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A character study that never strays from its complicated central figure, while keeping us at an emotional remove, I Knew Her Well is one of the most overlooked films of the sixties, by turns funny, tragic, and altogether jaw-dropping.
In one of Douglas Sirk’s most flamboyant master classes in melodrama, reckless playboy Bob Merrick (Rock Hudson) and a local doctor’s widow, Helen (Jane Wyman), find themselves inextricably linked amid a series of increasingly wild twists, turns, trials, and tribulations.
In Sam Fuller’s hardboiled classic, a petty crook and an unsuspecting woman find themselves on the run from Communists in a precarious gambit.
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.
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Thanks to perhaps the most indelible character in Akira Kurosawa’s oeuvre, Yojimbo surpassed even Seven Samurai in popularity when it was released. Made one year later, Sanjuro matches _Yojimbo_’s storytelling dexterity, and brings the duo to a thrilling and unforgettable conclusion.
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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.
A curious, compassionate storyteller who was fascinated by characters on the outskirts of society, Hiroshi Shimizu used his trademark graceful traveling shot to peek around the corners of contemporary Japan.
Of all the cinematic New Waves that broke over the world in the 1960s, the one in Czechoslovakia was among the most fruitful, fascinating, and radical.
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These three independent films showed off Samuel Fuller’s genre diversity, gutter wit, and subversive force, and pointed the way to a controversial career in studio moviemaking.