Most Western saloons were not much more elegant than this — a fancy carved bar, a generous selection of spirits, a wood frame and canvas (or plain board) walls.  Hollywood usually got it backwards — with fancily constructed and decorated rooms and only one kind of unbranded whiskey on offer.

Click on the image to enlarge.



If you glance over to the right of the main page on this site you’ll see that I’ve added a new category of posts — Essential Blu-rays.

Posts in this category are short reviews of the Blu-ray editions of movies I consider important — essential to any home collection of movies, worth buying a Blu-ray player to watch.

I’m an enthusiast of the Blu-ray format — it allows one to view movies at home in a quality only exceeded by the projection of good prints on a large screen in a theater, and they’re usually movies that one has little chance of seeing projected in a theater these days.


The popularity of the Blu-ray format has fallen short of expectations — people increasingly prefer to stream movies at home in far lower quality than the Blu-ray format makes possible.  But there are many movies, and not just the great ones, which only reveal their true content, their true nature, in a high-quality presentation.

In the long run, the Blu-ray format may be doomed — relish it while you can.

Click on the images to enlarge.



You may not have a special taste, as I do, for the cycle of classic Universal monster movies, but they were a potent cultural force.  They created a mythology which has become a part of American mythology, and they influenced several generations of filmmakers who shaped American cinema in the latter part of the 20th Century, most especially Steven Spielberg.


Bride Of Frankenstein is the best of the cycle — visually elegant, wry and amusing, powerful on many levels.  The image of The Bride, incarnated by Elsa Lanchester in a surprisingly brief appearance on screen, resonates as powerfully as the image of Dracula or Frankenstein’s Monster or The Mummy or The Wolfman.


She is an amazing cinematic creation — a vision of woman as an electric, elemental force too powerful to accommodate, to control, to accept.  She must be destroyed — but she cannot be destroyed.  She is an eternal accusation against the presumption of mere men.

The Blu-ray edition of Bride Of Frankenstein, magnificently restored, belongs in every home.