[email protected]

No match for bad dad Robert Mitchum

“If I see you put your hand in the plate one more time, I’m gonna’ stab you with this knife. You hear me?”

Bad dads: there are no George Baileys or clownfish named Marlin in this reprobative grouping of sires. Home from the Hill (1960) There were two venal Vincente Minnelli patriarchs to choose from, neither of whom ...

Family movies with ghosts of cartoons past

Bigweld’s gatekeeper is a direct descendant of Frank Morgan’s sentry in The Wizard of Oz

This week’s goal was to find three films to unite families around the set that didn’t contain any references to Christmas. The first two came easy. For some crazy reason, I had it in my ...

New Year’s Eve from Las Vegas to New York’s Fillmore East

Sinatra was allergic to retakes

Las Vegas and a mock Fillmore East play home to this pair of New Year’s Eve-themed comedies. Ocean’s 11 (1960) Frank Sinatra and a group of Korean war buddies regroup to knock over the five ...

A drunken bacchanal from Vincente Minnelli, Stanley Donen, and Rock Hudson

More alcohol consumed than at a fraternity hazing

Once upon a time, movie alcoholics had a name, and that name was “funny drunks.” This week’s politically incorrect offerings put a spigot on two booze-enhanced works of art before uncorking one mean drunk of ...

Bad taste with the PCA, NC-17, and John Travolta in drag

If the film’s main goal was to unmask, the detective work paid off

This week we offer up an uncut aggregation of bicycle thieves, censors’ needs, and cleaner Waters. — Scott Marks The Bicycle Thieves (1948) It was the first film to openly challenge the almighty Production Code ...

Nazi monster Halloween

Before it was over, our heroine had undergone a type of defilement the screen had not experienced since Pasolini’s Salo

Nazi monsters for Halloween. Black Book (2006) Whenever a Twitter poll asks people to name their favorite horror movie, I generally list Leni Riefenstahl’s Hitler-commissioned documentary Triumph of the Will. Forget about latex boogeymen, costumed ...

Roger Corman at the Dollar Tree

Local live wire faves

This week’s trio of discs came to me from various sources, reliable or otherwise. — Scott Marks The Black String (2019) Sensing a local angle, PR rep Justin Cook saw to it that a copy ...

Woman’s Liberation Cinema: from Kate Millett to Jane Fonda

“If Charlton Heston were a woman, would he have maintained the same career?”

Take a break from the E! True Hollywood Story mode of storytelling that’s currently passing for documentary filmmaking with these three gritty women’s documentaries. Three Lives (1971) A novelty at its time of release: this ...

JLo and Marc Anthony: box office gold?

The black-and-white footage is a textbook compendium of video interview clichés

Three films and no common thread; it’s that kind of week How the West Was Won (1962) When I was six, the owner of mom’s beauty parlor rigged a raffle and my family “won” tickets ...

Blake Edwards’ most personal, and impersonal, works

At the core of the film’s publicity was the playful tarnishing of Julie Andrews’ unassailable image

Two from Blake Edwards and a different shade of Pink Panther. Darling Lili (1970) One of director Blake Edwards’ most polished and personal works, Darling Lili was a musical released at a time when both ...

Dazzling stereoscopic table-top animation from Max and Dave Fleischer

“Mommy. Is ‘dancing on the moon’ another way of saying ‘making babies?’”

Welcome to the transmogrifying squash-and-stretch universe of studio animators Max and Dave Fleischer. Much of the humor flies in the face of political correctness, it’s my honor to announce. For links to the shorts, visit ...