Favorite films

  • North by Northwest
  • Vertigo
  • Lawrence of Arabia
  • The Ladykillers

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  • Leave Her to Heaven

    ★★★★½

  • Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

    ★★★★★

  • How to Lose Friends & Alienate People

    ★★★½

  • The Aura

    ★★★★½

Recent reviews

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  • Leave Her to Heaven

    Leave Her to Heaven

    ★★★★½

    My wife thinks I have a thing for Gene Tierney because we have watched so many of her films multiple times. Laura is a masterpiece, while Whirlpool is one of my guiltiest guilty pleasures. Her acting chops come nowhere close to those of such contemporaries as Bette Davis and Barbara Stanwyck, but when used properly—and she did have the good luck to work with several top directors—she can be quite effective. I can’t imagine anyone else being Laura. The same…

  • Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

    Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

    ★★★★★

    The twenty seafaring adventure novels by Australian Patrick O’Brian (1914-2000) surprised many by finding a large international readership during an age—the 80s and 90s—expected to be perceive such books as old-fashioned. With their Napoleonic War setting and loose plots, O’Brian’s tales offer an unusually detailed view of a time and place in the distant past. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, drawing upon the first and tenth novels in the series and using both titles, follows O’Brian’s…

Popular reviews

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  • Run for the Sun

    Run for the Sun

    ★★★½

    I saw Run for the Sun when it was fresh out of the box and have seen it at least three times since, and it never fails to engage. Loosely adapted from Richard Connell’s highly influential short story “The Most Dangerous Game,” filmed in beautiful black-and-white in 1932, the film finds journalist Katherine Connors (Jane Greer) arriving in a remote Mexican locale looking for reclusive novelist Michael Latimer (Richard Widmark). She hopes to write a magazine article about why he…

  • Easy Living

    Easy Living

    ★★★★★

    Poor Mitchell Leisen can’t get any respect. Midnight is a masterpiece, yet Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett get most of the credit because their screenplay is so much like their later sophisticated, cynical comedies. Easy Living is another masterpiece, but it is heavy with the trademarks of screenwriter Preston Sturges: slapstick, foolish rich people, wonderful parts for character actors, several of whom would appear in films directed by Sturges. Leisen at least deserves credit for the look of the film…