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Sunset Gun
Los Angeles
Playboy, Los Angeles Review of Books, Criterion and more.
Recent Activity
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“I let you in because, well, housewives can get awfully bored sometimes…” “What is it, Jane? I just don’t understand you.” So asks Arthur Kennedy’s upright husband to Lizabeth Scott’s kinked, cryptic wife in Byron Haskin’s Too Late for Tears, a movie as much about one woman suffering her own private hell (an infernal boredom with the late 1940’s bonds of traditional marriage, a disgust... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2018 at Sunset Gun
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“The Hired Hand is the America of what Walt Whitman means to me. I’d respect Peter for no other reason than showing me the family as an ideal unit. That’s very close to me, I’ve gone through divorce.” – Warren Oates (“Warren Oates: A Wild Life,” Susan Compo) “Morality sucks. Clearly, so does gravity, but we can prove gravity. We can’t prove morality. It doesn’t... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2018 at Sunset Gun
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"There was just this scene of one woman seeing another who was helpless and in pain. It was so real, I responded. I really reacted to her. She moved me so that tears came into my eyes. Believe me, such moments happened rarely, if ever again, in the early things I was doing out there.” – Anne Bancroft on Marilyn Monroe's heartbreaking, complex performance in... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2018 at Sunset Gun
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“Just remember, all right, that you’re a person. You’re a person, right? And you were a kid before, and you’ve made mistakes… so you ran. That’s all.” The opening shot of Jerry Schatzberg’s Scarecrow is so beautiful, so wide-open and haunting, it’s reminiscent of an Andrew Wyeth painting, “Christina’s World” without the house to look towards or “Winter 1946” made a bit darker with cinematographer... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2018 at Sunset Gun
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“Whom God wishes to destroy he first makes mad.” Out today! The newest issue of Ed Brubaker's "Kill Or Be Killed" in which I write about Samuel Fuller's wonderfully absurdist, savage Shock Corridor. Pick it up or order here. And Happy Valentine's Day! Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2018 at Sunset Gun
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Here are my favorite pictures of 2017 (including one TV series I will consider a film -- don't yell at me). In no order. And I will fill in my thoughts, expand on them later (soon!). But before January comes to a close, I wanted to get my favorites out there. I've not seen everything yet so this could change (and I'm not going to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2018 at Sunset Gun
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My newest essay for Ed Brubaker's Kill Or Be Killed takes on Vincente Minnelli beautiful, wonderfully obsessive, The Cobweb, starring Richard Widmark, Lauren Bacall, Charles Boyer, Gloria Grahame, Lillian Gish, Oscar Levant, Adele Jergens, Fay Wray, John Kerr and Susan Strasberg... “On The Cobweb, I’d arrive on the set and there he’d [Vincente Minnelli] be up on the boom, zooming up to the drapes, and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2018 at Sunset Gun
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From a piece I wrote for the New Beverly's Sal Mineo Festival. Sal Mineo was stunning. Hauntingly and uniquely so. His large, brown eyes, sweetly sad and darkly intense, his cleft-chinned handsomeness mixed with an almost cherubic baby beauty that remained child-like longer than he probably would have preferred, were so striking and different that the youth was discovered on the sidewalk. He was with... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2018 at Sunset Gun
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Because Phantom Thread was one of my favorites of 2017 and I've not written about it yet, here's my piece on Inherent Vice, first published at the New Beverly. If you know me, you know I love this one more than I could contain in one piece... “If there is something comforting – religious, if you want – about paranoia, there is still also anti-paranoia,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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From my piece originally published at the New Beverly Mr. Emil Gower: I owe everything to George Bailey. Help him, dear Father.Giuseppe Martini: Joseph, Jesus and Mary. Help my friend, Mr. Bailey. Ma Bailey: Help my son, George, tonight. Bert: He never thinks about himself, God, that’s why he’s in trouble. Ernie Bishop: George is a good guy. Give him a break, God. Mary: I... Continue reading
Posted Dec 25, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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From my piece published at the New Beverly. Reporter: Say listen, is he working on a case? Nora Charles: Yes, yes! Reporter: What case? Nora Charles: A case of scotch. Pitch in and help him. Nick Charles likes to drink. Nick Charles likes to drink a lot – copious amounts of alcohol – one glass emptied in one hand, the other reaching for another with... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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From my piece published at the New Beverly. “Questions arose. Like, what in the fuck was going on here, basically.” – Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice I love watching Robert Mitchum amble around His Kind of Woman with that particular walk of his, navigating this schizophrenic maze of a movie like it’s a typical day in the life of … Bob Mitchum: Light up a reefer,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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From my piece published at the New Beverly. “One is not totally in control of making one’s metaphor when making a movie. You find that it seems right, and you’re not necessarily able to articulate why it is right. Certainly the premise of Rabid is outrageous on a certain level… Now, there was a time when I was making this movie where I said to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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Ed Brubaker's newest Kill Or Be Killed comes out November 29. My newest piece covers the brutal, beautifully crafted Ida Lupino film, The Hitch-Hiker, starring Edmond O'Brien, Frank Lovejoy and William Talman. The film was based on spree killer Billy Cook, who had a deformed eye & "HARD LUCK" tattooed on his fingers. When arrested he said, "I hate everybody's guts." Order here. And here's... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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From my piece on Badlands, published at the New Beverly. “Where would I be this very moment if Kit had never met me? Or killed anybody? This very moment. If my Mom had never met my Dad? If she’d of never died? And what’s the man I’ll marry going to look like? What’s he doing right this minute? Is he thinking about me now, by... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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From my piece published at the New Beverly. “Her shadow between us all the time,” he said. “Her damned shadow keeping us from one another. How could I hold you like this, my darling, my little love, with the fear always in my heart that this would happen? I remembered her eyes as she looked at me before she died. I remembered that slow treacherous... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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Happy Halloween! From my piece at the New Beverly “The film which you are about to see is an account of the tragedy which befell a group of five youths, in particular Sally Hardesty and her invalid brother, Franklin. It is all the more tragic in that they were young. But, had they lived very, very long lives, they could not have expected nor would... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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Out now! My next essay for Ed Brubaker's Kill Or Be Killed: Joseph Losey's underseen, and that overused term (but in this case, apt), underrated "M." Order here. Here's a preview: The opening shot of Joseph Losey’s M finds our murderous leading man, a tortured creature who will end the picture dragged, desperately dragged and in a heap, down on the ground – ascending. It’s... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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From my piece for the New Beverly. Even a man who is pure in heart, and says his prayers by night; May become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright. Lon Chaney Jr. does not look like the son of Claude Rains. Not only does he not look like Rains physically, with his tall stature and everyman awkwardness, but with... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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Ed Brubaker's newest Kill Or Be Killed is still out. I wrote a piece digging into Joseph Cates' strangely beautiful, disturbing, "Who Killed Teddy Bear?" featuring a brilliant, daring Sal Mineo. Pick it up or order here: https://imagecomics.com/comics/releases/kill-or-be-killed-12 “I played a telephone freak, and we were having this hassle with the censors. In some of the shots while I was on the phone they wanted... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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From my piece published at The New Beverly Helen: I don’t like to wake up alone. Bobby: I don’t want you to. But it happens sometimes. The smallest thing can change a life forever. In the case of Jerry Schatzberg’s The Panic in Needle Park, it’s a scarf. A thoughtful moment in which one stranger gives a shit about another, and just for a mere... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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RIP, Hugh Hefner. I was so glad to honor the woman of Playboy's first cover 50 years later with this cover story on Marilyn Monroe, and to write about her beyond her beauty (beyond those PB pics that she did not take for PB) , and about her power as an artist in her own right. Marilyn was not ashamed of nudity, sexuality and showing... Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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Baby they were born to kill ... My essay on Robert Wise's "Born to Kill" starring Lawrence Tierney & Claire Trevor as supreme equals: two fiendish, ferocious creatures. Read it in Ed Brubaker's newest Kill or Be Killed -- out now! Order here: Here's a preview: Between man, woman and movies, you can discover fair practice, of course, but can you find it with such... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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Originally published at the New Beverly One of the most memorable moments during filming had nothing to do with the movie, but it also had everything to do with the movie. There was a rumor that President Nixon was going to resign. [On that night] we stopped filming. We were onstage at the auditorium and we wheeled in a TV. Everyone watched it and there... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2017 at Sunset Gun
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Pick it up! Issue #10 of Ed Brubaker's Kill Or Be Killed is out. In this one, I ponder Ralph Meeker and Ralph Meeker in Big House, U.S.A. (with art by Jacob Phillips). Here's a preview... You don’t want to run into Ralph Meeker in the woods. Not if you’re a kid. Not if you have asthma. Not if you’re rich. Now, that’s a real... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2017 at Sunset Gun