Rebecca (1940)

“Last night I dream of Manderlay again…” The first words spoken in Alfred Hitchcock’s American debut conjure up a dreamworld that could only exist in the imagination, and yet it’s meant to exist. With such a dreamy, fairy tale world placed in front of audiences, it’s surprising to realize this is a Hitchcock movie at…

Father of the Bride (1950)

A camera points to the ground, gliding along to show the chaos of a recent event, the ground littered in detritus. Has the house been looted? Is this the scene of a raucous party? The camera stops on a pair of shoes, panning up to introduce the audience to the exhausted Stanley Banks (Spencer Tracy).…

Woman of the Year (1942)

Out of all the on-screen teams the studio system created, none endures as strongly as the teaming of Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. The two made nine films together, and had a strong romantic relationship off-screen, and nearly every film they made is magic distilled in some form. Their first pairing put them would set…

Johnny Guitar (1954)

The 1950s is easily the decade where the Western thrived. Captured in expansive CinemaScope, the Wild West never looked wilder. But with so many cowpokes roaming the range it was only a matter of time before the range turned in on itself. The year before he took teen rebellion to the mainstream with Rebel Without…

The Girl Most Likely (1958)

The liminal threshold between the 1950s and 1960s seems as distinct as to be a literal crevasse between the two decades, and the clearest divide comes through in the cinema separating the two eras. Narrative styles, definitions of romance, and gender weren’t just changing and reforming for the new era, but the old guard of…