‘The Tall Target’ – steam noir on Criterion Channel

Anthony Mann’s The Tall Target (1951) is a rare period piece noir. This one is set in 1860 and the tall target of the title is President-elect Abraham Lincoln. Dick Powell plays the lone police detective who believes in the conspiracy to assassinate Lincoln on his journey to be sworn in as President and, in […]

Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in the film that won 10 Academy Awards

‘Gone with the Wind’ on HBO Max

Gone with the Wind (1939), one of the most beloved and revered of American classics, showcases the best and worst of old Hollywood. You can’t miss the idealization of antebellum South, presented as some sort of proud aristocracy blinded by arrogance and yet elevated to a kind of American Camelot served by complacent slaves, or […]

Hurd Hatfield, George Sanders, Angela Lansbury and Donna Reed star in the film by Albert Lewin

‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ on Criterion Channel

Made for MGM in 1945, the handsome and elegant The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945) is still the best adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s only novel. Hurd Hatfield plays Dorian Gray, a handsome, earnest young man who stops aging after having his portrait painted, and George Sanders is Lord Henry Wotton, the hedonistic cynic who tempts […]

Woody Allen and friend in the comedy co-starring Diane Keaton

Woody Allen’s ‘Love and Death’ on Amazon Prime and Hulu

In Love and Death (1975), Woody Allen spoofs epic Russian literature, Chekov plays, and Bergman movies with a mix of philosophical vaudeville and Borscht Belt one-liners and sight gags. It was his sixth feature as a director and his third screen appearance with Diane Keaton, who gets as many punchlines as Allen does, and often […]