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Classic Films in Focus: A LETTER TO THREE WIVES (1949)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Dec 13, 2016

Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, A Letter to Three Wives (1949) sets up its domestic drama with a perpetually absent antagonist who forces a trio of women to consider the central problems of their marriages. This approach makes the homewrecker as mysterious as she is troublesome, but it frees up th read more

75 Years in CASABLANCA (1942)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Dec 5, 2016

It's December 1941 when Ilsa walks into Rick's Cafe Americain. "In all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world," he complains, "she walks into mine." It is not, however, simply chance, since Rick's Cafe occupies a border space between European chaos and American safety. Through that space I read more

75 Years in CASABLANCA (1942)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Dec 5, 2016

It's December 1941 when Ilsa walks into Rick's Cafe Americain. "In all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world," he complains, "she walks into mine." It is not, however, simply chance, since Rick's Cafe occupies a border space between European chaos and American safety. Through that space I read more

Classic Movies for Courage

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Nov 17, 2016

It's easy to think that art doesn't matter in the face of fear and oppression, but sometimes art can change the world, whether for better or for worse. Charles Dickens secured the future of Christmas with A Christmas Carol, while Leni Riefenstahl shored up Hitler's regime. Uncle Tom's Cabin helped t read more

Classic Movies for Courage

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Nov 17, 2016

It's easy to think that art doesn't matter in the face of fear and oppression, but sometimes art can change the world, whether for better or for worse. Charles Dickens secured the future of Christmas with A Christmas Carol, while Leni Riefenstahl shored up Hitler's regime. Uncle Tom's Cabin helped t read more

Classic Films in Focus: THE TINGLER (1959)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Nov 14, 2016

The Tingler (1959) is one of William Castle's most famous horror gimmick pictures, partly because of its star, Vincent Price, and partly because of its wacky use of wired seats and paid plants to elicit screams from the theater audience. Sadly, the modern home viewer can't enjoy the weird thrills of read more

Classic Films in Focus: THE TINGLER (1959)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Nov 14, 2016

The Tingler (1959) is one of William Castle's most famous horror gimmick pictures, partly because of its star, Vincent Price, and partly because of its wacky use of wired seats and paid plants to elicit screams from the theater audience. Sadly, the modern home viewer can't enjoy the weird thrills of read more

Domestic Madness in MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE (1948)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Nov 7, 2016

As I watched Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948) again the other day, several things struck me that I hadn't given much thought to on previous screenings. One was that director H.C. Potter might have sped things up a bit, especially in the first quarter, where the scenes run more like docume read more

Domestic Madness in MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE (1948)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Nov 7, 2016

As I watched Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948) again the other day, several things struck me that I hadn't given much thought to on previous screenings. One was that director H.C. Potter might have sped things up a bit, especially in the first quarter, where the scenes run more like docume read more

Classic Films in Focus: MR. SARDONICUS (1961)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Nov 1, 2016

Horror showman William Castle ventures into Gothic territory more familiar to Roger Corman and Hammer Studios with his 1961 feature, Mr. Sardonicus, which saves its trademark Castle gimmick, the Punishment Poll, for the very end of the film. Adapted from the story by Ray Russell, Mr. Sardonicus also read more

Classic Films in Focus: MR. SARDONICUS (1961)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Nov 1, 2016

Horror showman William Castle ventures into Gothic territory more familiar to Roger Corman and Hammer Studios with his 1961 feature, Mr. Sardonicus, which saves its trademark Castle gimmick, the Punishment Poll, for the very end of the film. Adapted from the story by Ray Russell, Mr. Sardonicus also read more

Classic Films in Focus: 13 GHOSTS (1960)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Oct 30, 2016

Modern viewers probably won't watch this William Castle haunted house feature with Illusion-O viewers, the way original audiences did, but 13 Ghosts (1960) is still a treat for classic horror fans. It's quintessential Castle fare, with low-budget thrills, a nutty gimmick, and all the features - or f read more

Classic Films in Focus: 13 GHOSTS (1960)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Oct 30, 2016

Modern viewers probably won't watch this William Castle haunted house feature with Illusion-O viewers, the way original audiences did, but 13 Ghosts (1960) is still a treat for classic horror fans. It's quintessential Castle fare, with low-budget thrills, a nutty gimmick, and all the features - or f read more

Classic Films in Focus: THE CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE (1944)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Oct 18, 2016

Ostensibly a sequel to the 1942 horror classic, Cat People, The Curse of the Cat People (1944) is in reality a completely different kind of tale. It's not really a horror movie and not really a sequel to the original film, even though it brings back most of the characters from the earlier outing and read more

Classic Films in Focus: THE CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE (1944)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Oct 18, 2016

Ostensibly a sequel to the 1942 horror classic, Cat People, The Curse of the Cat People (1944) is in reality a completely different kind of tale. It's not really a horror movie and not really a sequel to the original film, even though it brings back most of the characters from the earlier outing and read more

Classic Movie Haunted Houses for Halloween

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Oct 13, 2016

Last week we spent a few days in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, where, at the insistence of my teenage daughter, we visited a commercial haunted house. It's called Mysterious Mansion, but there's nothing very mysterious about it. Visitors pay $16 a pop for 15 minutes of being jumped at and chased around by read more

Classic Movie Haunted Houses for Halloween

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Oct 13, 2016

Last week we spent a few days in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, where, at the insistence of my teenage daughter, we visited a commercial haunted house. It's called Mysterious Mansion, but there's nothing very mysterious about it. Visitors pay $16 a pop for 15 minutes of being jumped at and chased around by read more

Drug Store Delilah: Audrey Totter in TENSION (1949)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Oct 5, 2016

Audrey Totter is one of many actresses we naturally associate with noir; her best remembered films include noir classics like Lady in the Lake (1947) and The Set-Up (1949), and she also appears in a supporting role in The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946). Less well known than these other pictures i read more

Drug Store Delilah: Audrey Totter in TENSION (1949)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Oct 5, 2016

Audrey Totter is one of many actresses we naturally associate with noir; her best remembered films include noir classics like Lady in the Lake (1947) and The Set-Up (1949), and she also appears in a supporting role in The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946). Less well known than these other pictures i read more

Classic Films in Focus: OBSESSION (1949)

Virtual Virago Posted by Jennifer Garlen on Sep 21, 2016

Released in the United States as The Hidden Room, Edward Dmytryk's Obsession (1949) is an unusual little gem of a thriller, a strangely polite and very English story of murder, jealousy, and revenge. It makes the most of its cast and its setting to craft a thoughtful tale of suspense that never beco read more
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