• Caged

    Caged

    ★★★½

    The 1950s, Pt. III: 5/100
    1950 Ranked

    Caged has earned a reputation as the definitive women-in-prison film of the era, a hardened and honest look at life behind bars and the corruption of the prison industry. For modern times, Caged has little revelation to offer, after all it is largely about how the inmates are treated as human scum, the guards are corrupt, a few leaders at the prison are alright, the parole board is on the take, and there…

  • Johnny Angel

    Johnny Angel

    ★★★

    The 1940s, Pt. II: 37/100
    1945 Ranked

    Johnny Angel sparked a revival of George Raft’s acting career, owing to the film being a surprise hit, with this dark noir focusing on Raft’s Captain Angel, a boat captain who just discovered his father’s boat empty. His father had been on a job for Gusty (Marvin Miller), his employer, in Casablanca and was returning to New Orleans when something happened. As Eddie Muller explained on TCM’s Noir Alley, the story’s foundation comes…

  • Devil's Doorway

    Devil's Doorway

    ★★★★

    The 1950s, Pt. III: 4/100
    Ranked: Anthony Mann
    1950 Ranked

    Anthony Mann was busy out west in 1950, first making Winchester ‘73 and then The Furies before Devil’s Doorway. Yes, there was a time where cinemas would be playing Winchester ‘73 in July, The Furies less than two weeks later, and then Devil’s Doorway in two months. Three Anthony Mann classic westerns, all released within weeks of one another. Incredible. Of the three, Devil’s Doorway has certainly gained less of…

  • The Man I Love

    The Man I Love

    ★★½

    The 1940s, Pt. II: 36/100
    Ranked: Raoul Walsh
    1947 Ranked

    Ida Lupino was something else. All at once vulnerable, confident, snappy, gentle, and smart, she was one of the Golden Age’s most well-rounded and talented actors. She brought style and class to every film, a perfect fit for the many noirs she starred in and right at home here as a nightclub singer who goes back home to see her family for the holidays. There, she finds more problems at…

  • Five Graves to Cairo

    Five Graves to Cairo

    ★★★★

    The 1940s, Pt. II: 35/100
    Ranked: Billy Wilder
    1943 Ranked

    An early film from director Billy Wilder, Five Graves to Cairo is an absolute gem. Coming in the midst of World War II, this largely single-location spy thriller finds Franchot Tone as Corporal John Bramble, a wounded British tank soldier who stumbles into an Egyptian hotel right after the British left. Field General Rommel (Erich von Stroheim) is barrelling towards him and soon, Bramble finds himself assuming the identity of…

  • The Big Fix

    The Big Fix

    ★★★★

    Indicator Challenge, Pt. II: 39/100
    1978 Ranked

    “Do you know why being a revolutionary doesn't work in this country? Being a revolutionary in America is like being a spoilsport at an orgy. All these goodies being passed around and you feel like a shit when you say no.”
    -Howard Eppis

    Richard Dreyfuss is Moses Wine, a “would be Marxist gumshoe”. Once involved in every student committee and revolutionary-adjacent movement at Cal-Berkeley in the 1960s, Moses now plods along in life…

  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service

    On Her Majesty's Secret Service

    ★★★★½

    The 1960s, Pt. II: 52/100
    1969 Ranked

    Truly great. Despite a mixed early reception, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service has since grown in reputation to being regarded as one of the best James Bond films, if not the very best. It is not hard to see why the film would be met with such criticism at first, given its shift in tone from the goofy final Sean Connery films to a far more serious and ultimately depressing film with George…

  • Mutiny on the Bounty

    Mutiny on the Bounty

    ★★★

    The 1960s, Pt. II: 51/100
    1962 Ranked

    Besieged by a troubled production that would see original director Carol Reed removed from the film - after a stretch of being unhealthy and requesting 139 days to finish the film, while MGM only wanted to give him 100 - and replaced by Lewis Milestone (in his final directorial work) and Marlon Brando torpedo his reputation through misbehavior on-set, 1962’s remake of Mutiny on the Bounty came in at an immediate disadvantage. Any…

  • The Gray Man

    The Gray Man

    ★★

    Anthony and Joe Russo present: The Bland Man. For two filmmakers who so revile the filmmakers of yesteryear who will not simply sit back and accept the type of lowbrow cinema the Russo’s churn out, the Russo’s sure love making films that are just dull recreations of their influences. A hitman with incredible skills discovers bad things about his employer, works with his old protege to evade the other hitman after him, and shows his heart of gold while trying…

  • Bird

    Bird

    ★★★

    The 1980s: 59/100
    Ranked: Clint Eastwood
    1988 Ranked

    Clint Eastwood’s Bird is a heavy film. While watching the film, a quote about Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come” came to mind. Upon hearing Cooke perform the song, Bobby Womack told him that it sounded “like death”, later clarifying he meant “spooky”. Either way, Cooke himself agreed and never sang the song publicly again before his death. I reference this because Eastwood’s Bird is not only about a similarly influential…

  • Eye of the Cat

    Eye of the Cat

    ★★★½

    Indicator Challenge, Pt. II: 38/100
    1969 Ranked

    Absolutely glorious. David Lowell Rich’s Eye of the Cat is a deliciously bizarre horror film about a seductive hairdresser who convinces a playboy that is deathly afraid of cats to kill his rich aunt (who incestuously worships him). While Wylie (Michael Sarrazin) was out of his aunt Danielle’s (Eleanor Parker) life for a bit, Kassia (Gayle Hunnicutt) is not one to let an opportunity go to waste. Kidnapping him from the throes of…

  • Creature with the Atom Brain

    Creature with the Atom Brain

    ★★★

    The 1950s, Pt. III: 3/100
    1955 Ranked

    The best part of Creature with the Atom Brain is that, despite its central conceit being so outlandish, one of the men tasked with figuring out what is going on has it figure out from the very beginning. Even as others call him crazy, he remains adamant that he knows what is happening and he is 100% right. While many of these other science fiction B-movies keep their characters in a state of…