Strangers on a Train

A psychotic socialite confronts a pro tennis star with a theory on how two complete strangers can get away with murder – a theory that he plans to implement.

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There comes a point in a most thriller films, and the best name for it is “The Point of No Return”, when a character could very easily escape their circumstances – they are presented with an opportunity to explain or provide a warning – but they never seem to take it. Continue reading “Strangers on a Train”

The Big Sleep

Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he’s seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love.

One of IMDb’s FAQs for The Big Sleep reads: “I’m hopelessly confused. Who killed whom and why?” I’ve no problem with films through which I have to be alert, but I certainly was hopelessly confused from the beginning – and I felt as though The Big Sleep didn’t want to give me a second chance to get on board. “Don’t get what’s going on? Tough shit – we ain’t waiting for you.” Continue reading “The Big Sleep”

Sunset Boulevard

A hack screenwriter writes a screenplay for a former silent-film star who has faded into Hollywood obscurity.

When you take a look at Gloria Swanson’s credits, it’s not surprising she was able to so convincingly portray an ageing actress longing to relive her fondest memories. She made over sixty films between 1915 and 1931 – but only four between then and her starring role in 1950’s Sunset Boulevard. Continue reading “Sunset Boulevard”

Notorious

A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them?

NotoriousNotorious made me question my masculinity. While watching the film last night, I tried to follow in Cary Grant’s hegemonic footsteps. I decided I would start by having a few glasses of scotch, before putting on a suit and mumbling to everybody in the same mysterious monotone. Continue reading “Notorious”