Drama

[8.5] Tension between rival New York City gangs the Jets and the Sharks is wound to a tragic snapping point after one young Jet falls head over heels for the sister of the Sharks’ leader. West Side Story is based on the landmark stage musical featuring music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and exciting dance choreography by Jerome Robbins, who co-directs this film …

[5.5] In 1860s New Orleans, a Creole servant girl (Micheline Presle) vows revenge after her wealthy lover (Vincent Price) uses his influence to put her in jail so he can marry a rich socialite. While on trial, however, Captain Fabian (Errol Flynn) comes to the girl’s defense out of spite for Price’s character more than anything else. Flynn sets Presle up with a tavern to …

[7.0] Humphrey Bogart plays a notorious robber recently released from prison who gets hired by his old boss for one more robbery at a California resort. While gearing up for the heist, he handles two less-capable robbers, two love interests, and an ownerless dog that brings bad luck to everyone. High Sierra paints Bogey’s character as a somewhat sympathetic one who might regret his past …

[5.0] Cary Grant stars as a wealthy Parisian with terrible taste in women. When one of his most recent girlfriends rejects him over the phone, he jokes about killing himself — bringing his apartment’s telephone operator, played by Frances Drake (Mad Love), running to him in tears. Drake tells him she’s been listening to all his phone calls and that one of his ladies of …

[7.0] Cary Grant stars as an angel from Heaven who comes to Earth just before Christmas to help a Bishop (David Niven) and his wife (Loretta Young) raise money for construction of a new cathedral. But Grant has ulterior motives, trying to get the Bishop to realize that happiness lies in prioritizing his marriage over any construction project — and that the fundraising money is …

[7.0] Writer/director Richard Lowenstein takes us inside the lives of a Melbourne punk band called Dogs in Space, living in a run-down house full of misfits, pissing off their neighbors with their late-night partying, and doing hard drugs between gigs. There’s not much by way of structured narrative here — but Lowenstein succeeds in creating a memorable, voyeuristic look into a subculture that’s equal parts …

[3.0] Chris O’Donnell and Drew Barrymore star in this teenaged drama/romance about high school students who hit the road after Barrymore’s parents put her in a psychiatric ward for attempting suicide. The young lovers think the open road and fresh air will cure whatever ails Barrymore, but it turns out that her mental illness is real — and potentially dangerous. I’m glad a movie like …

[4.0] Barbara Stanwyck plays an engaged Christian missionary who is separated from her husband-to-be during the Chinese civil war in Shanghai. She is rescued by General Yen (Danish actor Nils Asther with ‘squinty eyes’ makeup), who takes her to his palace and looks after her. But Stanwyck soon realizes she hasn’t so much been rescued as kidnapped. While begging to be reunited with her husband, …

[6.0] Michael J. Fox stars in this adaptation of Jay McInerney’s novel about a New York yuppie named Jamie who keeps life’s problems at bay by constantly partying and doing drugs. With the help of his bad-influence friend Tad (Kiefer Sutherland), Jamie barely ever has to think about his unfulfilling job as a fact-checker for a magazine, the fact that his super-model wife left him, …

[8.0] An associate History professor (Richard Burton) and his wife, the university president’s daughter (Elizabeth Taylor), invite a new biology faculty member (George Segal) and his wife (Sandy Dennis) to their house for drinks. But the evening goes hellishly south when the older couple begin airing marital grievances, including the whereabouts of their son on the eve of his sixteenth birthday. By sunrise, nasty games …

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