The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)

Three Strikes To me, what‘s interesting about this are the many different, completely different ways one can approach it. For most folks, at the time this was made, it dealt with deep national issues of identity and war. For most others fifty years later, this is a character study of an apparently comic fellow, who… Continue reading The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)

Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Slow Meditation on Observation This treacly story hides some masterful filmmaking. Film is all about observation, except the observed usually contrive to make the observer feel unobtrusive. During this period, intelligent filmmakers were playing with the form so that often films were not only engineered observations but the matter of the movie itself was about… Continue reading Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

All the King’s Men (1949)

Actors, Politicians As a film, this hasn’t aged well. The various elements, especially the acting, now seem dated and… well, lousy. In its day we overlooked all its shortcomings because it was grand and relevant and seemingly true. That political sweep still resonates. But I suspect that where the film reflected political reality, it and… Continue reading All the King’s Men (1949)

The Dark Mirror (1946)

Her Sister Rose An actor’s challenge is when they are required to create their own mob, create the tension they are to hold. I’ve just seen a few “multiple people in one body” type films. Here we have something different: one actress playing two characters, exact twins. One is a murderer, we discover early in… Continue reading The Dark Mirror (1946)

Dark Command (1940)

Before the Pattern John Wayne ruined the western for me. The whole idea of the western until Leone was in constant repetition, walking the same route every time so that subtleties could be emphasised. Since everything else was given, we could focus on the smallest things. Real art in moviemaking is in picking the right… Continue reading Dark Command (1940)