1950s

Fritz Lang's 1953 crime film noir The Big Sleep

The Big Heat • Member Bonus Episode

May 31, 2021

How about some hot coffee in the face? No? Well, Gloria Grahame sure gives it a shot here in this brutal crime noir film directed by Fritz Lang in 1953, starring Glenn Ford as a ruthless cop hellbent on stopping the local crime syndicate, no matter who dies in his way. This is our May 2021 Member Bonus Episode, voted on by you – our members. It’s a dip back into our Fritz Lang series from 2016, and a solid film to finally review.

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North by Northwest

June 18, 2020

It’s the second in our Cary Grant series this week, and this time we’re heading straight up the Presidents’ noses as we follow Hitch and crew to Mt. Rushmore and beyond in the 1959 classic ‘North by Northwest’.

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Rififi

February 26, 2020

How did Jules Dassin use this film to help break the blacklist? Are the criminal protagonists here easy to like? How do they so effectively amp up the tension in the robbery? Tune in to this week’s show to get these answers and more!

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Stromboli

June 13, 2019

Was this film worth the rupture in Ingrid Bergman’s marriage? What do we think of Italian neorealism? And why do people live on this island still? Tune in to this week’s show to get these answers and more!

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A Star Is Born (1954)

March 28, 2019

How well do Judy Garland and James Mason do in the roles? Was Garland stable by this point in her career? How does this film hold up to the original? Listen in this week!

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Giant

April 24, 2018

Looking at the characters James Dean played in his three leading roles, it’s clear that he was excited to play complex characters that weren’t easy to define as simply ‘protagonist’ or ‘antagonist.’ In his final film, Giant, Dean plays a cowhand that could have easily become a love interest in the first half of the film before he takes a darker turn later on. After looking at his previous films, it seems absolutely like a role Dean would take. Join us as we wrap up our series on Dean’s three films with George Stevens’ 1956 epic Giant

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Rebel Without A Cause

April 19, 2018

Possibly James Dean’s most iconic role, Rebel Without a Cause hit theaters in the fall of 1955 – less than a month after Dean’s tragic car crash that took his life – and immediately found its audience. The movie was a success, thanks in a large part to all of the teens that connected with the characters and the story, seeing more of themselves on-screen than they had before. Dean’s death made the film something to talk about, but the fact that the film had something to say too has made it a classic. Join us as we continue our James Dean series with Nicholas Ray’s 1955 film Rebel Without a Cause.

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East of Eden

April 12, 2018

James Dean was the lead in only three films released in 1955 and 1956. He died tragically in a car crash on September 30th, 1955, only ever getting to see one of his three films finished. What he never got to see is how the performances he gave in those three films left an indelible impression on cinema, creating a voice for teenagers of the day and a cult icon for decades since. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we look back at James Dean’s career, kicking it off with Elia Kazan’s 1955 film East of Eden.

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All About Eve

November 17, 2016

Bette Davis was on a streak of flops and just lost her contract with Warner Bros. when Joseph L. Mankiewicz offered her the role of Margo Channing in his new film All About Eve. She immediately saw it for what it was: an incredible role for a woman of her age in an incredible script. She leapt at the chance. It’s safe to say that by doing so, she created one of her most iconic performances in a film that’s gone on to be praised as one of the greatest of all time. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our Bette Davis series with Mankiewicz’s 1950 film All About Eve.

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Seven Samurai

September 1, 2016

When you think of Akira Kurosawa, it’s easy to connect him to great samurai films like RanThrone of BloodThe Hidden FortressYojimbo and Sanjuro. What’s surprising, however, is that he didn’t make his first samurai film until midway through his filmmaking career. That film, of course, is arguably his greatest film, Seven Samurai, which was released in 1954. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we start up our Seven Samurai Family series with Kurosawa’s masterpiece.

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