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Man Without A Star (1955): Kirk Douglas Drifting

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Aug 5, 2020

There are few better ways to get yourself into the spirit of a western than the majestic gusto of Frankie Laine (self-parodied in hilarious fashion by Blazing Saddles). It’s the segue into a mythical world. I assumed Kirk Douglas would be the fellow lacking a tin star. And yet the title is a read more

The Fastest Gun Alive (1956) and Glenn Ford Eaten Up Inside

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Aug 3, 2020

“There’s always somebody faster.” – Walter Baldwin as a Blind Man The Fastest Gun Alive chooses to reveal its threat before it offers up anything else. A hulking Broderick Crawford rides into a no-name town flanked by two cronies. He yells into the saloon for some man to com read more

Classic Movie Beginner’s Guide: Olivia de Havilland

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Aug 1, 2020

With the recent passing of Olivia de Havilland — one of the last living ties to some of the Golden Age of Hollywood’s hallowed classics — it seemed fitting  to acknowledge her talents in our latest classic movie beginner’s guide. Her most visible role was that of Melanie in read more

Un Flic (1972) and Fatalistic Forms of Masculinity

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Jul 30, 2020

“The only feelings mankind inspires in policemen are indifference and scorn.” – Eugène     François Vidocq Some of the great filmmakers are not great because they document a reflection of the world. More so they bend the world unto their own artistic vision, allowing us to see read more

Le Doulos (1962): Belmondo Plays Bogart

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Jul 28, 2020

“In this job you either end up poor or riddled with bullets.” – Jean-Paul Belmondo Director Jean-Pierre Melville has an impeccable gift for taking the most mundane actions and behaviors and making them so compelling. In the opening notes of Le Doulos, we have an ordinary man strol read more

8 Underrated Screwball Comedies

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Jul 25, 2020

Screwball comedies, like film noir, have a fairly devoted following and although they were very much of their time, they still have descendants and influences on the movies coming out today. Many of the heavy hitters from the 30s and 40s are household names, but I thought it would be fun to highlig read more

Two For The Road (1967): A Rom-Com for a New Era

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Jul 22, 2020

“If there’s one thing I despise it’s an indispensable woman.” – Albert Finney The world seemed a very different place in 1967. It had changed and with it, love and the romantic comedy underwent a transformation of its own. Because, in some sense, humanity had reached a read more

Indiscreet (1958): In Honor of Stanley Donen

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Jul 20, 2020

Note: This post was written soon after the passing of Stanley Donen. Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman on adjacent title cards is all you should need to watch the movie. Although I came for an entirely different name because this past spring we lost Stanley Donen — the last remnant of Hollywood&# read more

Alphaville (1965) and Godard The Humanist?

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Jul 15, 2020

“That’s always how it is. You never understand anything and, in the end, it kills you.” As a simple rule of thumb — a heuristic if you will — you can learn much about a person based on what camp they fall into when it comes to the Nouvelle Vague. For simplicity’s read more

Port of Shadows (1938) and Jean Gabin’s Face

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Jul 13, 2020

“Like the movies. I see you. I like you. Love at first sight.” – Jean Gabin Jean Gabin has one of the great visages of the cinema. But in making such a statement you immediately run the risk of giving the wrong impression. To actually see him on the big screen is to know what I me read more

Floating Clouds (1955): Capturing Japan’s Post-War Zeitgeist

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Jul 11, 2020

The Odyssey to finally get to Mikio Naruse has been a long and arduous one. I must admit, like many before me, his name carries none of the recognition we commonly lavish upon Kurosawa, Ozu, Mizoguchi, and a select few. So, for the longest time, there was no pursuit. His name was totally unknown. H read more

The Stooge (1952): A Martin & Lewis Biopic?

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Jul 9, 2020

If the story holds, Jerry Lewis named The Stooge among his favorites of the work he did during his famed partnership with Dean Martin. This was the sole reason for watching it and this is probably the most effective lens in considering what to make of it. The plot itself follows a show business nar read more

The Nutty Professor (1963): Jerry Lewis is Jekyll and Hyde

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Jul 7, 2020

I can bemusedly remember more than a few trips out to the high school football fields as our designated evacuation point for fire drills. The other times we ended up out there was more likely than not due to the chemistry department setting them off with some supernal explosion of their own devisin read more

It’s Love I’m After (1937): In Honor of Olivia De Havilland

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Jul 4, 2020

There is a very significant reason to be watching It’s Love I’m After at this time. Her name is Olivia de Havilland, and by some brilliant piece of Providence, she has just recently turned 104 years old! She, of course, was in her early 20s when this movie came out and what a charmer it read more

The Bellboy (1960) and Jerry Lewis The Goofball Auteur

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Jul 2, 2020

The Bellboy is introduced by a witty disclaimer as a studio executive (a cameo by Jack Kruschen) explains this is a film based on fun. There is no story. No plot. Instead, it acts as a visual diary in the week of a real nut! He subsequently reels about in his chair laughing hysterically. It breaks read more

The Ladies Man (1961): Herbert H. Heebert

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Jun 30, 2020

The French (and Europe in general) have unparalleled esteem for Jerry Lewis.  It no doubt allows them to put him in conversations with their own beloved Jacques Tati as the true heirs to the Chaplins and the Keatons of comedy. It’s no major revelation most Americans, flagged from the general read more

Classic Movie Beginner’s Guide: Beach Party Movies

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Jun 27, 2020

In our ongoing series, we’ve turned our focus to a specific person or genre we want to try and shine a light on. Today our topic is summer-themed. While it’s not exactly a venerated subgenre, the beach party movies are enjoyable nonetheless for evoking the surf craze and the teen beach c read more

Funny Face (1957) Shows Audrey Hepburn’s Enduring Beauty

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Jun 25, 2020

I’m not an expert on fashion photographers, but with only a passing interest in the industry, two of the most luminous names I know are probably Richard Avedon and Bob Willougby. Their names seem to crop up more than almost anyone when you consider film stills. It’s no coincidence that t read more

It’s Always Fair Weather (1955): A Musical For The TV Age

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Jun 23, 2020

Conventional wisdom tells us you don’t make a musical quite like this. It’s a bit of a nostalgia piece and already it seems like American was ready to move on with life after WWIII. It’s relatively straightforward to assume that It’s Always Fair Weather (1955) was a harbinge read more

The Band Wagon (1953) with Fred & Cyd

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Jun 18, 2020

Some may recall the opening titles of Top Hat (1935). They play over a man’s hat only for the head under it to move as the names subside, and we find Fred Astaire under its brim in his coat and tails. Now, well nigh 20 years later, the same imagery is being called upon. There’s an aucti read more
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