Favorite films

  • Blackbeard, the Pirate
  • Anne of the Indies
  • Blessed Event
  • One-Horse Farmers

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  • The Prisoner of Zenda

  • All Aboard

  • It's Only Money

  • Sing Sister Sing

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  • The Prisoner of Zenda

    The Prisoner of Zenda

    A splendid Selznick swashbuckler with Ronald Colman in a dual role as a royal and as a great royal scandal, whispered in the anterooms of Europe. My favourite part of the movie is that it begins by making so much of the fact that Ronald Colman is an Englishman in a strange Germanic land, and once he's through customs, the first representatives of non-Englishmen he meets are... David Niven and C. Aubrey Smith! Oh, and the third one is a…

  • All Aboard

    All Aboard

    One-reel of glee with Bebe Daniels, Snub Pollard, and "the owl-faced boy" Harold aw-shucks Lloyd. It moves briskly and it is full of creative imagination. Among other pleasures, it features playful gags involving candlestick phones, a lively rocking-at-sea sequence, swell '10s fashion for Bebe, and a title card in which Bermuda is described as "the land of festered bunions." If all that would fail to put a smile on your face, your aesthetic principles are to me but an opaque fog.

Popular reviews

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  • What Happened on Twenty-Third Street, New York City

    What Happened on Twenty-Third Street, New York City

    A woman's skirt shoots up when she walks under the gushing air of a sidewalk grate, fifty-four years before Marilyn's iconic performance in The Seven Year Itch. Only today have I learned the historical significance of this film's title. Why does it happen on Twenty-Third Street? The answer can be found by pairing this film with the 1903 actuality At the Foot of the Flatiron, in which pedestrians clutch their hats and skirts on a windy day on the corner…

  • I Love Melvin

    I Love Melvin

    One of the 50 best films in the history of cinema. Starstruck gal Debbie Reynolds wants to be on the cover of Look magazine — paging Dr. Laura Mulvey? — and apprentice photographer Donald O'Connor promises he'll help. Perfectly trifling, then, but what's remarkable here isn't the what but the how. Its wide-eyed stars direct off Singin' in the Rain (which O'Connor knowingly references with a lamppost leap), the dance numbers here rank among the most creative ever made for…