News And Commentary – Fritz Lang 125!

A milestone birthday celebration for Fritz Lang, who was born on December 5, 1890.  Lang, a child of Vienna, would become one of the great directors of the thriving Weimar cinema that flowered in Germany during those tumultuous years between the end of the First World War and the Nazi seizure of power.  Best known for the Sci-Fi dystopia Metropolis (1927), Lang also directed the silent classic Dr Mabuse: The Gambler (1922) and The Testament of Dr.

News And Commentary – Last List: The Greatest Films of the 1980s and 1990s

Finally, the fifth and last list of favorites—twenty-five films from the 1980s and 1990s.  Again, and as always, it’s important to follow the Rules of the Game, but one reminder I will mention explicitly: only one director per list (and so any other films from that director which would have otherwise found a place on the list follow in italics).  Wonderful films abound here—great films have always been made, and will always be made, even in the most dire of cultural settings.

News And Commentary – More Greatest Films – The Eagerly Awaited List Four: The Seventies!

So here they are, my top twenty-five from the seventies, (once again in order of domestic release date by country of origin).  Obviously, this was the hardest list of all—looking back, it turns out this decade contributed TEN to my twenty-five greatest of all-time list; as always, those films noted by an asterisk.

News And Commentary – More Greatest Films – The Lists of Others: Auteur Edition

Wow.  There must be something in the air.  Here at Mid Century Cinema we’re been compiling our “best of” lists, and just by coincidence – we assume – those invaluable folks at the Criterion Collection have put up a link to this French website which has posted a slew of “to

News And Commentary – The Greatest Films of All Time

What is your favorite movie?  We are often asked that question here at Mid Century Cinema, and our stock response is to reject the question with a dismissive, even haughty wave of the hand.  “Favorite”?  “Best”?  “The Greatest”?  Just what are those words supposed to mean when talking about the movies?  And to compare one to another?  Impossible.  Philistine!  How can you even ask?

50 Years Ago This Week – Otto Preminger’s Bunny Lake is Missing

Bunny Lake is Missing, the last eminently masterful film from producer-director Otto Preminger (though six more would follow over the next fifteen years) was released on October 3, 1965.  It is very nearly a great movie: the gripping tale, with a smart, witty screenplay was gloriously shot on location in London in striking black and white (including some very fine night-for-night scenes); Preminger’s compositions and camera movements show him at the top of his impressive game. 

50 Years Ago This Week – Arthur Penn’s Mickey One

Mickey One, produced and directed by Arthur Penn, opened on September 27, 1965. A harbinger of the New Hollywood, it had the misfortune of arriving ahead of its time; had it been released two or three years later, it surely would have met with greater success and acclaim. But in 1965, a moody, expressionistic film that was more allegory than narrative was still hard-pressed to find a sizeable audience.