Don Bauder 8:42 p.m., May 23
Goodness, but there are a lot of movies out there.
High Noon! Either the most American or most anti-American film out there, depending on who you ask! (You know, either it lionizes self-reliance or lambastes our notion of small-town average-citizen decency. What does democracy depend on, anyway - great men or good masses? Etc.) Go and then spend the night arguing about America! Perfect for an election season.
The Philadelphia Story! From Brendan Gill's memoir A New York Life: "More than most American writers of his day, [The Phildelphia Story author Philip] Barry was drawn to the the rich and wellborn. To their astonishment, he found them interesting and therefore to be cultivated. They were seductive in their good looks and good manners, and so he was careful to remain unseduced by them. They might take him up, these charming insiders, but they didn't take him in. He had been born an outsider, and that gave him a certain dark advantage. He stood his ground among them, sometimes at moments when they were unaware that he felt any need to do so. He would eat with them and drink with them and at parties and on other social occasions he woudl give what they spoke of as excellent value - civilities of attentiveness, of badinage, of flattery - but he watched them warily." And this is what came of that.