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Thursday’s Children

The magazine ads for the 1948 release of John Ford’s “Fort Apache” featured an illustration (above) that could almost be the romanticized historical painting of “Thursday’s Charge” referenced in the film’s devastating final sequence, in which John Wayne’s Captain Kirby Yorke (now a colonel) declines to disillusion a group of newspaper reporters on the […]

Primordial Renoir

Does it mean something that so many German directors adapted easily to Hollywood, while their French counterparts almost immediately beat it back to the old country as soon as they had the chance? Jean Renoir loved America (he became a naturalized citizen and lived in Los Angeles until his death in 1979) but American, […]

Pre-Modernist Preminger

Along with “Laura,” “Anatomy of a Murder” has long been one of Otto Preminger’s most frequently revived films, perhaps because its confidently naturalistic style (unlike, to chose a random example, “Skidoo!”) requires no adjustment from the casual viewer. Yet, as Criterion’s excellent new Blu-ray edition of “Murder” makes clear, it is among Preminger’s most […]

Dishonoring “Shanghai Express”

The beautiful jumbo lobby card from Josef von Sternberg’s “Dishonored” pictured above is part of Heritage Auctions‘ spectacular poster sale on March 23, where it currently carries a modest opening bid of $300 — bound to rise considerably as the auction approaches. Long missing from authorized distribution in the United States, the film itself […]