When You Get Really Close to a Movie Screen, Film Emulsion Looks like…
Boiling Sand

I’m not joking:  GODZILLA vs. THE SMOG MONSTER is a multi-layered, supremely heightened movie experience that can bless an appropriately receptive viewer with enormous gratifications by the final fade-out. However — the producer of the Godzilla series, Tomoyuki Tanaka, disagreed.  Hospitalized during the film’s production, Tanaka went virtually apoplectic when he saw the finished work, […]

Most Film Noir has some sort of philosophical / existential aspect woven into it:  the private dick’s jaundiced look at love and morals, an old drunk’s musings on life slipping through his hands, etc.  But REPEAT PERFORMANCE is entirely built on a fatalist / defeatist foundation, and although it has elements of fantasy, it’s also […]

If I were using the old rule of judging a book by its cover, I shouldn’t be able to tolerate this movie. For most of the studio era, Twentieth Century-Fox generated tons of awful musicals, with listless plots, sexless dancing, and brassy orchestrations.  When Veronica Lake told Joel McCrea in SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS that “musicals hurt […]

[This review is dedicated to the gifted show business survivor, June Havoc, who passed away March 28th. –DB ] In Hollywood many years ago, I heard stories of life on the set of movies directed by W. S. Van Dyke.  One story went that every afternoon a portable cocktail bar was rolled onto the soundstage and […]



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