Bigger Than Life (1956)

“One pill, and he thought he could handle anything. One pill, and he thought he was bigger than life!” Synopsis: Overworked husband and father Ed Avery (James Mason) is prescribed cortisone as a pain-reliever for his rare arterial disease, and soon becomes addicted to the feelings this “wonder drug” produces in him — but his […]

Late Spring (1949)

“If I left home, Father would be lost.” Synopsis: An aging widower (Chishu Ryu) lovingly deceives his devoted daughter (Sesuko Hara) in order to convince her that she should marry. Genres: Father and Child Grown Children Incest and Incestuous Undertones Japanese Films Ozu Films Widows and Widowers Response to Peary’s Review: As Peary notes, this […]

Whistle Down the Wind (1961)

“[It’s] Jesus — He’s in our barn. He’s come back.” Synopsis: Three motherless siblings (Hayley Mills, Diane Holgate, and Alan Barnes) find a fugitive (Alan Bates) hiding in their barn, and mistakenly believe he is Jesus. Genres: Alan Bates Films Childhood Do-Gooders Fugitives Mistaken or Hidden Identities Religious Faith Review: At the age of five, […]

Jagged Edge (1985)

“If he didn’t do it, I’ll get him off.” Synopsis: Female lawyer Teddy Barnes (Glenn Close) questions the innocence of the man (Jeff Bridges) she is defending on suspicion of murder. Genres: Courtroom Drama Jeff Bridges Films Lawyers Murder Mystery Response to Peary’s Review: As Peary notes, this popular ’80s courtroom thriller is “absurdly written”, […]

Wild in the Streets (1968)

“Our young people are citizens. They’re concerned, committed, original, vital — they are citizens; we must give them the rights of citizens.” Synopsis: Senator Johnny Fergus (Hal Holbrook) uses popular rock star Max Frost (Christopher Jones) as a political ploy to gain the country’s “youth vote.” Things quickly spin out of control, however, when Frost […]

The T.A.M.I. Show (1964)

“It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to…” Synopsis: Chuck Berry introduces acts from the 1964 Teenage Awards Music International — including Bo Diddley, the Supremes, the Ronettes, James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Lesley Gore, and the Rolling Stones. Genres: Concert Films Rock “n Roll Teenagers Response to Peary’s Review: As Peary notes, this […]

Xica / Xica da Silva (1976)

Synopsis: Xica (Zeze Motta), a black female slave in 18th century Brazil, gains freedom, wealth, and power by seducing the town’s new Royal Diamond Contractor (Walmor Chages). Genres: Comedy Historical Drama Political Corruption Race Relations Social Climbers South and Central America Strong Females Response to Peary’s Review: Peary’s review of this “popular [Brazilian] film by […]

Stevie (1978)

“I was much too far out all my life / And not waving, but drowning.” Synopsis: British poet Stevie Smith (Glenda Jackson) discusses her childhood, her literary fame, her failed romance, and life with her beloved maiden aunt (Mona Washbourne). Genres: Biopics Flashback Films Glenda Jackson Films Play Adaptations Spinsters Trevor Howard Films Writers Response […]

Hangover Square (1945)

“Something’s happened lately — these moods are getting deeper and longer.” Synopsis: Composer George Bone (Laird Cregar) suffers from sound-induced blackouts, during which he commits crimes he can’t remember. When he’s jilted by a manipulative dance hall singer (Linda Darnell), he commits one murder too many, and a Scotland Yard doctor (George Sanders) is hot […]

WR: Mysteries of the Organism (1971)

“No excitement can ever equal the elemental force of the orgasm!” Synopsis: Through a creative mixture of documentary and fictional footage, Yugoslavian director Dusan Makavejev explores the links between sexual and political freedom in the Cold War era. Genres: Documentary Eastern European Films Satires and Spoofs Sexual Liberation Response to Peary’s Review: Though he acknowledges […]