Corpse Vanishes, The (1942)

“Another kidnapping of a dead bride’s corpse — what a story!” Synopsis: A spunky reporter (Luana Walters) investigates a rash of kidnappings involving brides who faint and die at the alter after receiving orchid corsages. When she learns about a mysterious madman (Bela Lugosi) who creates a serum from the brides’ corpses to keep his […]

Loves of a Blonde (1965)

“And you — you look like a guitar, too, but one painted by Picasso.” Synopsis: A young factory worker (Hana Brejchova) in Soviet-controlled Czechoslovakia sleeps with a sweet-talking musician (Vladimir Pucholt) at a company dance, then upsets his parents (Milada Jezkova and Josef Sebanek) the next weekend with a surprise visit. Genres: Black Comedy Eastern […]

Menage (1986)

“Bob’s our only friend! He’s changed our lives with his magic wand…” Synopsis: A bisexual thief (Gerard Depardieu) entices a down-and-out couple (Michel Blanc and Miou-Miou) into joining him as he robs wealthy homes — then reveals that he has a crush on Antoine (Blanc). Genres: Bertrand Blier Films Black Comedy French Films Gerard Depardieu […]

King of Kings, The (1927)

“Come unto me — rejoice, and be exceeding glad! I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” Synopsis: After betrayal by his disciple, Judas Iscariot (Joseph Schildkraut), Jesus Christ (H.B. Warner) is crucified, but rises from his tomb three days later. Genres: Ancient Greece and Rome Biblical Stories Cecil B. DeMille Films Historical Dramas […]

James Dean Story, The (1957)

“Success was nothing more than the concealing leaf which covered the tree of his loneliness…” Synopsis: Directors Robert Altman and George W. George chronicle the tragically brief life of movie star James Dean. Genres: Actors and Actresses Biopics Documentary Robert Altman Films Review: Released just two years after Dean’s death, this unusual documentary is notable […]

Detour (1945)

“That’s life: whichever way you turn, Fate sticks out a foot to trip you.” Synopsis: While on his way to Los Angeles to meet his girlfriend (Claudia Drake), a pianist (Tom Neal) hitches a ride with a gambler (Edmund MacDonald) who drops dead during the middle of the night. Deciding that no one will believe […]

Naked Dawn, The (1955)

“I’m worth more — I work for my living! I take from no one!” Synopsis: A bandit (Arthur Kennedy) visits the home of an impressionable newlywed couple (Eugene Iglesias and Betta St. John) and unwittingly changes their lives forever. Genres: Catalysts Edgar Ulmer Films Greed Thieves and Criminals Westerns Review: Edgar Ulmer — best known […]

Mad Genius, The (1931)

“I will create my own being: that boy! That boy will be my counterpart, he shall be what I should have been…” Synopsis: A crippled puppeteer (John Barrymore) named Tsarakov channels his desire for fame as a dancer into an adopted young boy (Frankie Darro); but his unwillingness to allow grown Fedor (Donald Cook) a […]

Floradora Girl, The (1930)

“If he should mention matrimony, insist on a practical sign of affection — and remember: there’s nothing so practical as jewelry!” Synopsis: A chorus girl (Marion Davies) is wooed by a wealthy suitor (Lawrence Gray), who mistakenly believes she’s a gold-digger. Genres: Cross-Class Romance Gold Diggers Marion Davies Films Musicals Showgirls Review: Marion Davies is […]

Steamboat Round the Bend (1935)

“If his life ain’t worth five hundred dollars, it ain’t worth nothin’!” Synopsis: A steamboat operator (Will Rogers) and a “swamp girl” named Fleety Belle (Anne Shirley) try to locate a key witness (Berton Churchill) before Rogers’ nephew (John McGuire) is unjustly hung for murder. Genres: Cross-Class Romance Deep South Falsely Accused John Ford Films […]