North by Northwest (1959)

If you’ve looked at my previous coverage on Alfred Hitchcock then you’re aware of the glaring omissions in his filmography for me. Well, cross one of the biggies off the list for I’ve finally seen North by Northwest. Hitchcock’s Bond-esque story of the man who wasn’t there is a top-notch in every sense of the…

Pitfall (1948)

There’s a formula to film noirs, and while not strictly enforced there are particular elements one looks for – the morally ambiguous hero, interplay between light and shadow, an evil femme fatale. It is both this adherence to and divergence from convention that makes director Andre de Toth’s Pitfall so special. Recently released on a…

Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)

“Murder starts in the heart, and its first weapon is a vicious tongue.” You can’t sum up the macabre lunacy of Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte any better. A film more well-known for what didn’t end up on-screen than what does, this concludes Robert Aldrich’s series of films created with Bette Davis (the other being What Ever Happened to Baby…

Five Came Back (1939)

Hollywood wasn’t betting on the massive success of a piddly little RKO adventure film starring the likes of Chester Morris and Lucille Ball. But when director John Farrow’s measly $225,000 film amassed $262,000 in profits, Hollywood’s ears perked up. In 1939, Five Came Back became one of the most successful films created by an independent…

Carnival of Souls (1962)

Carnival of Souls is the touchstone from which directors like George Romero made their best works.  I cite Romero especially because watching Carnival of Souls will easily make you think of Night of the Living Dead as both have a similar aesthetic in their black and white composition and the depiction of the dead (the…