Friday, September 30, 2022

The Big Gundown

The Big Gundown is a 1966 Spaghetti Western directed by Sergio Sollima and starring Lee Van Cleef and Tomas Milian. I'll watch anything with Lee Van Cleef in it, but this is a solid movie and worth seeing again. I found it by doing a search through Roku, but I can't remember now where I ended up watching it. It was free, wherever it was... It's also available via YouTube: gives it high praise: "It is a wonderful film from start to finish and is a testament to what can be achieved in genre film making with the right personel and the right approach. It is, in short, a 5 star film." Senses of Cinema concludes a glowing consideration with this:
Whether we take Sollima’s masterpiece as a great political comment on the times or as one of the most endearing, action-packed spaghetti western films of the 1960s, one thing is sure: with The Big Gundown, Sollima places himself at the side of masters Leone and Corbucci...
Rotten Tomatoes has a consensus audience score of 85%.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Sweet Smell of Success

Sweet Smell of Success is a 1957 film noir (I mean there are only about 3 movies that meet all the criteria for films noir) drama film starring Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis. I watched it on Amazon Prime, but it's also available free on Tubi.


Film Site opens their article with this: It is
an acerbic, dynamic and intense film that exposes the diseased under-side of New York City's glamorous night life, revealing brutality, capriciousness, greed, evil, psychological violence, corrupt American ambition, betrayal and cynicism. The taut, little-seen, menacing, late film noir classic is the first American film of Scottish director Alexander Mackendrick, better known for Ealing Studios light comedies such as Man in the White Suit (1951) and The Ladykillers (1955).
Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 98%. Roger Ebert has it on his list of Great Movies.

Wednesday, September 28, 2022


The Analects of Confucious is an ancient Chinese book composed of a large collection of sayings and ideas attributed to the Chinese philosopher Confucius and his contemporaries, traditionally believed to have been compiled and written by Confucius's followers. It is believed to have been written between 475 BC –221 BC, and it achieved its final form between 206 BC – 220 AD. There's much wisdom there. Some of the more famous quotes:

Respect yourself and others will respect you.
Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.
To be wealthy and honored in an unjust society is a disgrace.
Never give a sword to a man who can't dance.
The noble-minded are calm and steady.
Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.
Study the past if you would define the future.
Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.
Roads were made for journeys, not destinations.

Here's a 12-minute introduction:


You can read translations of this work online.

You can listen to them here:

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

99 River Street

99 River Street is 1953 film noir.

via Internet Archive:

Noir of the Week says, "The story is a knockout." DVD Talk highly recommends it. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 100%.

Here's a screenshot from early in the movie:


See the coffee cups on that table in the background? Please share your own drink-related post and join me at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering.

Sunday, September 25, 2022

They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

They Shoot Horses, Don't They? is a 1969 American psychological drama film directed by Sydney Pollack, and starring Jane Fonda, Michael Sarrazin, Susannah York, Gig Young, and Red Buttons. As of 2022, it holds the record for most Oscar nominations without one for Best Picture.

Roger Ebert praises it. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 85% and an even higher audience score.

Saturday, September 24, 2022


Safe is a 1995 psychological drama film starring Julianne Moore. It made quite a spash back then, but I haven't heard much mention of it since. It's culturally significant.

via Youtube (but the audio is hard to hear):

Criterion calls it "unsettling" and describes it this way:
Julianne Moore gives a breakthrough performance as Carol White, a Los Angeles housewife in the late 1980s who comes down with a debilitating illness. After the doctors she sees can give her no clear diagnosis, she comes to believe that she has frighteningly extreme environmental allergies.
The New Yorker calls it a masterpiece. Roger Ebert has a review. Rotten Tomatoes has a xritics consensus score of 87%.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Dog Star Man

Dog Star Man is a series of short experimental films directed by Stan Brakhage and released in instalments between 1961 and 1964. The five short films all form one larger film, and they are almost always shown together as one film.

Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 100%.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

The Hitch-Hiker (1953)

The Hitch-Hiker, based on a true story, is a 1953 American film noir (so they say, but I see it more as a straight crime thriller) co-written and directed by Ida Lupino and starring Edmond O'Brien. It is the first American mainstream film noir directed by a woman.

via Youtube:

Deep Focus Review says, "The Hitch-Hiker most of all, uncovers [the director's] interest in the idyllic American Dream as a crumbling fa├žade, behind which the individual is suppressed." Senses of Cinema has interesting background information. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics concensus score of 93%.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Evil of Dracula (1974)

Evil of Dracula is a 1974 film, third in the Japanese Bloodthirsty trilogy. I watched it free on Tubi.


I've seen The Vampire Doll (1970) and Lake of Dracula (1971), the first two in the series.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Our Town

Our Town is a 1940 film adaptation of the Thornton Wilder play. William Holden stars. This is a thought-provoking story. Much-praised (86% critics consensus rating on Rotten Tomatoes, for example) and probably the best-known adaptation, it's not my favorite by far. Its complete change of the ending guts it of a lot of its power, in my opinion, but it's in the public domain now so is readily available (via Amazon Prime, Plex, etc.) and

via YouTube:

Here's a screenshot from early in the movie:

There are two other adaptations that are truer to the original play, and I'd like to share those below.

In 1977, Hal Holbrook starred as the Stage Manager/Narrator in a television presentation, and you can watch that version on YouTube at this link.

In 2003, Paul Newman played the Stage Manager/Narrator in a PBS Masterpiece Theater presentation. It's also available via YouTube:

Please share your own drink-related post and join me at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Little Big Man

Little Big Man is a 1970 revisionist western film starring Dustin Hoffman, Chief Dan George, and Faye Dunaway. I watched it on Amazon Prime. It's also available free on Pluto.


Roger Ebert says, "It is the very folksiness of Penn's film that makes it, finally, such a perceptive and important statement about Indians, the West, and the American dream. There's no stridency, no preaching, no deep-voiced narrators making sure we got the point of the last massacre." Spirituality and Practice calls it "A picaresque masterpiece about an inimitable American anti-hero whose wild adventures are delivered into our hearts and minds with the robust vitalities of comedy and the sharp blows of tragedy." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 96%.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Daughter 42

The Daughter texted me this image.

Friday, September 16, 2022

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Barney Thomson

Barney Thomson is a 2015 comedy thriller starring Robert Carlyle, Emma Thompson, and Ray Winstone. It's fun enough. I can't say more than that, but then comedy is never my first choice so you might be more likely to think better of it. I watched it on Amazon Prime, but it's available free on Tubi and other free services.


Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Red Notice

Red Notice is a 2021 American action comedy film starring Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot. Another of these bits of mindless fun. The critics didn't care for it, but then that doesn't stop it from being an enjoyable way to spend a coupla hours. I watched it on Netflix.


Tuesday, September 13, 2022


RRR is a 2022 Indian film, an action drama. I always enjoy Indian films. They do tend to be long, but they don't feel long because I'm so completely engaged. It's wonderfully satisfying. I watched it on Netflix.


Vox opens with this:
S.S. Rajamouli’s RRR (Rise, Roar, Revolt) has taken the world by storm. It’s one of the most expensive Indian films ever made, and one of the most successful, becoming the fourth-highest-grossing Indian film of all time. Even Netflix, which has been streaming the movie since May, declared it to be the most watched Indian film on its service, viewed over 45 million times globally. Critics love it, and its GIFs and scenes have swept social media. It’s an undeniable slam-dunk of global success. Coming out of the Telugu-language film industry of Tollywood in South India, as opposed to the more popular Hindi-language industry of Bollywood, this period drama from India’s biggest filmmaker is a cinematic event.
Roger Ebert's site concludes by saying,
It’s not every day that a new Indian movie—which are typically not advertised to Western viewers beyond indigenous language speakers, and therefore largely ignored by Western outlets—is presented as an event to American theatergoers. Attend or miss out.
Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 92% and an audience score even higher.


My Tea Tuesday image is of a woman making tea in an Indian tea stall:

Please share your own tea-related post and join us at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering.

Monday, September 12, 2022

The World's End

The World's End is a 2013 science fiction comedy film starring Simon Pegg and Martin Freeman. In the film, five friends return to their hometown to reattempt a pub crawl they failed twenty-three years earlier, only to discover the town is in the midst of an alien invasion. Comedy is never my first choice, but this is absolutely hilarious. I watched it on HBO Max.


Roger Ebert's web site opens a positive review by saying, "You might not expect a slapstick comedy about middle-aged pubcrawlers brawling with superhuman extraterrestrial invaders to have brains, heart and wisdom, but that's "The World's End," a rare film that's as much fun as you've heard." The Guardian opens their positive review with this:
Edgar Wright's new movie lands a double-whammy of funny and clever: a good-natured sci-fi comedy of male mid-life discontent that disproves the famous LP Hartley quotation. It is the present that is the foreign country, or rather the alien planet, and as we get older we feel increasingly exiled from that homeland of the past where everything felt more vivid and real.
Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 89%.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

The Librarian

The Librarian is a film trilogy that led to the delightful TV series. We thoroughly enjoyed these movies, as we had enjoyed the television series. They are all fun, and I can heartily recommend them. I've forgotten where I saw them, but they're available free on Tubi. I'm embedding trailers below.

The Librarian: Quest for the Spear:

The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines:

The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice:

Saturday, September 10, 2022


Prey is a 2022 science fiction action horror film, a prequel to the Predator series, and the Predator series is a favorite at our house. This movie does the series proud. I watched it on Hulu. In fact, I'll admit we signed up to Hulu for this movie, and it was well worth it.


Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 93%.

Friday, September 09, 2022

Blue Moon of Kentucky

Blue Moon of Kentucky:

composed by the Father of Bluegrass Bill Monroe in 1945 and made famous by Elvis Presley. Monroe died on this date in 1996 in Tennessee 4 days before his 85th birthday.

Thursday, September 08, 2022

International Literacy Day

Happy International Literacy Day! Celebrate reading! There are many wonderful books and stories available to read free online. Maybe this would be a good day to start one.

Wednesday, September 07, 2022


Uncharted is a 2022 action adventure film starring Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, Sophia Ali, Tati Gabrielle, and Antonio Banderas. This is one of those mindless bits of fun that's perfect for random entertainment. I watched it on Netflix. If there's a sequel I'll watch it.




Tuesday, September 06, 2022

McSorley's Bar

McSorley's Bar (1912):

by John Sloan, who died on September 7, 1951, of cancer at 80 years of age. from Wikipedia:
Sloan's paintings are represented in almost all major American museums. Among his best-known works are Hairdresser's Window (1907) in the collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum, The Picnic Ground (1907) in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Haymarket (1907) in the collection of the Brooklyn Museum, Yeats at Petitpas in the collection of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, McSorley's Bar (1912) in the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts, The 'City' from Greenwich Village (1922) in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, and The White Way (1927) in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In 1971, his painting Wake of the Ferry (1907) was reproduced on a U.S. postage stamp honoring Sloan.

His students included Peggy Bacon, Aaron Bohrod, Alexander Calder, Reginald Marsh, Barnett Newman, Minna Citron, and Norman Raeben. In 1939, he published a book of his teachings and aphorisms, Gist of Art, which remained in print for over sixty years.

In American Visions, the critic Robert Hughes praised Sloan's art for "an honest humaneness, a frank sympathy, a refusal to flatten its figures into stereotypes of class misery ... He saw his people as part of larger totality, the carnal and cozy body of the city itself." In American Painting from the Armory Show to the Depression, art historian Milton Brown called Sloan "the outstanding figure of the Ash Can School." To his friend, the painter John Butler Yeats, and to art critic Henry McBride, he was "an American Hogarth."

The lobby of the United States Post Office in Bronxville, New York, features a mural by Sloan painted in 1939 and titled The Arrival of the First Mail in Bronxville in 1846 commissioned by the Treasury Section of Fine Arts. The post office and mural were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988


Please share your own drink-related post and join me at Bluebeard and Elizabeth's T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering.

Monday, September 05, 2022

It Had Pale Skin

It Had Pale Skin is a 2016 horror short film about a girl walking home in the dark.

Sunday, September 04, 2022


Likeable is a short story by Deb Olin Unferth. You can read it online here. It begins,
She could see she was becoming a thoroughly unlikable person.

Yes, not much of a preview, but it's an extremely short short story...

Saturday, September 03, 2022

The Missouri Breaks

The Missouri Breaks is a 1976 western film directed by Arthur Penn and starring Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson. Harry Dean Stanton is also in this. John Williams composed the music. I watched it on Amazon Prime.




Cinapse calls it " the greatest cult film to never find its cult." Slant Magazine calls it a "big, eccentric film". Rotten Tomatoes has a consensus critics score of 81%.

Friday, September 02, 2022

The Northman (2022)

The Northman is a 2022 historical action thriller. Highly praised and well-reviewed with real talent associated with it, I found it gray and tedious. "Everybody dies and nobody makes a profit" would apply here. I watched it on Peacock Premium, which we have since cancelled our subscription to.


Thursday, September 01, 2022



by Carla Thomas, the Queen of Memphis Soul, who was born in Memphis