Tag Archives: Dennis Hopper

Other Side of the Wind: Welles’s White Whale

40 YEARS IN THE MAKING. HIS FINAL FILM.  Everybody in the film business has an opinion on Netflix. Theater owners are particularly upset about major awards going to Netflix movies that are being shown just a few weeks in theaters and then immediately being available for streaming. Others in Hollywood thank Netflix for giving them … Continue reading Other Side of the Wind: Welles’s White Whale

Bruno Ganz, 1941–2019

The scene above made the Swiss actor Bruno Ganz immortal. After the premiere of the masterful Downfall in 2004, countless YouTube parodies were made of this scene, each one with new, creative subtitles. Hitler’s rage (in a foreign, incomprehensible language, as long as you didn’t speak German) served as a hilarious comment on whatever subject you … Continue reading Bruno Ganz, 1941–2019

Cool Hand Luke: A Tough Egg to Crack

HE WAS A COOL CUSTOMER… UNTIL THE LAW MADE IT HOT FOR HIM! Donn Pearce, who turns 90 in September, has lived an adventurous life – and knows what it’s like to be incarcerated. During World War II, he served a few days in the stockade after going AWOL. After the war, he did some … Continue reading Cool Hand Luke: A Tough Egg to Crack

Easy Rider: An All-American Trip

A MAN WENT LOOKING FOR AMERICA. AND COULDN’T FIND IT ANYWHERE… Jack Nicholson wasn’t the first choice for the part of boozy lawyer George Hanson in Easy Rider. That was Rip Torn, but after a fight between Torn and Dennis Hopper that involved a butter knife and a salad fork (according to Peter Fonda), the … Continue reading Easy Rider: An All-American Trip

Rebel Without a Cause: Forever Young

TEENAGE TERROR TORN FROM TODAY’S HEADLINES. Every time I watch this movie it’s impossible not to think about the heartbreaking tragedies that ended the lives of its three young stars. This was James Dean’s third and last movie, released a month after he was killed in a car crash. In 1976, Sal Mineo was murdered … Continue reading Rebel Without a Cause: Forever Young

Giant: How the Oil Was Won

THE LEGENDARY EPIC THAT’S AS BIG AS TEXAS.  Before Dallas, there was Giant. A sprawling soap opera set in Texas, George Stevens’s film has been welcomed by the state as its very own version of Gone With the Wind (1939) – which is quite an achievement since it is largely a condemnation of racist policies … Continue reading Giant: How the Oil Was Won

An American Carol

LAUGH LIKE YOUR COUNTRY DEPENDS ON IT.  As America-bashing documentary filmmaker Michael Malone (Kevin Farley) is preparing a campaign to have July 4th abolished as a holiday, he is visited by the ghost of John F. Kennedy. From a right-winger’s point of view, this take on Dickens’s “Christmas Carol” is a clever idea executed as … Continue reading An American Carol

Elegy: A Dying Animal

There’s a scene in this film where Ben Kingsley’s character quotes Tolstoy, who once said the biggest surprise in a man’s life is old age. Kingsley’s professor can’t fathom how at his age he still carries on as if he’s twenty. His body has changed and he has presumably had his fair share of experiences… … Continue reading Elegy: A Dying Animal

Land of the Dead

THE DEAD SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH.  In the future, zombies roam the planet and the surviving humans are holed up in a city; infighting among them threatens to give the undead their chance. Director George A. Romero returns to his zombie franchise with a fourth chapter that is undeniably good-looking and entertaining. Modern visual effects … Continue reading Land of the Dead

The American Friend

Jonathan Zimmermann (Bruno Ganz), a German picture framer who thinks he has very little time left in this world, accepts an offer to kill a criminal for a large sum of money. The second film (following Purple Noon (1960)) to feature the character of Tom Ripley, it also became somewhat of a breakthrough for director Wim Wenders. Ganz … Continue reading The American Friend