Researcher Beware! – Frankly: Unmasking Frank Capra by Joseph McBride

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Joseph McBride’s latest mammoth book, well-written and copiously documented as usual, is an unusual production in the field of cinema studies. It is a companion volume to his earlier 1992 text, Frank Capra: The Catastrophe of Success, which took issue with the traditional estimation of […]

Rediscovering a “Lost Art”: How Did Lubitsch Do It? by Joseph McBride

A Book Review Essay by Tony Williams. Any book or article by Joseph McBride is worth reading, especially in this era of mostly dismal films and an unqualified plethora of ignorant internet film reviewers. The author’s latest book (Columbia UP, 2018) on a director who should be more well-known represents […]

Lubitsch’s Last Bow: Cluny Brown (Criterion Collection)

By Tony Williams. Cluny Brown belongs to that lost realm of Hollywood cinema that combined expert and unique direction with distinctive acting and a humor that critiqued arbitrary patterns of imposed behavior….” Ernst Lubitsch’s last completed film, Cluny Brown (1946), represents a fitting conclusion to that director’s special version of […]

From Straight to Hell Comes Jack Ford: Straight Shooting (1917) and Hell Bent (1918)

Straight Shooting By Tony Williams. These two magnificent Blu-ray restorations reproduce the way the films were originally seen and also contain audio-commentaries and video essays by two pioneering Ford scholars: Joseph McBride and Tag Gallagher.” Following on the trail pioneered by the 2016 re-release of John Ford’s Three Bad Men […]

“What Might Have Been”: The Magnificent Ambersons (Criterion Collection)

By Tony Williams. “Anybody who does things their own way while they’re working with a corporation is going to be problematic.” – Jonathan Rosenbaum, audio-commentary, The Magnificent Ambersons Criterion Collection DVD When Criterion rises to the appropriate occasion of combining the best type of digital restoration with the most appropriate supplementary features, […]