ‘The Leopard’ in Luchino Visconti’s masterpiece on Criterion Channel

The Leopard (Italy, 1963), Luchino Visconti’s adaptation of Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s novel (said to be a national touchstone for Italy), is his masterpiece. Burt Lancaster (his voice is dubbed by a deep-voiced Italian) may seem an unusual choice to play Prince Don Fabrizio Salina, an idealistic 19th century Sicilian prince (Visconti favored Laurence Olivier, a […]

‘The Executioner’ – a satire of Spain under Franco on Criterion Channel

The Executioner (Spain, 1963), Luis García Berlanga’s black comedy about an apprentice undertaker who marries the daughter of a veteran prison executioner and reluctantly takes his father-in-law’s job so they do not lose their government apartment, is a social satire with a sly sense of humor. Nino Manfredi plays the undertaker, a frustrated young man […]

Satyajit Ray’s ‘The Big City’ on Criterion Channel

The Big City (India, 1963) is the tenth feature from the great Bengali filmmaker Satyajit Ray but his first set in the modern world of urban life, specifically the economic desperation in 1950s Calcutta as the banks collapsed. As in other films, he takes an interest in the lives of women in the changing social […]

Ray Milland stars in Roger Corman's science fiction horror

Roger Corman’s ‘X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes’ on Amazon Prime

Roger Corman and Ray Milland followed up their first collaboration, the Edgar Allan Poe adaptation The Premature Burial, with X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963), a science fiction thriller by way of a Greek tragedy. Milland is Dr. James Xavier, who experiments with a formula that will the human eye to see beyond […]