Top Fifty Films of the 40s — Number Forty-Three

#43 — Riff-Raff (Ted Tetzlaff, 1947) Ted Tetzlaff only directed a handful of movies, but he shot over one hundred. He starting working as a cinematographer in the nineteen-twenties (his handiwork was found in the 1926 films Atta Boy and Sunshine of Paradise), racking up some impressive credits over the course of the next couple of decades. Included in that number is striking, evocative work on Alfred Hitchcock’s Notorious. Remarkably, his efforts on that film earned him no official accolades (Tetzlaff’s sole Oscar nomination came a few years earlier, for the George Stevens comedy The Talk of the Town), though it did … Continue reading Top Fifty Films of the 40s — Number Forty-Three

Allen, Assonitis, Korda, Stromberg, Tetzlaff

Maleficent (Robert Stromberg, 2014). This piece of fairy tale revisionism might be more affecting if it didn’t arrive on the heels of the same studio’s Frozen, which pulled off basically the same switcheroo (including the subversion of the “true love’s kiss” trope) with more spirit. Judging from what’s onscreen, not much thought went into this project after the dream casting of Angelina Jolie was secured. The certainty that her presence as one of the most iconic villains in the annals of Disney Animated Classics would be enough to make the film compelling comes tantalizing close to becoming a proven truth. … Continue reading Allen, Assonitis, Korda, Stromberg, Tetzlaff