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Cul-de-Sac (1966)

Cul-de-Sac (1966)
Movie Review Roman Polanski’s black comedy thriller, Cul-de-Sac is at last available on DVD to American audiences thanks to Criterion. I had wanted to see this movie for many years and finally got the chance recently. This visually riveting black and white exploration of comedic cruelty and the absurd within tense suspense takes place on Lindisfarne Island, Northumberland (it’s actually Holy Island) and revolves around a mismatched trio. George (Donald Pleasance) is a retired businessman who has sold his factory and escaped to a secluded castle with his younger French wife Teresa...
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The MacKintosh Man (1973)

The MacKintosh Man (1973)
Movie Review I discovered this little known espionage film one insomniac night many moons ago while channel surfing. Directed by John Huston and adapted from Desmond Bagley’s The Freedom Trap the film stars Paul Newman, James Mason, Dominique Sanda, and Ian Bannen. The MacKintosh Man did not perform well at the box office at the time of its release and received mixed reviews. I however found it quite entertaining. The movie opens with rightwing MP from the House of Commons George Wheeler (James Mason) quoting Samuel Johnson before Parliament. “ ‘Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.’ If this...
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Tony Rome (1967)

Tony Rome (1967)
Movie Review Evocative of a Raymond Chandler mystery populated with sleazy characters and the troubled offspring of the wealthy, Tony Rome is an entertaining whodunit set in sunny Miami Beach. Frank Sinatra stars in the lead role as a former cop turned private investigator who lives on a houseboat (when he’s not placing bets with his bookie) in the first of a series of retro hardboiled detective movies filmed in the late 1960’s. Daughter Nancy sings the title track. When his former partner Ralph Turpin (Robert J. Wilke) calls in a favor to remove a drunk and unconscious Diana Pines nee Kosterman (Sue...
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Dirty Harry (1971)

Dirty Harry (1971)
  Movie Review   I think most movie buffs would agree that the Daddy of all badass cop flicks is Dirty Harry. Considered controversial and quite violent at the time of its release, some critics dismissed it as “reactionary” and some such as Roger Ebert went so far as to describe it as “fascist”. To be sure there are some reactionary elements to Inspector “Dirty Harry” Callahan’s (Clint Eastwood) views on police procedural vis a vis the rights of alleged perpetrators and the rights of victims. But the movie also reflects its time and the fears and concerns of American society at large as well...
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The Killing (1956)

The Killing (1956)
Movie Review Is it film noir or not? Some critics claim that it is while others argue that Stanley Kubrick was trying to make it too many things at once for the movie to be truly considered film noir. Who cares? The Killing is a GREAT heist movie! Quentin Tarantino has admitted to the influence this film had on his own Reservoir Dogs. I loved The Killing the first time I saw it and couldn’t believe that Kubrick was only 27 years old at the time he directed it and that this was only his second film. Told in a non-linear fashion with great dialogue written by Jim Thompson. Yes THAT Jim Thompson! The...
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