Say Amen, Somebody (1982)

“When I came up in gospel, we didn’t do concerts — we did revivals.” Synopsis: American gospel founders Thomas A. Dorsey and Willie Mae Ford Smith share their histories, talents, and abiding faith in this documentary about the evangelical roots of the musical genre. Genres: African-Americans Documentary Musicians Religious Faith Singers Response to Peary’s Review: […]

Flaming Star (1960)

“We have no place to go: we have to fight, or we die.” Synopsis: A half-breed Kiowa (Elvis Presley) living on a ranch with his father (Don McIntire), mother (Dolores del Rio), and half-brother (Steve Forrest) finds his loyalties divided when a local Kiowa tribe led by Buffalo Horn (Rodolfo Acosta) seeks revenge for stolen […]

Jailhouse Rock (1957)

“That ain’t tactics, honey — it’s just the beast in me!” Synopsis: After accidentally killing a man in a barfight, a construction worker (Elvis Presley) is sent to jail, where his cellmate (Mickey Shaughnessy) — a former country-and-western star — teaches him to play the guitar and offers him a chance to perform. Upon his […]

King Creole (1958)

“The boy was born with an unusual talent — he has the right to think for himself!” Synopsis: A troubled teen (Elvis Presley) disappoints his father (Dean Jagger) by failing high school and choosing to work in a nightclub owned by a man (Paul Stewart) who his sister (Jan Shepard) falls for. But will Danny’s […]

I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang (1932)

“I’ll be a model prisoner if it kills me!” Synopsis: A decorated World War I veteran (Paul Muni) disappoints his parents by wanting more out of life than his small-town factory job, and sets off in search of engineering work. After a series of hard times, he is accidentally implicated in a fatal robbery committed […]

Set-Up, The (1949)

“Don’t you see, Bill? You’ll always be just one punch away.” Synopsis: An aging boxer (Robert Ryan) whose wife (Audrey Totter) desperately wants him to quit decides to give his all in a final match against a corrupt young upstart (Hal Baylor) — not knowing that his own manager (George Tobias) has taken money from […]

Maniac (1934)

“Doctors and scientists often have some queer things on their mind.” Synopsis: Mad Dr. Meierschultz (Horace Carpenter) enlists the help of his assistant, an ex-vaudevillian (Bill Woods), in stealing corpses to bring back to life. After killing Woods in self-defense, Carpenter assumes his identity and continues his work, going mad himself in the process. Genres: […]

Clockwork Orange, A (1971)

“If you need Pretty Polly — you take it.” Synopsis: In a dystopian British future, an ultra-violent thug (Malcolm McDowell) who has committed a series of heinous crimes with his “droogs” (James Marcus, Michael Tarn, and Warren Clarke) is arrested and sent to prison, where he undergoes a new conversion therapy known as the “Ludovico […]

Face in the Crowd, A (1957)

“This whole country’s just like my flock of sheep!” Synopsis: A radio producer (Patricia Neal) discovers a charismatic drifter (Andy Griffith) in Arkansas who is soon tapped to star in his own television show as “Lonesome Rhodes”, and becomes a folksy cult favorite with “the common people”. Griffith and Neal fall in love, but their […]

Fritz the Cat (1972)

“All the stuff to see — and all the kicks, and all the girls — are out there!” Synopsis: A swinging hep-cat (Skip Hinnant) beds chicks while seeking the meaning of life through drugs, a road trip, and violent revolutionary action. Genres: Animated Features Counterculture Revolutionaries Road Trip Response to Peary’s Review: Peary notes that […]