Tag Archives: Melvyn Douglas

Roman Polanski – Le Locataire aka The Tenant (1976)

Director Roman Polanski casts himself in the lead of the psychological thriller The Tenant. Trelkovsky (Polanski) rents an apartment in a spooky old residential building, where his neighbors – mostly old recluses – eye him with suspicious contempt. Upon discovering that the apartment’s previous tenant, a beautiful young woman, jumped from the window in a suicide attempt, Trelkovsky begins obsessing over the dead woman. Growing increasingly paranoid, Trelkovsky convinces himself that his neighbors plan to kill him. He even comes to the conclusion that Stella (Isabel Adjani), the woman he has fallen in love with, is in on the “plot.” Ultimately, Polanski assumes the identity of the suicide victim – and inherits her self-destructive urges. Read More »

Martin Ritt – Hud (1963) (HD)

Hud is a 1963 American Drama Western film directed by Martin Ritt and starring Paul Newman, Melvyn Douglas and Patricia Neal. It was produced by Ritt and Newman’s recently founded company, Salem Productions, and was their first film for Paramount Pictures. Hud was filmed on location on the Texas Panhandle, including Claude, Texas. Its screenplay was by Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank Jr. and was based on Larry McMurtry’s 1961 novel, Horseman, Pass By. The film’s title character, Hud Bannon, was a minor character in the original screenplay but was reworked as the lead role. With its main character an antihero, Hud was later described as a revisionist Western. Read More »

James Whale – The Old Dark House (1932)

Synopsis:
Seeking shelter from a pounding rainstorm in a remote region of Wales, several travellers are admitted to a gloomy, foreboding mansion belonging to the extremely strange Femm family. Trying to make the best of it, the guests must deal with their sepulchral host, Horace Femm and his obsessive, malevolent sister Rebecca. Things get worse as the brutish manservant Morgan gets drunk, runs amuck and releases the long pent-up brother Saul, a psychotic pyromaniac who gleefully tries to destroy the residence by setting it on fire. Read More »

Peter Ustinov – Billy Budd (1962)

H.M.S. Avenger is headed into battle against the French fleet during the Napoleonic Wars, and the dark shadow of two recent mutinies in the English fleet concern Captain Vere. He relies on his cruel and often sadistic Master-at-Arms John Claggert to maintain what he believes to be tenuous order and discipline aboard the ship. When a new seaman, Billy Budd, is pressed into service from a passing merchantman, his innocent, happy-go-lucky attitude quickly endears him to both his messmates as well as the ship’s officers. However, his charismatic naivete seems to bother Claggert, whose perverse depravity makes him resent Billy’s good-natured purity, especially after the teenager’s promotion to fore-top captain. The mean-spirited Claggert unfairly plots to put him on report and ultimately perjures himself when he accuses Billy of conspiring to mutiny. Read More »

Ernst Lubitsch – Ninotchka (1939)

Synopsis:
Ninotchka is a stern, straightlaced Communist Party member sent to Paris to finish the sale of Grand Duchess Swana’s jewels for the Soviet government. But, while studying the frivolous materialism of Paris, Ninotchka meets Leon, Swana’s lawyer and sometime lover, and the two become enamored with one another — without knowing each other’s identity. The Grand Duchess, in the meantime, is suing the USSR for ownership of the jewels. What follows is a delicate web of intrigue and deception as Swana tries to blackmail Ninotchka into leaving Paris. Soon the two lovers have to overcome political hurdles and cross borders just to be together. Read More »