Jan Troell’s broad-backed nature epic on the mid-nineteenth-century Swedish emigration to this country, which was shot in Sweden and here, tells the story of why and how Swedes became Americans.
The mindless and hysterical banality of the evil presented in The Exorcist is the most terrifying thing about the film. The Americans should certainly know more about evil than that; if they pretend otherwise, they are lying.
This movie about war and rape is the culmination of Brian De Palma’s best work. In essence, it’s feminist.
“Intolerance” is one of the two or three most influential movies ever made, and I think it is also the greatest. Yet many of those who are interested in movies have never seen it.
A Clockwork Orange is a characteristically frosty piece of film-making, shorn completely of sentiment, working through brilliant ironies and dazzling dramatic ideas that please us, provoke our laughter, galvanize our intellects, win our admiration—but never touch our hearts.
The Last Picture Show arrives just when it seemed time to announce that movies as pop culture were dead.
Marcel Ophüls’s The Sorrow and the Pity runs about four and a half hours . . . but, in terms of moral, intellectual, and emotional absorption, it is one of the shortest movies of the year.
The Sorrow and the Pity is, first, a record. Second, it is a reminder. Third, most important from any view, The Sorrow and the Pity is a fine film.
A magnificent epic on the themes of collaboration and resistance.
Trading Places is one of the most emotionally satisfying and morally gratifying comedies of recent times. Eddie Murphy demonstrates the powers of invention that signal the arrival of a major comic actor, and possibly a great star.
ABC’s movie The Day After stirs a storm of nuclear debate.
Lamont Johnson’s The Last American Hero has a source in an Esquire article Tom Wolfe wrote several years ago about a stock-car racer and automobile customizer named Junior Johnson.
“The last American hero” never goes soft, and maybe that’s why the picture felt so realistic to me; it wasn’t until I reread the Wolfe piece that I realized what a turnaround it was. But we believe the worst now — maybe only the worst.
A radical American journalist becomes involved with the Communist revolution in Russia, and hopes to bring its spirit and idealism to the United States.
The story takes off from the myth that Salieri, the Viennese court Kapellmeister more successful than Mozart yet jealous of him, poisoned the younger man.
If Brian De Palma were a new young director, Body Double would probably be enough to establish him as a talented fellow. But, coming from De Palma, Body Double is an awful disappointment.
With Chinatown, as with Rosemary’s Baby, Roman Polanski handles the mechanics of the plot with a ruthless brilliance that is immediately involving.
To enjoy Blade Runner, you need only disregard, as far as possible, the actors and dialogue. (And the score) The script is another reworking of a threat to humans by humanoids —one more variation on the Invasion of the Body Snatchers theme.
The Shining doesn’t scare. The only pang in it is that it’s another step in Kubrick’s descent.
The picture is virtually bare of Scorsese style, such touches, heavy or helpful, as the opening manhole shot of Taxi Driver or the opening prize-ring sequence of Raging Bull. I saw nothing in The King of Comedy that couldn’t have been done by any competent director. Cinematically, it’s flavorless.
Seeing Martin Scorsese’s new film is like visiting a human zoo. That’s certainly not to say that it’s dull: good zoos are not dull. But the life we watch is stripped to elemental drives, with just enough decor of complexity—especially the heraldry of Catholicism —to underscore how elemental it basically is.