Category Film

Ford v Ferrari

Ford v Ferrari is such a well-made, entertaining movie it made me do what I thought I’d never do, root for corporate America. More specifically, it made me root for the Ford Motor Company, a giant multinational corporation founded by a union-busting Nazi, against Ferrari, a posh Italian microbrand. It did so in two ways. […]

The Stranger (1946)

Early in The Stranger, perhaps the first mainstream American film about the Holocaust, Charles Rankin, a Connecticut prep school teacher played by Orson Welles, his fiancee Mary, her father, a Supreme Court Justice, her younger brother Noah, and Mr. Wilson, a federal government agent, are talking about the recent war with Germany. Rankin does not […]

Little Women (2019)

Last December when the marketing campaign for Little Women began — see it bros or you’re sexist — I tried to buy a ticket on Christmas Day, not so much to prove my “woke,” male feminist credentials, but simply because it was the least objectionable movie playing in the newly restored Cranford Theater down the […]

Dead Man Riding

In one of my favorite movies, El Cid by Anthony Mann, Charlton Heston plays Don Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, better known to history as El Cid. Cid is not only the perfect embodiment of Christian Chivalry, he’s the ideal leader of what could have been a multicultural Spain where Muslims and Catholics lived together in […]

Three Days of the Condor (1975)

In many ways I agree with the late Dennis Grunes. Three Days of the Condor is a bad movie. The plot is slow and convoluted. The cinematography is dreary and uninspired. Robert Redford is wooden and unconvincing as an intelligence analyst who stumbles upon a rogue agency within the CIA. There’s a gratuitous, cringe worthy […]

An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)

The Shiite mob that stormed the United States Embassy in Iraq chanting “Death to America” the day before New Years Eve left me feeling no strong emotions one way or the other. It’s not going to change anything. While the Taliban and all of Shiite and Sunni militias in Iraq are strong enough to mount […]

The Red Shoes (1947)

In 1947, the British people were tired. They had spent the years 1939 to 1945 getting bombed. There were shortages, food rationing, and a long list of casualties. 383,600 soldiers and 75,000 civilians were dead. During the course of the war, the United States Navy had surpassed the British Navy. Britannia no longer ruled the […]

Day of Wrath (1943)

In his Epistle to the Corinthians, St. Paul wrote that without the capability to love, a believer, even one martyred for the faith, cannot be a real Christian. “If I give away all I have,” he wrote, “and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” In his […]

Black Legion (1937)

The United States is a country of 315 million people, people composed of every race, religion, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation in the world. Yet these days all Americans seem to be afraid of a foreign other. Every time Democrats lose an election, or a debate on social media, liberals blame Russia. Conservatives want a […]

Anna Karina: 1940-2019

Anna Karina (real name Hanne Karin Bayer), Jean-Luc Godard’s muse and ex-wife, has died at the age of 79. Her iconic dance number from the movie Bande à part was filmed the year before I was born. I sometimes get the feeling that in a past life I lived in a better world than the […]