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The King of Kings
The King of Kings is the Greatest Story Ever Told as only Cecil B. DeMille could tell it. In 1927, working with one of the biggest budgets in Hollywood history, DeMille spun the life and Passion of Christ into a silent-era blockbuster. Featuring text drawn directly from the Bible, a…
The Plough and the Stars
A husband clashes with his wife over his membership to the Irish Citizen Army when she burns a letter informing him of a promotion.
The Private Life of Henry VIII
Charles Laughton gulps beer and chomps on mutton, in his first of many iconic screen roles, as King Henry VIII, the ultimate anti-husband. Alexander Korda's first major international success is a raucous, entertaining, even poignant peek into the boudoirs of the infamous king and his six wives. Additional Reading: http://www.criterion.com/current/posts/1133-eclipse-series-16-alexander-korda-s-private-lives
The Rise of Catherine the Great
A quick-witted and compelling dramatization of the troubled marriage of Catherine II (played by German actress Elisabeth Bergner, in her English-language debut) to Peter III (a randy Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) and her subsequent ascension to the throne as Empress of Russia. With its luxurious renderings of the eighteenth-century St. Petersburg…
Master of the House
Before he turned to the story of Joan of Arc, the Danish cinema genius Carl Theodor Dreyer fashioned this ahead-of-its-time examination of domestic life. A deft comedy of gentle revenge, it is the story of a housewife who, with the help of a wily nanny, turns the tables on her…
The Giorgio Mangiamele Collection
Giorgio Mangiamele is one of the most under-estimated figures in Australian cinema history. Soon after his arrival in Australia in 1952 as a migrant from Italy, he began making films at a time when feature film production in Australia was almost non-existent. His films were seldom seen in Australia, although…
La bete humaine
Based on the classic Emile Zola novel, Jean Renoir's La bete humaine was one of the legendary director's greatest popular successes--and earned star Jean Gabin a permanent place in the hearts of his countrymen. Part poetic realism, part film noir, the film is a hard-boiled and suspenseful journey into the…
A Story of Floating Weeds
In 1959, Yasujiro Ozu remade his 1934 silent classic A Story of Floating Weeds in color with the celebrated cinematographer Kazuo Miyagawa (Rashomon, Ugetsu). Setting his later version in a seaside location, Ozu otherwise preserves the details of his elegantly simple plot wherein an aging actor returns to a small…
Clean, Shaven
Lodge Kerrigan began his succession of utterly unique, visually and aurally dazzling character studies with the raw, ravaging Clean, Shaven. A compelling headfirst dive into the mindscape of a schizophrenic (played by the remarkable Peter Greene) as he tries to track down his daughter after he is released from an…
Storm Over Asia
The last of the three great films that V.I. Pudovkin directed in the 1920s, Storm over Asia (1928) is an acknowledged classic of Soviet silent cinema. Filmed largely on location in Mongolia, the film has an authentic documentary feel, though the story is a stirring melodrama. It concerns a young…
The Youth of Peter the Great
The Youth of Peter the Great is the first part of a two-part film that ends with At the Beginning of Glorious Days. Both parts were released in the Soviet Union in 1980 and are based on a novel, Peter I, written by Aleksey Tolstoy. The film was directed by…
Cobra
Rudolph Valentino's first independent production, Cobra, was released less than a year prior to the actor's untimely death at age 31. It is an unusual and contradictory showcase for the actor who is remembered more than any other as the icon of irresistible sexuality in Hollywood silent film. Beleaguered by…