Tag Archives: World War II

Judgment at Nuremberg: After Göring

THE EVENT THE WORLD WILL NEVER FORGET.  One of the most interesting and influential, but rarely discussed, TV shows of all time has to be Playhouse 90 (1956-1960). Over four years, this anthology series brought original TV plays into people’s living rooms, written and directed by some of the best in the business. Several of … Continue reading Judgment at Nuremberg: After Göring

Hacksaw Ridge

WHEN THE ORDER CAME TO RETREAT, ONE MAN STAYED.  In 1945, Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) is deployed to the Pacific theater; trained as a combat medic, he is also a conscientious objector who refuses to touch weapons. Mel Gibson’s comeback as a director for the first time in ten years is an impressively staged portrait … Continue reading Hacksaw Ridge

Sherlock Holmes Faces Death

AS STARTLING AS A SCREAM IN THE NIGHT! John Watson (Nigel Bruce), who’s serving as a doctor at a mansion turned into a wartime hospital, brings Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) to investigate a mysterious assault… but the first thing they find is a murder victim. The sixth film in the series takes a break from … Continue reading Sherlock Holmes Faces Death

Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon

Posing as a spy in Switzerland, Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) brings a scientist and his revolutionary bombsight to Britain, but it turns out that Professor Moriarty (Lionel Atwill) also wants the invention in order to sell it to the Nazis. The fourth film in the series reintroduces Moriarty after The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1939), … Continue reading Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon

Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror

THE MASTER MINDS OF MYSTERY! When Nazi saboteurs strike against the infrastructure in London, Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) is hired to find out the real identity behind the ”Voice of Terror”, a radio broadcast announcing the attacks. The third film in the series that began with The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939) moves the famous … Continue reading Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror


THE ENEMY IS LISTENING. In 1942, Canadian intelligence officer Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) poses as the husband of a French Resistance fighter (Marion Cotillard) who’s working undercover in Morocco. A refreshingly old-fashioned romantic thriller from a director who knows how to tell a good story, evoke seductive environs in Morocco and London but also dazzle … Continue reading Allied

Shoah: Oppressive and Invaluable

Often described as the most important documentary ever made, Shoah is a special experience. And it has posed challenges for critics. Two of the most influential ones had somewhat extreme reactions. Pauline Kael, whose parents were Jewish immigrants from Poland, called the film “exhausting right from the start” and thought it was “full of dead … Continue reading Shoah: Oppressive and Invaluable

War and Remembrance: The Last of the Elephants

The epic follow-up to the miniseries The Winds of War (1983) was made on a daunting scale, and unsurprisingly ended up killing the 1980s trend of huge, costly miniseries because of disappointing ratings. Watching War and Remembrance now is an almost curious experience; made on a budget exceeding $100 million, you can virtually see where … Continue reading War and Remembrance: The Last of the Elephants

A League of Their Own

A WOMAN’S PLACE IS ON HOME, FIRST, SECOND, AND THIRD. When America enters World War II, Major League Baseball is forced to change; a newly formed women’s league attracts unorthodox players… and one very reluctant coach (Tom Hanks). Big (1988) director Penny Marshall reunited with the star of that film for another charming comedy, this … Continue reading A League of Their Own

Saving Private Ryan: Spielberg’s Hymn to the Fallen

THE MISSION IS A MAN. Steven Spielberg has directed several masterpieces over the years, but this one is the most controversial. The general sentiment expressed by snobs is that the first 20 minutes, depicting the invasion of Normandy, are outstanding, but the rest is typical Spielberg mush. It’s as if the fact that those 20 … Continue reading Saving Private Ryan: Spielberg’s Hymn to the Fallen