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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
Part of the Series: The Criterion British Collection
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
Part of the Series: The Criterion British Collection
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…
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…
The Double Life of Veronique
Krzysztof Kieslowski's international breakthrough remains one of his most beloved films, a ravishing, mysterious rumination on identity, love, and human intuition. Irene Jacob is incandescent as both Weronika, a Polish choir soprano, and her double, Veronique, a French music teacher. Though unknown to each other, the two women share an…
The Rules of the Game
Considered one of the greatest films ever made, The Rules of the Game (La regle du jeu), by Jean Renoir, is a scathing critique of corrupt French society cloaked in a comedy of manners in which a weekend at a marquis' country chateau lays bare some ugly truths about a…
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…