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  • The Trial

    The Trial

    from Andrew Sarris's "Pantheon" entry for Orson Welles in The American Cinema (1968)

    THE TRIAL deserves a derisory footnote all its own, but with reservations. Since everything Welles had done since CITIZEN KANE and THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS had been denounced as a betrayal of his talent, it is possible to sympathize with his decision to hurl Kafka at the culture-mongers. The final irony of this absurd situation is that THE TRIAL is the most hateful, the most repellant, and the…

  • Abraham Lincoln

    Abraham Lincoln

    Andrew Sarris's "Pantheon" entry for D.W. Griffith in The American Cinema (1968)

    It is about time that D.W. Griffith was rescued from the false pedestal of an outmoded pioneer. The cinema of Griffith is no more outmoded, after all, than the drama of Aeschylus. When one observes in the bird-in-a-cage telephone-booth image in Hitchcock’s The Birds a derivation of a similarly objective viewpoint in Griffith’s Broken Blossoms, the alleged antiquity of Griffith becomes more dubious than ever. Only in film…

Popular reviews

  • Lawrence of Arabia

    Lawrence of Arabia

    If there had been no newspaper strike, and mine were a lonely voice instead of an only voice, Lawrence of Arabia might now be festooned with the superlatives accorded such previous superproductions as The Best Years of Our Lives, Around the World in 80 Days, The Bridge on the River Kwai, and Ben Hur. But like its almost forgotten predecessors, Lawrence is simply another expensive mirage, dull, overlong, and coldly impersonal. Its objective is less to entertain or enlighten than…

  • Pierrot le Fou

    Pierrot le Fou

    Pierrot le Fou is the first Godard film I have ever had to stand on line to see, and thus another coterie taste has been engulfed by the crowd. But I wonder what the crowds make of Godard now that he has become popular as well as fashionable, particularly in a four-year-old film that actually preceded such earlier American Godard releases as Masculine Feminine, La Chinoise, and Weekend, and the still unreleased Made in USA and Deux ou trois choses…