HE CHASED HER… ‘TIL SHE CAUGHT HIM! Aspiring writer ”Steve” Gaylord (Laraine Day) is thrilled to be hired as famous novelist Owen Waterbury’s (Kirk Douglas) new secretary… but she soon realizes that there have been many before her. One of Douglas’s earliest films is this harmless comedy where he and Day are fairly engaging as … Continue reading My Dear Secretary
THERE WERE THREE MEN IN HER LIFE. ONE TO TAKE HER… ONE TO LOVE HER… AND ONE TO KILL HER. This film wasn’t always loved. At its U.S. premiere, Paramount listened to critics who thought Sergio Leone’s new Western was too long and slow, and edited it down to 145 minutes. Whole scenes were cut … Continue reading Once Upon a Time in the West: When the Railroad Came to Town
SWINGING’S THEIR GAME AND LONDON WILL NEVER BE THE SAME. I couldn’t help but notice that Johnny Mandel wrote this film’s score, the guy behind the famous theme for MASH (1970). That’s a coincidence, I thought, because as I was watching The Americanization of Emily and saw how comically cynical and realistic its attitude toward … Continue reading Americanization of Emily: How to Sell D-Day
THE GREAT LAUGH SHOW OF ALL TIME! A few years into the 20th century, a daredevil (Tony Curtis) talks auto manufacturers into promoting a race from New York to Paris; his arch-enemy, the dastardly Professor Fate (Jack Lemmon), becomes one of his competitors. Director Blake Edwards dedicated the film to Laurel & Hardy, but perhaps he … Continue reading The Great Race
THE GREATEST OF ALL GREAT MGM MUSICALS… BIGGER, BETTER, BLUSHIN-ER THAN THE FAMED BROADWAY SMASH HIT. A musical version of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” is being produced; the two leads (Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel) turn out to have the same kind of stormy relationship as the characters they play. Two years after turning … Continue reading Kiss Me Kate
THE HOT-LINE SUSPENSE COMEDY. When Stanley Kubrick decided to turn Peter George’s Cold War novel “Red Alert” into a movie, he must have thought the material was too outrageous to be taken seriously. He started writing the script, but brought Terry Southern into the procedure to emphasize what might be funny about the doomsday scenario. … Continue reading Dr. Strangelove: Bombs Away!