That’s why I pulled the trigger That’s why I pulled the trigger

Watching Gloria Grahame—lips moist and parted, eyes staring off into some faraway middle distance—is absolutely arresting. She looks like the quintessential Noir femme fatale that was, in fact, probably her principal calling card.

on August 31, 2021 at 12:49 PM
Confrontation, catharsis and crisis Confrontation, catharsis and crisis

One by one, we see the principals arriving at the eerily empty building. Something about watching them—masked and in street clothes, struggling with umbrellas—was almost unbearably emotional for me.

on May 12, 2021 at 11:44 AM
One more kiss One more kiss

Without attempting to rival The New York Times’ enormous celebratory package, your doyenne lauds the golden anniversary of the Broadway opening night of the seminal musical Follies with a selection of parterre box and parterre box-adjacent pieces devoted to this gorgeous monster of a show.

on April 04, 2021 at 1:14 PM
Monsters don’t die early Monsters don’t die early

Sweet Bird of Youth closes out an undeniably successful decade for Tennessee Williams, on stage and screen, and bisects his body of work, with his mature hits on one side and his experimental, often lambasted later plays on the other.

on March 31, 2021 at 10:53 AM
Somebody up there likes him Somebody up there likes him

The flawless, classical singing style of Perry Como. Perry Como?

on March 15, 2021 at 11:02 AM
Original ‘Sin’ Original ‘Sin’

I can safely say that this is the gay drama I’ve been waiting for: a genuinely devastating drama that doesn’t treat its characters like lambs waiting for the slaughter or overdose on weepiness, and a queer narrative that unapologetically centers the queer perspective.

on March 03, 2021 at 12:08 PM
Peyton Place on the Riviera Peyton Place on the Riviera

If The Night of the Iguana is not exactly a day at the beach, it’s not really the dark night of the soul it should be, either.

on February 15, 2021 at 9:25 AM
Stopping by Philly on a snowy evening Stopping by Philly on a snowy evening

As I don’t need to remind you, we are fast approaching the one-year anniversary of COVID quarantine—and for the arts, it remains a scenario of giveth and taketh away.

on February 08, 2021 at 11:47 AM
Wild things leave skins behind them Wild things leave skins behind them

We shared a feeling that writing about The Fugitive Kind was a date with destiny.

on February 03, 2021 at 10:22 AM
Everybody is nothing until you love them Everybody is nothing until you love them

Truly, I think it would be almost impossible to overpraise Anna Magnani in a performance that’s absolutely riveting from start to finish

on January 18, 2021 at 1:32 PM
Out of frame Out of frame

In the past when I’ve read through the scads of year-end best lists, there have always been a few titles that I just didn’t “get” but there were more than usual in 2020.

on January 06, 2021 at 10:53 AM
Lady drinks the booze Lady drinks the booze

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: nobody hits rock bottom like Susan Hayward.

on January 04, 2021 at 9:20 AM
I guess that’s why they call it the blues I guess that’s why they call it the blues

The first thing I noticed about Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is how it’s been slimmed down and punched up—clocking in at just 95 minutes, it hits all the marks of August Wilson’s original while smartly settling into a snappier, more focused filmic style.

on December 21, 2020 at 9:00 AM
I soil easily I soil easily

I have to say I struggle with I Want to Live! The camp appeal of it—including Hayward’s performance—is undeniable… yet it’s also a sincere and even important movie.

on November 30, 2020 at 10:00 AM
There’s a speed limit in this state There’s a speed limit in this state

While I would say that the great James M. Cain remains underappreciated as a novelist in literary circles, he’s generally done very well by Hollywood. The Postman Always Rings Twice, Mildred Pierce, and Double Indemnity have had multiple film adaptations, and at least one of each is a classic.

on November 23, 2020 at 10:00 AM
‘Morning’ has broken ‘Morning’ has broken

Pretty, petite and forgettable where her predecessor was striking and irresistible, Susan Strasberg doesn’t convince as the headstrong, mercurial aspiring actress who takes Broadway by storm.

on November 02, 2020 at 3:23 PM
Just turn her loose on Broadway Just turn her loose on Broadway

Beatrice Page is a wonderful fit for Ginger Rogers, who plays it with brassy charm and a laudable sense of humor, since the character seems not to notice that she has aged out of her 20s by a couple of decades.

on October 20, 2020 at 10:00 AM
Velvet underwhelmed Velvet underwhelmed

“Camp” is exactly the lens through which The Velvet Touch is best examined, including an utterly bewildering cross-pollinating of genres.

on October 12, 2020 at 1:13 PM
A life in the theater A life in the theater

While I’d stop short of calling All About Eve a camp classic, it holds an undeniable and lasting interest for gay viewers.

on September 26, 2020 at 12:44 PM
To seek and find To seek and find

The candor of some aspects of Now, Voyager—which at times can feel fairly formulaic—has moments that are truly startling, and there is something surprisingly modern and frank in the not-entirely-fulfilling concluding moments.

on September 10, 2020 at 1:00 PM
Slow curtain Slow curtain

We put together these two very different movies from more than half a century apart—Of Human Bondage (1934) and The Whales of August (1987)—and thus get a sense of the long arc of a career.

on August 31, 2020 at 12:39 PM
Do you ever dream of Vienna? Do you ever dream of Vienna?

Johnny Guitar, the delightfully subversive Western by director Nicholas Ray, features one of Joan Crawford’s most iconic performances.

on August 20, 2020 at 11:20 AM
Two sisters Two sisters

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane is, of course, the founding document behind the concept—itself almost a piece of Grand Guignol theatrics—of horror as the genre to which female stars are left once they’ve hit 50.

on August 17, 2020 at 10:52 AM
Going south Going south

By the end, we have rolling heads, a lot of screaming, and cheap horror too often overwhelms the better instincts of the screenwriters.

on August 10, 2020 at 11:57 AM