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Fade Out/Fade In

My final home video column for the New York Times is here. I get to go out on the greatest, John Ford, thanks to a five-film box set from TCM and Sony featuring Ford’s work at Columbia: “The Whole Town’s Talking,” “The Long Gray Line,” “Gideon’s Day,” “The Last Hurrah” and “Two Rode […]

In Transit

Apologies to all for the Garbo act I’ve been pulling this past week. It’s been a very hectic time, as I wrap up my obligations at one job and begin the process of starting another. I see Robert Garrick has done a frighteningly good job of tracking my press clippings, but in case anyone […]

It’s Good To Be the King

There’s a new Blu-ray release of King Vidor’s 1925 “The Big Parade” from Warner Home Video, transferred from the original camera negative rediscovered in the 90s by Kevin Brownlow. It’s an impeccable edition of a great movie, and you should have it if you don’t already.


Cronache di un amore

The world was too shocked by the scandal of their love affair to notice that Roberto Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman had changed movies forever with the three films they made together between 1950 and 1954 — “Stromboli,” “Europe ’51,” and (supremely) “Voyage to Italy.” The roots of modern cinema are clearly visible in these […]


This week’s New York Times column is a note of thanks to the gang at Warner Brothers for doing right by the Monogram library — a much-abused and hopelessly obscure body of work that WB most likely acquired for the sake of the studio’s late productions (by then, it had been renamed Allied Artists) […]

Make Way for Tomorrow

A victim of his own versatility, Gordon Douglas seemed never to encounter a genre he couldn’t feel comfortable in. His huge body of work embraces slapstick (“Saps at Sea,” 1940, situation comedy (the “Glidersleeve” series, 1942-44), musical comedy (“If You Knew Susie,” 1948),swashbucklers (“Fortunes of Captain Blood,” 1950), science-fiction (“Them!,” 1954), melodrama (“Sincerely Yours,” […]

The Silence Under the Sea

Rene Clement start out as the Roberto Rossellini of France — his first feature, the heroic resistance tale, “La bataille du rail,” released in 1946, blends realism and artifice in a way quite close to “Rome Open City,” with which it shared the program at the 1946 Cannes Film Festival — but he ended […]

Too Much Is Never Enough

Thanks to George Eastman House, the Cineteca del Friuli and the National Film Preservation Foundation, here are a few more frame enlargements from “Too Much Johnson,” the recently rediscovered Orson Welles project of 1938. Among the performers are Joseph Cotten, Edgar Barrier, Arlene Francis, Virginia Nic(h)olson and Ruth Ford — and is that John Houseman […]

Running Wild

There are times when it’s hard to tell the difference between Lewis R. Foster and Lewis D. Collins, but “Crashout,” Foster’s powerful, independently produced film noir from 1955, isn’t one of them. The film unites practically every great supporting player in the genre — William Bendix, Arthur Kennedy, Luther Adler, William Talman, Gene Evans […]

Knuckling Down

In 1975, Walter Hill’s austere “Hard Times” bucked the zoom-happy excesses of that chaotic decade with a combination of rock-solid mise-en-scene and a brilliantly laconic performance by Charles Bronson — one of the few times this major star appeared in a major film. Reissued in a fine new Blu-ray edition by Twilight Time, it’s […]