Best Movies by Farr: Marx x 5

April 12, 2010 | John Farr

Revisit five of the Marx Brothers' Depression-era Paramount masterpieces. The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Edition (1930-1933) WHAT IT'S ABOUT: The best way to enjoy the nutty antics of Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo is to indulge yourself in this boxed set of five early Paramount classics. A struggling Miami hotel is the scene ...


A Scouting Life: A Cruel Joke

April 8, 2010 | Sam Hutchins

We rolled on and on. Beautiful, desolate country. Hours of nothing but the landscape. It was hard to tell from the map, but I feared we might wind up driving pretty deep into the night before we found a place to crash. We were all getting ...


A Scouting Life: The Loneliest Road in America

April 6, 2010 | Sam Hutchins

We couldn’t leave Ely fast enough the next morning. The place had a certain malevolence tucked just beneath the surface, and our presence there was enough to awaken it. Nothing that couldn’t be handled, but the time to deal with the hustlers, grifters and flakes was later. ...


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 ...


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 ...


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, ...


A Scouting Life: Brothels and Blackjack

March 30, 2010 | Sam Hutchins

We got back to the Hotel Nevada just in time to wash up and have a nice dinner. The rooms were smallish, as could be expected of such an old hotel, and the furnishings looked like they came from your grandmother’s garage sale. Everything was mismatched and cheaply ...


A Scouting Life: Basin and Range

March 25, 2010 | Sam Hutchins

Kar Wai had been reaching out to his network of contacts, asking for any ideas on smaller, down-at-the-heels casinos. I was in no position to discourage him, but in my experience getting tips from anyone other than a fellow location scout/manager is a waste of your time. There ...


A Scouting Life: Hotel Nevada

March 23, 2010 | Sam Hutchins

The process always plays out differently no matter how long you do it. Each film is a living, breathing entity that has its own quirks and wrinkles. This is true of every show you are on, but even more so with a creatively chaotic fellow like Kar Wai ...


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