Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982)

“Is there anybody out there?” Synopsis: An alienated rock star (Bob Geldof) descends into madness and toxic grandiosity while reflecting on his fatherless childhood and faithless marriage. Genres: Alan Parker Films Mental Breakdown Musicals Rock ‘n Roll Review: Peary argues that this “midnight cult hit” — “director Alan Parker’s visual interpretation of the rock opera […]

Incredible Journey, The (1963)

“From the very start, the travelers had adopted a certain marching order.” Synopsis: Two dogs and a cat leave their temporary caretaker (Emile Genest) in search of their owners, and soon find themselves on a truly incredible adventure across the Canadian wilderness. Genres: Friendship Pets Road Trip Survival Review: Disney’s first live action adaptation of […]

Beauty and the Beast (1946)

“I disgust you. You find me repulsive.” Synopsis: When a man (Marcel Andre) is sentenced to death by a beast (Jean Marais) after plucking a rose in his garden, his loyal daughter (Josette Day) — who has refused to marry a local suitor (also Jean Marais) — agrees to go and live with the beast […]

Saratoga (1937)

“You don’t belong at the track. What do you know about handicapping horses?” Synopsis: The daughter (Jean Harlow) of a recently deceased gambler (Jonathan Hale) tries to earn back her family home through gambling rather than relying on her wealthy fiance (Walter Pidgeon), but finds her efforts complicated when she falls for her father’s bookkeeper-friend […]

Force of Evil (1948)

“All that Cain did to Abel was murder him.” Synopsis: A lawyer (John Garfield) working for a high-level racketeer (Roy Roberts) tries unsuccessfully to convince his brother (Thomas Gomez) to merge his small-time numbers operation with others before he’s wiped out by corruption on the fourth of July. Meanwhile, Garfield falls for Gomez’s secretary (Beatrice […]

Three Musketeers, The (1939)

“Don’t worry: no noose is good noose.” Synopsis: In 17th century France, D’Artagnan (Don Ameche) falls in love with a lady (Pauline Moore) in the court of King Louis XIII (Joseph Schildkraut), whose chief cardinal (Miles Mander) enlists the help of evil Milady De Winter (Binnie Barnes) and De Rochefort (Lionel Atwill) in disgracing the […]

Knife in the Water (1962)

“On the water, you need to have reflexes.” Synopsis: An aggressive sports writer (Leon Niemczyk) and his wife (Jolanta Umecka) pick up a young hitchhiker (Zygmunt Malanoqwicz) on their way to a weekly boating trip, and invite him to accompany them — but tensions and rivalries continue to mount as the two men show off […]

Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)

“Fortune smiles on the brave and spits on the coward.” Synopsis: When a mad Spanish conquistador (Klaus Kinski) rebels against the leader (Ruy Guerra) of an expeditionary crew sent by Francisco Pizarro in search of fabled El Dorado on the Amazon River, the fortunes of Kinski’s entire crew — including Guerra’s wife (Helene Rojo), Kinski’s […]

Salt of the Earth (1954)

“I want to arise, and push everything up with me as I go.” Synopsis: Along with others in her community, the wife (Rosaria Revueltas) of a zinc mine worker (Juan Chacon) resists traditional gender norms in supporting the men in their strike for better working and living conditions. Genres: Feminism and Women’s Issues Labor Movement […]

Deliverance (1972)

“Sometimes you have to lose yourself before you can find anything.” Synopsis: When four friends (Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ned Beatty, and Ronny Cox) go on a canoeing vacation in the backwoods of Georgia, they quickly find themselves endangered by both extreme rapids and brutal local denizens. Genres: Burt Reynolds Films Class Relations Deep South […]