Crime & Mystery & Film Noir & Thrillers: Articles

'Trouble Is My Business': Humorous Film Noir Pays Homage to 'Touch of Evil' & Other Classics

Trouble Is My Business with Brittney Powell. Co-written by actor/voice actor Tom Konkle, who also directed, and Xena: Warrior Princess actress Brittney Powell, Trouble Is My Business is a humorous homage to film noirs of the 1940s and 1950s, among them John Huston's The Maltese Falcon and Orson Welles' Touch […]

'Detroit' Movie: Kathryn Bigelow 1967 Riots Depiction 'Horribly Real' & 'Deeply Self-Serving'

Detroit movie street riot scene: The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow tackles the 1967 Detroit riots in “horribly real” and “deeply self-serving” 2017 release marketed as a “dramatic thriller.” Kathryn Bigelow's 'Detroit' movie: Horribly real semidocumentary or self-serving Hollywood depiction of 1967 Detroit Rebellion? In the […]

Crime Novel Remembered: Everywoman Heroine & Bourgeois Values + 'Straight & Gay' Movie Versions

Crime novel The Blank Wall by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding. While her husband is away during World War II, housewife Lucia Holley – the sort of “Everywoman” who looks great in a two-piece bathing suit – does whatever it takes to protect the feeling of “normality” in her bourgeois, suburban household. […]

'Latin Lover' - The 2nd Valentino & 1st (and Best) Sam Spade: Q&A with Ricardo Cortez Biographer Dan Van Neste

“Latin Lover” Ricardo Cortez, who went on to play a series of all-American scoundrels and criminals, in addition to similar unsavory types of other nationalities. Although never as big a star as fellow silent era screen heartthrobs Rudolph Valentino, Ramon Novarro, and John Gilbert – or fellow Pre-Code era antiheroes […]

Edgar G. Ulmer Movies: 'The Black Cat' & 'Detour'

Edgar G. Ulmer movies on TCM: 'The Black Cat' & 'Detour' Turner Classic Movies' June 2017 Star of the Month is Audrey Hepburn, but Edgar G. Ulmer is its film personality of the evening on June 6. TCM will be presenting seven Ulmer movies from the mid-1930s to the mid-1960s, […]

Dana Andrews Movies: Film Noir Actor Excelled as Angst-Ridden Characters

Dana Andrews movies: Complex film noir actor excelled in both major and minor crime dramas. Dana Andrews movies: First-rate film noir actor excelled in both classics & minor fare One of the best-looking and most underrated actors of the studio era, Dana Andrews was a first-rate film noir/crime thriller star. […]

Swampland Race Relations: Old Indie Mixes 'Interracial' Love + Vengeance & Voodoo

Swampland race relations in Chloe, Love Is Calling You: Desired by two handsome white men, is Olive Borden black or white? Swampland race relations: Bizarre 'Chloe Love Is Calling You' mixes reactionary ideas & voodoo Whenever I watch a film such as the swampland-set 1934 thriller Chloe, Love Is Calling […]

'Rebecca' 1940: Alfred Hitchcock Oscar Winner Returns to Brazilian Screens

Rebecca 1940: Joan Fontaine as the “successor” and Judith Anderson as the creepy lesbian housekeeper, madly in love with her deceased mistress. 'Rebecca' 1940: Alfred Hitchcock Best Picture Oscar winner back on Brazilian screens Based on Daphne Du Maurier's 1938 novel, Alfred Hitchcock's first Hollywood movie, Rebecca (1940), has briefly […]

'Money Monster' Review: Jodie Foster Message Movie Ruined by Plot Contrivances & Dishonesty

Money Monster with George Clooney and Jack O'Connell: TV celebrity and unwise investor/hostage-taker in Jodie Foster-directed socially conscious drama that is severely handicapped by a mix of pretentiousness and cowardice. 'Money Monster' review: Jodie Foster movie suffers from both qualitative and intellectual disconnect Sometimes there's a difference between what a […]

William Cameron Menzies Movies: Murderous Joan Fontaine & Nazi Communists

William Cameron Menzies. William Cameron Menzies movies on TCM: Murderous Joan Fontaine, deadly Nazi Communists Best known as an art director/production designer, William Cameron Menzies was a jack-of-all-trades. It seems like the only things Menzies didn't do was act and tap dance in front of the camera. He designed and/or […]

'Black Swan' Movie Review: Natalie Portman 'Visceral' Downward Spiral

'Black Swan' movie with Natalie Portman: Distraught ballerina goes mad. 'Black Swan' movie review: Natalie Portman rises to challenge in 'most mature' Darren Aronofsky effort Darren Aronofsky has one of the most amazing talents for not only crafting impeccable works of fiction but also for framing these works against the […]

'Mildred Pierce' 1945: Joan Crawford 'Terrific' in Film Noir or Melodrama?

Joan Crawford in 'Mildred Pierce': Best Actress Oscar winner enjoyed a triumphant comeback. 'Mildred Pierce' 1945 movie review: Very entertaining 'soap opera' Time has a way of making some films seem grander than they really are. A good example is Mildred Pierce, the 1945 black-and-white melodrama directed by Casablanca's Michael […]

Coleen Gray: From Stanley Kubrick to 'The Leech Woman,' School Prayer Amendment Fight

Coleen Gray: Actress and film noir good girl went from Stanley Kubrick's 'The Killing' to 'The Leech Woman.' Coleen Gray: Actress in early Stanley Kubrick film noir, destroyer of men in cult horror 'classic' Actress Coleen Gray, best known as the leading lady in Stanley Kubrick's film noir The Killing […]

'And Then There Were None' Movie Remake: Oscar Nominee Morten Tyldum to Direct

'And Then There Were None' movie with Barry Fitzgerald, Walter Huston, June Duprez, Louis Hayward and Roland Young. 'And Then There Were None' movie remake to be directed by Oscar nominee Morten Tyldum One of the best-known Agatha Christie novels, And Then There Were None will be getting another big-screen […]

'Spy' Movie Review: Melissa McCarthy Carries 'Transgressive' Feminist Statement

Spy movie poster with Melissa McCarthy. 'Spy' movie review: 'Transgressive' feminist statement There's been a lot of talk around the ol' virtual water cooler about the feminist messaging embedded in Mad Max: Fury Road. George Miller's riveting, post-apocalyptic free-for-all features the male title character taking a back seat to a […]

'JFK' Movie Review: Oliver Stone Flawed But Riveting Kennedy Assassination Conspiracy Paranoia

'JFK' movie with Kevin Costner as Jim Garrison. 'JFK' assassination movie: Gripping political drama gives added meaning to 'Rewriting History' If it's an Oliver Stone film, it must be bombastic, sentimental, clunky, and controversial. With the exception of “clunky,” JFK is all of the above. It is also riveting, earnest, […]

'Munich' 2005 Film: Deeply Flawed But Most Satisfying Steven Spielberg Effort in Decades

'Munich' 2005 film cover. 'Munich' 2005 film review: Steven Spielberg tackles political time-space continuum in wildly uneven but ultimately satisfying thriller Alternately intriguing and irritating, thought-provoking and banal, subtle and patronizing, the biggest surprise about Steven Spielberg's Munich (2005) is that it – however grudgingly – works. The film, which […]

Teresa Wright in 'Shadow of a Doubt': Hitchcock Heroine in His Favorite Movie

Teresa Wright in 'Shadow of a Doubt,' facing serial killer Joseph Cotten. Teresa Wright in 'Shadow of a Doubt': Alfred Hitchcock heroine in the director's favorite film (See preceding article: “Teresa Wright: Actress Made Oscar History.”) After scoring with The Little Foxes, Mrs. Miniver, and The Pride of the Yankees, […]

Lizabeth Scott Dead at 92: Film Noir Star & Elvis Presley Leading Lady

Lizabeth Scott dead at 92: Film noir star of the '40s and '50s Lizabeth Scott, a Paramount star in the 1940s usually cast as film noir heroines, died of congestive heart failure on Jan. 31, 2015, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Scott, born (as Emma Matzo) on Sept. […]

'Idol's Eye' Movie Canceled: Robert De Niro and Robert Pattinson Thriller

'Idol's Eye' would-be co-star Robert Pattinson. 'Idol's Eye' production shut down: Robert De Niro, Robert Pattinson and Rachel Weisz to have starred in Olivier Assayas' action-thriller Production on screenwriter-director Olivier Assayas' action-thriller Idol's Eye, which was to have starred two-time Oscar winner Robert De Niro (The Godfather: Part II, 1974; […]

'Gone Girl': David Fincher Biggest Debut?

'Gone Girl': David Fincher directs Ben Affleck. 'Gone Girl' weekend box office: Biggest David Fincher opening weekend ever? Directed by David Fincher, Gone Girl is expected to top the North American box office this weekend, Oct. 3-5, '14, while boasting Fincher's biggest domestic opening ever. Or maybe not – if […]

'Sherlock Holmes' Movie Found

Sherlock Holmes with William Gillette. 'Sherlock Holmes' movie found at Cinémathèque Française Sherlock Holmes, a long-thought-lost 1916 feature starring stage performer and playwright William Gillette in the title role, has been discovered in the vaults of the Cinémathèque Française. Directed by the all-but-forgotten Arthur Berthelet for the Chicago-based Essanay production […]

Audrey Long Dies: Film Noir Actress, Leslie Charteris Widow

Audrey Long: Actress in films noirs and Westerns. Audrey Long, actress in B movies and author Leslie Charteris widow, dead at 92 Actress Audrey Long, a leading lady in mostly B crime dramas and Westerns of the '40s and early '50s, and the widow of The Saint creator Leslie Charteris, […]

'No Good Deed' Movie Box Office Goes Unpunished Despite Rotten Reviews

'No Good Deed' movie with Idris Elba. 'No Good Deed' movie going unpunished to top weekend box office? Apologies for the bad wordplay above, but if Friday estimates are a reliable indicator, No Good Deed should indeed go unpunished to the top of the domestic box office this weekend, September […]

THE ROVER Trailer HD: Robert Pattinson, Guy Pearce and Total Anarchy

'The Rover' trailer HD: Robert Pattinson and Guy Pearce in David Michôd's Australian Outback-set thriller (image: Robert Pattinson in 'The Rover') The Rover, David Michôd's futuristic, Australian Outback-set thriller that will premiere at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival (Midnight Screenings), has a new trailer. Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson star […]

'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit' Review: Chris Pine Stars in 'Moderate Failure'

'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit' review: Kenneth Branagh thriller 'plays everything too close to the middle' (image: Chris Pine in 'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit') It's been 12 years since CIA analyst Jack Ryan made his last motion picture appearance. The movie was The Sum of All Fears, those fears being fully […]

Audrey Totter: Film Noir Actress Dead at 95

Audrey Totter ca. late 1940s Audrey Totter: Film noir actress and MGM leading lady dead at 95 Audrey Totter, film noir femme fatale and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract player best remembered for the mystery crime drama Lady in the Lake and, at RKO, the hard-hitting boxing drama The Set-Up, died after suffering […]

'Captain Phillips' Movie Review: Tom Hanks Movie Misses the Forest for the Trees

'Captain Phillips' with Mahat M. Ali, Tom Hanks and Faysal Ahmed. 'Captain Phillips' movie: 'Incomplete' and 'less than completely satisfying' In Paul Greengrass' thriller starring Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips, the titular Captain is a merchant ship's skipper whose cargo vessel, the MV Maersk Alabama, was hijacked by Somali pirates in […]

'Only God Forgives' Review: Nicolas Winding Refn Darkest Film

Only God Forgives with Ryan gosling. 'Only God Forgives' review: Nicolas Winding Refn's 'darkest and most oblique' film In Nicolas Winding Refn's surrealist revenge thriller Only God Forgives, Julian (Ryan Gosling, of Refn's Drive) and his brother Billy (Tom Burke) run a Muy Thai boxing academy in Indonesia. The place […]

'Jack Reacher': Tom Cruise Flops? + Barbra Streisand Bombs & Bette Midler Surprises

Jack Reacher movie with Tom Cruise. One of the top box office stars of the last three decades – e.g., Top Gun, Rain Man, Jerry Maguire, Mission: Impossible & sequels – Tom Cruise has had his ups and downs at the domestic box office in the last five years or […]

'Killing Them Softly': Brad Pitt Worst Wide Box Office Debut Ever + Another 'Twilight' Landmark

Killing Them Softly with Brad Pitt. Directed by Andrew Dominik and toplining one of the biggest movie stars on the planet, Brad Pitt, Killing Them Softly is about to have the worst opening weekend ever of any Pitt star vehicle in wide release. Screened at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, […]

'Gangster Squad' Trailer: Roaring '50s Sean Penn as Mickey Cohen

Gangster Squad trailer: Over-the-top Sean Penn as Mickey Cohen The Gangster Squad trailer features an over-the-top Sean Penn as mobster Mickey Cohen, who came to Los Angeles in the '50s to create his own private fiefdom. The Los Angeles Police Department (ironically, notorious for its rampant corruption and abuse of […]

'The Bourne Legacy': Jeremy Renner Trailing Matt Damon Bourne Movies

'The Bourne Legacy' with Jeremy Renner. 'The Bourne Legacy' box office: Jeremy Renner thriller tops chart, but below expectations Aug. 13, '12, update: Directed by regular Bourne franchise screenwriter Tony Gilroy and starring Jeremy Renner, The Bourne Legacy ended up performing more modestly than Universal expected. According to weekend (Aug. […]

Tom Cruise 'Jack Reacher' Movie Trailer HD

Tom Cruise Jack Reacher movie trailer Tom Cruise Jack Reacher movie trailer. The "international” trailer for the latest Tom Cruise movie, Jack Reacher, first appeared online a couple of days ago. Now comes the official Jack Reacher trailer for the North American market. And in HD, too. Well, make that […]

'Little Caesar' Movie: Edward G. Robinson Iconic - But Badly Dated - Gangster

Edward G. Robinson, Little Caesar Little Caesar is a good example of a film that is historically important, but that has dated very poorly. Tony Gaudio's camera work is mediocre, Warner Bros. musical director Erno Rapee's spare soundtrack is garbled, and the acting is for the most part wooden. Even […]

'The Bourne Legacy': Jeremy Renner Reboot to Succeed? + 'Akira' Debacle

Jeremy Renner in 'The Bourne Legacy': Aaron Cross replaces Matt Damon in 'The Bourne Identity' reboot. Jeremy Renner in 'The Bourne Legacy': First look at Aaron Cross Matt Damon has gone from The Bourne Identity movies to Cameron Crowe's We Bought a Zoo and Neill Blomkamp's upcoming Elysium. In Damon's […]

'The Negro Soldier' & 'The Big Heat' Among National Film Registry Additions While Gays & Lesbians Bypassed

The Negro Soldier poster. Produced by Frank Capra and directed by Stuart Heisler, the 1944 documentary feature The Negro Soldier was one of numerous propaganda films commissioned by the United States' War Department during World War II. Their goal was to get more Americans – in this particular case black […]

Anna Massey: Alfred Hitchcock & 'Peeping Tom' Actress Has Died

Frenzy with Anna Massey. The daughter of Best Actor Oscar nominee Raymond Massey (Abe Lincoln in Illinois, 1940) and the sister of Best Supporting Actor nominee Daniel Massey (Star!, 1968), Anna Massey had key supporting roles in two psychological crime dramas of the mid-to-late 20th century: Michael Powell's Peeping Tom […]

'Abduction' Trailer: Taylor Lautner Life a Lie

'Abduction' with Taylor Lautner: Movie life (and thrills) after 'Twilight'? 'Abduction' trailer: Taylor Lautner life a lie Twilight actor Taylor Lautner is at the center of Abduction. The trailer for the Lionsgate release directed by Academy Award-nominee John Singleton (Boyz n the Hood, 1991) and written by Shawn Christensen (the […]

'No Country for Old Men' Review: Joel and Ethan Coen Actioner

Synopsis: West Texas, 1980: A hunter (Josh Brolin) stumbles upon numerous dead bodies, a stash of heroin, and $2 million in cash lying about in the region's arid wasteland near the Rio Grande. He takes the money and runs, but is followed by a cold-blooded killer (Javier Bardem). All the […]

'Breathless' Review: Jean-Luc Godard Wildly Overrated Classic?

Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Breathless The fact that an artist writes boringly to convey boredom, or childishly to convey puerility, has no effect on the resultant work being neither boring nor puerile. Self-awareness of a flaw does not alleviate the flaw. For that to not be true, intent in art […]

'Inception' Movie: Christopher Nolan Summer Blockbuster with Brains & Heart

Leonardo DiCaprio in 'Inception.' 'Inception' movie review: Summer blockbuster with brains & soul Christopher Nolan's Inception is a summer blockbuster that doesn't act like one. Unlike so many of the tedious, one-note Big Movies that get released year after year, Inception has not only brains, but a heart and a […]

'The Black Dahlia' 2006 Review: Brian De Palma Misguided Film Noir Homage

'The Black Dahlia' 2006 with Scarlett Johansson and Josh Hartnett. 'The Black Dahlia' 2006 movie review: Film noir homage is The Big Snooze (image: ) Stylized without being stylish, intricate without being intriguing, heavy without being dramatic. That pretty much sums up director Brian De Palma and screenwriter Josh Friedman's […]

'Match Point': Woody Allen Back to Form Tells 'A British Tragedy'

Match Point with Jonathan Rhys Meyers If Alfred Hitchcock were to direct a screenplay written by Nietzsche, Dostoevsky, and Stanislaw Lem, and based on Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy, the result would be something like Woody Allen's latest opus, Match Point. A dark fable about the vagaries of chance in […]

'The Departed' Review: Jack Nicholson Nearly Capsizes Mob Thriller

The Departed with Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio. Best Picture Academy Award winner The Departed boasts a respectable pedigree: the cop thriller was directed by Martin Scorsese; edited by Thelma Schoonmaker; shot by Michael Ballhaus; accompanied by Howard Shore's music; adapted by William Monahan from the 2002 Hong Kong hit Infernal […]

'Black Swan': Natalie Portman Low-Budget Drama Passes $200M Milestone Worldwide

'Black Swan' with Natalie Portman as a psychologically fractured ballerina. Natalie Portman 'Black Swan' passes $200 million mark worldwide Darren Aronofsky's $13 million-budgeted psychological thriller Black Swan, which stars Best Actress Oscar nominee Natalie Portman, passed the $200 million milestone worldwide on Feb. 23, '11. To date, Black Swan – […]

'Marathon Man': Laurence Olivier Is Saving Grace in Absurd Thriller

Laurence Olivier, Marathon Man The deadliest sin a good-guy-vs.-bad-guy movie can commit is to – unintentionally – have us root for the evildoer. That is exactly what director John Schlesinger (Darling; Midnight Cowboy; Sunday, Bloody Sunday) and screenwriter William Goldman (adapting his own novel, reportedly with some help from Robert […]

'Training Day' Movie: Ethan Hawke Steals Show from Denzel Washington in Mediocre Cop Drama

Training Day with Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke. Every few years, the Los Angeles Police Department gets embroiled in one scandal or other. The public is then told that the problem has been caused by a few “bad apples”; the system itself remains spotlessly clean. We get to taste quite […]

'Operation Thunderbolt': Pedestrian Real-Life-Inspired Terrorism Drama

Operation Thunderbolt with Klaus Kinski and Sybil Danning Despite the complex and gripping real-life basis for Mivtsa Yonatan / Operation Thunderbolt – the 1976 hijacking of a Tel Aviv-Athens-Paris Air France flight – director-co-producer-co-scenarist Menahem Golan managed to make a film utterly devoid of suspense, depth, or intelligence. With its […]

AFI Awards: Criminal Family Values Worth 10 Trophies + Jacki Weaver for the Oscars?

AFI Awards winner Jacki Weaver in Animal Kingdom. The Australian Film Institute Best Actress winner has been nominated for several critics awards in the United States and is a likely Academy Award contender – in the Best Supporting Actress category. Weaver's previous AFI Award win took place more than three […]

'The Maltese Falcon': Humphrey Bogart & Femme Fatale Mary Astor Academy Screening

The Maltese Falcon with Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet An encore presentation of John Huston's 1941 Best Picture nominee The Maltese Falcon, will be presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Monday, September 13, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater […]

Burt Lancaster & Ava Gardner: 'The Killers' Academy Screening

Robert Siodmak's The Killers (1946), the film noir that catapulted Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner (above) to stardom, will be screened as the next feature in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' series “Oscar Noir: 1940s Writing Nominees from Hollywood's Dark Side.” The Killers will be shown on […]

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley In & Megan Fox Out + Tom Cruise Les Grossman Movie?

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Replaces Megan Fox in 'Transformers 3' Victoria's Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has been cast as Megan Fox's replacement in Michael Bay's Transformers 3. She has no acting experience – not that much emoting will be required from her. The robots will provide all the necessary acting in the […]

Joan Crawford 'Mildred Pierce' Academy Screening & Ann Blyth to Attend

Joan Crawford, Ann Blyth, Mildred Pierce Mildred Pierce, Michael Curtiz's film noir/family melodrama, earned Joan Crawford her only – and thoroughly deserved – Academy Award. The Oscar-nominated 1945 classic, which also features Ann Blyth, Zachary Scott, Jack Carson, Eve Arden, and Bruce Bennett, will be the next feature in the […]

'Double Indemnity' Academy Screening

Double Indemnity (1944), Billy Wilder's quintessential film noir starring Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray (right), and Edward G. Robinson, will be screened as the next feature in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' series “Oscar Noir: 1940s Writing Nominees from Hollywood's Dark Side” on Monday, June 7, at 7:30 […]

Chris Hemsworth 'Thor' & Carey Mulligan as 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'?

Chris Hemsworth in 'Thor': 'First look.' Chris Hemsworth as Thor Chris Hemsworth has the title role in Kenneth Branagh's upcoming Thor, Paramount's fantasy-adventure written by Ashley Miller and Don Payne, and based on the Marvel comic books. The image above is the first one released online. In addition to Chris […]

'Double Indemnity' & 'The Dark Mirror': Oscar Noir

Good news for LA-based film noirs fans: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will kick off a summer screening series, “Oscar Noir: 1940s Writing Nominees from Hollywood's Dark Side,” on Monday, May 10, with a big-screen presentation of John Huston's The Maltese Falcon, starring Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, […]

'Shutter Island' Scorsese-DiCaprio Biggest Hit?

'Shutter Island' with Leonardo DiCaprio: Things and people aren't necessarily what they seem to be in Martin Scorsese thriller. 'Shutter Island' to become biggest Martin Scorsese-Leonardo DiCaprio box office hit? Feb. 28, '10, update: Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo, Martin Scorsese's thriller Shutter Island has remained at the top […]

Roman Polanski & Martin Scorsese Thrillers: Berlin Film Festival Golden Bear Entries

The Ghost Writer with Pierce Brosnan and Ewan McGregor. In Roman Polanski's mystery thriller The Ghost Writer, which will be competing for the 2010 Berlin Film Festival's Golden Bear, former James Bond Pierce Brosnan (Tomorrow Never Dies, Die Another Day) plays a former British Prime Minister who – shades of […]

Christmas Cheer: Andy Hardy & Rediscovering Sherlock Holmes Actor + One of Best Woody Allen Movies

Christmas cheer: Love Finds Andy Hardy with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. George B. Seitz's Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938) reunited Thoroughbreds Don't Cry (1937) co-stars Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland; unlike their first pairing, this slice of what's often referred to as “Americana” was a major box office hit […]

Alfred Hitchcock's British Thrillers at LACMA

Dame May Whitty, Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave in The Lady Vanishes (top); Robert Donat in The 39 Steps (bottom) On Nov. 27-28, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will present the last four films in its “Hitchcock: The British Thrillers” series. They are: The 39 Steps (1935), starring Robert […]

'Broken Embraces': Pedro Almodóvar Film Noir with Femme Fatale Penélope Cruz

Broken Embraces: Pedro Almodóvar on the set (top); Penélope Cruz as the heroine (bottom). In the mystery-melodrama, a director and his female star begin a passionate love affair that leads to all sorts of trouble. Wendy Ide in The [London] Times: “Certainly, it is unmistakably an Almodovar film. Nobody else […]

Gerard Butler 'Law Abiding Citizen' Movie and Premiere Images

Directed by F. Gary Gray and written by Kurt Wimmer, the crime thriller Law Abiding Citizen stars Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx as two men on the opposite sides of law. It's just unclear who's actually on the right side: the district attorney (Foxx) who agreed on a plea bargain […]

'No Way Out' 1950: Sidney Poitier & Richard Widmark + Linda Darnell in Race-Themed Classic

Sidney Poitier, Richard Widmark in No Way Out Ruby Dee will be the special guest at a screening of No Way Out (1950), part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' “Monday Nights with Oscar” series on September 21 at 7 p.m. at the Academy Theater in New […]

'Public Enemies' Johnny Depp & Christian Bale Images + Saturn Awards & Silver Docs Film Festival Winners

'Public Enemies' with Johnny Depp. In Michael Mann's period crime drama Public Enemies, Johnny Depp plays John Dillinger, the Depression Era bank robber who became the top target of J. Edgar Hoover's FBI. Christian Bale plays Dillinger's nemesis, investigator Melvin Purvis; Marion Cotillard is Dillinger's gal, Billie Frechette; and Billy […]

'The Limey': Steven Soderbergh Thriller

Director Steven Soderbergh's 1999 so-called crime drama The Limey is easily the best Soderbergh effort I've seen. That's partly due to the innovative narrative structure, which makes all but the last few minutes of this great film a flashback. The rest is due to an excellent script by Lem Dobbs, […]

Joan Bennett & Michael Redgrave: UCLA Festival of Preservation

Tonight at 7:30 pm at UCLA's Festival of Preservation you'll be able to catch a screening of Fritz Lang's unfairly neglected Secret Beyond the Door (above), a 1947 noirish psychological melodrama starring Joan Bennett as woman married to Michael Redgrave, whom she suspects is out to kill her (possibly for […]

Carl Reiner & Robert Mulligan + Alfred Hitchcock & Celebrating Women Designers

Writer, director, actor, and producer Carl Reiner, among whose feature-film credits are the George Burns hit Oh God! (1977) and several Steve Martin vehicles, is the subject of a mini-retrospective at the American Cinematheque's Aero Theatre in Santa Monica that runs March 6-11. Reiner will make a personal appearance on […]

Marni Nixon Movies & Classic Film Noir (in Color): Film Forum Screenings

Marni Nixon. Marni Nixon, the voice behind, among others, Deborah Kerr in The King and I and An Affair to Remember, Natalie Wood in West Side Story, and Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady, will be honored at New York City's Film Forum on Monday, Feb. 23 at 7:30 pm. […]

'Los Abrazos Rotos': Pedro Almodóvar Neo-Noir + Paul Rudd & Jason Segel Dismal Comedy Trailer

Penélope Cruz, seen above in Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona, will not look like this in Pedro Almodóvar's next film, Broken Embraces / Los Abrazos rotos, for the director asserts he doesn't want his leading lady to “repeat those [hairstyles] she has worn in other films.” On his website, Pedro […]

B Film Noir Actress More Frightening Than Bette Davis? + The Savage Doppelgänger

B film noir Detour with Tom Neal and Ann Savage, looking more like your usual femme fatale. In the U.K., the Monthly Film Bulletin reviewer thoroughly dismissed Detour – but not Ann Savage – writing, “This very poor story has little to commend it. It tries the unusual by interspersing […]

Femme Fatale Ann Savage: 'Detour' Actress Labeled 'Meanest Woman in Film History'

Detour with femme fatale Ann Savage and Tom Neal. Ann Savage's film career was all but over by the early 1950s, and so was that of her Detour leading man Tom Neal[1]. Never an A-list – or even a B-list – actor, in the early '50s the former boxer was […]

'Valkyrie': Tom Cruise Film Receives 'Muted Praise' in Germany + Gay Slamdance Entries & Dubai Winners

Valkyrie film with Tom Cruise as Count Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg, the man who wanted to kill Adolf Hitler. The failed plot to assassinate the German Führer led to von Stauffenberg's execution at age 36 in July 1944, less than a year before the end of World War II in […]

'Tell No One': Q&A with Guillaume Canet

Several weeks ago, I chatted with actor-director-screenwriter Guillaume Canet, 35, at a West Hollywood hotel where Canet was promoting his romantic thriller Ne le dis à personne / Tell No One, which opens in Los Angeles and New York City tomorrow. Based on Harlan Coben's bestseller, Canet's accomplished and visually […]

'The Damned Don't Cry': Joan Crawford Gets Tough

The Damned Don't Cry movie review: Best post-Mildred Pierce Joan Crawford star vehicle at Warner Bros. Directed by Vincent Sherman (Old Acquaintance, Mr. Skeffington), the torrid 1950 potboiler The Damned Don't Cry is my favorite post-Mildred Pierce Joan Crawford star vehicle at Warner Bros. (Image: Kent Smith, David Brian, Joan […]

'L.A. Confidential' Screening: Neo-Noir Tries Really Hard to Bring Back 1940s Crime Classics

Curtis Hanson's 1997 Best Picture nominee L.A. Confidential will be the next feature in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' “Great To Be Nominated” series. The neo-noir crime drama will be screened on Monday, May 19, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. […]

'The Naked Kiss': Underrated Samuel Fuller Thriller

The Naked Kiss (1964) Dir. / Scr.: Samuel Fuller. Cast: Constance Towers, Anthony Eisley, Michael Dante, Virginia Grey, Patsy Kelly, Betty Bronson, Marie Devereux, Karen Conrad, Linda Francis     In the opening scene of Samuel Fuller's The Naked Kiss, we see a bald-headed prostitute using her bare hands to […]

Alfred Hitchcock Double Bill: 'Shadow of a Doubt,' 'Lifeboat'

Even though I've never been an Alfred Hitchcock fan, I do find the vast majority of his films at least watchable. A Hitchcock flick that I particularly like happens to be one of his least-renowned efforts, the 1944 adventure drama Lifeboat. So, it's good to see that the Academy of […]

'Bonnie and Clyde': Warren Beatty & Faye Dunaway Zeitgeist

Faye Dunaway, Warren Beatty in 'Bonnie and Clyde.' 'Bonnie and Clyde' movie revisited “'I remember a creative impatience by almost everyone involved,” Warren Beatty reminisced about the making of Bonnie and Clyde for the Los Angeles Times' Geoff Boucher. “And there was so much energy on the screen,” he added. […]

'Leave Her to Heaven': Gene Tierney Excellent in Color 'Film Noir' + Oldest Surviving Korean Film

Gene Tierney and Cornel Wilde in Leave Her to Heaven. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present the Technicolor film noir (yes, there was such a thing) Leave Her to Heaven, starring Best Actress Oscar nominee Gene Tierney, as part of its “Monday Nights with Oscar” series […]

Matte Painting Techniques + Robert Mitchum Interviews Dissing Steve McQueen & Robert Wise

Matte painting in Forbidden Planet. A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer release, Fred M. Wilcox's 1956 science-fiction classic Forbidden Planet was seemingly inspired by William Shakespeare's The Tempest. Cyril Hume was credited for the screenplay, from a “story” by Irving Block and Allen Adler. In the cast: Walter Pidgeon as a version of Prospero, […]

'Buddha' Quotes + 'Funny Games' Remake & Animated Iranian Revolution Is Oscar Submission

'Buddha' quotes: Adolescent filmmaker Hana Makhmalbaf discusses 'Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame' at 2007 San Sebastian Film Festival “As an 18-year-old girl who lives in Iran today and who faces very specific ideological, political and social pressures, I have a lot to say,” explains Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame Teheran-born […]

British Cinema Has Arrived: Venice Film Festival

According to press reports, among the favorites to win the several Venice 2007 Lions tomorrow are: Best Film/Director: Grain of Life / The Grain and the Mullet / La Graine et le mulet (top) by Abdel Kechiche, the tale of a Tunisian immigrant who, at the rist of losing his job in a French […]

'Bugsy': Warren Beatty & Annette Bening Lack of Chemistry Hurts Gangster Biopic

Bugsy with Annette Bening and Warren Beatty. Barry Levinson's 1991 best picture nominee Bugsy is the next feature in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' “Great To Be Nominated” series. The glitzy Bugsy Siegel biopic will screen on Monday, Aug. 13, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy's Samuel […]

'The Godfather Part III': Oscar Movies

The Godfather, Part III: Diane Keaton smiles after discovering the location of George Hamilton's mafia-operated tanning salon. Al Pacino, for his part, is thinking of ways to take over the lucrative tanning business. Francis Ford Coppola's 1990 best picture nominee The Godfather, Part III will be the next feature presentation […]

Film Noir in New York City: From 'Pickup on South Street' to 'Sweet Smell of Success'

Whenever I think of film noir, I – somewhat incongruously – immediately picture murder and mayhem taking place in sunny Los Angeles. Blame it on The Big Sleep, The Blue Dahlia, Double Indemnity, Chinatown, and Mildred Pierce. Even so, I'm fully aware that there are quite probably more noir and […]

'Inside Man' Movie Review: Conventional Spike Lee Thriller

Inside Man offers a long day's journey into nought: I've seen little of Spike Lee's oeuvre. As far as I'm concerned, the overblown portrayal of ethnic relations in Do the Right Thing, which remains Lee's most acclaimed film, makes the overblown portrayal of ethnic relations in Paul Haggis' Crash look […]

'Chinatown': Roman Polanski Neo Noir Classic Gets Academy Screening

John Huston suggests a good homeopathic remedy to Jack Nicholson, who developed a boil on his nose after drinking too much of L.A.'s tap water Photo: © A.M.P.A.S. This is part of what I had to say about Chinatown in my (ever-evolving, and admittedly quite incomplete) Best of the Best […]

'13 (Tzameti)' Géla Babluani

Also at the Los Angeles Film Festival: Géla Babluani's thriller 13 Tzameti, winner of the World Dramatic Grand Jury Prize at this year's Sundance Film Festival, offers a relentlessly bleak - and downright exploitive - look at the French Dream. In the film, an impoverished Georgian immigrant takes the place […]

'Desperate' Movie: Steve Brodie Excellent in Anthony Mann Film Noir

In Anthony Mann's action-packed B thriller Desperate, the lights don't have to go out for danger to strike. When a clean-cut delivery man (Steve Brodie) gets accidentally involved in a burglary, the dark forces will pursue our hero day and night, whether through city streets or in the wide open […]

Fabián Bielinsky Dead at 47: 'Nine Queens' & 'The Aura' Director

Fabián Bielinsky dead at 47: Second (and last) feature film, 'The Aura,' was screened a few days ago at the Los Angeles Film Festival Argentinean filmmaker Fabián Bielinsky has died of an apparent heart attack. Bielinsky was reportedly working on a new project in São Paulo, where he died in […]

'The Da Vinci Code' Movie Review: Tom Hanks & Audrey Tautou Help to Save Absurd Thriller

Paris, middle of the night. An old man is walking alone in a darkened gallery in the Louvre. He approaches a painting. Another man – the evil twin of Rutger Hauer's Blade Runner robot – shows up. Hauer's twin demands to know The Secret. The old man refuses to tell […]

'Walk Softly Stranger': Pre-'A Place in the Sun' Film Noir

Walk Softly, Stranger (1950) Dir.: Robert Stevenson. Scr.: Frank Fenton, from a story by Manuel Seff and Paul Yawitz . Cast: Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Spring Byington, Paul Stewart, Jack Paar, Jeff Donnell   A PLACE ON THE RUN Walk Softly, Stranger was RKO's biggest flop of the year. It […]

B Film Noir + Theda Bara Documentary + Carole Lombard & Claudette Colbert Radio Days

Theda Bara in 'Cleopatra': 'The Woman with the Hungry Eyes' screening at MoMA Theda Bara: 'Cleopatra' Star Featured in Documentary The Woman with the Hungry Eyes, about the life and films of Theda Bara, will have its New York City premiere at the Museum of Modern Art at 8 p.m. […]

Henry Farrell: 'What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?' Author Dies

Author Henry Farrell, whose Grand Guignol tales What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? and What Ever Happened to Cousin Charlotte? were successfully adapted for the screen in the 1960s, died after a long illness on March 29 at his home in Pacific Palisades. He was 85. The California-born (Sep. 27, […]

Gaslighting Abuse 21st-Century Style: George Cukor Classic 1944 Thriller Remake in the Works

Gaslighting abuse: Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer in Gaslight. Though remembered for his female-centered dramas and comedies (Camille, The Women, A Woman's Face, etc.) and for being what's derisively called a “woman's director” (Constance Bennett, Katharine Hepburn, Joan Crawford, et al.), George Cukor was both a highly versatile filmmaker and a first-rate […]

Marc Lawrence Dead at 95: Prolific Movie Gangster & Blacklisted HUAC Witness

Marc Lawrence. Prolific actor was usually cast as gangster and other assorted scuzzy characters, making life difficult for just about everybody, from Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake to Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Off screen, Lawrence's life was made difficult by the House Un-American Activities Committee. Actor Marc Lawrence dead […]

'Hidden': Michael Haneke Fantastic Thriller

Hidden / Caché with Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche. Hidden with Juliette Binoche and Daniel Auteuil. Michael Haneke's violent, profoundly disturbing sociopolitical-psychological drama has been one of the U.S. film critics' favorites this awards season. Juliette Binoche and Daniel Auteuil Caché / Hidden image: Les films du losange. Michael Haneke's […]

'Night Moves' 1975 Movie: Arthur Penn Academy Tribute

'Night Moves' 1975 movie with Gene Hackman. Gene Hackman in 'Night Moves' 1975: Arthur Penn Academy tribute The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will host a special screening of Arthur Penn's 1975 crime drama Night Moves, starring Gene Hackman. The screening, to be held on Thursday, Nov. 17, […]

'The Thin Man' Movies: William Powell and Myrna Loy Sleuths on DVD

Myrna Loy and William Powell in 'The Thin Man Goes Home.' The Thin Man Movies on DVD: William Powell, Myrna Loy The Thin Man movies, starring William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles, Hollywood's most urbane and sophisticated sleuths (one a former professional, the other a nosy […]