The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three is one goddamned entertaining film. Pelham is also exciting, especially for a film that consists largely of guys talking into radio mics at people they’ve never seen. Matthau is tough and confident — so confident, in fact, that he handily pulls off wearing the most beautiful, outrageous clothes, two yellow and red catastrophes duking it out with each other across his chest throughout the entire film.

Profiles in History Hollywood Auction 83

Profiles in History have teamed up with Invaluable for Auction 83, an enormous, three-day event that opens tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. and includes items that date back to the silent era.

If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (1969)

Underneath that stereotypical late-60s conservative backlash veneer are some really interesting points being made, points that director Mel Stuart sadly seems to have not noticed.

Gold (1934)

Gold is an odd little bird, irresistible and entertaining despite being a bit thin on plot. It’s believable and thoughtful and the performances range from good to fantastic. It’s hard to imagine getting all worked up over alchemy here in the amazing futuristic year of 2016, but it’s easy to do with Gold.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

The failures of the women in Woolf are reflective of the time in which it was made, which is ironic, considering this was very clearly intended to be an indictment of America’s sociocultural clime. It succeeds as being timeless far better than almost any other social consciousness film, and certainly is one of Albee’s best in this regard, but the need for the play to destroy Honey and Martha is telling.

The King and Four Queens (1956)

Filmed in the beautiful St. George, Utah area and with cinematography by Lucien Ballard, The King and Four Queens is light on plot but full of gorgeous scenery.

The Private Affairs of Bel Ami (1947)

Based on the Guy de Maupassant novel Bel Ami published in 1885, The Private Affairs of Bel Ami is the story of an unmitigated cad and his insatiable quest for money and power and women. Curiously, the film is serene, tasteful, sometimes even bland, surely in the service of the Production Code which was still in effect at the time.

Bulldog Drummond (1929) and Calling Bulldog Drummond (1951)

Bulldog Drummond (1929) was not the first film based on the popular British character, but it was the first talking film, and thanks to being a product of Sam Goldwyn’s exacting (though sometimes baffling) standards, it’s probably one of the best early talkies made. It’s fun and exciting and shockingly modern, with a camera that moves and audio that’s easy to hear and jokes that don’t fall flat — you can’t say that about most early talkies.

Candy (1968)

Still, may the gods help me, there is a lot to like about Candy. Does it open with unwarranted psychedelia? Yes! Does it make any sense? No! Is it an attempt by the establishment to infiltrate the counterculture and make a buck off of it? Oh, hell yeah it is; this thing is as bad as Skidoo in that regard, and if you love watching old guys trying to be hip as much as I do, you will love this film.

Try and Get Me! (The Sound of Fury, 1950)

Jerry is less offering a job to Howard than he is seducing him, and in a very pragmatic, do-you-want-it-or-don’t-ya manner suggestive of a hook-up rather than a romance. It’s all metaphorical, of course, but everything about their interactions, from Jerry’s constant preening to Howard’s habit of talking with his mouth full, cranks the usual film noir homoeroticism up to 11.