John Farrow – A Bullet Is Waiting (1954)


Plot Synopsis by Hal Erickson
A young woman (Jean Simmons) manages a remote California sheep ranch with her father (Brian Aherne). A plane carrying a sheriff (Stephen McNally) and a convicted murderer (Rory Calhoun) crashes nearby. Both men are cared for by the girl, who doesn’t know at first which is the cop and which is the criminal. She falls in love with the convicted man and believes protestations of innocence, but the vindictive sheriff tries to dissuade her of these feelings. Given several chances to finish each other off, both sheriff and convict relent. Under the influence of the girl, they agree to return to Utah together, where (it is implied) the criminal will be given a bias-free trial. Read More »

Piero Schivazappa – Femina ridens AKA The Frightened Woman (1969)


With a style that is reminiscent of erotica guru, Radley Metzger, it is hard to believe that he did not direct The Frightened Woman. However, one can see why Metzger chose to release the film under his company Audubon Films. Imagine sets that are similar to Camille 2000, a sensual score by Stelvio Cipriani, and the perversity (though not nearly as extreme) of the Marquis de Sade combined in one film. Read More »

Jonas Mekas – As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (2000)


Jonas Mekas wrote:

My film diaries 1970-1979: my marriage, children are born, you see them growing up. Footage of daily life, fragments of happiness and beauty, trips to France, Italy, Spain, Austria. Seasons of the year as they pass through New York. Friends, home life, nature, unending search for moments of beauty and celebration of life friendships, feelings, brief moments of happiness. The film is also my love poem to New York. It’s the ultimate Dogme movie, before the birth of Dogme. Read More »

Various-The Joy of Sex Education: 1917-1973 (2009)


From the impenetrably euphemistic to the breathtakingly explicit, this intriguing anthology takes us through 60 yearsof sex education in Britain from the 1910s to the 1970s.All ‘unmentionable matters’ pertaining to sex are dealt with, from the WW1 warning to soldiers about the dangers of cavorting with loose women in London’s West End, Whatsoever a Man Soweth (1917), to puberty pep-talks for girls on how to avoid pregnancy in Don’t Be Like Brenda (1973). Read More »

Bruno Corbucci – Quando gli uomini armarono la clava e… con le donne fecero din-don AKA When Women Played Ding Dong (1971)


Ever hear the classic Greek tale of Lysistrata? Well this is the comedic stone-age version. A tournament is taking place between the male cave-dwellers and the male water-dwellers. The beautiful Listra is prize to the victor Ari. Got is a sore loser and he spitefully cuts off the water supply to the cave-dwellers and demands Listra as ransom. A stone-age arms race ensues and the men in both camps are wholeheartedly enjoined. Listra instigates a plan…the women on both sides retire to the mountains and simply refuse to “put out”. The men are seriously frustrated and agree to end the war. Domestic tranquility is restored. But as the testosterone levels rise, so does the threat to peace and trouble is again brewing on the horizon. Read More »

John Ford – 7 Women (1966)


John Ford’s final film is set in China in 1935, where a group of American women, led by Agatha Andrews (Margaret Leighton), work as missionaries. One of the women, Florrie (Betty Field), is pregnant and accompanied by her husband, Charles (Eddie Albert), while the others are single and on their own. The mission has become crowded after a cholera epidemic forced several outsiders to flee a nearby British mission and seek shelter with the American group, while a Mongol warrior, Tunga Khan (Mike Mazurki), has assembled troops who are sacking the area. When a female doctor, Dr. D.L. Cartwright (Anne Bancroft), enters the picture, she attempts to bring humor and civility to the group, but her tough yet compassionate nature clashes with Agatha’s by-the-book approach, and when Cartwright is willing to put her own safety at risk to gain the attentions of Tunga Khan and slow his onslaught, the group is strongly divided — most of the women admire the doctor’s bravery, but Agatha (who seems to have a non-professional interest in Cartwright herself) considers her foolish and reckless. Seven Women was originally planned to star Patricia Neal as Dr. Cartwright, but when she suffered a stroke during filming that put her acting career on hold for several years, Anne Bancroft was recast in the role. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide Read More »

John Ford – How Green Was My Valley [+Extras] (1941)


Joseph McBride, Searching for John Ford wrote:
Ford was not the first director assigned to the film by Darryl F.Zanuck. William Wyler spent three months preparing the picture. he cast many of the parts, oversaw the construction of the sets designed by Richard Day and nathan Juran, and spent ten weeks working on the script with Phillip Dunne. in Dunne’s view Ford made little contribution to the script beyond adding some bits of business and lines of dialogue… But while others were primarily involved for shaping the adaptation of the novel before Ford was assigned to the project, Dunne nevertheless acknowledged to me that Ford “did what any good director does — he made it his picture while shooting it.” Read More »