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  • June 18, 2012

    Best Movies by Farr: The Awful Truth

    by John Farr

    John Farr discusses one of Cary Grant’s finest comedies.


    The Awful Truth (1937)

    What It’s About:
    (Cary) Grant and (Irene) Dunne play Jerry and Lucy Warriner, an affluent, attractive young couple who temporarily drift apart and initiate divorce proceedings. Both are unwilling to admit the obvious fact that they’re still in love. Jerry plays the field, but always seems to be turning up (mostly to visit their dog, Mr. Smith). His visits only increase once Lucy gets involved with oil man Dan Leeson (Ralph Bellamy), a wealthy rube from Oklahoma.The couple’s slow but inevitable rapprochement becomes one hilarious, delightful dance.

    Why I Love It:
    Leo McCarey was renowned for his comedic flair (he had directed the Marx Brothers in “Duck Soup”), and this consistently sharp, often side-splitting picture shows why. Reportedly the director actually improvised many of the comic set-pieces right on the set, causing rising star Cary Grant much anxiety. He needn’t have worried. The film was a hit, and cemented the reputations of both stars as much more than pretty faces, but in fact, gifted comic players with superb timing. Both Dunne and Bellamy received Oscar nods, while McCarey won for Best Director. Among the top screwball comedies ever made- and that’s the truth!

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  • June 10, 2012

    Best Movies by Farr: The French Connection

    by John Farr

    What is the best chase scene ever? John Farr gives you the answer.


    The French Connection (1971)

    What It’s About:
    “Connection” relates the fact-based story of narcotics detective Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle (Gene Hackman) and his partner Buddy Russo (Roy Scheider), who use unorthodox means to track down the source of an upcoming heroin influx to New York City. Their obsessive, hard-driving style leads them to a smooth French drug lord (Fernando Rey) attempting to smuggle in a huge shipment of dope from Europe.

    Why I Love It:
    Gene Hackman’s electrifying performance as Popeye Doyle won him an Oscar and transformed him from supporting player to star. Shot verité-style by William Friedkin, this spellbinding movie evokes the slightly fraying quality of New York thirty years ago, when a fiscal crisis loomed. This only adds to the grit and edginess of this intense film, without question one of the best cop movies ever.

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  • May 20, 2012

    Brooklyn Film Festival

    Brooklyn Film Festival

    Brooklyn Film Festival

    This week Reel 13 celebrates the Brooklyn Film Festival. All three of our short film contenders are past BFF selections. The 15th annual Brooklyn Film Festival will take place June 1-10, 2012, and will present over 100 film premieres from around the world.

    Be sure to watch each of the films and vote for your favorite – voting continues through Tuesday, 5/22 at 5pm. The winner will be broadcast this Saturday, May 26th along with our Classic and Indie features, Bullitt and Beneath Clouds.

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  • May 11, 2012

    Best Movies by Farr: The Big Sleep

    by John Farr

    John Farr explains why The Big Sleep could be his favorite of the four Bogart-Bacall films.


    The Big Sleep (1946)

    What It’s About:
    Private investigator Philip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart) gets tangled in a seedy web of murder and vice when he’s hired by wealthy scion General Sternwood (Charles Waldron) to investigate a pornographer with incriminating photos of his daughter, Carmen (Martha Vickers). Marlowe finds the man dead, but this is only the beginning, as plot twists-and bodies- pile up fast. At first, the detective is intrigued by the general’s other daughter, the ravishing Vivian (Lauren Bacall), but keeps her at a safe distance. Events will soon conspire to bring them closer together.

    Why I Love It:
    Scripted by William Faulkner from Raymond Chandler’s complex detective novel, Howard Hawks’s “The Big Sleep” is a Hollywood whodunit of the highest order. Bogart famously cemented his trench-coated, tough-guy persona tackling the role of Chandler’s shamus protagonist, Philip Marlowe, co-starring alongside soon-to-be wife Bacall. “Sleep” piles up so many dense subplots that ultimately you may lose track of who killed whom- apparently, even Chandler lost track of one culprit. Still, that Bogart-Bacall wattage and Hawks’s expert direction are such that you don’t much care.

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  • April 23, 2012

    Montclair Film Festival

    Montclair Film Festival

    Montclair Film Festival

    This week Reel 13 celebrates the Montclair Film Festival. All three of our short film contenders are from Montclair FF directors. Be sure to watch each of the films and vote for your favorite – voting continues through Wednesday, April 25th at 5pm.

    The winner will be broadcast this Saturday, April 28th along with our Classic and Indie features, The Great Train Robbery and In the Weeds. The Montclair FF runs from May 1 – 6, 2012 – be sure to visit the Festival’s website for more information!

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