Posts in category

Classic Cinema


Lee Van Cleef as Sabata

The ‘Wild West’ needs its heroes but they can come in some of the strangest guises. Especially in Spaghetti Westerns, where genre tropes and cliches are treated with disdain and often inverted. This irreverent approach has created some of the most iconic films and characters within the wider genre. While the figure of Clint Eastwood …

Maria and Focaccia

The popularity of the circus reached its height during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. An excitable public went seeking spectacular marvels and freak shows were a staple. These sideshows usually featured a bearded lady. Julia Pastrana was born with a genetic condition, hypertrichosis terminalis, which meant she was covered with thick black hair. …

Lucy isn't having a good time

Anyone watching TV during the 1980s will recognise Joan Collins. Indeed, for several generations of Britons she will always be the ever-scheming Alexis Colby. A character she played in Dynasty for the best part of a decade and who became a stalwart of popular culture. While it might come as a surprise, she’s had a …

Bela Lugosi remains one of the most iconic and recognisable faces in horror cinema. Most famous for his portrayal of Dracula in the pre-code Universal Pictures version of Bram Stoker’s ‘Count’, the Hungarian actor went on to play a number of memorable roles. However, his career was stunted by his thick accent and later addiction …

4 British airmen

No one made films quite like Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. Cinema which lifted the spirits until they soared. They collaborated twenty-four times in total, between 1939 and 1972, making some of the greatest British features of all time. The likes of A Matter of Life and Death, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp …

Master and servant?

While Dirk Bogarde was one of the greatest British actors of his generation, he’s probably best remembered for starring in the ‘Doctor’ film series. During the 1950s, after completing his war service, the Londoner first came to prominence as a matinée idol. However, it was his later work which brought him the most critical acclaim. …

The caged Sol Nazerman

When Rod Steiger received an Academy Award nomination for his performance as Marlon Brando’s brother in On the Waterfront it seemed like he’d made it. However, during the next decade his career went in fits and starts and by the time he was cast to play the lead in The Pawnbroker it was undoubtedly on …

Hepburn and Grant

Whilst he might not be as well-known today as some of his peers, Howard Hawks is undoubtedly one of the greatest America filmmakers of his generation. What sets him apart from most was his willingness and indeed eagerness to work across a number of genres. The popularity of the likes of Rio Bravo (western), The …

Blu-ray collector's edition

Roared on by the success of Sergio Leonne in Hollywood, a host of Italian directors followed is his wake; making a raft of Spaghetti Westerns during the 1960s. Whilst similar in many ways to their American cousins these films revelled in turning genre cliches and tropes on their head. Instead of the likes of John …

Maria sat on a fence

Andrei Tarkovsky is without doubt the greatest Russian filmmaker of all time. He’s certainly the first name that comes to mind when discussing the movies of the Motherland. Despite making less than ten films in a career which spanned three decades, he left an indelible mark on the history of world cinema. Whilst the likes …