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In this beautifully shot, psychologically complex western, Van Heflin is a mild-mannered cattle rancher who takes on the task of shepherding a captured outlaw (played with cucumber-cool charisma by Glenn Ford) to the train that will deliver him to prison.
14 May 2013
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As nervy as it is hilarious, this screwball masterpiece from Ernst Lubitsch stars Jack Benny and, in her final screen appearance, Carole Lombard as husband-and-wife thespians in Nazi-occupied Warsaw who become caught up in a dangerous spy plot.
27 Aug 2013
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A young sister and brother are abandoned in the harsh Australian outback and must learn to cope in the natural world, without their usual comforts, in this hypnotic masterpiece from Nicolas Roeg.
Ernest Hemingway’s gripping short story “The Killers” has fascinated readers and filmmakers for generations. The Criterion Collection presents all three film versions of this classic tale of amorality.
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With its aching musical soundtrack and exquisitely abstract cinematography by Christopher Doyle and Mark Lee Ping-bin, this film has been a major stylistic influence on the past decade of cinema, and is a milestone in Wong’s redoubtable career.
Soldiers, chambermaids, poets, prostitutes, aristocrats—all are on equal footing in Max Ophuls’s multicharacter merry-go-round of love and infidelity.
A landmark collaboration between writer H. G. Wells, producer Alexander Korda, and designer and director William Cameron Menzies, Things to Come is a science fiction film like no other, a prescient political work that predicts a century of turmoil and progress.
18 Jun 2013
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With Vampyr, Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer’s brilliance at achieving mesmerizing atmosphere and austere, profoundly unsettling imagery was for once applied to the horror genre. Yet the result is nearly unclassifiable. Vampyr is one of cinema’s great nightmares.
Robert Bresson’s incomparable tale of crime and redemption follows a young pickpocket who spends his days working the streets, subway cars, and train stations of Paris; tautly choreographed, Pickpocket reveals a master director at the height of his powers.
Robert Bresson’s Au hasard Balthazar follows the donkey Balthazar as he is passed from owner to owner, some kind and some cruel, but all with motivations beyond his understanding—a profound masterpiece from one of the most revered filmmakers in the history of cinema.
Trickery. Deceit. Magic. In Orson Welles’s free-form documentary F for Fake, the legendary filmmaker (and self-described charlatan) gleefully engages the central preoccupation of his career—the tenuous line between truth and illusion, art and lies.
In the swift, cynical Sweet Smell of Success, Burt Lancaster stars as the vicious Broadway gossip columnist J. J. Hunsecker, and Tony Curtis as Sidney Falco, the unprincipled press agent Hunsecker ropes into smearing the up-and-coming jazz musician romancing his beloved sister.
In the midst of Nazi air raids, a postman dies on the operating table at a rural English hospital. But was the death accidental? A delightful and wholly unexpected murder mystery, British writer/director Sidney Gilliat’s Green for Danger features Trevor Howard and Sally Gray.
Suffused with dread and paranoia, this Fritz Lang adaptation of a novel by Graham Greene is a plunge into the eerie shadows of a world turned upside down by war.
12 Mar 2013
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One of the great cult classics, The Blob melds ’50s schlock sci-fi and teen delinquency pics even as it transcends these genres with strong performances and ingenious special effects. The Blob helped launch the careers of superstud Steve McQueen and composer Burt Bacharach.
During the 1940s, realism reigned in British cinema—but not at Gainsborough Pictures. The studio, which had been around since the twenties, found new success with a series of pleasurably preposterous costume melodramas.
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Eddie Constantine stars as intergalactic hero Lemmy Caution, on a mission to kill the inventor of fascist computer Alpha 60, in Jean-Luc Godard’s irreverent, cockeyed fusion of science fiction, pulp characters, and surrealist poetry.
The Small Back Room details the travails of troubled research scientist and military bomb-disposal expert Sammy Rice, who, while struggling with a complex relationship with secretary girlfriend Susan, is hired by the government to advise on a dangerous new German weapon.
Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, black-market opportunist Harry Lime—and thus begins this legendary tale of love, deception, and murder.
Dissatisfied in marriage and life, Ferdinand (Jean-Paul Belmondo) takes to the road with the babysitter, his ex-lover Marianne Renoir (Anna Karina), and leaves the bourgeoisie behind in Pierrot le fou, one of the high points of the French New Wave.
These elegant, bawdy films, made before strict enforcement of the Hays morality code, feature some of the greatest stars of early Hollywood, as well as that elusive style of comedy that would thereafter be known as “the Lubitsch touch.”
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A stone-faced Jean-Paul Belmondo stars as enigmatic gangster Silien, who may or may not be responsible for squealing on Faugel, just released from the slammer and already involved in what should have been a simple heist. Le doulos is one of the filmmaker’s most gripping crime dramas.
Immediately suppressed by the Soviets in 1966, Andrei Tarkovsky’s epic masterpiece is a sweeping medieval tale of Russia’s greatest icon painter.
In 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her, Jean-Luc Godard beckons us ever closer, whispering in our ears as narrator. About what? Money, sex, fashion, the city, love, language, war: in a word, everything.
Jane Wyman is a repressed wealthy widow and Rock Hudson is the hunky Thoreau-following gardener who loves her in Douglas Sirk’s heartbreakingly beautiful indictment of 1950s small-town America.
Bathed in lurid Technicolor, melodrama maestro Douglas Sirk’s Written on the Wind is the stylishly debauched tale of a Texas oil magnate brought down by the excesses of his spoiled offspring.
Alain Delon plays a master thief, fresh out of prison, who crosses paths with a notorious escapee and an alcoholic ex-cop (Yves Montand). The unlikely trio plot a heist, against impossible odds, until a relentless inspector and their own pasts seal their fates.
Hollywood director Joel McCrea, tired of churning out lightweight comedies, decides to make O Brother, Where Art Thou, a serious, socially responsible film about human suffering. After his producers point out that he knows nothing of hardship, he hits the road as a hobo.
Much studied, imitated, even parodied, but never outdone, Bergman’s stunning allegory of man’s search for meaning was one of the benchmark foreign imports of America’s 1950s art house heyday, pushing cinema’s boundaries and ushering in a new era of moviegoing.
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Robert Flaherty’s classic film tells the story of Inuit hunter Nanook and his family as they struggle to survive in the harsh conditions of Canada’s Hudson Bay region.
In one of Sturges’s most clever and beloved romantic comedies, a conniving father and daughter meet up with the heir to a brewery fortune—a wealthy but naïve snake enthusiast—and attempt to bamboozle him at a cruise ship card table.