A randomly comprehensive survey of extraordinary movie experiences from the art house to the grindhouse, featuring the good, the bad, the ugly, but not the boring or the banal.
I wrote this to a group of friends earlier today: I am surprised to notice that the 1935 Warner Brothers version of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" with Rooney as Puck and James Cagney as Bottom - both astounding - is not in the National Film Registry yet. Now that is an oversight. It truly is an EXCELLENT film, based on Max Reinhardt's classic stage production. The Warner actors up and down the line - Olivia de Havilland, Dick Powell, Joe E. Brown, etc. - give it their all and more, and in the process decisively demonstrate two facts: 1) American actors are underrated in this repertory and can bring a real freshness to it, and 2) when people speak of Shakespeare's universality, that's not just some line. Meet Shakespeare halfway, update him, cross-culturalize him, whatever you like, and the plays still WORK.
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