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Picture of the Week

  • Peter Bogdanovich
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    The Student Prince (In Old Heidelberg)

    Since for me the Polish-German master Ernst Lubitsch (1892-1947), once internationally famous for his “Lubitsch Touch,” is high among the ten best and most influential picture-makers of the western world--one to whose work I gravitate even more as I get older--it follows that if there...

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    Hail the Conquering Hero

    As questions of morality, ethics and honor in our society become ever more ambiguous, it might be salutary to see an American comedy of the highest order dealing with these troubling issues, made while World War II was daily in a different way bringing them vividly to the fore. During 1944, the...

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    Comanche Station

    Among hip Western connoisseurs both here and abroad, there have been four really memorable, artistically consistent director-star series in the genre’s sound era: eight John Ford-John Wayne features (from Stagecoach to The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance); four Howard Hawks-Wayne pictures (includ...

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  • Peter Bogdanovich
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    Sadie Thompson

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    The Champ

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  • Peter Bogdanovich
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    Shock Corridor

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    Destry Rides Again

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    Bluebeard

    The career of director Edgar G. Ulmer, one of diehard film buffs’ major cult favorites, is an object lesson in the triumph of talent, courage, ingenuity and passion over time and money. Ulmer rarely had more than a minuscule budget and six days to shoot an entire feature; this is one to two days shorter than TV directors today are given to film a one-hour (actually more like 48-minute) series episode. The discipline and resourcefulness required to be able to turn out any sort of full-length product in that short a time is impressive by itself, forget about also revealing a strong personality and an often vivid style as Ulmer did repeatedly ...

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    The Birds

    The special edition of Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 Judgment Day thriller, The Birds (available on DVD), carries not only various production notes, cut scenes from the script, storyboard sketches, trailers, other promotional footage, Tippi Hedren's screen tests--with actor Martin Balsam, and with Hitchcock's off-camera voice directing and kidding around--but also an eighty-minute documentary that goes into enormous and fascinating detail about how this technically most difficult picture was made 48 years ago. Long before computer generated images were even dreamed of, Hitchcock conceived a production so challenging that he himself knew never to r...

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    The Dirty Dozen

    One of Robert Aldrich’s most subversive (and financially most successful) films is his 1967 color and wide-screen World War II saga of legalized criminality, THE DIRTY DOZEN (available on DVD). Aldrich had first dealt with this war eleven years earlier in his violently gripping cult picture, Attack!...

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