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  • Reaching for the Moon

    Reaching for the Moon

    ★★★

    A stockbroker in 1920s America who has no time for women finds himself falling for a wealthy, high-spirited young woman.

    A slight but engaging enough vehicle for Douglas Fairbanks and Bebe Daniels, two huge stars of the silent screens whose careers would largely come to an end in the 1930s. Even in a modern-dress piece of fluff set largely on a cruise liner, Fairbanks finds plenty of opportunities to show off his athletic prowess. It's the kind of movie that is forgotten almost as soon as the end credits are over, and notable only for a brief early appearance from Bing Crosby.

  • Homunculus, 1. Teil

    Homunculus, 1. Teil

    ★★

    A man who was manufactured in a laboratory is tormented by his inability to feel love and so embarks on a reign of evil.

    Originally a hugely popular 6-part serial from Germany, Homunculus existed only as this 69-minute film, sections of which are severely degraded. As each episode of the original series was an hour long, this version provides only a fraction of it's story, and clearly suffers as a result. Danish actor Olaf Fonss overacts terribly even for a…

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  • Her Man

    Her Man

    ★★★½

    A young prostitute in Havana sees a possible escape from her thankless life and cruel pimp in the form of a handsome sailor.

    An unjustly overlooked pre-Code movie that oozes atmosphere like sweat from a drunk's pores. Helen Twelvetrees nails the spirit and despair of her character, and Ricardo Cortez exudes dangerous charm. Together, they overshadow hero Phillips Holmes (a forgotten actor in a near-forgotten movie) who nevertheless copes well in the miscast role of the heroic sailor. The fluid…

  • War Drums

    War Drums

    ★★★

    The friendship between a cowboy and his Indian Chief friend is threatened by a fiery Mexican woman.

    This minor B-Western is the kind of movie that would have feminists up in arms today, with Joan Taylor being treated like a possession to squabble over by white man, Mexican and Indian alike. The plot is largely implausible, the final act is a big anti-climax, and only about 37 of the 1000s of Apaches Lex Barker claims he can summon with a click of his fingers (or mountain-top smoke signal) actually answer his call. Watchable, though, and the forgotten Taylor looks luscious.