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Reeling Backward

Reviews of older films.

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3.5 yaps

The Hands of Orlac (1924)

Beautiful to look at but horridly dated narratively, “The Hands of Orlac” exists now as a museum piece; watching it, we experience not its power but its echo. Continue reading

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3 yaps

The Night of the Iguana (1964)

“The Night of the Iguana” shows the limitations of its stage roots; movies tend to feel claustrophobic if they’re not on the move. Continue reading

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4.5 yaps

The Ballad of Cable Hogue (1970)

What do you do after blowing up the Western genre? If you’re Sam Peckinpah, you make the silly — yet slyly consequential — “The Ballad of Cable Hogue.” Continue reading

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3 yaps

Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979)

The low-budget musical comedy from the house of Roger Corman is fun and frothy in a dimwitted sort of way. Continue reading

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1.5 yaps

The Wild Geese (1978)

An aggressively bad action-adventure film, “The Wild Geese” lionizes the mercenaries who so often played the cinematic heavies. Continue reading

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2.5 yaps

Kit Carson (1940)

This 1940 Western about the famed frontiersman is amiable, formulaic and dumb as a desert-baked brick. Continue reading

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2.5 yaps

Cottage to Let (1941)

An odd mish-mash of whodunit, romance, potboiler and WWII drama, “Cottage to Let” shows its stage roots — badly. Continue reading

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4.5 yaps

Thief (1981)

A moody minor masterpiece, “Thief” is a probing character study disguising itself as a heist flick. Continue reading

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4.5 yaps

Charade (1963)

The “perfect date movie” is a little bit spy thriller, little bit screwball comedy and a whole lot romantic. Continue reading

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4 yaps

The League of Gentlemen (1960)

Though I was expecting something harder-edged, this cheeky British crime caper features Jack Hawkins in a rare leading role. Continue reading

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