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  • Mystery of the Wax Museum

    Mystery of the Wax Museum

    ★★★★

    I was not prepared for how good this film is! I definitely prefer it over the 1950s remake, Vincent Price notwithstanding. This one was well-written and just beautiful to watch. Love those slow camera movements. Stylistically, it's not only pre-code horror, but also a proto-noir, with expressionistic setpieces carried over from 1920s cinema. I wish I shared that attic room with the girls (and their Orry-Kelly wardrobe; is it ever explained how Ms. Wray makes a living if she's not busy performing calisthenics on her bedroom rug?). Everyone's right in loving Glenda Farrell, but don't forget that Fay Wray is such a darling.

  • The Singer Not the Song

    The Singer Not the Song

    ★★★

    In which Dirk Bogarde demonstrates how far you can take a career by cocking an eyebrow (pretty far).

    This movie, set sometime between 1880 and 1960, in some place between Eton, Spain, and Mexico, plunged me into an existential crisis. Not because of its "philosophical" content, but because it challenged one of my superpowers—I never get bored. If there was economic potential in watching paint dry, I'd be Scrooge McDuck. Yet The Singer Not the Song turned out to be…

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  • The Philadelphia Story

    The Philadelphia Story

    ★★★★½

    Is this the apex of Classic Hollywood film-making? The Philadelphia Story is so grand, so elegant... yet as fluffy-breezy-noncommittal as a pavlova served in a pavilion on a clear-skied summer day. It takes place in the same upper-class fantasy world as the Raffaello ads I used to see on TV some 50 years later. I'm surprised it still attracts so many people, because with its leisurely pace it seems a lot more nostalgic and old-fashioned to me than the snappy…

  • What a Way to Go!

    What a Way to Go!

    ★★★★

    What a cast! What a past! What a show! What a Way to Go!
    This movie made me smile so much! I even cried a little at the musical number on the boat because it was so joyful and I'm a crybaby.
    At first the humour seemed too silly, but I learned to go along it. Shirley's husbands get better as well, don't be scared off by Dick Van Dyke! He'll be followed by Paul "I've got some erupting to…