Stray Dog (1949)

“Bad luck can either make a man or destroy him.” Synopsis: In post-WWII Tokyo, a rookie police detective (Toshiro Mifune) determined to track down his stolen pistol is accompanied by an older, wiser colleague (Takashi Shimura). Genres: Detectives and Private Eyes Japanese Films Kurosawa Films Search Veterans Review: Akira Kurosawa’s noir-inflected detective flick remains one […]

Black Christmas/Silent Night, Evil Night/Stranger in the House (1974)

“Could that really be just one person?” Synopsis: A disturbed killer stalks a group of sorority sisters — including Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder, Andrea Martin, and Lynne Griffin — over the Christmas holidays. Genres: Detectives and Private Eyes Horror Keir Dullea Films Margot Kidder Films Serial Killers Response to Peary’s Review: Expertly shot, edited, and […]

Spellbound (1945)

“I couldn’t feel this way towards a man who was bad.” Synopsis: A psychoanalyst (Ingrid Bergman) falls in love with a disturbed amnesiac patient (Gregory Peck) posing as her boss. Genres: Amateur Sleuths Amnesia Fugitives Gregory Peck Films Hitchcock Films Ingrid Bergman Films Mistaken or Hidden Identities Psychotherapy Review: Hitchcock’s enormously popular psychological thriller — […]

Man With a Movie Camera, The (1929)

“This experimental work aims at creating a truly international absolute language of cinema based on its total separation from the language of theater and literature.” Synopsis: Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov chronicles life in Moscow in the late 1920s. Genres: Documentary Experimental Films Russian Films Silent Films Review: Dziga Vertov’s cinema verite documentary about life in […]

Roman Holiday (1953)

“She’s fair game, Joe. It’s always open season on princesses.” Synopsis: A princess (Audrey Hepburn) on the lam befriends an undercover journalist (Gregory Peck) and photographer (Eddie Albert) hoping to scoop a story about her adventures as a “commoner” in Rome. Genres: Audrey Hepburn Films Gregory Peck Films Journalists Mistaken or Hidden Identities Romantic Comedy […]

F for Fake (1973)

“Don’t be spooked by the experts.” Synopsis: Orson Welles investigates the nature of “truth” in art via the stories of famed forger Elmyr de Hory and his fraudulent biographer, Clifford Irving. Genres: Artists Documentary Orson Welles Films Review: This fascinating meditation on the nature of artistic veracity is a fitting capstone to Orson Welles’ lengthy […]

Devil Doll, The (1936)

“We’ll make the whole world SMALL!” Synopsis: A falsely accused convict on the lam (Lionel Barrymore) collaborates with a mad scientist (Rafaela Ottiano) in using miniature “live” dolls to seek revenge on his three ex-partners. Genres: Erich von Stroheim Films Falsely Accused Fugitives Horror Lionel Barrymore Films Mad Doctors and Scientists Maureen O’Sullivan Films Mind […]

Svengali (1931)

“You are beautiful, my manufactured love…” Synopsis: A sinister musician (John Barrymore) hypnotizes a model (Marian Marsh) into becoming his wife and a famous opera singer — but her true love (Bramwell Fletcher) refuses to give up hope that she will one day return to him. Genres: Horror Films John Barrymore Films Literature Adaptation Mind […]

Rashomon (1950)

“It’s human to lie. Most of the time we can’t even be honest with ourselves.” Synopsis: A trio of drifters (Takashi Shimura, Minoru Chiaki, and Kichijiro Ueda) discuss the murder of a samurai (Masayuki Mori) and the rape of his wife (Machiko Kyo) committed by a savage bandit (Toshiro Mifune). Genres: Flashback Films Historical Drama […]

Gilda (1946)

“You do hate me, don’t you, Johnny?” Synopsis: A petty gambler (Glenn Ford) managing a casino in Buenos Aires is dismayed to discover that his boss (George Macready) has married his hedonistic former flame, Gilda (Rita Hayworth). Genres: Casinos Femmes Fatales Rita Hayworth Films Response to Peary’s Review: Peary’s not a big fan of this […]