A Divine Groucho, a Priestly Belmondo

Olive Films has completed its Paramount Preminger trilogy with a fine widescreen transfer of the 1969 “Skidoo” — the first time this marvelously daffy but completely personal zeitgeist comedy has been seen in its proper Panavision format since its original release. The restored color reveals the fine hand of the great cinematographer Leon Shamroy, [...]

The Eagels Has Landed

The only surviving sound film of the innovative and influential Broadway star Jeanne Eagels, the 1929 version of “The Letter” has surfaced courtesy of the Warner Archive Collection; my New York Times review can be found here. Eagels’s raw-nerved, convulsive performance style was decades ahead of its time, and her electric energy comes through [...]

Menschen am sonntag, Samurai in Space

Things start to get random in home video land as the weather heats up, and this week in the New York Times I’ve got a completely arbitrary assortment of reviews: Criterion’s gorgeous new Blu-ray of “People on Sunday”; Roger Corman’s outer-space remake of “The Seven Samurai,” with direction by James Murakami and carpentry by [...]

The Auer is Nigh

I’ve started a new column for Film Comment, beginning in the current issue, in which I’ll be writing about directors (mostly American at first) who seem to me of substantial interest but haven’t made it into the canon. I’m calling it “Further Research,” in homage to the “Subjects for Further Research” category in “The [...]

Aldrich x 2

This week in the New York Times, serendipity brings the Blu-ray release of two game-changing films by Robert Aldrich, made back-to-back near the beginning of his career: the proto-Spaghetti western “Vera Cruz” (1954) and the apocalyptic film noir “Kiss Me Deadly” (1955), which among many other distinctions served as an example of feisty independent [...]