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

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

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

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

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‚Äôs 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

Flaming Star: Elvis Presley at his very best as a dramatic actor in Don Siegel’s dark & violent Western

Flaming Star(1960), directed by Don Siegel, is a dark & violent Western that deals with racism and culture-clash in the old-West. The film has Elvis Presley, in a full-fledged dramatic role, giving a terrific performance as a half-breed torn between his white father and Kiowa mother. Apart from being the 'King of Rock & Roll" … Continue reading Flaming Star: Elvis Presley at his very best as a dramatic actor in Don Siegel’s dark & violent Western

Warlock: Henry Fonda and Anthony Quinn are fantastic together in this literate, Law & Order Western Drama

Warlock (1958), directed by Edward Dmytryk and starring Richard Widmark, Henry Fonda, Anthony Quinn and Dorothy Malone, is an intelligently crafted Western drama that deals with issues of vigilantism and Law & Order Edward Dmytryk is one of Hollywood's most prolific directors, who started his career in films as early as the 1920s. Never to … Continue reading Warlock: Henry Fonda and Anthony Quinn are fantastic together in this literate, Law & Order Western Drama

Coogan’s Bluff: Don Siegel’s solid Cop drama transformed Clint Eastwood from a ‘Western’ hero into a modern action hero

Coogan's Bluff(1968) was the first collaboration between director Don Siegel and Star, Clint Eastwood. The film effectively transformed Clint from a star of Westerns into a modern, urban action hero. Clint Eastwood is a multitalented movie superstar; he acts, directs, produces and even composes music, but, over and above all this, what I find most … Continue reading Coogan’s Bluff: Don Siegel’s solid Cop drama transformed Clint Eastwood from a ‘Western’ hero into a modern action hero

Barry Lyndon: Stanley Kubrick’s ice-cold exercise in pure cinema is also his most emotionally rich and perfect movie

Barry Lyndon(1975), adapted for the screen by Stanley Kubrick from William Thackeray's novel, is perhaps Kubrick's greatest film. The film, starring Ryan O'Neal and Marisa Berenson, charts the rise and fall of its amoral hero, Redmond Barry, in the backdrop of the tumultuous events in Eighteenth-century Europe. I find Stanley Kubrick to be a bundle … Continue reading Barry Lyndon: Stanley Kubrick’s ice-cold exercise in pure cinema is also his most emotionally rich and perfect movie

Wyatt Earp: Kevin Costner attempted an ambitious, ‘The Godfather’-like sprawling epic on Old-West’s most legendary lawman

Wyatt Earp (1994), co-written and directed by Lawrence Kasdan is an epic Western starring Kevin Costner as legendary Frontier Marshall, Wyatt Earp, and Dennis Quaid as Earp's friend 'Doc' Holliday. The film attempts to be a definitive biopic on Earp, as it traces his growth from a young Iowa farm boy into the most legendary … Continue reading Wyatt Earp: Kevin Costner attempted an ambitious, ‘The Godfather’-like sprawling epic on Old-West’s most legendary lawman

Get Carter: Michael Caine’s iconic star turn and Roy Budd’s pulsating score powers this classic British Crime drama

Get Carter(1971), written & directed by Mike Hodges, and starring Michael Caine as the amoral titular gangster, is a gritty & nihilistic British crime Drama. It was not well received upon its release, but it's now revered as one of the greatest British films ever made. "Pint of Bitter..... in a thin glass" One of … Continue reading Get Carter: Michael Caine’s iconic star turn and Roy Budd’s pulsating score powers this classic British Crime drama

Will Penny: Charlton Heston gives one of his greatest performances as the aging, aching cowboy in this gritty, melancholic Western

Will Penny (1968), written and directed by Tom Gries, is a gritty, melancholic Western starring Charlton Heston as the titular hero. The film features Heston, who usually plays larger-then-life roles, as a very down to earth, aging cowboy. From Moses to Michelangelo, and from El Cid to Gordon of Khartoum, Charlton Heston specialized in playing epic, … Continue reading Will Penny: Charlton Heston gives one of his greatest performances as the aging, aching cowboy in this gritty, melancholic Western

The Godfather: Coppola, Brando and Pacino transformed Mario Puzo’s gangster saga into a mesmerizing meditation on power, succession and moral corruption

The Godfather (1972), directed by Francis Ford Coppola, is a strong candidate for the title of 'the greatest American film ever made'. The film, adapted form Mario Puzo's bestselling novel, tells the story of the fictional Corleone family and starred Marlon Brando and Al Pacino in lead roles. When Mario Puzo set out to write … Continue reading The Godfather: Coppola, Brando and Pacino transformed Mario Puzo’s gangster saga into a mesmerizing meditation on power, succession and moral corruption

Dances with Wolves: Kevin Costner directs and stars in this grand, gorgeous & ‘going native’ Western epic

Dances with Wolves (1990) is a sweeping Western epic directed by, and starring Kevin Costner. This was Costner's directorial debut and this Oscar winning film was adapted from a novel by Michael Blake. Kevin Costner, by his own admission, does not make cutting-edge movies. His films are all 'right down the middle.' His ambition as … Continue reading Dances with Wolves: Kevin Costner directs and stars in this grand, gorgeous & ‘going native’ Western epic