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  • The Talk of the Town

    The Talk of the Town

    ★★★

    It seems I'm on a roll with movies about this kind of bizarre love triangle (which is my favourite New Order song, thanks for asking). (No wait, that would be "Temptation", actually.)

    I've already established that George Stevens is a Nice Person™️, so I'll go easy on him. First of all, this movie is too damn long. It could have played out perfectly in half the time.
    Unlike the other George Stevens movie about two men and a women forced…

  • The Lower Depths

    The Lower Depths

    ★★★★

    Is this a gay classic? Because it should definitely be a gay classic.
    There are two notable screen adaptions of Maxim Gorky's play The Lower Depths: one by Jean Renoir, released in 1936 (the year of Gorky's death), and another made 20 years later by Akira Kurosawa. I have little interest in Kurosawa and marginally more in Renoir, so that's the one I went with.

    Jean Gabin plays Pépel, a petty criminal. One night he breaks into a baron's townhouse,…

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  • Daisy Kenyon

    Daisy Kenyon

    ★★★★★

    So, Joan Crawford has to choose between Dana Andrews and Henry Fonda? CRY ME A RIVER, SISTER. Not exactly caught between a rock and a hard place, are you.

    I don't know what happened, but Daisy Kenyon had me in a spell from the beginning. Normally, I find it hard to sympathize with the characters in a melodrama. I'm guilty of fetishizing self-control, and I can't stand it when people overcomplicate their lives and turn everything into one big drama.…

  • The Breaking Point

    The Breaking Point

    ★★★★

    1948's To Have and Have Not is one of the all-time best film noirs that also draws unfavourable comparison with Casablanca (personally, I prefer the former over the latter). The Breaking Point, based on the same Hemingway novel, is very much its own thing. It's a complex melodrama that doesn't shy away from social critique.
    Instead of the glamourous Bogart-Bacall power couple, it features John Garfield and Phyllis Thaxter as working class parents who struggle to make ends meet. While…