Three Days of the Condor: The definitive Robert Redford star vehicle is also a first rate paranoid thriller

Three Days of Condor(1975), starring Robert Redford, Max Von Sydow and Faye Dunaway and directed by Sydney Pollock,  is a brilliantly crafted conspiracy  thriller as well as a terrific star-vehicle for Robert Redford Robert Redford is my most favorite modern movie star . And I'd put MOVIE STAR in capital letters, because Redford is not … Continue reading Three Days of the Condor: The definitive Robert Redford star vehicle is also a first rate paranoid thriller

Chinatown: Nicholson is great, Huston is iconic and Dunaway’s at her greatest in Robert Towne and Roman Polanski’s Neo-noir classic

Chinatown(1974), directed by Roman Polanski, written by Robert Towne and starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway and John Huston, is one of those rare gems from New Hollywood cinema of the '70s, whose appeal remains undiminished even after 4 decades (Spoilers are included) Post the collapse of the old Hollywood studio system in the early 1960s, … Continue reading Chinatown: Nicholson is great, Huston is iconic and Dunaway’s at her greatest in Robert Towne and Roman Polanski’s Neo-noir classic

Once upon a time in Hollywood: Quentin Tarantino’s love letter to 1960s Hollywood is his most satisfying film since Pulp Fiction.

Once upon a time in Hollywood, featuring an all star-cast of Leonardo Di Caprio, Brad Pitt, Al Pacino etc..., is Quentin Tarantino's most satisfying and most personal  film since Pulp Fiction. He has gone beyond his quirky Tarantinoisms to craft a technically competent, mature film that expands his range as a filmmaker (Mild spoilers included) … Continue reading Once upon a time in Hollywood: Quentin Tarantino’s love letter to 1960s Hollywood is his most satisfying film since Pulp Fiction.

McQ & Brannigan: Taking a break from Westerns, John Wayne maneuvers the urban frontiers of the 1970s

McQ(1974) and Brannigan(1975) are not great films and may not figure in a Best of John Wayne List.  But watching them today, they both come across as well crafted pieces of mainstream entertainment in which John 'Duke' Wayne is seen attempting to connect with a contemporary audience by featuring in modern-day urban crime dramas. Throughout … Continue reading McQ & Brannigan: Taking a break from Westerns, John Wayne maneuvers the urban frontiers of the 1970s

White Heat : James Cagney made it to the Top of the World in one of the greatest screen performances ever

James Cagney gave a performance of a lifetime as gangster Cody Jarrett in Raoul Walsh's classic film White Heat (1949) that completes 70 years.   Made It Ma, Top of the world One of the most famous exit lines in movies, spoken by the great James Cagney in the 1949 film White Heat. James Cagney … Continue reading White Heat : James Cagney made it to the Top of the World in one of the greatest screen performances ever

Touch of Evil: A baroque and wildly innovative Orson Welles masterpiece that came at the end of the golden era of film Noir

Touch of Evil(1958) is one of  Orson Welles' greatest films and it's perhaps the last great film Noir from the classic period. The Film  was butchered by the studio at the time of its release, but has since been restored to its intended form.   Everything about me is a contradiction, and so is everything … Continue reading Touch of Evil: A baroque and wildly innovative Orson Welles masterpiece that came at the end of the golden era of film Noir

Psycho : Hitchcock’s Macabre masterpiece that became a pop cultural phenomenon

Alfred Hitchcock designed his 1960 film Psycho as a personal, passion project devoid of any stars or a big budget simply to have some fun  and indulge in his passion for pure cinema. But it ended up creating a pop cultural phenomenon It’s an area of film-mak­ing in which it’s more important for you to … Continue reading Psycho : Hitchcock’s Macabre masterpiece that became a pop cultural phenomenon

Scarface: Al Pacino’s electrifying performance powers this brutal and uncompromising Gangster epic from Oliver Stone and Brian De Palma

On Al Pacino's birthday, here is looking back at his grandest and most popular performance from the 1983 gangster epic, Scarface, written by Oliver Stone and directed by Brian De Palma. “ Al Pacino's performance in the 1983 gangster classic, Scarface, is an instance where the lead star\actor takes over a film completely with his … Continue reading Scarface: Al Pacino’s electrifying performance powers this brutal and uncompromising Gangster epic from Oliver Stone and Brian De Palma

Leave Her To Heaven: Gene Tierney is breathtakingly gorgeous as the unrivaled femme fatale in this Technicolor Noir

Leave her to Heaven(1945) , A Film Noir shot in glorious Technicolor makes for a unique cinematic experience. ‘It’s like a film noir, in colour …. It’s the technicolor, how it’s matched to the strange perfection in Tierney’s face, her presence. The drama of the obsession of the color, reinforce each other and create something … Continue reading Leave Her To Heaven: Gene Tierney is breathtakingly gorgeous as the unrivaled femme fatale in this Technicolor Noir

The Yakuza: A great Robert Mitchum performance anchors this fascinating genre mashup from director Sydney Pollack

Sydney Pollack's 1974 film, The Yakuza, is a strange mashup of Neo-Noir, Gangster-drama, Samurai film, Yakuza-eiga , martial arts film and cross cultural Romance. This mixture is not always successful, but still makes for fascinating viewing "When an American cracks up, he opens a window and shoots up a bunch of strangers, he shoots out … Continue reading The Yakuza: A great Robert Mitchum performance anchors this fascinating genre mashup from director Sydney Pollack

The Treasure of Sierra Madre: Humphrey Bogart at his greatest in John Huston’s gritty masterpiece

The Treasure of Sierra Madre(1948), starring Humphrey Bogart and Walter Huston, is Director John Huston's greatest film; a Noir-Western or a Neo-Western that explored themes of avarice, temperance and self-destruction, it is an extremely gritty and violent film for its time and won Oscars for the (father & son) Huston duo. Fred C. Dobbs, a name … Continue reading The Treasure of Sierra Madre: Humphrey Bogart at his greatest in John Huston’s gritty masterpiece

Notorious: Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman scorches the screen in Hitchcock’s dark romantic thriller

Alfred Hitchcock's Masterpiece Notorious(1946) is many things; Its a Spy thriller, its a Love story, Its a Melodrama, Its also a Menaced-Women Noir. But above all, its an exercise in pure cinema in the great Hitchcock tradition that showcases the hitherto unseen side of  Star\actor Cary Grant. Alicia Huberman (beautiful, young, spoiled, playgirl, daughter of a … Continue reading Notorious: Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman scorches the screen in Hitchcock’s dark romantic thriller

The Driver: Director Walter Hill’s minimalist Neo-noir thriller is an exhilarating exercise in pure genre cinema

Director Walter Hill's 1978 film, The Driver, starring Ryan O'Neal and Bruce Dern, is the ultimate exercise in pure, minimalist cinema that just keeps getting better with age. "Boy you got it down real tight. So tight that there's no room for anything else." This is what 'The Detective' played By Bruce Dern tells Ryan … Continue reading The Driver: Director Walter Hill’s minimalist Neo-noir thriller is an exhilarating exercise in pure genre cinema

Laura: Gene Tierney’s breathtaking beauty and David Raksin’s spellbinding music sets the mood for this dreamy, romantic Noir classic

Otto Preminger's 1944  film Laura, starring Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney and Clifton Webb, is  one of the most stylish, moody, and witty film Noirs ever made. Consider this scene from the film Laura, which comes about half way through the picture: Detective McPherson ,played by Dana Andrews, walks into the apartment of his beloved Laura. He … Continue reading Laura: Gene Tierney’s breathtaking beauty and David Raksin’s spellbinding music sets the mood for this dreamy, romantic Noir classic

Bullitt: Peter Yates’ gritty, seminal cop thriller gave Steve McQueen his most iconic role

Bullitt(1968) finds Steve McQueen at the peak of his powers. As a film it isn't much, but It's a perfect example of what we call a 'Star Vehicle': A very generic film with a very convoluted plot and very little characterization that's elevated to another level by the charisma and Screen presence of its iconic star. Steve McQueen … Continue reading Bullitt: Peter Yates’ gritty, seminal cop thriller gave Steve McQueen his most iconic role