On the Prowl

Joseph Losey’s caustic 1951 film noir “The Prowler” is the highlight of this week’s releases, which include a new Blu-ray edition of Disney’s contemporaneous “Alice in Wonderland” (down another rabbit hole) and Stuart Rosenberg’s mighty peculiar and long out of circulation “WUSA” of 1970. Reviews here in the New York Times.

One of Losey’s most striking achievements, “The Prowler” has long been unavailable because of rights problems; they’ve now been resolved, and a beautiful new restoration has been supervised by the UCLA Film and Television Archive, which is the version being released on DVD by VCI. It’s worth noting that the restoration was funded by the Film Noir Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to underwriting high quality, 35-millimeter prints for theatrical exhibition of movies that are no longer available in that or, far too often, any other form through the studios that produced and/or released them.

This is a particularly valuable initiative, given the dangerously widespread notion that, in the age of the internet, every movie ever made is available with the click of a mouse. My old friend Roger Ebert recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “This instant, sitting right here, I can choose to watch virtually any film you can think of via Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, MUBI, the Asia/Pacific Film Archive, Google Video or Vimeo” — something I can only wish were true. The sad fact is that only a tiny fraction of classical Hollywood is available for viewing, and the situation is far worse for independent, avant-garde and foreign films.

We aren’t talking “lost” films here, but movies for which workable prints and even camera negatives exist in the archives. But as long as no one is willing to print them up and put them into even digital distribution, they might as well be lying at the bottom of the ocean along with the lost reels of “The Magnificent Ambersons.” If the rights holders aren’t willing to preserve and promote their own property, it falls upon the end users — us — to do so.

And one way to do it is to contribute to initiatives like The Film Preservation Blogathon, which this year runs Feb. 14-21 and is hosted by Marilyn Ferdinand (Ferdy on Films) and Farran Smith Nehme (The Self-Styled Siren). For 2011, they’ll be raising money for another Film Noir Foundation project, the preservation of another socially engaged noir directed by a victim of the blacklist, Cy Endfield’s 1950 “The Sound of Fury.” Donations can be made through the Facebook page of For the Love of Film or directly to the Film Noir Foundation’s PayPal account.

Here’s a promotional YouTube clip prepared by Greg Ferrara.

139 comments to On the Prowl

  • jean-pierre coursodon

    nicolas: in a way, the phenomenon you describe of French critics praising “the worst of popular culture” is not all that different from what happened in the fifties when the critics who wrote for Cahiers du Cinema, Positif and other cinephilic magazines highly praised a kind of films — mainly American genre movies, musicals, westerns, thillers, “lowbrow” comedies (Lewis)… — which, with very few exceptions, were widely dismissed as popular entertainment with no aesthetic value. It was a completely different “serious” approach to the art of film, and it puzzled and shocked many film lovers (especially among older folks). Let’s not forget that even such a perceptive and original critic as Bazin originally was perplexed by the Hitchcock-Hawks cult of his Cahiers colleagues and quite reluctant to take those two filmmakers as seriously as they did. “Cine-Clubs” flourished in the late forties and the fifties and did a great educational job but for most of their organizers great cinema was BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN, THE GOLD RUSH and LA PASSION DE JEANNE D’ARC — hardly anything coming out of Hollywood. You couldn’t show a musical in any self-respecting cine-club.

    I am not claiming that the critics nicolas takes to task are doing as positive a job of discovery as the fifties cinephiles — actually I am totally unfamiliar with the trend he laments (it doesn’t seem to have infected Positif yet). I’m just seeing a behavioral relationship, a common desire now as then to study and praise works that are commonly ignored or rejected as trash. The cult of trash, a culture of trash actually seem to go well with a post-modern, or rather post-post modern, environment.In an ambiance that has created “gross out comedy” as a respectable new genre, everything is possible.

  • nicolas saada

    Jean-Michel, I believe there is a difference between what happened in the fifties and what you describe today as a “post-modern” moment, a wish to repeat this momentum, to reproduce it on a smaller scale: I will try and cacth STEP UP3 and maybe change my mind about it. Michael Kidd did a wonderful choreography for a Janet Jackson clip in 1990. But it was Michael Kidd !!!! I had myself a post modern moment when I praised John Carpenter, John Mc Tiernan and even Andrew Davis. But looking back at these movies, they feel to me quite worth the effort.
    What’s terrible is that when you question that, you suddenly feel you’re just an old timer. I am always mistrusting the idea of culture, since it doesn’t always have to do with art. ELEPHANT is a near sublime attempt at grasping this “teen culture” moment, and turn it into a sort of abstract visual poem: but Gus Van Sandt is not a demagogue. He uses Beethoven, not Britney Spears.

  • jean-pierre coursodon

    Johan, I don’t know if Garrett was actually a member of the communist party, but her husband Larry Parks was, or had been at some point in time, and that put an end to his film career. Although Garrett had a contract with MGM, where she co-starred in four musicals in 1948 and 1949, the studio apparently refused to honor it after Parks “confession” before HUAAC. She didn’t appear in any movie between 1949 and 1955, when she had her best role in MY SISTER EILEEN for Columbia (the studio that had dropped her husband after his two big hits impersonating Al Jolson in 1946 and 1949).

  • Alex

    The popular entertainment/aesthetic value divide was pretty deep and general among American film reviwers –MacDonald, Crowther, Parker, Kaufman at times– until auteurism arrived (see Kapsis’ book on Hitchcock). As MacDonald wrote, “What’s art to Preminger or Preminger to art?” (How dare we compare “Touch of Evil” to “Citzen Kane.”)

    Interestingly, Kael, for all her anti-auteurist polemics had already bridged that divide (despite her dismay at some auterist icons like Walsh).

    Of course, there is trash but we it doesn’t correlate too strongly with genre — gross out comedies perhaps excluded.

  • jean-pierre coursodon

    nicolas, of course there is, there must be, a huge difference! As I said, I am unfamiliar with the phenomenon you describe and deplore. I am also unfamiliar with most of the movies in question. There is such a thing as STEP UP3 (the poster I saw says STEP UP 3D)and I wasn’t even aware of numbers one and two. I am indeed an old-timer, and much older than you at that. I’ll skip all the stepups and all the gross-out comedies and watch MY SISTER EILEEN again and won’t feel the worse for it at all.

    I very much agree with you about ELEPHANT (I’m not quite stuck in 1955).

    PS: it’s Jean-Michel Frodon but Jean-Pierre Coursodon.

  • Johan Andreasson

    So that’s Garrett in MY SISTER EILEEN – I should have remembered that – great movie and great performance!

    When we’re talking “gross out comedy” with a humanistic core, nothing is really new under the sun. The Farrelly Brothers (I like some of their films, especially KINGPIN) are kind of mild both in the gross out and the humanist compartment compared to Tod Browning’s FREAKS (but then again calling FREAKS a comedy is maybe a little of a stretch).

  • Oliver_C

    How many Japanese critics of the 50s regarded Ozu as an artist, as opposed to a maker of mainstream, star-studded melodramas (however acclaimed) for a major studio? While it’s true he was awarded in 1958 the Purple Ribbon Medal for Achievement in the Arts, the following year he chose to direct a “gross out comedy” of sorts, Good Morning.

  • Okay, perhaps TBWGH is not Losey’s masterpiece, but to me personally it is – of those I’ve so far seen. I haven’t seen all his earlier, British of American films – like The Prowler. (I like The Damned, but it is more mannered and dated to my eyes – and ears, that song!).

    Maybe I shouldn’t have used the word “love” when speaking about a film to get taken seriously~(;^)~ But, dear Dan, may I join your club!?

    Dear Barry, thanks for the info on the American DVD. I must have seen it in the archive advertisements with the cover of the poster (?). Judging by that picture, it seems to me, the blatant (is that the word?) use of the particular color green was thought out. And even if it’s not altogether a success, I’m not sure if I’d be judging a film to be the worse because it (probably) had a small budget or that the color process used was not up to scratch (it that’s the saying…).

    The Finnish pioneering DVD by Pan Vision (now deleted) came with muted colors (the same copy that was perhaps used for the latest tv performance), a bit on the murky side and greenish hue all around… If that is the case with the American and French DVDs, are we supposed to believe that there is not perhaps a better original print of the film somewhere waiting for Scorsese’s magic touch (color restoration), so that we would now, what Losey and his crew intended with the colour.

    Dear Alex, what’s wrong with a fable? What’s wrong with a fable for kids? Or adults, for that matter. Fairytales are O.K. by me, I remember once seeing kind of a ballet film with dancing shoes of quite striking color…

    Perhaps, living in Kokkola, Finland, in the sixties, I wasn’t that aware of the film’s intellectual content (I was about 9 or 10). But then, is the intellectual content the be all and end all of a given film? I tried to refer to some of the scenes that made my little heart pound when I was a kid of Stockwell’s age, and that feeling is back with me, when I watch it now.

    Why should we only take into account the McCarthy red hunts? Are we supposed to think that it was the only way to see the film at that time or now? I don’t think so. And it has one of the best performances of a child actor ever in American cinema.

    I have the Losey book Antti mentioned by Matti Salo and also the interview book by Ciment, so perhaps I should just check what they have to say about TBWGH. I mean, we can’t all be in the wrong, me and Steven and Baz and Tom…~(;^)~

  • Garrett was indeed a Communist Party member. During the blacklist years she and Parks dabbled in real estate, which proved quite lucrative (and perhaps informed her landlady characterization on LAVERNE AND SHIRLEY): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betty_Garrett

  • Larry Kart

    Sorry — of course, that’s Dean Stockwell in TBWGH, not Roddy McDowell.

    Also, is it a coincidence that luridly green Prell shampoo was put on the market in 1947?

  • warren oates

    Completely off topic and not sure if anyone’s mentioned this yet, but our host’s forthcoming book WHEN MOVIES MATTERED is now up for pre-order on Amazon. I’m totally looking forward to it.

  • Barry Putterman

    Hannu, I wouldn’t want to judge THE BOY WITH REEN HAIR, or any other film for that matter, by the picture on its DVD cover. As I said, I haven’t yet watched the Warner Archive release so I couldn’t say whether the colors were blatant or muted or what. But come to think of it, I am now hard pressed to remember any other RKO film from this era that is in color. This was the “noir” studio par excellence and whatever result they came up with was no doubt not usual.

    But really, if I prefer CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE and you prefer THE BOY WITH GREEN HAIR, I don’t see where either of us is “Wrong.” I mean, let’s take this to a level of much more importance than mere movies. Larry Kart seems to imply that the green hair in this film is the shade of the green piece in a package of “Chuckles,” and that the green piece was of particular importance. Well, I did NOT like the green piece of “Chuckles” and always ate it first in order to get it out of the way in order to better contemplate the yellow, orange, red, and black pieces. Well, does this mean that Larry is “Wrong?” Of course not. He is a very fine fellow of great insight who happens to have different taste regarding “Chuckles” than I do….and occasional problems in distinguishing Dean Stockwell from Roddy McDowall.

    I should add that you might want to check out the interview with Alfred Lewis Levitt in “Tender Comrades” for some very interesting comments regarding the making of THE BOY WITH GREEN HAIR. Oh, and while I wouldn’t take differing viewpoints among posters here too personally, the fact is that Steven Spielberg CAN be wrong.

  • Blake Lucas

    “Much too few movies alas…”

    Katz lists a total of seven for her. Yet, in their infinite wisdom, the L.A. Times cited only three of these and one of them was NOT “My Sister Eileen”–surely her best screen role.

    I know I always complain about their obituaries but this is a glaring example of why.

    We all know the circumstances of her career, involving the blacklist and her marriage to Larry Parks–still, it’s sad that we saw someone of her talent so little on screen in those years. In addition to “Eileen” she is also especially funny and winning as part of that wonderful ensemble of “On the Town.”

    Everytime I think about the Betty Garrett/Janet Leigh duet “There’s Nothing Like Love” in “My Sister Eileen” I have a feeling Jean-Pierre is right that it was one of the most fetching numbers ever in any musical.

  • Blake Lucas

    And speaking of genres, and some of the discussion about this that has been in this thread, it’s inevitable that genres evolve–or I might say mutate–but that doesn’t mean they evolve or mutate into something just as good.

    Genre prejudices of older critics in pre-Cahiers/Positif days, especially among American critics confused about their own culture, were surely wrong and I can’t imagine anyone would seriously disagree about that now. American cinema (for one) is genre based and the genres account for almost all of its great movies. But those genres that have been named for the classical years were generally rich, mature and sophisticated, a starting point for whatever an artist could do with them.

    May I suggest respectfully that this is a different day.

  • Blake Lucas

    Or as the title of that new book says…WHEN MOVIES MATTERED.

  • Alex

    A fable’s okay, might be a bit thin compared to some other modes of narrative, but not necessarily. My argument’s not with GREEN as good movie but with GREEN as a great movie or a highly moving movie. I think “fable” elements have more power woven into more complex narrative mode than standing out all over the surface (as say the fariy tale of the red shoes is woven in to thj RED SHOES as myythopoetic strand. For me the fable/parable/allegory/harangue of GREEN is too out front, like the anatomy of someone with little flesh on their bones. Of course, tastes maight differ on this (or i might be dead wronmg.)

    Barru P., I too prefer THE CAT PEOPLE to THE BOY WITH GREEN HAIR, but I missed TO WHAT THIS PARTICULAR COMPARISON IS GERMANE.

  • Barry Putterman

    Alex, I said CURSE OF the cat people. Go watch the movie and maybe it will come to you.

  • nicolas saada

    Jean-Pierre, sorry for the “jean-michel”.
    CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE is a wonderful and poignant movie about childhood. Simone Simon’s ghost, the use of Christmas, snow, the deserted house: almost a forerunner of NIGHT OF THE HUNTER.
    Blake, I do share your point of view. But it’s difficult to question the post modern approach of film and not being taxed a “conservative”.
    Ah, Betty Garrett ! “Come up to my place” !!!!!!!

  • Blake Lucas

    “Blake, I do share your point of view. But it’s difficult to question the post modern approach of film and not being taxed a “conservative”.”

    That’s very true. And God knows, no one ever wants to be tagged a “conservative” even if it’s simply “an aesthetic conservative.”

    But I’m starting to wonder if there is not a point at which one should just be willing to accept that tag with good grace. I still feel I can embrace my share of contemporary culture, including some movies, without needing to insist “Hey I’m cool too. I like the Coen Brothers as well as anyone!”

    And I also don’t mind being “uncool.” I didn’t have a chance when it came up, but I too was entranced with THE FACT OF LIFE, especially for Nancy McKeon–so will come out of the closet for that to let others here know they are not alone. In any event, I don’t believe pleasure should ever be guilty. I probably watched every episode in reruns, though it was during a very concentrated period of time in my life. I must say it hasn’t lingered in my mind since, and I momentarily couldn’t even place Lisa Whelchel when I saw her having lunch one day some years later.

    I mainly mention this because one can not be enamored of “gross out comedy” and it doesn’t mean one thinks one is just too good for it or something.

    In any event, there was something about the juxtaposition of THE FACTS OF LIFE and Roger Corman that perhaps suggested what it’s all about…

  • Larry Kart

    Barry — I’m “a very fine fellow,” am I? Them’s fightin’ words.

    Also, a friend has informed me that he favored black Chuckles, although he confirmed my memory that green was among the favored colors by saying that he could usually get two black Chuckles in trade for any one of another color. Without such as he the Chuckles economy would have ground to a halt.

  • The American cinema of the 00′s occasionally makes non-gross-out comedies too. These are films that would be recognized by Lubitsch and Hawks as “comedies”. Some of the better ones:

    Miss Congeniality (Donald Petrie)
    Zoolander (Ben Stiller)
    Maid in Manhattan (Wayne Wang)
    Santa Jr. (Kevin Connor)
    Unconditional Love (P. J. Hogan)
    Alex and Emma (Rob Reiner)
    Elf (Jon Favreau)
    A Boyfriend for Christmas (Kevin Connor)
    Chasing Liberty (Andy Cadiff)
    The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (Gary Marshall)
    Win a Date With Tad Hamilton! (Robert Luketic)
    Casanova (Lasse Hallström)
    Guess Who (Kevin Rodney Sullivan)
    Three Wise Guys (Robert Iscove)
    Chalk (Mike Akel)
    My Super Ex-Girlfriend (Ivan Reitman)
    Music and Lyrics (Marc Lawrence)

    And, while gay romantic comedies have no Old Hollywood equivalent, All Over the Guy (Julie Davis) is great and Adam & Steve (Craig Chester) is pretty good.

    Films like all of the above interest me much more than gross-out or stoner films, usually.
    You can be interested in contemporary cinema – and not have to wallow in trash to prove something about how hip you are.

    PS I’ve never heard of Chuckles. Now that’s unhip!

  • Oliver_C

    Stiller’s Tropic Thunder too, surely?

  • Barry Putterman

    Sorry Larry. I take it all back. It must have been two other guys.

    Indeed NOBODY wants to be tagged with the dreaded label “conservative.” The Horror! The Horror! But it is really just a question of when you stick your foot into the river. As such, it is all right to prefer Scott Joplin to Dizzy Gillespie just don’t get caught preferring Dionne Warwicke to the Black Eyed Peas. But what the hey, in one hundred years it will ALL be old music and nobody will care if you preferred early 20th or early 21st century style.

    So I say, come join Vivian and myself in the post future were post-modernism is just as out of date as dadaism and all Chuckles are equal regardless of race, color or flavor.

  • jean-pierre coursodon

    Mike, so I’m not the only one who never heard of Chuckles! Stradling two cultures as I find myself I end up by missing so many essential phenomena of both.

    On Garrett: one of her great moments is the solo piece “As Soon as They See Eileen” in MY SISTER EILEEN (“Oh tell me Doctor Freud/What is the matter with me?”) Another, as Blake reminded us, is the sublime duet with Janet Leigh, “There’s Nothing Like Love” in the same film. What a great song! And a great choreography! She’s pretty good too in the seduction scene with Lemmon, a triumph of elegant direction.

    I’m not as enthusiastic about her one-dimensional cab driver part in ON THE TOWN, an uneven, often crude musical that I find overrated despite its great moments. But I digress…

  • dan

    Mike, MUSIC AND LYRICS is a great choice. I can safely guess, without seeing most of the romantic comedies coming out of Hollywood in recent years, it’s the best of the bunch. It even may be the most impressive one in Hugh Grant’s career (one that is filled with bad movies and great performances). I wonder Nicholas, if by saying that MUSIC AND LYRICS is as beautifuly written and directed as a film by Preston Sturges makes me a part of this so called post-modern trend in critical thinking?
    does a dialouge such at this, couldn’t been written by one of the greats of the classic Hollywood era –
    Alex Fletcher: The best time I’ve had in the last fifteen years was sitting at that piano with you.
    Sophie Fisher: That’s wonderfully sensitive… especially from a man who wears such tight pants.
    Alex Fletcher: It forces all the blood to my heart.

    without seeing STEP UP 3, i just have to give the writer who hails it the benefit of the doubt. Why can’t the great popular American cinema of today(yes even a film like UNSTOPPABLE) can’t sometime (meaning rarely) stand comfortanbly near the classics without being accused of being part of the post-modern trend of criticism?

  • Robin Wood was a great fan of Unconditional Love (P. J. Hogan).

    I agree with Nicolas: it is up to all of us to stand up for the best films, and our major traditions in cinema. This sure means trying to teach people today about Minnelli, Sturges, Lubitsch, Keaton…

    We also need to remember that there are some good films being made today. We need to search out the positive, and avoid the gross-out garbage.

  • Junko Yasutani

    ‘I’m starting to wonder if there is not a point at which one should just be willing to accept that tag with good grace.’

    Some things must be conserved, not so bad to be conservative sometime. It is different from reactionary.

  • Regarding Step Up 3D, interestingly for us old-timers there is a homage to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers’ “I Won’t Dance” from Roberta. They still know how to do it in plan-séquence.

  • Gregg Rickman

    Jean-Pierre, I was a Betty Garrett fan going back to my late teens (from seeing ON THE TOWN, mind you) and made a point of seeing her revue “Betty Garrett and Other Songs” when she played it in San Francisco in 1980. I like her work in all of her late 40s MGM musicals (her talent triumphing over her stereotyped roles), and of course the Quine.

    Mike, I may have to turn in my dearly won credentials as an aesthetic conservative but I’ve only seen two films on your list (ELF and MISS CONGENIALITY) and I must admit I prefer the 21st century “gross-out comedies” I’ve seen (THE HANGOVER, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, DONT MESS WITH THE ZOHAN, and there’s a couple of others) to that weak tea. The “bromances” on that list would be perfect material for Hawks, although personally I would prefer to see Walsh direct THE HANGOVER as a modern Quirt-and-Flagg piece. What about Wes Anderson’s films, Mike? Anderson and Lubitsch share a delicacy of touch although they’re so different I wouldn’t try to compare them otherwise.

  • nicolas saada

    Dan, I find UNSTOPPABLE absolutely terrific ! And I talk with my filmmaker’s eyes. I find THE OTHER GUYS horrendous in every department: cutting, cinematography, editing. The acting is I find rather pedestrian and sometimes fun, but the shape of the film was for me a visual torture. On the other hand, I loved many of the formal ideas of SCOTT PLIGRIM and I enjoy DON’T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN very much: but ZOHAN, to the opposite of OTHER GUYS, strikes me as more homogenous. I also loved ENCHANTED, but once again, it’s really a whole. The writing , acting,and directing of NOTTING HILL is marvelous. Roger Michell also directed a very interesting movie called CHANGING LANES.
    I woud correct my input on this thread just by saying that Cahiers critics of the fifties praised not only the themes but the craft of the great directors, especially because the writers were would be directors. Godard or Truffaut could refer to cinematography or cutting. They were also unfair to Stevens, Wyler and other directors of the era. But they had an agenda.
    The post modern trend of criticism seems sometimes to forget the craft in favour of ideology. The agenda is not clear.
    UNSTOPPABLE, and even the underrated DEJA VU (which is a more dazzling experience than MATRIX) are very exciting films. The taste, the feel, the excitement for moviemaking has been the sole fuel of my watching films. Now that I direct and write, it’s as true as ever.

  • Regarding TBWGH I was not, of course, accusing anybody of being “wrong” about anything. I can be wrong, Steve can be wrong and I’m sure Baz is wrong many times (but Tom came up quite nicely when we think it was his first film). And Losey was wrong many times, so…

    I just won’t budge in my admiration and, yes, love of TBWGH. It spoke to me when I was a child, and it still does. (OK, the king sequence seems to be from a different movie.)

    I like The Curse of the Cat People very much. But then, I’m not a girl, and it’s different for boys.

    And by this, I’m not suggesting that there is something wrong with being a girl (or a boy) – or that we can’t appreciate “girl” or “boy” films not taking into account our own gender… I just think that it makes the story and its psychology a little bit different, but as interesting for sure.

    Now thinking about it, they really are “sister films” – with Night of the Hunter added – although I still think that they all have their own riches for us to appreciate. But I’m sure somebody somewhere has already sang TCCP:s praises and I don’t want TBWGH to be left without.

    Since I’ve had TBWGH with me for more than forty years, I’d say it just might be some kind of a classic, it really is unique.

  • dan

    Nicolas, glad to hear that you also like UNSTOPPABLE, and can’t agree with you more. Also, DEJA VU is indeed fantastic, and i also agree again that its a better film than UNSTOPPABLE.

  • Maybe the difference between the praising of SEXY DANCE 3 and what happened in the 50′s is the intellectual background.
    When Rivette praises Hawks, he does more than saying his love for the movies, he defends an idea of the world, he connects the filmmaker’work with questions of his time.
    When Godard praises “Man from West”, he compares Anthony Mann to Virgile. How many young film critics have read Virgile today? I’m just an “amateur” who write on his blog but I must say I haven’t…
    All these guys had a serious classical culture.
    Film reviews in the Cahiers jaunes were a field for discussing philosophical and theological questions.
    I wasn’t there so I couldn’t affirm it but wasn’t cinephilie a part of a wider intellectual effervescence in the France of the 50′s?

    And movies were better.

  • Barry Putterman

    Hannu, I don’t recall anybody suggesting that you need to budge from loving THE BOY WITH GREEN HAIR.

    And just for the record; I also am not a girl. And neither is Johnny La Rue.

  • Thanks, Barry, for the Tender Comrades book recommendation. I’ll try to get my hands on that one: an interesting period of “film making” in the US.

  • jean-pierre coursodon

    Christophe: you are absolutely right about cinephilie in France in the fifties: Cahiers and Positif critics certainly had more classical “culture” than critics seem to have today and were interested in philosophical and political issues that became part of their approach to film. I think it’s the absence of this kind of background among French critics (some of them at least) that nicolas has been deploring.

  • nicolas saada

    Christophe, as Jean-pierre said, you have a point. The problem is that not only the critics don’t read Virgile any more, but also don’t watch Anthony Mann’s films either !

  • mike schlesinger

    At the risk of seeming self-serving, I’d like to note that Betty’s last two feature films were for Larry Blamire: TRAIL OF THE SCREAMING FOREHEAD (in which I had the thrill of making my “acting” debut in a scene with her) and DARK AND STORMY NIGHT. Her son, Andrew Parks, is a Blamire regular; she was going to be in my movie as well, but she has sadly left us before we could get the funding. What a remarkable woman she was.

  • Alex Hicks

    Just resaw Losey’s THE ACCIDENT which I’d recalled as a cold, analytical time juggling contraption –like a failed imitation of “Muriel” or “Petulia” and was pleasantly surprised to find a masterpiece of cool but imaginatively and emotionally engaging social and psychological observation.

    A nice Brechtian counterpoint to the more spell casting THE SERVANT, and an inviattion to reconsider THE GO-BETWEEN.