Journeying under the sea.

By the late 1980s, it seems that the studio Mickey Mouse built had reached a crossroads. The Walt Disney animation legacy was in danger of being shuttered forever after a series of critical and commercial flops, while simultaneously undergoing an upheaval in its animation department as the revered “Nine Old Men” retired and were gradually…

Censorship and a Streetcar: Part Two

Note: you can find the first part of this entry here. Joseph Breen’s second caveat in adapting Streetcar revolved around the character of Blanche, whose more sexually predatory side could not be fully explicated on the screen per Production Code regulations. The faded Southern belle’s lack of sexual satisfaction in her marriage and her guilt over Allan’s suicide…

Censorship and a Streetcar: Part One.

We’ve previously touched on issues of censorship here at True Classics, but our next two entries this week will take a more in-depth look at the Hays Code, particularly in regards to the struggle to adapt the controversial source material of A Streetcar Named Desire for the big screen. By 1950, Hollywood had reached an impasse.  For nearly twenty…

Most everyone’s mad here. I’m not all there myself.

One of my favorite stories of all time is the tale of Alice and her journey down the rabbit hole. I’ve read the Lewis Carroll Alice books (1865’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and the 1871 sequel, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There) more times than I can remember over the years, and every…

Alligators have the right idea. They eat their young.

I’ve heard the 1945 film noir Mildred Pierce called “anti-feminist” by some critics. This in itself is not surprising–the noir genre is notoriously woman-unfriendly, populated mainly by harridans, manipulative shrews, and sly seductresses, all depicted with broad, stereotypical strokes by a cadre of male directors. But the title character of Mildred Pierce is much more…

Criss-cross.

The much-parodied and endlessly dissected Strangers on a Train (1951) marks a return to form for director Alfred Hitchcock. His four previous films over the four previous years–The Paradine Case, Rope, Under Capricorn, and Stage Fright, each more lackluster than the last–had not met with quite the same success and acclaim as some of his…