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The fest closes today.
The festival continues.
The fest opens today.
The fest continues today with "Chinatown" and a whole lot more.
NBC orders a 'Rosemary's Baby' miniseries Kevin Pollak tapped to play Anna Faris' dad on "Mom" CBS honors Nelson Mandela by playing Toto's "Africa"
Brian Griffin will still be on "Family Guy," despite his TV death PBS posts "Frontline's" 1999 look at the life of Nelson Mandela Alec Baldwin is going back to TV for 1 night, thanks to TCM
And Angela Lansbury finally has an Oscar!
Includes - A Christmas Carol (1938), MPAA Rating: NR The Shop Around the Corner (1940), MPAA Rating: NR Christmas in Connecticut (1945), MPAA Rating: NR It Happened on Fifth Avenue (1947) A Christmas Carol For a generation of radio fans, Lionel Barrymore was the definitive Ebeneezer Scrooge. Alas, Barrymore was crippled by arthritis by the time MGM got around to filming Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol in 1938, so the Scrooge role went to contract player Reginald Owen - who, though hardly in the Barrymore league, does a splendid job. Hugo Butler's screenplay must make some adjustments from the source material. The Ghost of Christmas Past, for example, is played not by a robust middle-aged man but by a beautiful young woman (Ann Rutherford). Impeccably cast, the film includes such reliable character players as Leo G. Carroll (Marley's Ghost), Barry McKay (Scrooge's nephew Fred) and Gene and Kathleen Lockhart (Bob and Mrs. Cratchit). The Lockhart's teenaged daughter June makes her screen debut as one of the Cratchit children, while Terry Kilburn is a fine, non-sentimental Tiny Tim. Commenably short for a major production (69 minutes), MGM's Christmas Carol is one of the best adaptations of the oft-filmed Dickens Yuletide classic, and definitely on equal footing with the more famous 1951 Alastair Sim version. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Shop Around the Corner The Shop Around the Corner is adapted from the Hungarian play by Nikolaus (Miklos) Laszlo. Budapest gift-shop clerk Alfred Kralik (James Stewart) and newly hired shopgirl Klara Novak (Margaret Sullavan) hate each other almost at first sight. Kralik would prefer the company of the woman with whom he is corresponding by mail but has never met. Novak likewise carries a torch for her male pen pal, whom she also has never laid eyes on. It doesn't take a PhD degree to figure out that Kralik and Novak have been writing letters to each other. The film's many subplots are carried by Frank Morgan as the kindhearted shopkeeper and by Joseph Schildkraut as a backstabbing employee whose comeuppance is sure to result in spontaneous applause from the audience. Directed with comic delicacy by Ernst Lubitsch, this was later remade in 1949 as In the Good Old Summertime, and in 1998 as You've Got Mail. It was also musicalized as the 1963 Broadway production She Loves Me. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Christmas in Connecticut War hero Dennis Morgan becomes the object of a publicity stunt staged by magazine publisher Sidney Greenstreet. The corpulent print mogul announces that Morgan has won a Christmas dinner, to be prepared by the magazine's housekeeping expert Barbara Stanwyck in her own Connecticut home. The catch: Not only does Stanwyck not have a home in Connecticut, but she's never been in a kitchen in her life! She also doesn't have a husband (as her articles claim), so Stanwyck's erstwhile beau Reginald Gardiner is pressed into service as the hubby. As for the cooking, that will be handled by master chef S. Z. "Cuddles" Sakall. This solves everything, right? No way, Jose. Long dismissed as a lesser film farce, Christmas in Connecticut has its own irresistible charm, and has in recent years become a perennial Christmas-eve TV attraction. Pay absolutely no attention to the 1992 TV remake, starring Dyan Cannon and directed by Arnold Schwarzenegger. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide It Happened on Fifth Avenue It Happened On Fifth Avenue was easily the most ambitious movie made by the then-newly-organized Allied Artists for at least a decade after its release -- actually, as a "Roy Del Ruth Production," it was made through rather than by Allied Artists, which may explain why it stands so far apart from the Bowery Boys movies and other productions normally associated with Allied during this period. And amazingly, it works, mostly thanks to a genial cast and a reasonably light touch by director/producer Roy Del Ruth, and in spite of a script that needed at least one more ed
Includes - Thrill of a Romance (1945) Fiesta (1947) This Time for Keeps (1947) Pagan Love Song (1950) Million Dollar Mermaid (1952) Easy to Love (1953) Thrill of a Romance This aquatic musical is set at a mountain resort in the beautiful Sierra Nevadas where a heroic Army Air Corpsman has come for a vacation. There he falls in love with the lovely swimming instructor, who is unfortunately newly married to a rather stodgy businessman. The mayhem begins when her new husband is called to Washington on urgent business. Songs include: "Please Don't Say No, Say Maybe," "I Should Care," "Lonely Night," "Vive L'Amour," "Schubert's Serenade" and "The Thrill Of A Romance." ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide Fiesta Esther Williams moves from the swimming pool to the bull ring in this musical drama. Antonio Morales (Fortunio Bonanova) was once a champion bullfighter; now in retirement, Antonio and his wife (Mary Astor) have high hopes that their son Mario (Ricardo Montalban) will follow in his father's footsteps as a matador. However, Mario's great passion is music, and he longs to pursue a career as a composer. But there is a budding toreador in the family: Mario's sister Maria (Esther Williams), who has learned the basics of bullfighting from her sibling. Not wanting to be thought a coward, but with no desire to enter the ring, Mario allows Maria to disguise herself as him and take his place in the bullring, allowing her to compete in a traditionally male sport while Mario devotes his time to his music. Fiesta gave Ricardo Montalban his first English-speaking role, with Cyd Charisse appearing as Conchita, his love interest and dancing partner. Classical music buffs might notice that Mario's composition "Fantasia Mexican" is actually Aaron Copland's "El Salon Mexico." ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide This Time for Keeps In this aqueous musical comedy, an opera singer brings his son to Michigan's Mackinac Island where the son falls in love with the star of the "aquacaper." It is difficult to woo her as she is constantly surrounded by her piano-playing bodyguard and her ever-present grandmother. It's musical and comedic chaos as the son attempts to overcome these and other obstacles while trying to win her heart. Highlights include Jimmy Durante singing his trademark tune "Inka Dinka Do." Other songs include: "M'Appari" from "Martha," "La Donna E Mobile" from "Rigoletto," Cole Porter's "You Are So Easy to Love," "A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That," "Chiquita Banana," and "When It's Lilac Time on Mackinac Island." ~ Sandra Brennan, All Movie Guide Pagan Love Song Pagan Love Song derives its title from a 1929 tune written by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown. The plot is cut from the same cloth as MGM's previous Esther Williams musicals. Sporting a black wig and deep tan, Williams plays American lass Mimi Bennett, who while on vacation in the South Seas is mistaken for a native girl by visiting schoolteacher Hazard Endicott (Howard Keel). Instantly falling in love with Mimi, Hazard attempts to court her according to Tahitian traditions. And that's about it for the plot; the rest of the film consists of Esther Williams swimming and Howard Keel singing. Based on the novel Tahiti Landfall by William S. Stone, Pagan Love Song was to have been directed by Stanley Donen, but Williams vetoed Donen in favor of Robert Alton. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Million Dollar Mermaid Who else but Esther Williams could star in a romantic drama (with musical numbers) bearing a title like this? In Million Dollar Mermaid, Williams plays Annette Kellerman, a real-life Australian swimming star who took up the sport as a child to strengthen her legs, which were severely weakened by a birth defect. The treatment proves effective, and as she grows to adulthood, Annette shows that she has the talent to be a champion swimmer, though she prefers to follow her dream of becoming a ballet dancer. When Annette's father Frederick (Walter Pidgeon) accepts
Includes - A Night at the Opera (1935), MPAA Rating: NR Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), MPAA Rating: NR Father of the Bride (1950), MPAA Rating: NR The Long, Long Trailer (1954) A Night at the Opera Although some purists hold out for Duck Soup (1933), many Marx Brothers fans consider A Night at the Opera the team's best film. Immediately after the credits roll, we are introduced to Groucho Marx as penny-ante promoter Otis B. Driftwood. After a sumptuous dinner with a beautiful blonde at a fancy Milan restaurant, Driftwood tries to cadge another free meal from his wealthy patroness, Mrs. Claypool (Margaret Dumont). The dignified dowager complains that Driftwood had promised to get her into high society, but has done nothing so far. Otis B. counters by introducing Mrs. C to pompous opera entrepreneur Gottleib (Sig Rumann); all Mrs. Claypool has to do is invest several hundred thousand dollars in Gottleib's opera company, and her entree into society is in the bag. Contingent upon this plan is Driftwood's signing of Rodolfo Lassparri (Walter Woolf King), a self-important tenor. Backstage at the opera, Driftwood meets Fiorello (Chico Marx), who poses as a manager and offers to sell Driftwood the "world's greatest tenor"-not Lassparri, as Driftwood assumes, but Fiorello's pal Ricardo Baroni (Allan Jones). Instantly the two sharpsters try to draw up a contract ("The party of the first part shall hereafter be known as the party of the first part..."), which they proceed to tear up piece by piece whenever coming across a clause that displeases them (Driftwood: "That's a sanity clause"; Fiorello: "You no foola me. There ain't no Sanity Claus"). Having lost Lassparri to Gottleib, Driftwood sails back to America with Mrs. Claypool and the opera company. Gottleib arranges for Driftwood to get the tiniest, least accessible stateroom on the ship. Unpacking his trunk, Driftwood discovers that he's got to share his postage-stamp quarters with Ricardo Baroni, who has stowed away because he's in love with the opera troupe's leading lady Rosa (Kitty Carlisle). Also hiding out in Driftwood's trunk is Fiorello, who's come along because he's still Ricardo's manager, and the wacky Tomasso (Harpo Marx), Lassparri's former dresser, who has come along for the hell of it. Anxious to arrange a tete-a-tete with Mrs. Claypool in his stateroom, Otis finds out that his unwelcome guests won't leave until they're fed ("Do you have any stewed prunes? Well, give them some black coffee, that'll sober 'em up"). After ordering a huge dinner, Otis and his new friends are crowded even farther by a steady stream of intruders, including an engineer and his assistant, a cleaning lady, a manicurist, a girl looking for her Aunt Minnie, and a dozen waiters. The celebrated "stateroom scene" comes to a rollicking conclusion when Mrs. Claypool has the misfortune of opening the door. On the last night of the voyage, Fiorello, Tomasso and Ricardo sneak out of their stateroom to enjoy an impromptu ethnic festival in steerage. Ricardo sings, Fiorello "shoots the keys" on the piano, and Tomasso plays the film's theme song Alone on the harp. The stowaways are caught and thrown in the brig, but with Driftwood's help they escape. To avoid recapture, the stowaways don heavy beards and pose as three famed Russian aviators. After making a shambles of a public reception, the three reprobates hide out in Driftwood's New York apartment, where everyone conspires to drive an investigating detective (Robert Emmet O'Connor) crazy. Driftwood is fired from the opera company for associating with the stowaways, while Rosa is dismissed for refusing Lassparri's affections. In order to restore Rosa's job and put the deserving Ricardo in Lassparri's place during the opening performance of La Traviata, Driftwood, Fiorello and Tomasso concoct a scheme that will reduce the opera to comic chaos. The actual night at the opera in A Night at the Opera must be seen to be believed, but the spirit of the scene c
Includes - Lassie Come Home (1943) National Velvet (1944) Flipper (1963) The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964) Lassie Come Home Female dogs tend to shed while in heat; this is why all the collies who've played doggy heroine Lassie in the movies have actually been well-disguised males. A magnificent animal named Pal was the screen's first Lassie in 1943's Lassie Come Home. Set in Yorkshire during the first World War, the film gets under way when the poverty-stricken parents (Donald Crisp, Elsa Lanchester) of young Joe Carraclough (Roddy McDowall) are forced to sell his beloved Lassie. While her new master, the duke of Rudling (Nigel Bruce), is pleasant enough, Lassie prefers the company of Joe and repeatedly escapes. Even when cared for by the duke's affectionate granddaughter, Priscilla (Elizabeth Taylor), Lassie insists upon heading back to her original home. This time, however, the trip is much longer, and Lassie must depend upon the kindness of strangers, notably farmers Dally (Dame May Whitty) and Dan'l Fadden (Ben Webster) and handyman Rowlie (Edmund Gwenn). Based on the novel by Eric Knight (originally serialized in The Saturday Evening Post), Lassie Come Home was released quite some time after Knight's death. Like all the Lassie sequels turned out by MGM between 1943 and 1951, Lassie Come Home was lensed in Technicolor. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide National Velvet Although National Velvet was the first starring role for 11-year-old Elizabeth Taylor, the early part of the film belongs to Mickey Rooney in the showier role of Mike Taylor, a headstrong English ex-jockey. Soured on life by a serious accident, Mike plans to steal from the country family that has taken him in, but his resolve is weakened by the kindness of young Velvet (Taylor). The two find a common bond in their love of horses. Velvet wins an "unbreakable" horse in a raffle, and enters the animal in the Grand National Sweepstakes. Though Mike is unable to ride the horse, he aids Velvet in her plan to disguise herself as a jockey; she wins the race...but the story isn't over quite yet. Co-starring as Velvet's mother is Anne Revere, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance. National Velvet is based on the novel by Enid Bagnold. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Flipper The surprise hit of the summer of 1963, Flipper is a thoroughly captivating outdoor adventure from the Ivan Tors factory. Sandy Ricks (Luke Halpin), the young son of Florida fisherman Porter Ricks (Chuck Connors), nurses a wounded dolphin back to health. His father would prefer that Sandy allow the dolphin to return to its natural habitat, but Sandy has other ideas. After "Flipper" rescues Sandy from a shark, however, the boy grants the dolphin his freedom. Ideally suited for audiences of all ages, Flipper was fully deserving of its success; within a year, it had spawned a theatrical sequel and a long-running TV series, which, like the film, cast Suzy the Dolphin as the "hero" Flipper. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Incredible Mr. Limpet In this amusing fantasy, a combination of live-action and animated effects, Don Knotts plays scrawny bookkeeper Henry Limpet, who longs to help the U.S. after the outbreak of World War II. He becomes depressed after being turned down by the Navy, particularly after his pal George (Jack Weston) is accepted. When Henry takes a walk on the Coney Island pier with his wife Bessie (Carole Cook), he falls into the water and is transformed into a fish, complete with his reading spectacles. Henry finally gets to help the war effort by helping to track down Nazi U boats for the Navy. Andrew Duggan and Larry Keating play the admirals who spearhead the secret mission involving the transformed Henry. Longtime Disney production associate John Rose was the producer of this film, and the influence of the animation is evident. ~ Dan Pavlides, All Movie Guide
Includes - Freaks (1932) Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941), MPAA Rating: G House of Wax (1953) The Haunting (1963), MPAA Rating: G Freaks The genesis of MGM's Freaks was a magazine piece by Ted Robbins titled Spurs. The story involved a terrible revenge enacted by a mean-spirited circus midget upon his normal-sized wife. In adapting Spurs for the screen, writers Willis Goldbeck, Leon Gordon, Edgar Allan Wolf, and Al Boasberg retained the circus setting and the little man-big woman wedding, all the while de-vilifying the midget and transforming the woman into the true "heavy" of the piece. German "little person" Harry Earles plays Hans, who falls in love with long-legged trapeze artist Cleopatra (Olga Baclanova). Discovering that Hans is heir to a fortune, Cleopatra inveigles him into a marriage, all the while planning to bump off her new husband and run away with brutish strongman Hercules (Henry Victor). What she doesn't reckon with is the code of honor among circus freaks: "offend one, offend them all." What set this film apart from director Tod Browning's earlier efforts was the fact that genuine circus and carnival sideshow performers were cast as the freaks: Harry Earles and his equally diminutive sister Daisy, Siamese twins Violet and Daisy Hilton, legless Johnny Eck, armless-legless Randian (who rolls cigarettes with his teeth), androgynous Josephine-Joseph, "pinheads" Schlitzie, Elvira, Jennie Lee Snow, and so on. Upon its initial release, Freaks was greeted with such revulsion from movie-house audiences that MGM spent the next 30 years distancing themselves as far from the project as possible. For many years available only in a truncated reissue version titled Nature's Mistakes, Freaks was eventually restored to its original release print. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1941's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is the second sound version of the Robert Louis Stevenson "doppelganger" tale. This time Spencer Tracy plays the benevolent Dr. Jekyll, whose experiments in releasing the evil impulses within himself transform him into the bestial Mr. Hyde. The problem here is that while Tracy is convincing enough as Hyde, we have trouble accepting him as the kindly Jekyll--exactly the opposite of the 1931 version, in which Fredric March was credible as both Jekyll and Hyde (in fairness to Tracy, it must be noted that he didn't want to play the role and had to be forced into it). MGM decreed that no publicity pictures be released showing Tracy in his Hyde makeup, thereby building up audience anticipation. It's just as well that MGM kept these pictures under wraps: Tracy's Hyde looks less like the Living Personification of Evil than like a man who's been on a three-day bender. The most fascinating aspect of this version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is the casting of the two leading ladies. Ever since the 1920 John Barrymore version of this story, it has been de rigeur to symbolize the schism between Jekyll and Hyde by giving him both a "good" and "evil" girlfriend. Originally, MGM adhered to typecasting by assigning the good girl to Ingrid Bergman and the bad one to Lana Turner. But Bergman begged the studio to be allowed to play the more wicked of the two ladies; as a result, hers is by far the best performance in the picture. Neither as lively as the 1920 version nor as innovative as the 1931 remake, MGM's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is weighted down with tiresome dialogue and over-obvious symbolism (catch that dream sequence in which Ingrid Bergman and Lana Turner make like racehorses!) Despite its shortcomings, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was infinitely preferable to the next remake, Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1953). ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide House of Wax This simplified (but lavish) remake of the 1933 melodrama The Mystery of the Wax Museum was the most financially successful 3-D production of the 1950s. In his first full-fledged "horror" role, Vincent Price plays Prof. Henry Jarrod, the
Includes - The Maltese Falcon (1941), MPAA Rating: NR The Big Sleep (1946), MPAA Rating: NR The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946), MPAA Rating: NR Dial M for Murder (1954) The Maltese Falcon After two previous film versions of Dashiell Hammett's detective classic The Maltese Falcon, Warner Bros. finally got it right in 1941--or, rather, John Huston, a long-established screenwriter making his directorial debut, got it right, simply by adhering as closely as possible to the original. Taking over from a recalcitrant George Raft, Humphrey Bogart achieved true stardom as Sam Spade, a hard-boiled San Francisco private eye who can be as unscrupulous as the next guy but also adheres to his own personal code of honor. Into the offices of the Spade & Archer detective agency sweeps a Miss Wonderly (Mary Astor), who offers a large retainer to Sam and his partner Miles Archer (Jerome Cowan) if they'll protect her from someone named Floyd Thursby. The detectives believe neither Miss Wonderly nor her story, but they believe her money. Since Archer saw her first, he takes the case -- and later that evening he is shot to death, as is the mysterious Thursby. Miss Wonderly's real name turns out to be Brigid O'Shaughnessey, and, as the story continues, Sam is also introduced to the effeminate Joel Cairo (Peter Lorre) and the fat, erudite Kasper Gutman (Sydney Greenstreet, in his film debut). It turns out that Brigid, Cairo and Gutman are all international scoundrels, all involved in the search for a foot-high, jewel-encrusted statuette in the shape of a falcon. Though both Cairo and Gutman offer Spade small fortunes to find the "black bird," they are obviously willing to commit mayhem and murder towards that goal: Gutman, for example, drugs Spade and allows his "gunsel" Wilmer (Elisha Cook Jr.) to kick and beat the unconscious detective. This classic film noir detective yarn gets better with each viewing, which is more than can be said for the first two Maltese Falcons and the ill-advised 1975 "sequel" The Black Bird. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Big Sleep The definitive Humphrey Bogart/Lauren Bacall vehicle, The Big Sleep casts Bogart as Raymond Chandler's cynical private eye Philip Marlowe. Summoned to the home of the fabulously wealthy General Sternwood (Charles Waldron), Marlowe is hired to deal with a blackmailer shaking down the General's sensuous, thumb-sucking daughter Carmen (Martha Vickers). This earns Marlowe the displeasure of Carmen's sloe-eyed, seemingly straight-laced older sister Vivian (Bacall), who is fiercely protective of her somewhat addled sibling. As he pursues the case at hand, Marlowe gets mixed up in the murder of Arthur Geiger (Theodore von Eltz), a dealer in pornography. He also runs afoul of gambling-house proprietor Eddie Mars (John Ridgely), who seems to have some sort of hold over the enigmatic Vivian. Any further attempts to outline the plot would be futile: the storyline becomes so complicated and convoluted that even screenwriters William Faulkner, Leigh Brackett, and Jules Furthmann were forced to consult Raymond Chandler for advice (he was as confused by the plot as the screenwriters). When originally prepared for release in 1945, The Big Sleep featured a long exposition scene featuring police detective Bernie Ohls (Regis Toomey) explaining the more obscure plot details. This expository scene was ultimately sacrificed, along with several others, in favor of building up Bacall's part; for instance, a climactic sequence was reshot to emphasize sexual electricity between Bogart and Bacall, obliging Warners to replace a supporting player who'd gone on to another project. The end result was one of the most famously baffling film noirs but also one of the most successful in sheer star power. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Postman Always Rings Twice James M. Cain's novel received its first authorized screen treatment in this MGM production. Drifter Frank Chambers (John Garfield) takes a job at a ro
Includes - Forbidden Planet (1956), MPAA Rating: G The Time Machine (1960), MPAA Rating: G 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Soylent Green (1973), MPAA Rating: PG Forbidden Planet MGM's first big-budget science fiction film, Forbidden Planet, combined state-of-the-art special effects with a storyline based on Shakespeare's The Tempest. In the 23rd century, Cmdr. J.J. Adams (Leslie Nielsen) guides United Planets cruiser C-57-D on a rescue mission to faraway planet Altair-4. Twenty years earlier, Earth ship Bellerophon disappeared while en route to Altair-4. Only the ship's philologist, Dr. Morbius (Walter Pidgeon), survived; in the intervening decades, Morbius has created an Edenlike world of his own, for the benefit of himself and his nubile young daughter, Altaira (Anne Francis). His private paradise is zealously guarded by Robby the Robot, a piece of technology far in advance of anything on Earth. When Adams and his crew land on Altair-4, Morbius announces that he has no intention of being rescued and returned to Earth. When Adams attempts to contact home base, he finds that his radio equipment has been smashed by some unseen force. Holding Morbius responsible, Adams confronts the scientist, who decides to tell all. At one time, according to Morbius, Altair-4 was populated by the Krel, a wise, intellectually superior race. Using leftover Krel technology, Morbius has doubled his intellect and gained the ability to shape a new world to his own specifications. Forbidden Planet was a big influence on future sci-fi outer-space efforts, especially Star Trek. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide The Time Machine In George Pal's version of the H.G. Wells classic, Rod Taylor stars as George, a young scientist fascinated with the concept of time travel. On December 31, 1899, George seats himself in his jerry-built time machine and thrusts himself forward into 1917. A dyed-in-the-wool pacifist, George is distressed to see that World War I is raging all about him. He moves past the 1920s and 1930s into the 1940s, only to be confronted by another, even more terrible war. Next he stops in 1966, just as London is destroyed in a nuclear explosion. Retreating to his Time Machine, George is sealed in his cellar by molten lava. By the time he and his machine manage to escape their tomb, the year is 802,701. Looking around, George observes a seemingly idyllic world populated by gentle people. But he also notices that the citizens of the future, known as "Elois," behave more like mindless sheep than human beings. Befriending the lovely Weena (Yvette Mimieux), George learns to his dismay that humankind has forgotten all that it has learned through the centuries, preferring instead to frolic endlessly under the sun. Plot holes and inconsistencies abound in The Time Machine, but the film's true selling points was its Oscar-winning special effects; in this respect, producer-director Pal succeeded beyond anyone's wildest dreams. Another plus: the haunting musical score by Russell Garcia. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide 2001: A Space Odyssey A mind-bending sci-fi symphony, Stanley Kubrick's landmark 1968 epic pushed the limits of narrative and special effects toward a meditation on technology and humanity. Based on Arthur C. Clarke's story The Sentinel, Kubrick and Clarke's screenplay is structured in four movements. At the "Dawn of Man," a group of hominids encounters a mysterious black monolith alien to their surroundings. To the strains of Strauss's 1896 Also sprach Zarathustra, a hominid invents the first weapon, using a bone to kill prey. As the hominid tosses the bone in the air, Kubrick cuts to a 21st century spacecraft hovering over the Earth, skipping ahead millions of years in technological development. U.S. scientist Dr. Heywood Floyd (William Sylvester) travels to the moon to check out the discovery of a strange object on the moon's surface: a black monolith. As the sun's rays strike the stone, however, it emits a piercing, deafening sound th