Defending Your Life: Philip Baker Hall in Secret Honor
A few dozen versions of Richard Nixon wrestle for control in Robert Altman’s portrait of the disgraced president, fueled by a lead performance of pure, unloosed spleen.
Police Story and Police Story 2: Law and Disorder
With these twin monuments of Hong Kong action filmmaking, Jackie Chan catapulted to international stardom, perfecting a unique blend of athleticism and populism.
Machine Gun McCain and the Birth of the Cassavetes Clan
Before John Cassavetes and his core group of actors became famous for their unflinching melodramas, they converged in this tough and dirty Italian gangster film.
All-American Medea: Shirley Stoler in The Honeymoon Killers
A tragedian at heart, Shirley Stoler found her Medea in the role of a glowering bandit on the run in Leonard Kastle’s seedy true-crime drama.
Anatomy of a Murder: Atomization of a Murder
When it comes to depicting actual people’s jobs, the truism goes, Hollywood gets everything wrong with stunning regularity. The rare exception is Otto Preminger’s Anatomy of a Murder (1959), widely considered among the finest trial films ever mad…
Eclipse Series 5: The First Films of Samuel Fuller
Instead of calling “Action!” Samuel Fuller discharged a Colt .45 in the air. It was the first scene he had ever directed, on the set of I Shot Jesse James (1949), and he knew the importance of a good opening—“If a story doesn’t give you a h…