Home Tag "Retro Cinema"

Retro Cinema – The Lower Depths (1936)

Maxim “Gorky” is the famous nom de plume, meaning “the bitter one” in accord with the writer’s Socialist Realism criticism of Mother Russian political and social structures, particularly those prior to the Communist Revolution of 1917. The novelist, short story writer and dramatist’s most popular work for the “gutter” stage, THE LOWER DEPTHS/NA DNIE (1902) […]

Retro Cinema – Maureen O’Hara: The Biography

The film career of Maureen O’Hara represents something of an anomaly. A leading lady from the late 1930s through the early 1970s, her output represents an astonishing number of classic works: Hitchcock’s Jamaica Inn; The Hunchback of Notre Dame; Dance, Girl, Dance; How Green Was My Valley; The Black Swan; This Land is Mine; Sinbad […]

Retro Cinema – Onward & Upward

Michael Wiese was responsible for bringing me into the world of book publishing. My first two books, The Encyclopedia of Underground Movies (20040 and Independent Film Distribution (2006), were published by his company Michael Wiese Productions. Strangely, I am nowhere to be found in Wiese’s new memoir, Onward & Upward. But considering the cast of […]

Retro Cinema – The Bible – In the Beginning

This grand endeavor was among the seemingly endless number of multinational epic collaborations that polluted cinemas during the 1960s. It was helmed by an Italian producer (Dino De Laurentiis) and an American director (John Huston) who brought together a mix of U.S. and European actors and a Japanese composer (Toshirô Mayuzumi) to recreate the first […]

Retro Cinema – Testament Of Orpheus

Jean Genet directed only A Song of Love/Un chant d’amour. In that 1950 “realistic documentary of unreal events,” the ex-prisoner and playwright wordlessly pictures homo-eroticism between two prisoners (Coco Le Martiniquais, Lucien Senemaud) who cannot see each other in their adjoining cells but pleasure themselves, exchange cigarette smoke through a straw, embrace clothed and naked […]

Retro Cinema – Mame

When Paper magazine film critic Dennis Dermody was asked to name the scariest film of all time, he did not choose a horror flick or a thriller. Instead, he picked a musical starring one of the most beloved entertainers of the twentieth century. “Lucille Ball wearing that awful mask and singing ‘We Need a Little […]

Retro Cinema – The Life of Oharu

Kenji Mizoguchi’s 1952 film classic is adapted from the 17th century novel The Life of an Amorous Woman by Ihara Saikaku, but it resonates with an emotional maturity that results in a work of timeless drama. The film opens with the 50-year-old street prostitute Oharu, played with extraordinary subtlety by Kinuyo Tanaka, recalling the circumstances […]

Retro Cinema – Pius XII: Under the Roman Sky

There is a branch of revisionist history that is a little too eager to identify Pope Pius XII with Nazi Germany’s Holocaust. Some self-identified scholars insist that the pope did nothing and said nothing while Europe’s Jewish population was being exterminated, while others insist that the pontiff was a happy collaborator with Hitler. This 2010 […]

Retro Cinema – The 10 Greatest Films That Were Never Made

The recent news that Steven Spielberg planned to create a television mini-series based on Stanley Kubrick’s unfilmed screenplay on the life of Napoleon has called new attention to a shadowy genre of the motion picture world: cancelled productions. For every film that gets completed, there are dozens that never go beyond the pre-production stage. And […]

The Best Film You’ve Never Seen

In this book, 35 directors champion their favorite overlooked or critically savaged gems. Among these guilty pleasures, almost-masterpieces, and undeniable classics in need of revival are unsung noirs (Murder by Contract), famous flops (Can’t Stop the Music, Joe Versus the Volcano), art films (L’ange), theatrical adaptations (The Iceman Cometh), B-movies (Killer Klowns from Outer Space), and even a few Oscar-winners (Some Came Running).
Down And Dangerous Poster

Retro Cinema – Jubal

One of the more curious offerings in the Criterion Collection series is this 1956 Western, which offers a strange riff on Othello set against the vast grandeur of the 19th century Wyoming frontier. Glenn Ford stars as Jubal Troop, wandering cowboy that gets hired by a cattle operation run by crass but good-natured rancher (Ernest […]

Retro Cinema – The 10 Most Notorious Dubbed Performances of All Time

For an actor, the voice is perhaps the most important tool for crafting a performance. But on several occasions, it was decided that the actors on the screen were not capable of using their vocal prowess to their fullest. As a result, the actors’ voices were dubbed by other performers. Here are 10 of the […]