Feature Screengem

Screengem: Harmonica’s Harmonica in Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone, 1968)

Spaghetti Western master Sergio Leone, and his maestro, Ennio Morricone, would employ individual, idiosyncratic musical motifs – quirky themes, linked or not to the movie’s main theme, sometimes little more than recurring sound effects, often played on particular or significant instruments ­– to help announce a character’s entrance, accompany or comment on his activities and […]

Feature Four Frames

Four Frames: The Lady Eve (Preston Sturges, 1941)

Shakespeare told us love is blind, although there are those who insist he stole it from Chaucer. It is Preston Sturges who reminds us of the truism in The Lady Eve (1941), a screwball constructed like a clever card trick that always comes up aces. That’s “screwball” as in “farcical romantic comedy” – Shakespeare also has […]

Fashion & Film Feature

He Wore Black

Henry Fonda gone bad, one of cinema’s most memorable endings with two of the greatest outlaws on screen fading into a photographic memory, and Montgomery Clift bringing in a new type of manly ideal and rivaling the man who was no less than the epitome of American manhood. These are the anti-heroes from three of […]

Feature One Sheet

One Sheet: Madigan (Don Siegel, 1968)

“I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun. I put them on and went out of the room.” – Philip Marlowe, Farewell My Lovely Coat, hat, gun. The guts of […]

Lost Classic Reviews

Lost Classic: Fail Safe (Sidney Lumet, 1964)

No doubt frazzled by the Cold War running ever hotter, it is not surprising that audiences in 1964 preferred their nuclear scare movies in the mould of the scabrously satirical Dr Strangelove, rather than the grimly portentous Fail Safe. No film before or since has played out the nightmarish endgame of Mutually Assured Destruction to […]