Author Archives: regularpop

Irresistible Ava (& The Barefoot Contessa)

Ava Gardner is easy to like. She projects a natural warmth and earthy humility, making her equally appealing to both women and men. Further, she is one of the great beauties of the 20th century. While most movie stars are … Continue reading

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EVERYDAY NOIR

In Anthony Mann’s Side Street (1949), Farley Granger plays a part-time letter-carrier in a tough spot. He is without a career or business– his attempt to run a gas station failed. Now his young wife (Cathy O’Donnell) is pregnant, and … Continue reading

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Technicolor Zen: The Gang’s All Here

  Set during World War II, Busby Berkeley’s The Gang’s All Here (1943) has a plot so flimsy you barely notice it. There’s a love triangle between Alice Faye and two much less charismatic actors (Sheila Ryan and James Ellison). … Continue reading

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Good Girls and Ghosts

As a pre-Halloween treat, I watched the The Ghost and Mrs. Muir last night. And it’s haunting me a little. This film is subtle, elegant and thrilling. And the cast is just perfect. Rex Harrison is irascible and warm-hearted, an … Continue reading

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Transcending the Virgin-Whore Complex in Borzage’s “Street Angel”

Many thanks to Girls Do Film for a recent and inspiring post on Street Angel. Full of tragic coincidences and lavish miracles, Street Angel, is a gorgeous melodrama of the late silent era. It stars Charles Farrell and Janet Gaynor … Continue reading

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Now This is Feminism!

     Maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised by I Was a Male War Bride‘s uniquely matter-of-fact feminism. Howard Hawks’ movies have some of the toughest, smartest, sexiest female characters in all of 20th century cinema. But even given … Continue reading

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Mechanical Glamour

The V.I.P.s feels a bit like the photographs of Cindy Sherman. Every frame is utterly staged, every background synthetic, every dramatic moment artificial. In planes, and airport lounges and hotel rooms, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton pose becomingly at canted … Continue reading

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