If you won’t take it from me, take it from Billy Wilder: “When people try to belittle The Exorcist or Jaws, I just think these people are crazy. Spielberg knows exactly what he did, and he did it brilliantly.” And so, let’s all come to grips with a simple fact: Jaws is not only massive entertainment, it remains one of the best directed movies ever made. The title and title song of “High Noon” tell us everything we need to know about Fred Zinnemann’s western masterpiece.If you look at our website’s banner in this context, there are fins to the left, fins to the right, and it’s the only shark in town. Just 13 percent of American feature films used a “title song” between 1950-1954, but the number grew to 22 percent over the next five years, and reached 29 percent by the late ’60s.

If that wasn’t enough, Marlon Brando threatened to take his million dollars and run, annoyed at the production delays.

While he ultimately agreed to stay, he showed up overweight without having read the film’s source novel, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (1899).

Young Spielberg (Jaws) and Young Lucas (American Graffiti) understood film history — which is more than many of their fanboys can say — with references to John Ford’s The Searchers (1956) in both Close Encounters and Star Wars, before teaming on Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).

Scholar David Thomson put it best: “Like Coppola on The Godfather, Spielberg asserted his own role and deftly organized the elements of a rollercoaster entertainment without sacrificing inner meanings.” This, my friends, is the essence of The Film Spectrum, a website that urges future filmmakers to find that “sweet spot” of riveting first-time experience, yet increasing depth on repeat viewings.

Maybe that’s enough for some, but it isn’t for me anymore because the more beautiful everything is, the more it will hurt without you.” Such is the predicament facing Jerry Mulligan, the titular American in Paris, an ex-G. Their relationship is reminiscent of Bergman and Bogie’s in Casablanca — two lovers who fall in love in Paris and share a musical standard as their love song, yet who also can not be together because outside factors prohibit it.

Jerry (Gene Kelly) has come to love the city for its culture, but now only sees it as a curse, thanks to a broken heart over a Frenchwoman, Lise Bouvier (Leslie Caron). Like the Pacino-De Niro showdown in Heat (1995), the diner scene is an iconic duel between two of the era’s biggest stars. But for a close relationship that can last us through all the years of our life, no doll can take the place of aces back to back.” This is the advice given by wiseguy Sky Masterson (Marlon Brando) to his crap-game colleague Nathan Detroit (Frank Sinatra) in an early restaurant scene from Guys and Dolls, a tale of crooks, cons and courtship, all emanating from the bustling streets of Times Square. I loved what they created, and I thought something would happen to me, too. Continue reading “The companionship of a doll is a pleasant thing, even for a period of time running into months. It reaches in and opens you wide, and you stay that way. I came to Paris to study and to paint because Utrillo did, and Lautrec did, and Roualt did. Standing in for Paul Heinreid’s Victor Lazlo in this case is Henri Baurel (Georges Guetary), who completes the love triangle of An American in Paris as both Jerry’s good friend and Lise’s fiance.(A) Continue reading Call it the scariest horror flick ever made, a Moby Dick action adventure, a social commentary on beach towns and greedy mayors, a humanistic family story of science and wonder, one of the best film adaptations of a best-selling novel, one of the pioneering summer blockbusters and the winner of three Academy Awards (editing, sound, score).