Spotlight on Creature from the Black Lagoon

While the nature of human fear hasn’t changed, this movie differs from its Universal monster predecessors. As a post-WWII flick, the sensibility of this movie reflects a different America. Read More »

The Genre-Defying Jaws

It’s easy to write Jaws off as a campy summer blockbuster. A murderous shark picking off beachgoers is a rather silly concept on its face. But when you add a grizzled misanthrope, a nerdy oceanographer, a troubled sheriff, and a single-minded monster, there is something more. Repeated viewings bring other, deeper meanings to the surface. Read More »

As Good As the Books of Daphne du Maurier

Dame Daphne du Maurier was destined for an artistic life. Coming of age between the wars in Britain, her stories and novels are imbued with a heavy overtone of the uncanny. Her literary career took off quickly and she remained a popular author for decades. Her work also became the basis for a number of films. Read More »

Spotlight on Gladys Cooper

Gladys Cooper enjoyed a brilliant career that spanned seven decades. From magazines to talkies to musicals to dramas, there was little she didn’t try her hand at. In the early 1900s, she began appearing in comedic and musical plays Read More »

Everywhere the Glint of Gold - A Century of King Tut's Influence on Film

The find of the tomb of King Tutankhamen relaunched the world of mummies, curses, temples, hidden treasures, and buried secrets. The film world was no exception Read More »

How the Banshees Screamed: The Allegory of Inisherin

The Banshees of Inisherin (2022) has become a sleeper hit with audiences and a darling with critics. It’s a witty, dark film with some stunning performances. And there is nothing quite like it, at least in recent years. All these aspects allow it to stand out against a loud and brash superhero universe or a saccharine-laced animated bobble-head.  Read More »

Recipes Inspired by The Bishop's Wife (1947)

Food is central to The Bishop’s Wife. Here is a three course meal inspired by their dishes. Read More »

Jimmy Stewart: An American Icon

The kindly Elwood P. Dowd, the insistent L.B. Jefferies, the hypnotized Scottie Ferguson, the fast-talking MacCauley O’Connor, the complicated Ransom Stoddard. The man who was always billed as James Stewart, but was so beloved that an entire country called him Jimmy. The man whose Oscar was on display on a shelf in his father’s hardware store for more than three decades. Read More »

As Good As The Book: The Uninvited (1944)

Author Dorothy Macardle wrote a rich, interesting, fresh-faced ghost story that provided a bewitching foundation for a delicate film that is splendid nearly eight decades later. Read More »

Not All is Black-and-White in I Walked With a Zombie

When Val Lewton and Jacques Tourneur teamed up to make their second picture, the world had been at war for four years. Both men were from Europe originally, and now called America home; they felt the sting of war with a double intensity. Both were interested in exploring the underrepresented—the female mind, the indefinable realm… Read More »

As Good as the Books of Patricia Highsmith

American writer Patricia Highsmith was enormously prolific and incredibly successful for most of her writing life. Her stories and novels are at one level entertaining for their suspense and mystery, but they remain classics for their insight into the worst psychological aspects a mind can devise. And for this reason, they are both intriguing and excellent source material for thoughtful, disturbing films. Read More »

Mother Nature: The Ultimate Film Set

A soundstage may allow you to control the lighting, the recording, even the weather, but it doesn’t have the quality of feeling real. Sometimes, you can’t get a better film set than Mother Nature. Read More »

Smooth Operator: Telephones in Film

There was a time when landlines and handsets were cutting edge technology and phone booths were a staple of modern life. These films make telephones an integral part of the plot. The scenes are ones that will never be made again because the cultural use of phones and communication has changed so much Read More »

Wandering the Stacks: Libraries in Film

Bibliophiles love libraries, and bookstores, for lots of reasons. A huge building, filled with books, bursting with information and stories just waiting to be discovered. Knowing it’s there, and being overwhelmed by it, is part of the excitement.  Read More »

Life Lessons with Cary Grant

Cary Grant enjoyed a decades-long career, working with amazing co-stars and vaunted directors, making audiences laugh, cringe, gasp, and cheer. He was enormously popular in his career and his status as a movie star has never waned. One can find a fitting movie for just about any mood or situation. Explore these life lessons with Cary Grant characters. Read More »

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