How I Won the War (1967)

“Give the British soldier plenty of tea, and there you are: he’ll die for you.” Synopsis: A group of British soldiers, led by inept Commander Goodbody (Michael Crawford), is assigned the task of clearing a mine-ridden cricket field in North Africa. Genres: Black Comedy Flashback Film Richard Lester Films Soldiers Spoof World War Two Response […]

Cousins, Les (1959)

“It’s an odd world we live in; you’ll see.” Synopsis: A naive college student named Charles (Gerard Blain) comes to live with his sophisticated cousin Paul (Jean-Claude Brialy) in Paris, and falls in love with the beautiful yet emotionally unavailable Florence (Juliette Mayniel). Genres: College Claude Chabrol Films French Films Love Triangle Response to Peary’s […]

7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964)

“The whole world is a circus, if you know how to look at it.” Synopsis: Ancient Dr. Lao (Tony Randall) and his circus of supernatural attractions arrive in the small town of Abalone, New Mexico, and proceed to change the lives of the townspeople. Genres: Carnivals and Circuses Character Arc Con-Artists Fantasy Science Fiction Small […]

Sanders of the River (1935)

“Tens of millions of natives under British rule…” Synopsis: Commissioner Sanders (Leslie Banks) tries to prevent warfare between rival chieftains (Paul Robeson and Tony Wane) in British-ruled Africa. Genres: Africa Kidnapping Native Peoples Paul Robeson Films Response to Peary’s Review: As Peary notes, this dated, offensive film “gives the impression that black Africans [were] prosperous, […]

Privilege (1967)

“We must, of necessity, subdue the critical elements in the country’s youth.” Synopsis: In a dystopic “near-future”, Britain’s coalition government uses rock star Steve Shorter (Paul Jones) to manipulate public opinion. Genres: Dystopia Media Spectacle Musical Naive Public Propaganda Rise and Fall Rock “n Roll Response to Peary’s Review: As Peary notes, this somewhat dated […]

Blithe Spirit (1945)

“What, no ectoplasm?” Synopsis: An eccentric medium (Margaret Rutherford) conjures up the ghost of author Rex Harrison’s deceased wife (Kay Hammond), much to the consternation of his new wife (Constance Cummings). Genres: Comedy David Lean Films Ghosts Love Triangle Marital Problems Play Adaptations Rex Harrison Films Response to Peary’s Review: David Lean’s adaptation of Noel […]

Dersu Uzala (1975)

“Why man live in box?” Synopsis: A Russian captain (Yuri Solomin) on a military expedition in Siberia befriends a bow-legged trapper (Maksim Munzuk) who saves his life. Genres: Friendship Kurosawa Films Russian Films Survival Response to Peary’s Review: I agree with Peary that this Oscar-winning Soviet/Japanese film by Akira Kurosawa is “enthralling” and “eerily beautiful”. […]

Pixote (1981)

“This is the district of Sao Paolo, a large Latin American industrial city. There are approximately three million homeless children who have no one and no defined family of origin.” Synopsis: 11-year-old Pixote (Fernando Ramos da Silva) must survive on the brutal streets of Brazil, with the help of his friends. Genres: Juvenile Delinquients Prostitutes […]

Hidden Fortress, The (1958)

“I saw people as they really are… I saw their beauty and their ugliness with my own eyes.” Synopsis: In war-torn feudal Japan, two greedy peasants (Minoru Chiaki and Kamatari Fujiwara) accompany a general (Toshiro Mifune), a disguised princess (Misa Uehara), and bundles of hidden gold across enemy lines. Genres: Fugitives Gold Seekers Greed Japanese […]

She-Beast, The (1966)

“With that thing around your neck, only the goblins would want you.” Synopsis: A newlywed (Barbara Steele) vacationing in communist Transylvania disappears into a lake, and emerges as the 18th century vampiric witch Vardella. Her husband (Ian Ogilvy) must enlist the help of Count von Helsing (John Karlsen) to bring his wife back to life. […]