ClarksDad has written 47 reviews for films rated ★★★★★ during 2020.

  • Torch Song

    Torch Song

    ★★★★★

    Waiter: “What’ll ya have ?”

    Joan, (playing a Broadway dancer taking a break from dance rehearsals:) “Lobster Newberg and black coffee....”

    Alright.

    I’m here to tell you Lobster Newberg has about 6 cups of heavy cream in it, plus cognac and fucking butter.

    The whole movie...possibly the greatest ever made? ...operates on this level. Enjoy.

  • Mystery of the Wax Museum

    Mystery of the Wax Museum

    ★★★★★

    Pre-code newspaper comedy, German expressionism, and urban horror film. And it nails all 3.

    Even with the formidable horror icon Lionel Atwill at the helm...the whole movie belongs to Glenda Farrell.

    The new 2-color Technicolor restoration (screened at MoMA) is phenomenal.

  • Army of Shadows

    Army of Shadows

    ★★★★★

    Takes a lot to floor me. This floored me.

    Essential viewing.

  • The Big Country

    The Big Country

    ★★★★★

    The best western to show to People Who Hate Westerns.

  • The Godfather

    The Godfather

    ★★★★★

    Tom walking out into the snow with toys for the kids (two Best Movies Ever have sleds in them) and getting stopped by Sollozzo is my favorite Christmas-y movie scene ever.

  • The Sea Wolf

    The Sea Wolf

    ★★★★★

    Straight up nautical horror...this is no mere sea-faring adventure. Flawless performances all the way down the line—but of course the film belongs to Robinson. The Warner Archive restoration of the original longer cut is a game changer.

  • The Oscar

    The Oscar

    ★★★★★

    You will search in vain for a more unintentionally hilarious film.

    5 stars for Boyd’s untethered, unrivaled scenery-chewing. I’d add a 6th star for the decor if it was available.

  • The Big Combo

    The Big Combo

    ★★★★★

    If anyone ever asked me where to start with noir, I’d drop them here and just let them bathe in the blood of the lamb.

    For me, this is the best 1950s noir (sorry Touch of Evil and Kiss Me Deadly). The music..the violence...urban setting...the script...the John Alton cinematography...that saucy burlesque girl...endearingly vacant leading lady...the utterly magnetic (and hot) villain...homoerotic hit men (apparently unintentional...but a boy can dream)...an oral sex scene that made it past local censors (Hayes Office noticed but somehow Director Lewis talked his way out of it) ...all this and the torture scene of all time, too.

  • He Walked by Night

    He Walked by Night

    ★★★★★

    Hunky, deeply ‘effed-up Richard Basehart (and the most famous dog in all of noir) will stay with you forever.

    What cinematographer John Alton did with that subterranean finale is something to behold.

  • Scarlet Street

    Scarlet Street

    ★★★★★

    All I can think of right now is “Night of the Hunter”...another movie I watched in a state of awe over the flawless execution....and upon the ending, utterly spent and traumatized, declared I’d never put myself through a 2nd viewing.

    Shout out to lovely Margaret Lindsay ...wasted in so many dumb ingenue roles back at Warner Bros....who gets a small but memorable “working girl” role here as the only character with a shred of conscience and wisdom.

  • Shanghai Express

    Shanghai Express

    ★★★★★

    And why are you traveling to Shanghai?

    “To buy a new hat.”

    I just want to climb into this film and hang out in that compartment with Marlene and Anna May Wong and smoke and listen to the phonograph and talk about what pricks men are.