Cat Ballou: Lee Marvin runs riot in an Oscar winning duel role in this whimsical Western

Cat Ballou (1965), starring Jane Fonda in the title role and Lee Marvin in a duel role is a whimsical Western that at once parodies Western tropes as well as manages to become a classic Western in its own right. The best actor Oscar is more often than not given to very serious performances; performances … Continue reading Cat Ballou: Lee Marvin runs riot in an Oscar winning duel role in this whimsical Western

The Tall T: Richard Boone excels as the charismatic villain opposite Randolph Scott in this lean, mean Western from Budd Boetticher

The Tall T (1957), directed by Bud Boetticher and written by Burt Kennedy, is the Western that Boetticher made with Randolph Scott immediately after the success of "Seven Men from Now"; and it's the first of the five Westerns made by Scott's company, 'Ranown.' The film stars Richard Boone and Maureen O'Sullivan alongside Scott and, … Continue reading The Tall T: Richard Boone excels as the charismatic villain opposite Randolph Scott in this lean, mean Western from Budd Boetticher

Broken Lance: Spencer Tracy is majestic as ‘King Lear’ of the West in this family saga dealing with pride, racism and sibling rivalry

Broken Lance (1954), directed by Edward Dmytryk and starring Spencer Tracy, Robert Wagner, Jean Peters, Richard Widmark, and Katy Jurado, is a family saga set in the old-West that bears a strong resemblance to Shakespeare's Tragedy, King Lear. Spencer Tracy is perhaps the greatest naturalistic actor from Hollywood's golden age.  Tracy, who was nominated nine times, was the first actor (Tom Hanks being … Continue reading Broken Lance: Spencer Tracy is majestic as ‘King Lear’ of the West in this family saga dealing with pride, racism and sibling rivalry

Bend of the River: James Stewart stars as an ex-raider seeking redemption in this unusually optimistic and colorful Anthony Mann Western

Bend of the River (1952) was the second Western that Anthony Mann directed with James Stewart in the lead. Though pretty optimistic and colorful in its tone, the film, co-starring Rock Hudson and Arthur Kennedy, is a worthy addition to the series of top class psychological Westerns that Mann and Stewart made together in the … Continue reading Bend of the River: James Stewart stars as an ex-raider seeking redemption in this unusually optimistic and colorful Anthony Mann Western

Garden of Evil: Gary Cooper and Richard Widmark comes to Susan Hayward’s rescue in this lush Western scored by Bernard Herrmann

Garden of Evil (1954), directed by Henry Hathaway and starring Gary Cooper, Richard Widmark and Susan Hayward, is a handsomely mounted character-driven Western that explores the evil effects of gold on men. if the earth were made of gold, men would die for a handful of dirt. Another Western that deals with greed, gold lust … Continue reading Garden of Evil: Gary Cooper and Richard Widmark comes to Susan Hayward’s rescue in this lush Western scored by Bernard Herrmann

The Naked Spur: James Stewart’s embittered Bounty-hunter pursues Robert Ryan’s wild killer in this definitive Anthony Mann Western

The Naked Spur (1953) is the third Western that director Anthony Mann made with star, James Stewart. The film, also starring Robert Ryan and Janet Leigh, is the best of the Mann-Stewart collaborations and the definitive Anthony Mann Western. Howard Kemp was a rancher in Abilene, Kansas before he went off to fight in the … Continue reading The Naked Spur: James Stewart’s embittered Bounty-hunter pursues Robert Ryan’s wild killer in this definitive Anthony Mann Western

A Fistful of Dynamite (Duck, You Sucker!): Sergio Leone’s spectacular ‘Zapata’ Western starring Rod Steiger and James Coburn was also his most political film

Duck You Sucker (1971) aka Giù la testa aka A fistful of Dynamite is the final Western from spaghetti western maestro, Sergio Leone. The film starring Rod Steiger and James Coburn in lead roles is set during the Mexican revolution of the 1910s. Opening with a quote from Mao Zedong that describes Revolution as violence & … Continue reading A Fistful of Dynamite (Duck, You Sucker!): Sergio Leone’s spectacular ‘Zapata’ Western starring Rod Steiger and James Coburn was also his most political film

Man of the West: Gary Cooper is terrific as the reformed outlaw battling kinsman Lee J. Cobb in Anthony Mann’s dark & gritty Western

Man of the West (1958), directed by Anthony Mann, is a gritty western that finds all-American hero, Gary Cooper, stepping into the shoes of the morally ambiguous Mann protagonist from his 1950s Westerns that usually starred James Stewart. 1950s is considered the decade when Westerns finally came of age. The simplistic White hat\Black hat, cowboys … Continue reading Man of the West: Gary Cooper is terrific as the reformed outlaw battling kinsman Lee J. Cobb in Anthony Mann’s dark & gritty Western

Comes a Horseman: James Caan and Jane Fonda saddles up for a moody ’70s Western from Alan J. Pakula

Comes a Horseman(1978) is a moody, meditative, revisionist Western directed by Alan J. Pakula. The film stars Jane Fonda, James Caan, Richard Farnsworth and Jason Robards. Alan J. Pakula, Gordon Willis, James Caan, Jane Fonda, these are not names one usually associate with the Western genre. Director, Pakula, is more famous for his paranoid thrillers … Continue reading Comes a Horseman: James Caan and Jane Fonda saddles up for a moody ’70s Western from Alan J. Pakula

The Killers: A slick Lee Marvin and a quirky Clu Gulager are fantastic together in Don Siegel’s Technicolor Noir

The Killers (1964), directed by Don Siegel, is the second film adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's eponymous short story. The film features Lee Marvin, Clu Gulager, Angie Dickinson and Ronald Reagan in his final film role. "I approve of larceny; homicide is against my principles" That's Ronald Reagan talking to his lieutenants- sitting on a big … Continue reading The Killers: A slick Lee Marvin and a quirky Clu Gulager are fantastic together in Don Siegel’s Technicolor Noir

Charley Varrick: Walter Matthau excels as the titular antihero in Don Siegel’s solid Crime Thriller

Charley Varrick (1973), starring Walter Matthau, Andy Robinson, John Vernon and Joe Don Baker, is a thrilling Crime\gangster drama directed by genre veteran Don Siegel. Siegel made this film immediately after his iconic cop thriller, "Dirty Harry," and in many ways this film is the definitive Don Siegel film. Director, Don Siegel, is most famous … Continue reading Charley Varrick: Walter Matthau excels as the titular antihero in Don Siegel’s solid Crime Thriller

The Wild Geese: Richard Burton, Richard Harris and Roger Moore are aging mercenaries in this action-packed ‘Men on a Mission’ adventure

The Wild Geese (1978), directed by Andrew V. McLaglen and starring Richard Burton, Richard Harris and Roger Moore as aging 'soldiers of fortune' fighting in Africa, is a worthy addition to the subgenre of 'Men on a Mission' war\action picture. In 1968, British thespian, Richard Burton teamed up with then up and coming American star. … Continue reading The Wild Geese: Richard Burton, Richard Harris and Roger Moore are aging mercenaries in this action-packed ‘Men on a Mission’ adventure

Frenzy: Alfred Hitchcock returned to Britain (and returned to vintage form) and created his last great macabre thriller

Frenzy (1972) was the great director Alfred Hitchcock's penultimate movie. This serial killer thriller, starring Jon Finch and Barry Foster in lead roles, finds the British director returning to his homeland to create his best film since the 1960's Psycho. Film Director, Alfred Hitchcock, started making films in Cinema's silent era, in the 1920s. After … Continue reading Frenzy: Alfred Hitchcock returned to Britain (and returned to vintage form) and created his last great macabre thriller

The Spy Who Loved Me: In the year of ‘Star Wars,’ James Bond kept the ‘British end up’ with the best Roger Moore Bond film

The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) was the third film to feature Roger Moore as Ian Fleming's James Bond. With the massive success of this film, directed by Lewis Gilbert, James Bond made a grand comeback after a tumultuous decade that saw diminishing box office returns and three different actors embodying Bond. The year 1977 … Continue reading The Spy Who Loved Me: In the year of ‘Star Wars,’ James Bond kept the ‘British end up’ with the best Roger Moore Bond film

Play Misty for Me: Clint Eastwood made a confident debut as director with this proto-‘Fatal Attraction’ romantic thriller

Play Misty for Me (1971) was the first film directed by Clint Eastwood. Clint also starred alongside Jessica Walter in this romantic thriller set in and around Clint's hometown, Carmel. 1971 was a big year for Clint Eastwood. He had three releases that year- Two of which was directed by his pal & mentor, Don … Continue reading Play Misty for Me: Clint Eastwood made a confident debut as director with this proto-‘Fatal Attraction’ romantic thriller

Mr. Majestyk: Elmore Leonard mixed colorful characters, quirky dialogue and explosive action in creating one of the best ’70s Charles Bronson Actioners

Mr. Majestyk (1974) is an action thriller written by Elmore Leonard and directed by Richard Fleischer. The film stars Charles Bronson as a Colorado Watermelon farmer who comes into conflict with gangsters lead by Al Lettieri. So, after 'breaking his back' for more than two decades - starting out with bit parts, progressing to villainous … Continue reading Mr. Majestyk: Elmore Leonard mixed colorful characters, quirky dialogue and explosive action in creating one of the best ’70s Charles Bronson Actioners

The Way We Were: At the height of gritty ’70s cinema, Sydney Pollack brought Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand together for this glossy old-fashioned romantic drama

The Way We Were (1973) is a lush romantic drama directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford in lead roles. This film, released at the height of the gritty, experimental 'New-Hollywood cinema' period, was a throwback to the glossy, star-driven romantic melodramas from golden-age Hollywood. Hubbell Gardiner: People are more important … Continue reading The Way We Were: At the height of gritty ’70s cinema, Sydney Pollack brought Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand together for this glossy old-fashioned romantic drama

Ryan’s Daughter: David Lean’s unfairly maligned masterpiece finds the great British director returning to his roots to create his most personal and ambitious epic

Ryan's Daughter (1970) is considered to be the great British director David Lean's lone artistic misfire. But this film, an epic romance set on the wild west coast of Ireland and starring such stalwarts like Robert Mitchum, Trevor Howard, John Mills and Sarah Miles, is one of Lean's most personal and ambitious films. In a … Continue reading Ryan’s Daughter: David Lean’s unfairly maligned masterpiece finds the great British director returning to his roots to create his most personal and ambitious epic

The Gauntlet: Clint Eastwood’s over-the-top send-up of his ‘Dirty Harry’ films is fun, fast-paced and packed with baroque action sequences

The Gauntlet(1977), directed by and starring Clint Eastwood and co-starring Sondra Locke, was an attempt by Clint to send up his 'Dirty Harry' films by exaggerating and parodying the tropes associated with those cop thrillers. Originally conceived as a starring vehicle for Marlon Brando and Barbara Streisand, and then, after Brando's withdrawal, as a vehicle … Continue reading The Gauntlet: Clint Eastwood’s over-the-top send-up of his ‘Dirty Harry’ films is fun, fast-paced and packed with baroque action sequences

Casablanca: This Bogart-Bergman classic mixes varied themes & genres to create a heady cocktail of classical Hollywood entertainment

Casablanca(1942) is undoubtedly the most beloved American motion picture ever made. With a dream cast top lined by Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman and a crew led by eminent director Michael Curtiz and producer Hal B. Wallis and an endlessly quotable script designed by more than five writers, the movie’s genius lay in its ability … Continue reading Casablanca: This Bogart-Bergman classic mixes varied themes & genres to create a heady cocktail of classical Hollywood entertainment