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Edward Peters



   I dislike cinemas, and  barely manage a couple  visits per decade. Virtually nothing about them makes sense anymore. They are relics of a different time. enp.




  Gertrud (1964): Should have been titled "Danish Zombies in Love". Utterly unsympathetic and self-centered main character, surrounded by uninteresting people (some of them cads), all portrayed most boringly (unless maybe one needs to see what dissociative fugue states look like). Yeah, yeah, I know, Gertrud is supposed to be high art. Well, if the stuff hanging in the modern wings of many museums is "art", then so is this film.




    The most devastating movie review I ever read, one that demolished forever the myth of Gandhi as being anything like a great film, was Richard Grenier's essay "The Gandhi Nobody Knows" that ran in Commentary, March 1983, pp. 59-71.


Personal Fine Films


Essential Genres


Comedy / Satire


 1. It's a Mad...Mad World, '63

 2. Some Like It Hot, '59

 3. The Odd Couple, '68

 4. Dr. Strangelove, '64

 5. Sleeper, '73

 6. Scoop, '87

 7. The Goodbye Girl, '77

 8. Young Frankenstein, '74

 9. Love and Death, '75

10. Monty Python, Holy Grail, '75

11. The Producers, '68

12. Ghostbusters, '84

13. Shot in the Dark, '64

14. Singing in the Rain, '52

15. Operation Petticoat, '59

16. Father Goose, '64

17. The Thin Man, '34

18. Return of the Pink Panther, '75

19. Barefoot in the Park, '67

20. Ferris Bueller's Day Off, '86

American Drama



Silent Classics


under development


Passion of Joan of Arc (1927)

The General (1926)

Napoleon (1927)

Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)

Battleship Ptomekin (1925)





William Shakespeare / Edward De Vere


Branaugh: HAMLET (1996), HENRY V (1989)

                MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (1993)


Holm: KING LEAR (1998)




Welles: MACBETH (1948), OTHELLO (1952)


Olivier: HAMLET (1948), KING LEAR (1984), 

           MERCHANT OF VENICE (1973), 

           RICHARD III (1955)


Zeffirelli: HAMLET (1990), ROMEO AND JULIET (1968)

              TAMING OF THE SHREW (1967)


Mankiewicz: JULIUS CAESAR (1953)


Kurosawa: THRONE OF BLOOD  [MACBETH] (1961), 

                RAN [KING LEAR] (1985), 

The Harpo Marx Honor Roll

   The whole point of "talkies", of course, is to admit dialogue into stories. I rejoice for it. Still, every once in a while, it behooves us to recall that not all acting requires speaking, and that from time to time, in large roles or small, some fine acting is offered without a word being spoken. May I suggest the following:


Deafness and Life

1.The Miracle Worker (1962)

2. Love Is Never Silent (1985)

3.Children of a Lesser God (1986)

4.The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1968)

5.Johnny Belinda (1948)

6.Mr. Holland's Opus (1995)

7. Reasonable Doubts (1991-1993)


Avoid: Looking for Mr Goodbar (1977). A few scenes in SEE, even with the great Lou Fant, do not salvage this navel-gazing, soft-porn, slasher wanna-be waste of time.



(Famous Films with Fatal Flaws)



1. Battle of the Bulge (1965)


2. Saving Private Ryan (1998)


3. I Confess (1953)


4. Ghandi (1982)



1. Fiddler on the Roof (1971)

2. Sound of Music (1965)

3. How to Succeed in Business (1967)

4. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

5. Oklahoma (1955)

6. Evita (1996)

7. The Music Man (1961)

8. Carmen Jones (1964)



Avoid: The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964, because it's so stupid), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954, because it's so boring), Paint Your Wagon (1969, because it's so horrible), My Fair Lady (because it's so rotten), and Singin' in the Rain (1952, because it is NOT a musical; watch it as a great comedy.)


Good Films to Avoid on

Mothers' Day


Now Voyager (1942)

White Heat (1949)

Psycho (1960)

Manchurian Candidate (1962)

I, Claudius, nos. 1-7 (1976)

Interiors (1978)


Films to Avoid on

Fathers' Day


Virtually all Disney Movies

(except 101 Dalmatians &

Finding Nemo)



Good Films to Avoid on

Fourth of July

Primary Colors (1998)


Good Films to Avoid on

Wedding Anniversaries


The Lion in Winter (1968)

Who's Afraid of V. Woolf? (1968)

I, Claudius (1976)







Shockingly Good Films coming


   Some films are, in one sense, quite terrible, but still contain more than a few kernels of truth. Such films--and they are few--teach (perhaps unintentionally) real moral values, though usually via negativa. They border on trash (and in the hands of the immature, are surely as dangerous as old dynamite in daddy's garage) but they respect standards of acting, directing, dialogue, and so on, rendering them legitimate exercises in cinema. They are not for everyone, and one can lead a happy life without ever having seen them. But for those who have seen them, and have been quietly surprised that they sensed in them something more than is commonly recognized (whether pro or con), stand by: this list is for you.



Essential Actors || Essential Actresses || Essential Directors

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