Warner Archive Releases #2: Camp Edition

I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958) I Married a Monster from Outer Space one of the quintessential 1950s scifi B-movies, a fun and suspenseful story with a lot of potential readings to be had, everything from Communist paranoia to feminism to repressed hetero- and homosexuality. Though it came late in the 1950s scifi…

Warner Archive Grab Bag #1: Gossett, Garner and More

The White Dawn (1974) In 1971, James Huston published The White Dawn: An Eskimo Saga, the story of three sailors from Massachusetts, lost at sea and rescued by native inhabitants of the Baffin Island area in 1896. In press releases of the day, accompanied by photos of Huston looking startlingly like Stewart Granger, Huston is…

Warner Archive: Phil Spector (2013)

“I’m not standoffish, I’m inaccessible. Always have been.” Al Pacino as Phil Spector in David Mamet’s Phil Spector (2013)   Just past the clumsily-worded disclaimer that opens Phil Spector is a movie that makes very little sense. Its title, its subject matter, its very existence is utterly dependent on the very real Phil Spector, his…

Warner Archive: The Loved One (1965)

The Loved One (1965), a biting satire on American commercialism and the business of death, was billed on its release as “The Motion Picture with Something to Offend Everyone!”, and even today, this still holds true. Based on the 1948 Evelyn Waugh novel, it was written after his “humiliating success,” as he referred to it,…

Warner Archive: Gummo (1997)

Gummo (1997) is a difficult film that too often feels outrageous for the sake of outrageousness, though fans of the film seem to love it for just that reason. Personally, I’ve never been able to fully accept artistic expression that exploits people in order to show that sometimes our society exploits people. It’s impossible for…

Kansas City Bomber (1972)

History is messy. The winds of cultural change seldom align neatly with our calendars; the things we think of as quintessentially 1950s, for example, like teenyboppers and nuclear testing and television, properly date to the 1940s. The same holds true for the 1970s, a decade which began in the midst of a sort of cultural…

Riding High (1950) from Warner Archive

Dan Brooks (Bing Crosby) is a disenchanted junior executive, the kind of guy expected to marry the boss’ eldest daughter and lead a staid, white collar life. But his true passion is racing, so he runs off with his horse Broadway Bill and his good friend, horse trainer Whitey (Clarence Muse), with plans to enter…

Revisit: Front Page Woman (1935) from Warner Archive

Several years ago, when The SBBN Bette Davis Project was still in its infancy, I reviewed the early Bette programmer Front Page Woman (1935). In short, I didn’t like it. Filmed immediately after Bette’s The Girl From 10th Avenue, Warner Bros. saw fit to use six of the same cast members and at least two…

Winter Meeting (1948)

The later films from Bette Davis’ studio years are always interesting, because her real life had intruded so heavily into her working life and Hollywood image that she was forced into a sort of typecasting, being suited — at least according to studios and audiences — only for characters with a hard edge to them,…

Elsewhere: The Adorable Dogs and Hollywood Butts Edition

Things I’ve written elsewhere, and other stuff around the interwebs lately: My piece on The Human Factor (1979) as an underrated gem is up at Spectrum Culture. This is now available on MOD DVD at Warner Archives, in a print that I absolutely adored, because the grain was kept — all that delicious, nutritious 1970s…