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The Essentials

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    The Essentials: 5 Great Howard Hawks Films

    We love a chamelonic director here at The Playlist, and Howard Hawks was one of the first, and one of the best. Across a 55-year career that spanned silents and talkies, black-and-white and color, Hawks tackled virtually every genre under the sun, often turning out films that still stand as among th...

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    The 10 Best Dennis Hopper Performances

    It's almost two years since the passing of one of cinema's true wild men, Dennis Hopper. The actor, writer and director was a maverick titan of cinema, a man who starred in some of the most pictures of American cinema, from "Rebel Without A Cause" to "Blue Velvet," while also writing and directing a...

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    The Essentials: Tim Burton's 5 Best Films

    Tomorrow sees "Dark Shadows" will hit theaters, the latest gothic entertainment from director Tim Burton and his muse Johnny Depp. And, as per our review, and many others, it's sadly an another disappointment, another wonderful-looking, empty picture that seems to have been derived from the filmmake...

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    The Films Of Richard Linklater: A Retrospective

    Given that he's one of the more diverse and prolific filmmakers out there, it's been a disappointingly long four years without a new movie from Richard Linklater ("Me And Orson Welles" premiered at TIFF in 2008). Fortunately, the Austin, Texas-based filmmaker is back with "Bernie," a dark comedy whi...

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    The Essentials: The Films Of Don Siegel

    In the credits to his masterpiece "Unforgiven," Clint Eastwood included a dedication: "for Don Siegel and Sergio Leone." Leone was a no-brainer, one of the great filmmakers, but Siegel was less beloved of cinephiles: a cosmopolitan Chicago native who studied at Jesus College, Cambridge, he started d...

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    The Essentials: The Films Of John Milius

    All those who complain about the liberal domination of Hollywood have never come across John Milius. A film school pal of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, Milius had tried to join the Marine Corp, but was turned away due to his asthma. Instead, he channeled his frustrations into both a life-long o...

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    The Essentials: 5 Of Michael Curtiz's Greatest Films

    The coming of the auteur theory has meant that filmmakers like Michael Curtiz no longer get much sway among current generations of directors. Curtiz (born Kertész Kaminer Manó in Hungary in 1886), was a workman, a man who flourished in the studio system after being picked out by Jack Warner for his ...

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    The Films Of Whit Stillman: A Retrospective

    Famously dubbed the “the WASP Woody Allen” and the “Dickens of people with too much inner life” by reviewers and critics when his comedy-of-manners indie pictures arrived in the early 1990s, Whit Stillman’s ironic, clever and urbane examinations of upward and downward social mobility and the shallow...

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    The Essentials: 6 Great Warren Oates Films

    Tuesday marked thirty years since the untimely passing of Warren Oates. The great, grizzled actor's work has fallen somewhat out of fashion these days -- few, bar perhaps Quentin Tarantino, name Sam Peckinpah or Monte Hellman, Oates' closest and most frequent collaborators, as influences. If you're ...

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    King Of The World: The Films Of James Cameron

    James Cameron is, in case it has escaped your attention, the most successful filmmaker in history. The Canadian director hadn't exactly been starved for box-office smashes early in his career, but his last two films, "Titanic" and "Avatar," have taken nearly five billion dollars between them, the nu...

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