Scott Kelly
Scott Kelly

Scott Kelly

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  • Scarecrow

    Scarecrow

    ★★★★

    Jerry Schatzberg’s underseen film (a Palme d'Or winner at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival) is the Horatio Algar myth deconstructed, a delusional slacker’s American dream. This misfit buddy road movie, featuring two of the greatest actors of their generation at the height of their powers (Gene Hackman (The Conversation would follow next) and Al Pacino (coming off The Godfather and Schatzberg’s The Panic in Needle Park), is like a scruffy second cousin to Midnight Cowboy, and it’s almost as good…

  • 23 Paces to Baker Street

    23 Paces to Baker Street

    ★★★

    Versatile director Henry Hathaway had no problem working the Hitchcockian vibe with his 20th Century Fox technicolor noir Niagara and he’s back at it here in this London set CinemaScope suspenser with a handicapped protagonist (here Van Johnson as a blind playwright) suspecting a possible crime, all of which is more than a little suggestive of the Master of Suspense’s Rear Window. The equivalent of the Grace Kelly role is even occupied by Hitchcock’s intended cool-blonde Kelly replacement Vera Miles.…

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  • The Cardinal

    The Cardinal

    ★★★

    A sprawling episodic and epic prestige picture detailing the various challenges of an American priest (Tom Tryon) as he climbs the clerical ladder. It’s all from that objective provocateur Otto Preminger who after Exodus was more than familiar with big subjects from bloated bestsellers. Individual scenes, aided by Preminger’s expert ‘scope compositions, are fairly effective and compelling; but as a whole it’s hollow, bland and predictable. The various Catholic issues portrayed seem to have come off a check list. Preminger’s…

  • Crime of Passion

    Crime of Passion

    ★★★

    Flawed, but with some interesting feminist themes that could have used greater exploration. Barbara Stanwyck plays a former career woman who sacrifices the rat race for love and marriage to a police detective played by Sterling Hayden. Relegated to domestic mediocrity, our ambitious heroine plays office politics from the sidelines on behalf of her unknowing husband (reminiscent of Beatrice Straight in the film version of Patterns from the same year), transforming herself into a double dealing femme fatale in the…

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  • The Spoilers

    The Spoilers

    ★★★

    A conventional but rousing "B" oater with an "A" cast. The fourth of five movie versions of the Rex Beach novel, a Northern Western set during the Alaskan gold rush, with mud soaked streets, grizzled drunken prospectors, saloon chanteuses (Marlene Dietrich looking great in Destry Rides Again mode) and claim jumpers. Ray Enright seems to have been a competent journeyman without much of a rep but his solid direction here could have easily come from a higher profile Michael Curtiz

  • Baby Face

    Baby Face

    ★★★½

    Around the time a demented mustachioed Austrian embraced Nietzsche's will to power in the real world so did the fictional Lily Powers (will to power / Lily Powers, get it) in transforming herself from an East St. Louis speakeasy floozy groomed for whoredom by her degenerate father into a corporate climber that uses sex as the ultimate weapon. Lily's passionate declaration of her new world view as she leaves the slums behind is worthy of Scarlett O'Hara's famed survival pledge.…