Shawn Hall

Big fan of silent and pre-code film that tries to watch as much diverse films as possible from the past 125 years of cinema.

Favorite films

  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Silence
  • The Best Years of Our Lives
  • Girl Shy

Recent activity

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  • This Gun for Hire

    ★★★½

  • Sparrows

    ★★★★

  • Hud

    ★★★½

  • The Vagabond

Recent reviews

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  • This Gun for Hire

    This Gun for Hire

    ★★★½

    I’ve always enjoyed watching noir from the early 1940s that haven’t quite got a footing on what the style/genre conventions are. Alan Ladd’s eponymous gun for hire fits right into the sympathetic anti-heros on the run from the law but a lot of the other characters and plot points don’t.

    Lake is not a femme fatale although she does emphasize and even help the outlaw in her own way. The government, not a private investigator, are the ones hunting down…

  • Sparrows

    Sparrows

    ★★★★

    Pickford is best known as for her Girl with the Golden Curls character she played in most of her films but she should really get a lot more credit for her talent as a producer.

    Sparrows has such an amazing wealth of talent both in front of and behind the camera. A cast of supporting actors plus good child performances mesh well with a haunting production design and lighting setups including Oscar winners for best cinematographers. Even William Beaudine is…

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  • Fool's Paradise

    Fool's Paradise

    ★★★★

    And so begins the strangest Masquerade, that a Woman ever dared! When Arthur, believing that he is marrying the Woman he Loves — weds the Woman he Hates — and the Sunlight denied his Eyes, dwells at last in his Heart.

    So many implausible events happen during DeMille's lavish Fool's Paradise but they are all so entertaining that you willingly suspend all disbelief. A French dancer a WWI vet met during the war comes to a dusty Mexican border town?…

  • All Quiet on the Western Front

    All Quiet on the Western Front

    ★★★

    This adaptation is definitely bleak, able to show the blood and guts much more realistically than previous film versions. If all it was going for is a simple ‘war is hell’ message, the filmmakers did there job but All Quiet should be much more than that.

    I think the biggest mistake was cross-cutting with the armistice negotiations. The novel and previous adaptations are solely from the soldiers’ perspective, driving home that they are pawns used by their fathers and statesmen…