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Baby Face (1933)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Dec 8, 2018

Even in its opening moments, Baby Face made my heart heavy. I look at Lily, this young woman played by Barbara Stanwyck and sadness wells up within me. Because her environment is so oppressive. Getting constantly pawed at and manhandled with a father who has no conception of love. Then, she opens read more

Miracle Woman (1931)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Dec 5, 2018

“Beware of False Prophets which come to you in sheep’s clothing” – Mat. 8:15 The Miracle Woman is offered as a rebuke to anyone who, under the cloak of Religion, seeks to sell for gold, God’s choicest gift to Humanity —- FAITH.  There are title cards that open up read more

Night Nurse (1931)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Dec 3, 2018

We’re introduced to the day-to-day in a hospital ward with mothers giving birth, delinquents under police custody, and bootleggers coming in on the lamb with mysterious ailments. Barbara Stanwyck arrives in the office inquiring about a position as a nurse and she is flatly rejected for her re read more

The Virginian (1929)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Dec 1, 2018

Though the image quality of the print I saw hardly stands the test of time, there’s something almost modern about The Virginian’s characterizations or at least what it deems interesting to show. There’s actually a layering of tones and a fluctuation in the moral dilemma at its core read more

Impact (1949)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Nov 30, 2018

“In this world, you turn the other cheek and get hit by a lug wrench.” Impact is literally bookended by a dictionary that is opened and then closed with a concise description of the titular phrase to frame our narrative. It couldn’t be more uninspired but the word “impactR read more

The Web (1947)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Nov 29, 2018

An effort like The Web is precisely why many people would “die” for film-noir. Unless I am simply speaking for myself. But I don’t think so. Personally, I perked up upon reading the name William Bowers in the opening credits as one of the architects of the script because it’ read more

The Suspect (1944)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Nov 28, 2018

It is very much a male-oriented film in subject matter and frame of reference with Charles Laughton commanding center stage. He is the very figure that we are meant to empathize with as an audience. But it’s precisely those qualities, along with the presence of director Robert Siodmak, that read more

Odds Against Tomorrow (1959)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Nov 26, 2018

The unofficial timeline for classic film noir is approximately given as 1941-1958 but of course, there are notable outliers including Stranger on The 3rd Floor (1940) at the front end and this film, Odds Against Tomorrow, bringing up the rear. Pictures with what can easily be categorized as noir se read more

House of Bamboo (1955)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Nov 25, 2018

Leave it to Sam Fuller to make a film such as this — the first Hollywood film to be shot fully on location in Japan. His admiration for Japanese culture is not unheralded, specifically making something of a point to portray Japanese-Americans in pictures such as The Steel Helmet (1951) and Th read more

Clash By Night (1952)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Nov 24, 2018

Clash By Night comes from a stage play by Clifford Odetts and in one sense it’s extremely evident. However, being blessed by a still capable director in Fritz Lang and bolstered by quality talent does wonders for this squallish RKO drama. The portentous symbolism of Lang is on full display fr read more

The Narrow Margin (1952)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Nov 22, 2018

The Narrow Margin is comprised of tight and lean drama where every bit of film is used judiciously. This should rightfully earn it respect as one of the preeminent shoestring budget films of all time within any genre. Because it’s easy to admire films that do a fine job with a plethora of res read more

Whirlpool (1949)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Nov 20, 2018

Despite being ludicrously absurd, it’s impossible not to get whisked away by the swirling cauldron of psychological drama found in Whirlpool. Otto Preminger adds yet another perplexing noir to his filmography and it seems reasonable that Whirlpool along with The Fallen Angel (1945) and Angel read more

Daisy Kenyon (1947)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Nov 19, 2018

Otto Preminger always moves through space so fluidly with his camera, and Daisy Kenyon is introduced with a single scene, but it’s the perfect post for the film to hang its hat on. There’s Dan O’Mara (Dana Andrews) trying to get the cabby to keep the meter running only to relent read more

Pretty Poison (1968)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Nov 18, 2018

“Boy. What a week. I met you on Monday, fell in love with you on Tuesday, Wednesday I was unfaithful, Thursday we killed a guy together. How about that for a crazy week, Sue Ann?” – Anthony Perkins as Dennis Pitt Director Noel Black himself described the story as “a Walter Mi read more

Boomerang (1947)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Nov 17, 2018

Boomerang shares some similarities to Call Northside 777 and Panic in the Streets. Like the latter Elia Kazan film, this one boasts a surprising amount of real-world authenticity and a loaded cast of talent. Those are its greatest attributes as Kazan makes the bridge between the stage and the silver read more

Aguirre, The Wrath of God (1972)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Nov 16, 2018

The making of Aguirre, The Wrath of God might be as rich in myth as the film itself which charts a semi-fictitious story of Francisco Pizarro’s expedition to discover the golden kingdom of El Dorado. Not only was it the beginning of director Werner Herzog’s notoriously stormy partnershi read more

Shanghai Gesture (1941)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Nov 14, 2018

Josef Von Sternberg always seemed preoccupied with telling stories involving places that he indubitably knew little about but therein lies the allure. He could develop the Moroccos, the Shanghais, the Macaos into places imbued with far more meaning than they probably ever could have in real life. B read more

Scandal Sheet (1952)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Nov 13, 2018

There’s no need to mince words here. With a film christened Scandal Sheet you already have a good idea of what you’re probably going to get before it arrives. That’s fine. Straight to the point can be good. But the media angle is only a half of it. It’s as much a film of lur read more

The Country Girl (1954)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Nov 11, 2018

Yet another example of the prevalent trend of turning plays into film adaptations, director George Seaton took Clifford Odett’s eponymous work and plugged in three stars to carry the weight. Without question, the allure of The Country Girl is purely the trifecta of stars it assembles. Yes, it read more

The Window (1949)

4 Star Films Posted by 4 Star Film Fan on Nov 9, 2018

The main conceit is just too delightful to ignore. It posits the following dramatic question: What if the boy who cried wolf saw a murder being committed immediately afterward? Because that’s precisely what happens to little Tommy Woodry. He’s one of those imaginative little boys who li read more
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