Professor Beware

The Egyptologist at the Olympia Museum in Los Angeles has never been to Egypt but has translated nine hieroglyphic tablets, the last a fragment, telling the story of a tragic love three thousand years before, he resembles the man in the story, the events of his life begin to reflect those described on the tablets, the worrisome ending is unknown.

He meets a would-be film actress and sheds his garb to clothe her naked drunken scout en route to a producer.

Fired, he sets out for New York to join an archŠological expedition about to sail.

The girl, who has his Museum wagon, follows him cross-country, they meet again and marry, her father is a captain of industry and disapproves, like the Pharaoh of antiquity.

The ending sorts out the parallels on two yachts, Memory and Jasmine.


The Cat and the Canary

Fear that kills, in an old manse on a bayou full of alligators. There’s a maniac loose, “the cat”.

All to scare an heiress out of her jewels for the sake of a remote cousin.

Superb technique floating right between the titillating horror of the situation and its horripilating comedy.

The heiress paraphrases Dali, “I’ve been through enough tonight to drive anyone mad, but I’m not!”


My Favorite Brunette

Economy and efficiency are the hallmark of this comedy, which encompasses a roomful of villains in hot pursuit, as well as countermove, etc., all in a very carefully-placed camera position with a minimum of motion.


The Great Gatsby

Nugent avails himself of every means to allow this work to thrive, compare Kubrick’s adoption of Scarlet Street to adjust Lolita to the cinema perfectly. Welles is the great avatar here, Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons, The Lady from Shanghai.

Critics squabbled over Ladd’s performance, one of the great renditions, and generally disliked this masterpiece because its seeming heterogeneity of styles confused them, but it’s all in the point of Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan (Betty Field, the critics missed her perfect casting) at an elaborate tea they entirely ignore, the pure Fitzgerald theme.

The filthy, odious rich, their bootlegger Jimmy Gatz, his temptation and fall, war service, higher education, social life on Long Island. The stockbroker and former “pash” poet Nick, who gets out of the market in ’28. Gatsby’s love means death for Buchanan’s mistress, her husband’s revenge ends the story.


My Outlaw Brother

An easygoing, joky, picaresque adventure. The director himself sets the tone as a deadpan Ranger captain, the comedy is just this side of Casanova’s Big Night, with thematic material closely related to The Wild Bunch, One-Eyed Jacks, Rudolph MatÚ’s Branded, and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.