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Richard III and Disinformation in TOWER OF LONDON (1939)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on May 8, 2019

One probably doesn't go looking for timely political commentary in a film like Tower of London (1939), which offers a mashup of history and horror in its retelling of the bloody rise and fall of England's most reviled monarch. Much of the plot is familiar to viewers thanks to broad cultural awarenes read more

Classic Films in Focus: DARK WATERS (1944)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Feb 12, 2019

Somewhere between Lifeboat (1944) and Gaslight (1944) lies the plot of Dark Waters (1944), in which Merle Oberon stars as the survivor of a U-boat attack whose fragile sanity is tested by a collection of nefarious characters. All three pictures appeared in the same year, but the first two are decide read more

2018 Movie Log in Review

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Jan 22, 2019

2018 was an exceptionally busy year for me beyond my usual activities, so it's no shock that I didn't watch as many films this year as I have in previous years. A part-time volunteer effort became a full-time job on top of homeschooling my high schooler and keeping up with other volunteer work, but read more

Classic Movie Tourism: King Kong on Broadway

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Jan 16, 2019

Some 85 years after the great ape's original screen debut, King Kong has made a triumphant return to New York City, this time as the star of his own Broadway musical. There have been plenty of sequels, reboots, revisions, and reincarnations featuring the oversized cinema gorilla, but I've never seen read more

The End of FilmStruck

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Nov 16, 2018

For the last six months my movie watching and review writing have been severely curtailed due to pressing work on other efforts, but I always comforted myself with the thought that FilmStruck would be there waiting for me after November 6 passed. Now, alas, the cruel corporate gods at AT&T have read more

High School Movies, Then and Now

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Sep 18, 2018

Netflix recently released a handful of romantic comedies set in high schools, including To All the Boys I've Loved Before and Sierra Burgess is a Loser, and their arrival has provided an opportunity to watch a new generation of high school movies and reflect on those that came before, particularly t read more

Classic Films in Focus: BLONDE CRAZY (1931)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Aug 15, 2018

Blonde Crazy (1931) is a Pre-Code cracker that really puts the slap in its slapstick, with Joan Blondell regularly smacking costar James Cagney as the pair make their way through a series of scams and double crosses. Cagney's conman deserves Blondell's tough love; his Bert is too smart for his own g read more

Movie Log for June 2018

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Jul 9, 2018

I've been unusually busy this summer, which means that my movie viewing has been fairly limited. In spite of that, I've been enjoying the summer blockbuster fare and classics on FilmStruck, which has a wonderfully robust collection that changes frequently (the subscription is definitely worth it, so read more

Classic Films in Focus: JULIA MISBEHAVES (1948)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Jun 5, 2018

Directed by Jack Conway, Julia Misbehaves (1948) is a charming, frothy romantic comedy that reunites the stars of Mrs. Miniver (1942) for a rather different look at the ups and downs of marriage. Greer Garson kicks up her heels as a bohemian performer long estranged, but not divorced, from husband W read more

Classic Films in Focus: AFTER THE THIN MAN (1936)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on May 4, 2018

After the Thin Man (1936) reunites director W.S. Van Dyke and stars William Powell and Myrna Loy for a sequel to the 1934 hit, The Thin Man, in which Nick and Nora Charles first cracked wise and drank heavily through a crime-solving adventure. We pick up right where we left off at the end of the fir read more

FilmStruck! Finally!

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Apr 30, 2018

I'm delighted to announce that FilmStruck has finally arrived at our house. While I have been watching the development of this new streaming service since its early days, I had to wait for it to be available for Roku devices to enjoy it myself. Travel and commitment schedules made the first few mont read more

FilmStruck! Finally!

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Apr 30, 2018

I'm delighted to announce that FilmStruck has finally arrived at our house. While I have been watching the development of this new streaming service since its early days, I had to wait for it to be available for Roku devices to enjoy it myself. Travel and commitment schedules made the first few mont read more

Classic Films in Focus: THE WRONG ARM OF THE LAW (1963)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Apr 5, 2018

Directed by Cliff Owen, The Wrong Arm of the Law (1963) provides a genial, humorous look at the symbiotic relationship of cops and crooks in mid-century London, with Peter Sellers appearing to great effect as a criminal gang boss and Lionel Jeffries co-starring as an ambitious officer of the law. Th read more

Classic Films in Focus: THE WRONG ARM OF THE LAW (1963)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Apr 5, 2018

Directed by Cliff Owen, The Wrong Arm of the Law (1963) provides a genial, humorous look at the symbiotic relationship of cops and crooks in mid-century London, with Peter Sellers appearing to great effect as a criminal gang boss and Lionel Jeffries co-starring as an ambitious officer of the law. Th read more

FLASH GORDON and Sam Jones in Huntsville

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Apr 3, 2018

The 2018 Huntsville Comic Con opened with a screening of the 1980 cult classic Flash Gordon with a Q&A featuring special guest Sam Jones, who played the title character in the film. An excited audience gathered on Thursday, March 29th, to see the movie on the big screen and ask its star a few qu read more

FLASH GORDON and Sam Jones in Huntsville

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Apr 3, 2018

The 2018 Huntsville Comic Con opened with a screening of the 1980 cult classic Flash Gordon with a Q&A featuring special guest Sam Jones, who played the title character in the film. An excited audience gathered on Thursday, March 29th, to see the movie on the big screen and ask its star a few qu read more

Classic Films in Focus: DECOY (1946)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Mar 14, 2018

Directed by Jack Bernhard, Decoy (1946) is one of those film noir gems that lacks the glitter of a big budget and A-list stars but nonetheless shines with its own devilish light. Jean Gillie makes her penultimate screen appearance as a femme fatale so fixated on claiming a stolen fortune that she'll read more

Classic Films in Focus: DECOY (1946)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Mar 14, 2018

Directed by Jack Bernhard, Decoy (1946) is one of those film noir gems that lacks the glitter of a big budget and A-list stars but nonetheless shines with its own devilish light. Jean Gillie makes her penultimate screen appearance as a femme fatale so fixated on claiming a stolen fortune that she'll read more

Classic Films in Focus: DANCE, GIRL, DANCE (1940)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Mar 7, 2018

Dance, Girl, Dance (1940) offers a chance to see the directorial talents of Dorothy Arzner, one of very few women to direct films during the classic sound era. Not surprisingly, the movies Arzner directed were mostly "women's pictures," but quite a few iconic classics fall squarely into that categor read more

Classic Films in Focus: DANCE, GIRL, DANCE (1940)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Mar 7, 2018

Dance, Girl, Dance (1940) offers a chance to see the directorial talents of Dorothy Arzner, one of very few women to direct films during the classic sound era. Not surprisingly, the movies Arzner directed were mostly "women's pictures," but quite a few iconic classics fall squarely into that categor read more
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