Truth (2016) James Vanderbilt

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Based on former CBS news producer, Mary Mapes memoir, the film takes a look as the 60 Minutes II segment claiming that then President, George W. Bush, running for re-election in 2004 received special treatment back in the early 1970’s by passing over hundreds of other applicants to enlist in the Texas Air National Guard. This all happening while the Vietnam War was still in progress. Mapes is said to have received supporting documents from the files of George W. Bush’s then Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Jerry B Killian, then deceased. The files were delivered to Mapes by Bill Burkett, a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Texas Army National Guard. When the showed aired, Dan Rather said the documents have been authenticated by various experts. Continue reading

Home for the Holidays (1972) John Llewellyn Moxey

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Oh, there’s no place like home for the holidays                                                                                ‘Cause no matter how far away you roam                                                                                          When you pine for the sunshine of a friendly gaze                                                                            For the holidays you can’t beat home sweet home!                                                                                      Home for the Holidays – Al Stillman & Robert Allen Continue reading

Feline Noir: Cats and Cinema’s Mean Streets

Film noirs have their stock characters: the dangerous double crossing dame with a gat strapped on her thigh and poison in her heart. There is  the flawed hero,  the male sap seduced into committing felonious misdeeds. There are crooked cops, squealers or weasels and other down and out losers.  And there are felines. I’m not talking about the feline like femme fatales,  like say Laruen Bacall, but the four legged felines. Like their human counterparts, cats walk those dark mean streets, they’re always on the hunt. They have attitude and they live on the edge.

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Living on the edge

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The Grapes of Wrath on TCM – Feb. 10th

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John Ford’s The Grapes of Wrath is one of classic Hollywood’s most impressive and important films. Based on John Steinbeck’s 1939 novel, a morally emotional work filled with both rage and empathy; it won both the National Book Award and a Pulitzer. One year after the book’s publication came Ford’s masterpiece.

TCM is broadcasting the film on Friday (February 10th) at 8PM (Eastern).

Down below is an excerpt from my e-book, Lessons in the Dark, where you can read more about  The Grapes of Wrath classic films. Available at Amazon. Continue reading

Gold Diggers of 1933 on TCM – Feb. 9th

gold-diggers-of-1933-forgotten-manThe classic Depression era musical, Gold Diggers of 1933, will be on TCM Thursday February 9th at 10:15PM (eastern). Directed by Mervyn LeRoy, with a little help from Busby Berkeley, the film stars Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler and Aline McMahon as three out of work chorus girls sharing a cheap apartment all looking for work, love and money. Work comes with the help of rival Ginger Rogers who tells the ladies about a new show being readied for Broadway by producer Ned Sparks.

Down below is an excerpt from my e-book, Lessons in the Dark, where you can read more about  Gold Diggers of 1933 and other classic films. Available at Amazon. Continue reading

My Best Films of 2016

 The Top Ten

After removing the layers and layers of bottom feeding comic book fantasies, bowel retching sequels, mindless comedies and overblown blockbuster trash catering to the mindless masses, 2016 still managed to turn out to be a decent year in film with thoughtful films that actually say something, inform and yet still managed to entertain. Manchester by the Sea is my top film of the year. It’s a strong painful and tragic tale of deep emotional guilt that somehow manages to still include some nice bits of humor. Casey Affleck’s performance is a knock out punch that, like Denzel Washington’s and Viola Davis’ performances in Fences, reveals multiple layers of emotions staying with you long after you leave the theater. For me, a masterpiece. Continue reading

Private Property (1960) Leslie Stevens

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Private Property is an independent film from 1960 about two young and dangerous drifters who spy on and eventually work their way into the home of a beautiful young married woman. At the time of its release, the film was condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency for its lascivious themes and violence. Thought to have been lost for many years, Private Property is a voyeuristic journey into the minds of the morally corrupt. Corey Allen, of Rebel without a Cause fame and later a TV director, and Warren Oates star as the two vicious losers out for a good time at any expense.

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