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The Spirit Of St. Louis Review


Very Good
Charles Lindbergh and Jimmy Stewart -- "Americana" doesn't have a better definition than these two larger-than-life characters. The film is a straightforward tale of the making of Lucky Lindy, focusing on his 1927 Trans-Atlantic flight from New York to Paris, 33 1/2 harrowing hours that inaugurated the era of flight. Billy Wilder's movie isn't particularly daring in its telling, but as a piece of American -- and world -- history, The Spirit of St. Louis is something everyone should see.

Death Wish Review


Very Good
If you were a mugger, would you prey on a guy that looked like Charles Bronson? I guess this wouldn't have worked with Petula Clark in the lead, but Death Wish -- which spawned four sequels and endless knockoffs -- is a real piece of filmed Americana. Bronson plays Paul Kersey, an architect (and conscientious objector during Vietnam!) whose wife is senselessly killed by a mugger. Soon he learns the joy of the .32 handgun and begins shooting up the town whenever he spies a mugging, or -- more lifely -- when he is the victim of an attempted mugging himself. Bronson probably shoots more bullets than he utters lines of dialogues, and the police work in tracking down Kersey is uncannily good. All told this is a compulsively watchable bit of '70s nostalgia, a curious counterpart to Dirty Harry and an icon of New York-brand justice. (Make sure you dig the wallpaper in Kersey's kitchen.)

The Spirit Of St. Louis Review


Very Good
Charles Lindbergh and Jimmy Stewart -- "Americana" doesn't have a better definition than these two larger-than-life characters. The film is a straightforward tale of the making of Lucky Lindy, focusing on his 1927 Trans-Atlantic flight from New York to Paris, 33 1/2 harrowing hours that inaugurated the era of flight. Billy Wilder's movie isn't particularly daring in its telling, but as a piece of American -- and world -- history, The Spirit of St. Louis is something everyone should see.

Anatomy Of A Murder Review


Excellent
This very adult and daring (for 1959) courtroom thriller gives us a truly tricky case: James Stewart defends a man (Ben Gazzara) who murdered the guy who raped his wife (Lee Remick). He's pleading insanity. She has a history of not wearing panties. For close to three hours, Stewart makes his case in meticulous legal detail, with George C. Scott on the other side of the courtroom. All the principals are fantastic, with the possible exception of Remick, who just doesn't fit the part nearly well enough. Duke Ellington's score is a classic.

Advise And Consent Review


Extraordinary
Everybody loves Henry Fonda -- but what if he was a freakin' commie!?

Otto Preminger turned his eyes from the legal system (Anatomy of a Murder) to American politics in the underseen and tragically underappreciated Advise and Consent.

Continue reading: Advise And Consent Review

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