Archive for December, 2021


December 6, 2021 1 comment


Original Review by Craig Lysy

Author Elmer Blaney Harris wrote a story titled “Johnny Belinda” in 1934 and tried unsuccessfully to secure studio backing to bring his creation to the big screen. Thwarted, he opted to instead pursue a Broadway production and the play had a successful run from 1940 – 1941. This rekindled his hope and he again approached MGM to advocate for a film adaptation, but executives were still wary of its subject matter, which involved rape. Subsequent efforts to obtain support from independent film producers also failed, but in 1946 Warner Brothers Studio producer Jerry Wald took renewed interest in the play and convinced CEO Jack Warner to purchase the film rights for $50,000. He was given the reins to produce the film with a $1.6 million budget, Jean Negulesco was hired to direct, and Allen Vincent and Irma von Cabe were tasked with writing the screenplay. A fine cast was hired with Jane Wyman as Belinda MacDonald, Lew Ayres as Dr. Robert Richardson, Stephen McNally as Locky McCormick, Charles Bickford as Black “Mac” MacDonald, and Agnes Moorehead as his sister Aggie MacDonald. Read more…

THE POWER OF THE DOG – Jonny Greenwood

December 3, 2021 4 comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The Power of the Dog is the latest film by acclaimed director Jane Campion. It’s adapted from the 1967 novel of the same name by Thomas Savage, and is ostensibly a western – it’s set on a remote cattle ranch in Montana in 1925 – but that’s not really what the film is about. It’s a film about relationships; between brothers, between lovers, between mothers and sons. It’s also a film about toxic masculinity – what it means to be a man in those times, and the lengths to which one will go to prove your masculinity to others. It’s a film about loneliness and isolation – both physically in terms of geography, but also emotionally, and what that does to a person. And, ultimately, it’s an exploration of gender and sexuality in that harsh, bleak setting, and how all those things manifest in the inter-personal dynamics of the people experiencing them. Read more…

HOOK – John Williams

December 2, 2021 2 comments


Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

There have been dozens of theatrical and cinematic adaptations of J. M. Barrie’s classic fairy tale Peter Pan in the years since it was first published in the early 1900s, but it wasn’t until Steven Spielberg came along that there was a sequel. Hook was written by Jim Hart, Nick Castle, and Malia Scotch Marmo, and is set many years after the original story. Peter Pan has grown up and forgotten all about his adventurous childhood; he is now Peter Banning, and a successful lawyer in San Francisco, but he neglects his wife Moira and his children Jack and Maggie. In a last ditch attempt to save his marriage he agrees to a family vacation in London with Moira’s grandmother Wendy – the same Wendy who loved Peter when she was a girl, and who is now an old woman. However, everything changes when Peter’s old nemesis Captain Hook kidnaps his children, and Peter is forced to return to Neverland, reunite with Tinker Bell and the Lost Boys, and remember his birthright, in order to save them. Read more…