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Brian Donlevy stan account.
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  • Trouble in Paradise

    Trouble in Paradise

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    Imagine how demoralizing it must have been to be a director in the 1930s and watch something made by Lubitsch. I mean, how could you possibly hope to match his effortless charm, and his wit, and his uncanny ability to balance subtlety against ... whatever its opposite is? If I’d been a director and seen Trouble in Paradise, I’d have packed it in the next day and turned to plumbing instead.

  • 7 Men from Now

    7 Men from Now

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    I have two reviews to write about this. One is extremely horny, about Lee Marvin’s BDE, and the sexual tension between him and Randolph Scott. The other is more analytical, aboutΒ Budd Boetticherβ€˜s flawless pacing, the absolute genius of the wagon scene, and how much better Scott was for this role than any of the proposed alternatives. Both of my reviews converge, though, on that scene in the crowded wagon, during the storm, in which both of the men who aren’t…

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  • Theodora Goes Wild

    Theodora Goes Wild

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    I cannot tell you how dramatically my day was improved by watching this. Melvyn Douglas’ Michael Grant is a charming, presumptuous ass, and the strange, almost cruel edge that sometimes surfaces in Irene Dunne’s screwball comedy characters is entirely appropriate here when her small town girl/big city novelist gleefully turns the tables on Grant. I loved every single minute of it, but particularly the ones in which Douglas was squirming. An absolute delight.

  • Buchanan Rides Alone

    Buchanan Rides Alone

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    This is a hell of a watch. More happens than in all of the other Ranown movies I’ve watched put together, and it has the biggest supporting cast, too. With the unexpected focus on plot and action, it’s also lot more fun that the others. Yes, there are some laughs,Β but it’s bigger than that: whereas the others are often built on atmosphere and a single relationship, this is bigger and more actively engaging. In addition, it’s the only one I’ve…

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  • The Adventures of Robin Hood

    The Adventures of Robin Hood

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    When I was a little kid, a babysitter killed four weekend hours by dragging my younger brothers and me to a revival house for an Errol Flynn double feature: The Adventures of Robin Hood and Captain Blood. And she was exactly right in doing so, because Robin Hood is nothing more -- and nothing less -- than a big, glorious cartoon. The colors are blinding, the action impossible and thrilling, and the characters cheerfully two dimensional. It's entirely immersive in…

  • The French Connection

    The French Connection

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    I'm a history teacher, and when I grade student essays, I constantly encounter work that is unnecessary convoluted -- on the assumption that it must sound sophisticated that way -- and papers clearly written with thesaurus.com open in another tab, in order to sound smart. In my feedback, my constant refrain is "Simple and clean is better. Make what you're saying explicit, and move on." And The French Connection is William Friedkin's perfect history essay. Nothing he's done is easy…