Bela Lugosi

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Dracula (1931) Review


Excellent
Bela Lugosi stars as the man who "Never drinks -- wine" in horror's most renowned motion picture. Alas, the lack of music and a long 45 minute stretch that consists of nothing but Lugosi-less parlor room debates about the nature of vampires takes away from the movie, though it still remains as a classic of the genre. While Lugosi is of course memorable, don't forget Helen Chandler's Mina, who communicates more through her eyes than virtually any other actress caught on film.

Dracula (1931) Review


Excellent
Bela Lugosi stars as the man who "Never drinks -- wine" in horror's most renowned motion picture. Alas, the lack of music and a long 45 minute stretch that consists of nothing but Lugosi-less parlor room debates about the nature of vampires takes away from the movie, though it still remains as a classic of the genre. While Lugosi is of course memorable, don't forget Helen Chandler's Mina, who communicates more through her eyes than virtually any other actress caught on film.

Ninotchka Review


Excellent
As a sex symbol, Greta Garbo may seem like an odd choice -- she lacked the drop-dead gorgeousness of subsequent Swedes like Ingrid Bergman -- but few stars have built or maintained a bigger reputation in Hollywood. A silent film star, Garbo caused a sensation when American audiences finally heard her voice ("Garbo talks!"). Ninotchka is one of Garbo's few comedies, and part of its success is because the script plays off of the actress' slightly stiff, very foreign demeanor.

Garbo plays Ninotchka, a Soviet envoy sent to Paris to sell jewels that belonged to a former Russian duchess now turned Parisian socialite (Ina Claire). Melvyn Douglas is a count who becomes infatuated with Ninotchka and tries to divert her away from her duty to the Party. It's not Casablanca -- but it's not just another frothy romantic comedy either, thanks to Garbo's performance and the clever screenplay by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett (who also co-wrote the legendary Sunset Boulevard and The Lost Weekend).

Continue reading: Ninotchka Review

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