The Merry Widow Waltz: Lubitsch’s Heaven Can Wait

It’s hard to imagine Ernst Lubitsch making something that isn’t a classy, urbane romantic comedy. "Heaven Can Wait" (1943) is an odd duck, though. For example, not many romantic comedies begin in Hell. Yet, it is here that we, and His Excellency, played by the devilish Laird Cregar, meet Henry Van Cleve (smoothie Don Ameche).

Why You Were Probably Wrong about Verbinski’s “Lone Ranger”

Verbinski’s characters—his worlds—are loopy and sometimes it seems as though the stuffing is coming out at the seams. Characters teeter on the edge of our world, sometimes falling off into bizarre other-worlds where there exist things like the fanged feral rabbits in "The Lone Ranger," or, really, whole swathes of the fourth "Pirates" film.

Tyrone Power Lurches Down “Nightmare Alley”

To move away from his usual roles as a romantic lead, Power bought the rights to the novel in order to play its antihero, Stan Carlisle. The story begins and ends at a carnival sideshow, with characters musing about the show’s geek, a man brought so low that he bites the heads off chickens.

Johnny Eager (1941): What’s the Angle?

"Johnny Eager" (1941) is one of those movies that has a central heterosexual romantic relationship but in which the arguably more important relationship is the one between two male characters. Here, gangster Robert Taylor has Van Heflin at his side, as his best and only friend.

Tuesday’s Sunday Random Roundup, October 1, 2013

The zombies made me miss the Roundup last week. But now we have an actual developing story…perhaps even a scandal of sorts. So there’s no actual Roundup here, unless you think of it as a Roundup of one thing. I should make it clear that I have not yet read either Doherty’s or Urwand’s books…though

Sunday Random Roundup, September 15, 2013

Not really. It turns out this post is all about Hong Kong cinema. Other interesting tidbits will appear later this week. Well, now it’s been *two* weeks since the last post. Apologies. Since I’ve actually got a day job now, I have to learn how to manage my time. And I was experiencing technical difficulties.