Young men make wars, and the virtues of war are the virtues of young men. Courage and hope for the future. Then old men make the peace. And the vices of peace are the vices of old men. Mistrust and caution. It must be so.
Back in 2006, when Blu-ray players and discs first appeared in stores, Sony distributed a demo reel for stores to play showing how fan-damn-tacular movies looked in the new format. This included scenes from Lawrence of Arabia, a Sony property via Columbia Pictures, implying the film would be among the first released. For the next six years, film buffs waited with increasing impatience for Sony to make good on that promise.
I, for one, am tickled that they waited so long. The Blu-ray edition released in November, based on a meticulous 4K restoration, is simply amazing. The last time the movie looked this good to my eyes was back in 1989, and I was watching it projected in 70mm at the old Cinedome theaters in Orange, CA.
While John Ford would go on to direct several more pictures after this one, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance represents a sort of exclamation point of one of most celebrated directorial careers in American film. His previous high-water mark, The Searchers, was a film torn between the conventions of a previous era and emerging modern sensibilities. Liberty Valance is thoroughly modern by 1962 standards and virtually timeless by any other.
There is low-budget, ultra-low-budget and no-budget. I don’t know what term you’d use for a movie that could have been made with the change you dug out of your seat cushions. This is the only dramatic film made by industrial documentary filmmaker Herk Harvey, and you could be forgiven if you think you’re watching a lost episode of Twilight Zone. This simple but moody tale is as long on atmosphere as it is short on production values and running time.
Darryl Zanuck’s multi-national epic occasionally plays like an academic lecture on the events of June 5 and 6, 1944, albeit an interesting lecture with some really cool film. The Longest Day covers the first twenty-four hours of the invasion of France from American, British, French and German perspectives, employing separate directors for each nationality and shooting in the native languages of those involved. This gives the film a level of authenticity that was fairly atypical of war movies of the time.
The Manchurian Candidate has always been in a class by itself among cold war political thrillers. Maybe it was just the mystique that came with being unavailable for so many years, but maybe it was the simply fact that this is a damn good movie. Smart and laced with liberal doses of McCarthy-era satire, The Manchurian Candidate still stands as the pinnacle of John Frankenheimer‘s directing career.
To Kill a Mockingbird is an indelible portrait of courage and principle seen through the eyes of three children in small, Depression-era Southern town. It is also a lovingly faithful adaptation of Harper Lee’s classic novel.The early part of the film focuses on the two children of windower Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck), Jem (Phillip Alford) and especially Scout (Mary Badham), a precocious tomboy who only begrudgingly exchanges her coveralls for a dress when it’s time to start first grade.
While their father is off to work, leaving them in the care of their nanny, Calpurnia (Estelle Evans), the two children and their friend, Dill (John Megna), go about the business of being kids, which for them revolves around getting a glimpse of the neighborhood boogey-man, “Boo” Radley (Robert Duvall). They’re curious about their father’s work as an attorney, but they don’t let it intrude on the truly important things in life.