Jewish Horror: The Golem on Blu-ray

To understand this hundred-year-old German/Jewish horror movie, you need to know a bit about the German Expressionist movement. The Golem: How He Came into the World was never intended to look realistic. Neither the acting, the makeup, nor the costumes were intended to recreate the medieval period of the setting. This expressionism allowed set designer Hans … Continue reading Jewish Horror: The Golem on Blu-ray

The Fantastic Journeys of Karel Zeman

While Ray Harryhausen was making effects-laden fantasies in the mid-20th century, the Czech filmmaker Karel Zeman was doing much the same thing behind the Iron Curtain…but with a better sense of humor. Using stop-motion animation, puppets, live action, beautiful illustrations, and a sense of comedy, he made visually striking, entertaining films that have been forgotten … Continue reading The Fantastic Journeys of Karel Zeman

Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, & George Cukor give us a Holiday – thanks to Criterion’s new Blu-ray

The 1938 romantic comedy Holiday doesn't seem quite crazy enough to be called a screwball. The laughs don't pile up the way other such comedies of the period do. But it has something else - a believable romance between intelligent people discussing their lives and their loves, and how they became the people they are. … Continue reading Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, & George Cukor give us a Holiday – thanks to Criterion’s new Blu-ray

Three silent classics by Josef von Sternberg, now together on Criterion Blu-ray

When cinephiles consider Josef von Sternberg, they usually think about beautiful, erotic images of Marlene Dietrich, set in exotic, far-off places but shot entirely on the Paramount lot. Yet before he met Dietrich or made a talkie, he created three stunning silent dramas that are among his best work. These three films, Underworld, The Last … Continue reading Three silent classics by Josef von Sternberg, now together on Criterion Blu-ray

The Hitch-Hiker, now on Blu-ray, keeps you on edge for 71 minutes

Here's a little movie that ratchets up the suspense from beginning to end. Ida Lupino's The Hitch-Hiker grabs you by the gut. Two men on a fishing vacation (Edmond O'Brien and Frank Lovejoy) pick up a hitchhiker, who turns out to be a notorious, psychotic killer wanted by the police. Holding them at gunpoint, he … Continue reading The Hitch-Hiker, now on Blu-ray, keeps you on edge for 71 minutes

Support Your Local Sheriff: Little-known gem now on Blu-ray

I wrote an article a couple of years ago about Forgotten Laughs - comedies that are worth watching, but never attained classic status. I overlooked Support Your Local Sheriff from 1969, which is now available on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber. Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Laurel and Hardy, the Marx Brothers, Bob Hope, Mel Brooks, and … Continue reading Support Your Local Sheriff: Little-known gem now on Blu-ray