5001 Nights at the Movies (Holt Paperback)
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The intelligent person's guide to the movies, with more than 2,800 reviews
Look up a movie in this guide, and chances are you'll find yourself reading on about the next movie and the next. Pauline Kael's reviews aren't just provocative---they're addictive.
These brief, informative reviews, written for the "Goings On About Town" section of The New Yorker, provide an immense range of listings---a masterly critical history of American and foreign film. This is probably the only movie guide you'll want to read for the sheer pleasure of it.
a German town in the 1820s, is a factually based variant of the lost-or-abandoned-child, Mowgli-Tarzan myth; Kaspar wasn't raised among wolves, bears, or apes but, rather, in isolation. In this nightmare version, written and directed by Werner Herzog, Kaspar (Bruno S.) is a grunting lump of a man, chained in a dungeonlike cellar from infancy. Covered with sores and welts, unable to stand, he is fed by a black-caped man who beats him with a truncheon. One day, the man carries him to a town square
and he's a valiant Indian scout. With Elsa Lanchester, Douglass Dumbrille, Frank Morgan, Joseph Cawthorn, and Cecilia Parker. W.S. Van Dyke directed, from a script by John Lee Mahin, Frances Goodrich, and Albert Hackett based on Rida Johnson Young's operetta. The music is by Victor Herbert. Hunt Stromberg produced, for MGM. The Navigator US (1924): Comedy 69 min, No rating, B&W Arguably, Buster Keaton's finest--but amongst the Keaton riches can one be sure? What isn't subject to debate
Zbyszko. With Hugh Marlowe. Script by Jo Eisinger; cinematography by Max Greene. A Night at the Opera US (1935): Comedy 92 min, No rating, B&W The Marx Brothers sometimes said that this was their best film; it isn't, but it was their greatest hit. Two beautifully stuffed American targets-grand opera and high society-are left dismantled, flapping like scarecrows. (If you ever could listen to Il Trovatore with a straight face, you can never do so again.) Many writers have tried to analyze
stabbing vocal rhythms. (These two are Lenny Bruce and Erma Bombeck.) We're supposed to dislike Steven's brashness and desperation, and approve of Lilah because she has a wholesome, normal outlook. We're also supposed to be charmed by the naughty vibrator jokes that pop out of her little head and "embarrass" her. Seltzer's sit-com style of humor is just like Lilah's. The bedraggled plotting forces Hanks into maudlin situations, but he manages to get under some of his material and darken it. He's
With Pierre Fresnay as the narrator, Jean Tissier, Mouloudji, Juliette Faber, and Noel Roquevert. In French. Strangers on a Train US (1951): Thriller 101 min, No rating, B&W Alfred Hitchcock's bizarre, malicious comedy, in which the late Robert Walker brought sportive originality to the role of the chilling wit, dear degenerate Bruno; it's intensely enjoyable--in some ways the best of Alfred Hitchcock's American films. The murder plot is so universally practical that any man may adapt it