REEL 13 BLOG

Best Movies by Farr: Multimedia Bing Crosby

April 5, 2010 | John Farr

Bing Crosby, the first multimedia star of radio, film, and television. Holiday Inn (1942) WHAT IT'S ABOUT: After a painful bust-up with his girlfriend, song-and-dance man Jim Hardy (Bing Crosby) decides he's had it with the big city and retires to a farm in New England, which he converts into an inn, complete ...

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Best Movies by Farr: Ex-Cons

March 31, 2010 | John Farr

John Farr examines films about ex-cons who have abandoned their crooked ways. Sling Blade (1996) WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Released from an Alabama psychiatric institution 25 years after he murdered his mother and her lover, 37-year-old Karl Childers (Billy Bob Thornton) takes a job as a fix-it man in his old hometown. Despite his ...

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Best Movies by Farr: Not Just Little Caesar

March 31, 2010 | John Farr

John Farr's salute to the surprisingly versatile Edward G. Robinson. Double Indemnity (1944) WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Gorgeous schemer Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck) enlists a besotted insurance salesman, Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray), to draw up a life-insurance policy on her husband without his knowledge - and then kill him. The murder goes as planned, ...

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Best Movies by Farr: Under Surveillance

March 22, 2010 | John Farr

Three films about voyeurism and suspicion. The Conversation (1974) WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Detached and distrustful of others, surveillance expert Harry Caul (Gene Hackman) is a deeply private, virtually friendless man whose life is consumed by his special brand of freelance intelligence work. Hired by corporate director Martin Stett (Harrison Ford) to monitor the ...

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Best Movies by Farr: Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II

March 22, 2010 | John Farr

A salute to three of Rodgers & Hammerstein's great ones. Oklahoma! (1955) WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Fox introduced the new singing team of MacRae and Jones in this buoyant musical, adapted from the hit play that launched Rodgers and Hammerstein as a songwriting team .The movie follows the round-about romance of a young couple ...

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Best Movies by Farr: Diner Movies

March 15, 2010 | John Farr

Movies set in diners. The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Drifter Frank Chambers (John Garfield) rolls into a roadside diner and meets portly, good-natured owner Nick Smith (Cecil Kellaway), who offers him a job as a fix-it man. Frank's not too interested until he gets a look at Nick's white-hot ...

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Best Movies by Farr: Isolation

March 8, 2010 | John Farr

Three films on loneliness and isolation. Umberto D. (1952) WHAT IT'S ABOUT: An aging pensioner struggling to make ends meet in inflationary post-war Italy, Umberto D. (Carlo Battisti) is a despairing man who faces an uncertain future. Receiving threats of eviction from his cold, uncaring landlady and desperately seeking to raise the needed ...

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Best Movies by Farr: Parents and (Grown) Children

March 1, 2010 | John Farr

John Farr's picks for films about the relationships between elder parents and their adult children. Tokyo Story (1953) WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Frail, elderly couple Tomi and Shukishi (Chieko Higashiyama and Chishu Ryu) set off from their rural village to visit their children in the hustle-bustle world of modern-day Tokyo. But when they arrive, ...

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Best Movies by Farr: Culture Clash

February 22, 2010 | John Farr

Guess who's coming to dinner? Hester Street (1975) WHAT IT'S ABOUT: After emigrating from Russia in the late 1800s, Jewish immigrant Jake (Steven Keats) has shed all the outer signs of his heritage, including side locks and traditional clothing, and settled into a bustling, profitable life on New York's Lower East Side. So ...

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