Sons of the Desert (1933)

“Every man should be the king in his own castle!” Synopsis: Henpecked Stan and Ollie (Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy) sneak off to a fraternity convention in Chicago, telling their wives (Mae Busch and Dorothy Christie) that they have gone to Honolulu to cure Ollie’s cold — but their ruse is soon discovered– Genres: Battle-of-the-Sexes […]

Uncle Harry/The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry (1945)

“You must realize by now that Letty has absolutely no intention of giving you up — not until she’s dead!” Synopsis: When small-town, middle-aged bachelor Harry Quincey (George Sanders) falls in love with a beautiful young woman from New York (Ella Raines), his plans to marry are foiled by his possessive sister Letty (Geraldine Fitzgerald), […]

Theodora Goes Wild (1936)

“Everything Lynnfield doesn’t want you to feel, you write about — love, laughter; all the things you want to experience but can’t.” Synopsis: A repressed small-town girl (Irene Dunne) writing racy novels under a pseudonym is pursued by a married New Yorker (Melvyn Douglas) with secrets of his own. Genres: Character Arc Irene Dunne Films […]

The Weavers: Wasn’t That a Time! (1982)

“The future ain’t what it used to be — and what’s more, it never was.” Synopsis: The Weavers — an influential folk group blacklisted during the McCarthy era — reunite for a final set of concerts at Carnegie Hall. Genres: Cold War Concert Films Documentary Let’s-Put-On-a-Show Musicians Response to Peary’s Review: As Peary notes, this […]

Yellow Submarine (1968)

“All you need is love.” Synopsis: The Beatles accompany Captain Fred in his Yellow Submarine to help free Pepperland from the music-hating Blue Meanies. Genres: Animated Features Beatles Films Fantasy Musicals Response to Peary’s Review: The Beatles’ only animated film — featuring their music and their cartoon likenesses but not their actual voices — remains […]

Christine Jorgensen Story, The (1970)

“Operate on the brain, perform a lobotomy — fine! But take a pair of testicles and everybody explodes!” Synopsis: As a child, George Jorgensen (Trent Lehman) feels compelled to dress in girls’ clothing and play with dolls. His gender dysphoria becomes so acute as an adult that George (now played by John Hansen) travels to […]

Viridiana (1961)

“I’m not a good liar, Uncle. I respect you, and I’m grateful for your material support — but beyond that, no affection.” Synopsis: Viridiana (Silvia Pinal), a novice nun, is sent to visit her sick uncle (Fernando Rey) before taking her vows. When she rebuffs his lecherous advances, he hangs himself, and leaves his farm […]

Midnight Express (1978)

“The concept of a society is based on the quality of its mercy, its sense of fair play, its sense of justice.” Synopsis: Twenty-year-old Billy Hayes (Brad Davis) is caught smuggling two kilos of hashish across the Turkish border, and sent to prison for three years. When he finds out his sentence has been extended […]

Devils, The (1971)

“Satan is ever ready to seduce us with sensual delights.” Synopsis: Father Grandier (Oliver Reed), a lustful yet devoted priest, presides over the fortified town of Loudun, France in the early 1600s. When a deranged, sexually repressed nun (Vanessa Redgrave) becomes infatuated with Grandier and accuses him of diabolically seducing her, power-hungry Cardinal Richelieu (Christopher […]