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Night Call (1964, Jacques Tourneur)

The Stop Button Posted by Andrew Wickliffe on Jan 31, 2019

Night Call’s pre-Rod Serling tag has lead Gladys Cooper having trouble sleeping through a thunderstorm. She then gets two phone calls at 2 a.m., with just static on the line. The next day, after the Serling intro promising Cooper’s in for a momentous event, Cooper tries reporting the phone calls read more

Experiment Perilous (1944, Jacques Tourneur)

The Stop Button Posted by Andrew Wickliffe on Nov 8, 2018

Experiment Perilous is a strange film. Not the plot–well, some of how the plot is handled–but the strangeness comes from the result of how the film is executed. It’s a Gothic family drama set in twentieth century New York City without a lot of the family. There’s a flashback sequence, but Perilous read more

Out of the Past (1947, Jacques Tourneur)

The Stop Button Posted by Andrew Wickliffe on Jul 14, 2015

Out of the Past always has at least two things going on at once. Not just the double crossings, which is so prevalent lead Robert Mitchum even taunts the bad guys with it, but how the film itself works. Daniel Mainwaring’s script–which gives Mitchum this lengthy narration over a flashba read more

I Walked with a Zombie (1943, Jacques Tourneur)

The Stop Button Posted by on Dec 4, 2013

Before it stumbles through its third act, I Walked with a Zombie’s biggest problem is the pacing. It’s exceedingly boring during the second act. Its second biggest problem is it’s too short. The second act plays so poorly because there’s not enough going on, there’s ju read more

What Do You Think? (1937, Jacques Tourneur)

The Stop Button Posted by on Oct 15, 2013

Well, What Do You Think? is one bland short film. There are some definite strengths to it. Tourneur’s direction of the actors is outstanding, especially at the beginning at a Hollywood party, when he’s cutting between various actors. All of Think is told in narration (from Carey Wilson) read more

Killer-Dog (1936, Jacques Tourneur)

The Stop Button Posted by on Oct 3, 2013

Killer-Dog is the story of a dog on trial. Really. It’s a courtroom short concerning a farm dog accused of being a sheep killer. Tourneur and producer Pete Smith take a while to get to that detail though, just referring letting the sensational title do the work of riling the viewer’s im read more

The Leopard Man (1943, Jacques Tourneur)

The Stop Button Posted by on May 16, 2013

The Leopard Man has such beauteous production values–one would never think it was a low budget picture, not with Robert De Grasse’s lush blacks and he and director Tourneur’s tracking shots–it’s a shame the acting fails the film. A lot of the problem the script. Co-scr read more

Cat People (1942, Jacques Tourneur)

The Stop Button Posted by on Feb 22, 2013

How to describe Cat People…. When a swell, blond American (Kent Smith) meets a dark (but not too dark) Eastern European woman (Simone Simon), she rouses all sorts of non-apple pie passions in him. Being a swell guy, he pressures her into marrying him–she’s clearly emotionally dist read more

Berlin Express (1948, Jacques Tourneur)

The Stop Button Posted by on Nov 14, 2011

Berlin Express is a postwar thriller. In the late forties and early fifties, there were a number of such films—most filmed either partially or totally on location in the ruins of Germany. I was expecting Express to be more of a noir, but it’s not. With its pseudo-documentary approach, down to the read more

The Face Behind the Mask (1938, Jacques Tourneur)

The Stop Button Posted by on Aug 9, 2011

Until seeing The Face Behind the Mask, I had no idea there really was a mystery man in an iron mask. I’ve seen at least two of the movie adaptations, maybe three, and am aware of the source novel… I just had no idea it was based in some kind of fact. MGM calls the short a “histori read more

Canyon Passage (1946, Jacques Tourneur)

The Stop Button Posted by on Sep 18, 2008

Canyon Passage starts out strange. Dana Andrews shows up in 1850s Portland (Oregon) and, after some character establishing, fends off someone breaking into his room. It got me thinking later if the unseen event leading up to the intruder is actually the film’s dramatic vehicle, the event sett read more

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