Boorman, Capra, Jarecki, Koster, Lang

No Highway in the Sky (Henry Koster, 1951). This murky little thriller casts James Stewart as an American engineer working with Great Britain’s Royal Aircraft Establishment. He’s convinced that the design of the flagship Reindeer airliner is tragically flawed, causing the tail to fall off after a certain number of hours in flight. His worries comes to an head when he’s taking a transatlantic journey on the plane in question and discovers it’s nearing the fatal number of logged hours. It’s a fun premise, but the film unfortunately lacks either the ratcheted up suspense of an Alfred Hitchcock thriller or … Continue reading Boorman, Capra, Jarecki, Koster, Lang

Altman, Clements and Musker, Gordon (and others), Kubrick, Weir

Lolita (Stanley Kubrick, 1962). Vladimir Nabokov’s novel was less than ten years old when Stanley Kubrick took a swing at it, so he was working with a best-selling sensation instead of a revered part of the canon. That–combined with the significant detail that he was Stanley Kubrick and he plainly did want he wanted–gives the director great latitude in his adaptation. Nabokov himself is the credited screenwriter, but much of that material was jettisoned by Kubrick on the way to making his own distinct, darkly comic work. James Mason is marvelous as Professor Humbert Humbert, the man who becomes smitten … Continue reading Altman, Clements and Musker, Gordon (and others), Kubrick, Weir