Charles Vidor – Gilda [+Extras] (1946)

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I warned you once. You didn’t
listen. Now you’re through.
– Through with what?
– The casino. You’re fired.

You are mistaken. I will be here
after you are gone, Mr. Peasant.

Plot Synopsis
In Argentina, Johnny Farrell (Glenn Ford) wins money at dice and is held up; but Ballin Mundson (George Macready) rescues him with a sword-cane and recommends a gambling club. Johnny goes there and wins at blackjack. Ballin is the owner and tells him to leave, but Johnny hits back at his thug Casey (Joe Sawyer) and asks for a job. People celebrate the end of the war, and Ballin puts Johnny in charge while he is away… Continue reading

Pedro Almodóvar – Todo sobre de mi madre aka All About My Mother (1999)

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There’s nothing so comforting as the florid straightforwardness of an Almodovar movie. “All About My Mother,” the Spanish director’s latest, is unapologetically passionate in the manner of his early movies like “Matador” and “Law of Desire,” and willfully unhinged like “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.”

But “All About My Mother” cuts deeper than any of those movies. Like classic women’s pictures of the ’40s, it’s staunchly committed to the spirit of melodrama: There are tragic accidents that tear lives apart, impossible love affairs with dire consequences, people whose seemingly cold hearts reveal surprisingly warm recesses and, at the movie’s center, a man whose natural charisma spells trouble with a capital T.

And mostly, of course, “All About My Mother” is about the essential nature of motherhood — not the soft suburban American momhood in movies like “The Story of Us,” pictures where frazzled women are constantly dropping their kids off at soccer practice, their commitment to life’s chores like merit badges proving their love. In “All About My Mother,” a 38-year-old woman (Cecilia Roth) watches as her teenage son is hit by a car; when she runs to him and crouches over him in the rain, we see her sideways, tilted and blurry, from his fading point of view. Her red raincoat, which had seemed monumentally cheerful just moments before, is already a reproach, a useless remnant of what her life used to be. Continue reading

Fred Niblo – Way Out West [Pre-Code] (1930)

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Plot/Synopsis: from ROVI
A pleasant enough western parody starring one of the victims of sound, William Haines, Way Out West is the story of a carnival huckster forced to work on a western ranch in order to repay a couple of cowboys he once fleeced. There’s a sandstorm, a fist-fight with the ubiquitous crooked foreman (Charles Middleton), a pretty female ranch owner (Leila Hyams), and sundry other western clichés thrown in to prove the star’s manly qualities.The light-weight Haines played many such roles, but reshuffling due to sound (not to mention a quarrel with MGM studio head, Louis B. Mayer), ended his career. Haines later became a fashionable interior decorator. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi Continue reading

Lynn Fernie & Aerlyn Weissman – Forbidden Love: The unashamed stories of lesbian lives (1992)

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From IMDB:
Ten women, most of them in Vancouver or Toronto, talk about being lesbian in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s: discovering the pulp fiction of the day about women in love, their own first affairs, the pain of breaking up, frequenting gay bars, facing police raids, men’s responses, and the etiquette of butch and femme roles. Interspersed among the interviews and archival footage are four dramatized chapters from a pulp novel, “Forbidden Love”: Laura leaves her hick town and heads for the city, where she meets Mitch in a bar. Sparks fly, and so do laughter and joy. Ann Bannon, one of the writers of those paperback novels about forbidden love, talks about the genre.

***Not erotica or porno – this is a documentary.*** Continue reading

Michael Curtiz – Young Man with a Horn (1950)

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Aimless youth Rick Martin learns he has a gift for music and falls in love with the trumpet. Legendary trumpeter Art Hazzard takes Rick under his wing and teaches him all he knows about playing. To the exclusion of anything else in life, Rick becomes a star trumpeter, but his volatile personality and desire to play jazz rather than the restricted tunes of the bands he works for lands him in trouble. Continue reading