The Film Detective Blu-ray: ‘The Sin of Nora Moran’

Just a few months after showing up on TCM for the first time, the astonishing Pre-Code movie The Sin of Nora Moran is now on Blu-ray from The Film Detective. The label is better known for releasing BD-Rs of public domain titles, but they kicked things up a notch with their release of this must-be-seen-to-be-believed… Read More The Film Detective Blu-ray: ‘The Sin of Nora Moran’

Tracking Godzilla Part 3: Enter Ghidorah and Ebirah!

The next three Showa-era Godzilla movies represent a major shift for the series. Godzilla quickly turns from menacing monster into a reluctant hero, who humans turn to when bigger monsters arise. They also capture a shift behind the scenes, as director Ishiro Honda grew tired of seeing Godzilla and his cohorts turn into comical characters,… Read More Tracking Godzilla Part 3: Enter Ghidorah and Ebirah!

Tracking Godzilla Part 2: For the Love of Ratings

After Godzilla Raids Again hit theaters in 1955, the King of the Monsters was given a surprisingly long vacation from having to destroy Japan. Toho did not employ Godzilla again until 1962, when the studio was celebrating its 30th anniversary. That year, Toho released King Kong vs. Godzilla, with Ishiro Honda back as director. Since… Read More Tracking Godzilla Part 2: For the Love of Ratings

Tracking Godzilla Part 1: The King of the Monsters in the ’50s

Godzilla, the longest-running film franchise of all time, began in 1954 with an anti-war allegory, highlighting the dangers of atomic warfare. If images of mushroom clouds were not going to convince humanity that atomic and hydrogen bombs could destroy us all, perhaps a giant dinosaur-like lizard with atomic breath could do the job. Coming barely… Read More Tracking Godzilla Part 1: The King of the Monsters in the ’50s

Criterion Blu-ray Review: Ousmane Sembene’s ‘Black Girl’

Length is overrated. Ousmane Sembene’s 1966 debut feature film Black Girl says so much in just 59 minutes, it can be dizzying to parse. Sembene took his simple story foundation and used it to build a dark indictment on racism. It is unarguably one of the most important films recently released on Blu-ray in the… Read More Criterion Blu-ray Review: Ousmane Sembene’s ‘Black Girl’

William A. Wellman’s ‘Thunder Birds,’ or ‘Wings’ Light

In 1942, World War II was just getting started for the United States, although many other parts of the world had already been at war since 1939 (and the conflict between China and Japan began even earlier, in 1937). The U.S. Army needed pilots fast, and many were trained at Thunderbird Field in Glandale, Arizona.… Read More William A. Wellman’s ‘Thunder Birds,’ or ‘Wings’ Light

John Frankenheimer’s ‘The Young Savages’ Starring Burt Lancaster

John Frankenheimer‘s The Young Savages, his first collaboration with Burt Lancaster, acts as a prologue to the filmmaker’s incredible string of films from 1962 to 1966. It mixes Stanley Kramer’s worst message movie tendencies with the kinetic action and direction that would become Frankenheimer’s trademarks. While the execution of the 1961 adaptation of Evan Hunter’s… Read More John Frankenheimer’s ‘The Young Savages’ Starring Burt Lancaster

Cohen Film Collection: Albert Lewin’s ‘Pandora and the Flying Dutchman’

Director Albert Lewin’s claim to fame is writing and directing the beloved 1945 film adaptation of The Portrait of Dorian Gray, one of only six films he helmed. Lewin, who died in 1968 at age 72, had a surprisingly long career for someone with so few credits to his name. He began at MGM as… Read More Cohen Film Collection: Albert Lewin’s ‘Pandora and the Flying Dutchman’