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Review: Stagecoach (1939)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Apr 21, 2019

While the western hardly began with Stagecoach, one could go out on a very slight limb and say it became a more fully realized version of itself in the hands of John Ford; it all but grew in stature as a genre. This progression cropped out of the prevailing assumption of the day and age that the we read more

Loves of a Blonde (1965)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Apr 20, 2019

We lost the inimitable Milos Forman not too long ago and it was a minor embarrassment I had yet to watch one of his earlier works from his native Czechoslovakia where he was an integral member of what is now termed The Czech New Wave. He was, of course, best remembered in the U.S. for a pair of fil read more

Decoy (1946)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Apr 19, 2019

THIS IS MY VERY LATE ENTRY IN THE CMBA SPRING BLOGATHON: FEMME/HOMME FATALES OF FILM NOIR!  Like any self-respecting noir, this one chooses to open in a grungy gas station bathroom with a hero (Herbert Rudley) disheveled, hobbling, and covered with grime. We can gather he’s been through hell. read more

Review: Hud (1963)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Apr 18, 2019

“I’ve always thought the law was meant to be interpreted in a lenient manner. Sometimes I lean one way and sometimes I lean the other.” – Paul Newman as Hud Hud is up for contention for the finest film Martin Ritt ever made and it comes down to a truly collective effort. Whe read more

The Long, Hot Summer (1958)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Apr 17, 2019

As it turns out, Paul Newman’s a real barn burner. His family name is synonymous with conflagrations and it’s a great entry point for a character, in this case, a drifter named Ben Quick who’s run out of town by the local judge. We never actually know if he was guilty of arson or n read more

The Left Handed Gun (1958)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Apr 16, 2019

Few figures in the West have the mystique in western lore as Billy the Kid, aside from a few prominent names like Wyatt Earp, Butch Cassidy, Jesse James, etc. Billy Joel even famously penned a tune chronicling the life of the outlaw. Part of the allure, no doubt, has to do with his youth and the ca read more

Review: Cool Hand Luke (1967)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Apr 15, 2019

While I might not consider it one of the finest films ever produced, Cool Hand Luke features one of the most mythic characters ever conceived for the movies. He’s one of those figures who can seemingly only exist on celluloid. Luke Jackson comes out of a certain turbulent period in American h read more

Incredibles 2 (2018)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Apr 12, 2019

Pleasant surprises abound in Incredibles 2. What is supremely evident is that Brad Bird still has a pulse on quality storytelling just as the overall animation is blessed by the continual technological advancements in the medium. Here we are picking up right where the previous film left off with read more

Murphy’s Romance (1985)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Apr 11, 2019

Despite the pure 80s-ness of the synths, I cannot help but be charmed by Carol King’s vocals in the opening track to go along with an entire score she composed for this film. It introduces an understated tale of a young divorced mother (Sally Field) and her son (Corey Haim) who are setting up read more

The Americanization of Emily (1964)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Apr 9, 2019

“Don’t show me how profitable it will be to fall in love with you, Charlie. Don’t Americanize me.” – Julie Andrews as Emily Yes, Kubrick’s film is definitive. Though something inside of me wants to rale against convention and wave the flag for The Americanization read more

The Search (1948)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Apr 7, 2019

Any knowledge of director Fred Zinnemann only aids in informing The Search. Formerly living in a Jewish family in Austria, he would immigrate to the bright lights of Hollywood in the 1930s only to have both his parents killed in the Holocaust. So if you think he had no stake in this picture you woul read more

Leave No Trace (2018)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Apr 6, 2019

Leave No Trace instantly reminded me of two distinct reference points. The first relates to a man named Richard Proenneke who lived in the Alaskan wilderness for 30 years building his own cabin and raising his own food in a life of tranquil solitude. Then, the other comes from a book I read when I w read more

Norma Rae (1979)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Apr 5, 2019

If you had any trouble possibly liking Sally Field before — consequently, one of the sweetest actresses ever to cross the screen — then there’s little gripe to be had with her any longer. Norma Rae really does feel like a gift for her. Both as a story to be a part of and a characte read more

The Chase (1966)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Apr 5, 2019

Of all the reasons to watch this movie, I felt compelled to as a roundabout reevaluation of Robert Redford’s career as he just recently said The Old Man and The Gun would be his last film. He more recently still, admitted he never should have said he was retiring but for all intent and purpos read more

Sounder (1972)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Apr 3, 2019

In adolescence, you are inundated with stories about dogs. The Red Fern Grows, Shiloh, Homeward Bound, Ginger Pie, Marmaduke, Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, Air Bud, Snoopy, and Old Yeller. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, off the top of my head. Sounder belongs to the same storied tradition bas read more

Paris Blues (1961)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Apr 1, 2019

I’m the first to admit I’m no jazz connoisseur but I dig it. In this age that we now live in of shuffling and song roulette — where the single has surged passed a cohesive album in terms of singular importance — there has been some small amount of education going on for me. read more

No Down Payment (1957)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Mar 31, 2019

When a film seems to materialize in front of you coming out of nowhere and subsequently moves you, it seems worthy to try and champion it to others who might also be pleasantly surprised. But first, I believe an acknowledgment of director Martin Ritt is in order because I’m not sure how much read more

Footlight Parade (1933)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Mar 28, 2019

Though it still came out in the middle of The Depression, there is a sense that Footlight Parade does not confront the contemporary issues head on and maybe that causes it to lose some potential power. Because, in a sense, it’s a period piece even if that period is only a few years prior when read more

Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Mar 26, 2019

With the opening number “We’re In The Money,” this musical sticks it to The Great Depression and gives their audience a respite from the poverty waiting outside the theater doors. The tone is set as Ginger Rogers, surrounded by rows of scantily clad coin-covered women, sings out o read more

42nd Street (1933)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Mar 24, 2019

“Sawyer, you’re going out a youngster but you’ve got to come back a star!” – Warner Baxter to Ruby Keeler 42nd Street essentially feels like hallowed ground even today because it single-handedly gave an entire generation of films plentiful ammunition for tropes while j read more
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