The Lusty Men (1952)

“In any case, this film isn’t a Western. It’s really about people who want nothing more than a home of their own. That was actually the great American dream at the time, and in all the statistical questionnaires that ask what Americans aim for, 90% always gave the answer: ‘Owning a home of my own.’…

Spenser: For Hire: Season One Now on DVD from Warner Archive

Former boxer turned police officer turned private eye, Spenser — no first names please, he’s got an air of mystery to maintain — has just lost a client, a former hooker who was shot by the henchmen of the gangster trying to bring her back into his fold. Hired the next day to find the…

Warner Archive: The Winning of Barbara Worth (1926)

When it came to attracting the eye of some of the biggest silent screen legends, Vilma Bánky had no peer. After acting in a few films in her native Hungary, producer Samuel Goldwyn spied her in 1925 and persuaded her to come to Hollywood. She agreed, and became an immediate sensation. First paired with Ronald…

Warner Archive: Arrowsmith (1931)

In 1931, producer Samuel Goldwyn was in a real bind. His film The Unholy Garden had been a complete disaster from start to finish, enraging Ronald Colman, Goldwyn Pictures’ star actor, who never quite got over having been contractually forced to appear in the film. A horrifying production, terrible reviews and even worse box office…

Another Dawn (1937)

By the time Kay Francis began filming Another Dawn in the fall of 1936, she was exhausted. She was the most popular, profitable actress at Warner Bros., and the studio took full advantage, putting her in one film after another without break in between. Another Dawn had originally been intended as a Bette Davis vehicle…

The Biggest Bundle of Them All (1968)

Cesare Celli (Vittorio De Sica), at the funeral of a good friend, is kidnapped by a group of thieves intent on stealing $50,000 from the former gangster. To his embarrassment, Celli has no money, but merely relies on his long-standing reputation. It’s because of this reputation that he encourages the thieves, led by Harry Price…

The Big House (1930): Triple Feature from Warner Archive

There’s a lot of Alibi (1929) in the opening frames of The Big House (1930). There’s the silent marching feet with sound effects overdubbed, the silhouette framing, the long shots of authoritative figures in their cavernous rooms. This aesthetic extends to later scenes, symmetrical with deep blacks in windows, doorways, even on clothes, giving the…

The Sunshine Boys (1975)

Based on Neil Simon’s Broadway play of the same name, The Sunshine Boys (1975) follows the acrimonious reunion of two former Vaudevillian comedians whose 43-year run as Lewis and Clark — the Sunshine Boys — ended abruptly a decade prior when Clark (George Burns) decided to retire. The cantankerous Lewis (Walter Matthau) is still getting…

King David (1985)

There is no shame in watching a movie because it’s aesthetically beautiful. King David, the 1985 Biblical epic directed by Bruce Beresford, is just such a beautiful film, exciting and epic in scope. But, as Vincent Canby wrote in the New York Times, it is not a good film. The Australian Beresford, whose Breaker Morant…

The Rose and the Jackal (1990)

Beginning in the late 1980s, the newly-launched TNT network, owned by Ted Turner, began to produce their own original programming. Early examples included several documentaries of actors and directors, frequently using clips from the thousands of films Turner owned after his enormous, $1.5  billion purchase of numerous archives and film libraries in 1986. TNT, in…