How Robert Wise's 1949 boxing film The Set-Up underscores the impossibility of the Great American Dream
The Set-Up (1949) centres on Stoker, a 35-year-old boxer riding on a string of failures, getting ready for what may be his last shot at success.
The Fountainhead: How Ayn Rand's wildly popular novel got made into 1949 Gary Cooper-Patricia Neal film
Warner Brothers had bought the rights to Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead during World War II, but it couldn’t be made into a film because of America’s pro-Russia stance at the time. In 1949, however, things were markedly different.
How Rebel Without a Cause depicted a generation devoid of spiritual lives, coming of age at a time of peace
One of the most prominent examples of CinemaScope, Nicholas Ray’s Rebel Without a Cause sought to shake up the tranquillity of suburban life by exploring the disquiet simmering beneath its apparent peace and propriety
John Ford's Stagecoach responded to socialist spirit of 30s America, pitted outcasts against the respectable
As with any story of people confined in a space, Stagecoach depicts the changing group dynamics, shifting allegiances and the formation of a chain of command among the passengers. In their own way, the nine represent a microcosm of America, their eventual cooperation demonstrating that it takes all kinds to make a world | Srikanth Srinivasan in this edition of 'At the Movies'
Jean Renoir's The Southerner has no heroes or villains, only courage and optimism in the face of hostility
The Southerner, the third of the five films Renoir made in America, tells the story of the Tucker family, plantation workers who decide to grow their own cotton as tenant farmers on a piece of leased land.
Arguably the greatest Hollywood comedy of the sound era, To Be or Not to Be is a daring, intellectually provocative work that stands testament to the power of life-sustaining humour in face of unspeakable horror.
Gold Diggers of 1933 was a racy backstage musical — and Hollywood’s response to the Great Depression
The Warner production Gold Diggers of 1933, directed by Mervyn LeRoy, is a racy backstage musical rife with the kind of elements that the censors would veto in the following years: women in underwear and skimpy stage costumes, or as sexy silhouettes changing clothes, their bottoms spanked by men, dialogue with double entendre, and a gleefully amoral scenario.
In Fritz Lang’s 1946 classic Cloak and Dagger, a prescient and thrilling fable about the loss of innocence
In its own way, Cloak and Dagger attests to the passing of the baton from Hollywood’s left wing, in the ascendant since the Great Depression, to the conservatives, who would dominate the industry in the subsequent decade.
All that Heaven Allows: How Douglas Sirk's 1955 film critiqued an American malaise through trope of forbidden love
All That Heaven Allows is a highly moving work about the anxiety of having to live up to societal standards and the programmed fear of rejecting them