Devil Doll (1964)

“They’re not applauding you — they’re applauding me! Yes, me, Hugo — the dummy!” Synopsis: A journalist (William Sylvester) hoping to learn the secret of a mysterious ventriloquist (Bryant Haliday) whose dummy is strangely mobile enlists the help of his beautiful, wealthy girlfriend (Yvonne Romain), unknowingly putting her life at risk. Genres: Horror Films Journalists […]

Lonely Hearts (1982)

“You’re nearly fifty, you know – you’ve got to do something with your life!” Synopsis: When his mother dies, a 49-year-old bachelor (Norman Kaye) begins dating a pretty, inexperienced young woman (Wendy Hughes) with overly controlling parents. Though Kaye and Hughes get along famously, Hughes’ sexual repression eventually puts a kink in their relationship. Genres: […]

Magician, The (1958)

“You represent what I detest most of all: the unexplainable.” Synopsis: In 1840s Sweden, a mute magician (Max von Sydow) and his troupe arrive in a small town, where the police commissioner (Toivo Powlo), a doctor (Gunnar Bjornstrand), and a civil servant (Erland Josephson) all attempt to determine whether von Sydow’s powers are real or […]

Ordet / Word, The (1955)

“And the rest of us, all the rest of us, we go straight down to hell to eternal torments, don’t we?” Synopsis: The youngest son (Cay Kristiansen) of a cynical Danish farmer (Henrik Malberg) wishes to marry the daughter (Sylvia Eckhausen) of a religiously fundamentalist tailor (Ejner Federspiel), though both fathers disapprove; meanwhile, Malberg’s son […]

Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)

“Men never know what’s best for them; we have to put them on the right track.” Synopsis: When a middle-aged lawyer (Gunnar Bjornstrand) married to a virginal teen (Ulla Jacobssen) pays a visit to his long-time mistress (Eva Dahlbeck), he encounters her most recent lover (Jarl Kulle), who jealously proposes a duel; meanwhile, Bjornstrand’s grown […]

Odd Couple, The (1968)

“You don’t understand — I’m nothing without my wife and kids!” Synopsis: When compulsive neat freak Felix Ungar (Jack Lemmon) is thrown out of his house by his wife, he goes to live with his good friend Oscar Madison (Walter Matthau), who is quickly driven batty by Felix’s incessant housekeeping. Genres: Divorce Friendship Jack Lemmon […]

Underworld (1927)

“Nobody helps me! I help other people.” Synopsis: An inebriated man (Clive Brook) is picked up by a notorious gangster (George Bancroft), who takes pity on him and gives him a place to stay — but when Brook and Bancroft’s girlfriend “Feathers” (Evelyn Brent) fall for each other, and Bancroft’s chief rival (Fred Kohler) continues […]

My Brilliant Career (1979)

“Why does it always have to come down to marriage?” Synopsis: In 1890s Australia, a strong-willed young woman (Judy Davis) is determined to transcend her family’s hard-scrabble life and pursue a career in the arts — but when she becomes close friends with a handsome, wealthy acquaintance (Sam Neill), romantic tensions begin to complicate her […]

Foolish Wives (1922)

“It is a dangerous place for strangers — so many hungry sharks lying in wait to get hold of one’s money…” Synopsis: A con-artist (Erich von Stroheim) posing as a count in Monte Carlo attempts to seduce the wealthy, neglected wife (Miss DuPont) of an American envoy (Rudolph Christians) while continuing a duplicitous affair with […]

Man You Loved to Hate, The (1979)

[Note: The following review is of a non-Peary title; click here to read more.] “Never before had a studio so ruthlessly exercised its power over a major director.” Synopsis: Austrian emigre Erich von Stroheim becomes one of silent-era Hollywood’s most talented directors, but perfectionism and extravagance bring a halt to his promising career. Genres: Documentary […]