maybe it was more than just an assignment, and maybe he wasn't bored, I can't be quoted on that, it's just an unusual film in his American canon (though he did have a few comedic films in his early British run).
No more egregious than some of the flag wavers of England and America during the war, Shochiku's high profile propaganda piece is earnest and moving, especially in the stern face of Chishu Ryu and the sad, forgiving face of Kinuyo Tanaka, but in light of what was happening to the Japanese people, and worse to come, it's hard to watch. Kinoshita, already sensitive, directs for patriotism and pathos.
How cute was Carole Lombard? She died so young she was only in a handful of good films, this is one of them, though there isn't much to suggest it was anything other than an assignment for a bored Hitchcock.
Kore-eda is on the short list of the world's best directors, this sweet, contemplative film bares resemblance to his previous kid-centric "Nobody Knows".
One of the strangest Kinoshita films I've seen so far, with extremely bizarre camera angles on nearly every shot.
Overlong, and Nakadai killing throngs of samurai, clearly in his 50's, by himself, becomes beyond ridiculous, but I'd follow Gosha anywhere, and this is his bread and butter.
Rare early Lubitsch in which he stars as a husband with a busybody mother-in-law. Best seen today for a good example of Lubitsch's early acting style, rubbery and full of big eyed facial expressions. Hard to find, but there is at least one extremely shoddy music-less foreign print floating around the internet.
It's no wonder Ronald Neame's title card is as big and prominent as David Lean's, the Technicolor cinematography here is glorious.
The best film of the 70's? Quite possibly.
Negri is appropriately exotic as she ruins poor Harry Liedtke's life with her gypsy spell. A Lubitsch epic just a tad over 60 minutes.
Extremely moving and sensitive.
Coming on the verge of his late British run of masterworks, this light musical comedy has always been overshadowed, and Hitch didn't think much of it either, but watch it for entertainment (and the director's increasing visual sophistication), and it's quite good.
A big step forward following the dull "Rich and Strange".
The height of Naruse and Takamine's many fine films; a masterpiece.
A Kinoshita masterpiece.
Hitchcock's final silent, like "Easy Virtue, featuring an anti-happy ending.
Hitchcock gets more confident with every silent film under his belt, but this is a light comedy, minor in his early canon.
Nakadai is amazingly good in this greatest of films from Masaki Kobayashi.
Hitchcock comes to America and runs into a never ending battle with super producer David O. Selznick, but as much as that may sound like a bad thing, the Selznick/Hitchcock collaborations turned out nothing but great films, and this first, which won Selznick his second Best Picture in a row, is gloriously polished in unmistakable Hollywood prestige.
Before his 50's Technicolor women's weepers, Douglas Sirk was a deft hand at norish melodrama, and here he has a good cast, with Claudette Colbert psychologically hypnotized by caddish husband Don Ameche to slowly driver her crazy. "Citizen Kane's" George Coulouris is especially effective as the meek co-conspirator to Ameche.
You can't watch the way Josef von Sternberg directs and Lee Garmes lights Marlene Dietrich and not understand how the star system produced such swelled egos; it's a high key love letter to female beauty. Whether Dietrich deserved such treatment is always debatable, but she is especially sphinx-like here in an early 30's expressionistic train thriller.
Stanley Kubrick's meticulous race track noir is also a bitterly ironic deconstruction of a seemingly unattainable American Dream. Sterling Hayden, all but reprising his role from "The Asphalt Jungle", leads a point by point take down of the track's money vault, only to see his winnings explode in a horrible gust of mockery on an airport tarmac, as Kubrick suggests, nothing comes easy, for hoods or the like. Great.
Scorsese loves movies, and this three part doc proves that he knows his stuff; if you've seen everything he mentions here, you're in good company.
Cronenberg's savage, funny, and wickedly grotesque think piece about technology and it's hold on the human being, from mass hallucination to violence to wish fulfillment sado-masochism. Replace the video tape with the smart phone and it's still prescient.
Cotillard is currently my cinematic crush, and she's gorgeous here in an early role.
Eastwood and Siegel's final film together is a cold, steely step-by-step prison escape film, nothing more, nothing less. Shot on Alcatraz Island, expensive and high profile, there's no denying the thrilling nature of an impossible mission splayed out in precision, chilling detail.
Oscar front-runner is every bit as wonderful, romantic, funny, moving, and exceptional as you've heard, especially for the true film fan, who can and should find an endless stream of references and homage to greats of the past. Plus the dog is adorable.
Korda production with Zoltan handling the studio/location work with jungle imagery by Robert Flaherty interspersed. It's an interesting mix, especially the hordes of elephants Flaherty photographs, and 11-year-old Sabu, in his first movie, is charming and effective as the mascot of the colonialist hunting story.
Extremely strange mid-sixties Twilight Zone-esque thriller, directed by John Frankenheimer after a string of masterpieces, including "The Train" and "The Manchurian Candidate", photographed with stark psychedelic black and white effect by James Wong Howe, who had been experimenting since the silent years.
No one can accuse Cameron Crowe of not wearing his heart on his sleeve, and this sentimental love letter to late 60's- early 70's rock and roll, based on his Rolling Stone assignments as a teenager, is unabashedly earnest. If you can get past the schmaltz and cuteness, it's a fun trip, and the music chosen (like in the justly famous "Tiny Dancer" sequence) is first rate.