Public Domain Movie Of The Week: The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari

dr-caligari-peekingThe Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, or of you want to impress your friends with your fluency in German- Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari, is often considered to be the first horror movie ever made. It’s debatable as to what the first horror movie actually is, or what constitutes horror for that matter, but most people give it to Caligari. But any debate on that is pretty irrelevant because Dr. Caligari is one heck of a movie.

Told mostly in flashback, the story centers on the evil Dr. Caligari. He travels the countryside wowing people with the predictions of his psychic somnambulist. During one of his shows at a local fair, a man asks the somnambulist [...]

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Public Domain Movie Of The Week: Santa Claus Conquers The Martians

santa-claus-conquers-the-martiansI’ve been wanting to get this up as the Movie of the Week for a while, but I had to force myself to wait until Christmas. Not only is this a great holiday movie, it’s also always near the top of worst movie ever made lists.

Nearly everything about the movie is bad. Odd story, bad acting, worse costumes, absent production values, and uncomfortable scenes between Santa and the kids. The only thing that could draw any compliments would be the inclusion of some stock footage. It doesn’t make the movie any better, but it doesn’t make it worse, either.

The children of Mars are looking for something to relieve the boredom of Martian life, [...]

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Public Domain Movie Of The Week: Captain Kidd

captain-kiddOnce upon a time, pirate movies were all the rage. People used to love all the plundering and high seas hi-jinks. Pirate movies hit a huge lull until Pirates of the Caribbean, but there was a whole mess of them from the 20′s through the 50′s. One of the more interesting offerings is 1945′s Captain Kidd.

Charles Laughton plays the eponymous pirate who manages to trick the King into giving him a ship and a crew full of condemned pirates. Kidd is expected to complete his charge and the crew expects a pardon for faithful service, but Kidd has other plans. He hopes to have others blamed for his acts of piracy while he reclaims [...]

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Public Domain Movie Of The Week: My Man Godfrey

During the Great Depression, one of the most popular characters was the bum with a heart of gold. Nearly everyone could identify with a down on his luck, destitute guy that still held his head up high. The other sentiment that nearly everyone loved was that the rich were a bunch of self-concerned idiots. My Man Godfrey epitomizes both those ideals and connected with both audiences and critics. The story of a bum (formerly a member of a wealthy family) hired as the butler for a family of rich eccentrics and inadvertently gets the romantic attention of one of the daughters was able to capture the public’s imagination by using an anti-wealthy/pro-poor storyline.

My Man Godfrey was able to earn Academy Award nominations for [...]

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Public Domain Movie Of The Week: The Stranger

What do you get when an innovative, egomaniacal director who makes movies that don’t make any money sets out to prove to everyone that he can work within the Hollywood system? You get Orson Welles’ The Stranger. It’s generally regarded as Welles’ most conventional offering, but that doesn’t mean it’s just a run-of-the-mill thriller.

Welles plays Franz Kindler, a Nazi war criminal hiding out in a small Connecticut town. Rather than just lie low and keep to himself, Kindler works as a history teacher and is about to marry the daughter of a Supreme Court judge. UN war crimes investigator Mr. Wilson (Edward G. Robinson) scours the globe in search of Kindler, until finally releasing and following one of Kindler’s associates. An intense game of cat-and-mouse ensues as Kindler does all he can to conceal his identity. Continue reading Public Domain Movie Of The Week: The Stranger

Public Domain Movie Of The Week: The Fast And The Furious

The first The Fast and the Furious is about a man named Frank Webster who escapes from prison after being convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. He kidnaps Connie, a race car driver, who was recently banned from a California to Mexico race because, like most exciting things in 1955, the race was deemed too dangerous for women. [...]

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Public Domain Movie Of The Week: Night Of The Living Dead

The modern zombie, the mindless, shambling, flesh- and brain-eating undead ghoul, was born in Night of the Living Dead. [...]

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Public Domain Movie Of The Week: The Kid

By 1920, Charlie Chaplin was one of the biggest movie stars in the world. The Tramp was, and arguably still is, the most recognizable character to ever grace the screen. [...]

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Public Domain Movie Of The Week: M

Fritz Lang’s M is the grandfather of serial killer movies. If you thought Psycho or The Silence of the Lambs were good, they’ve got nothing on M. [...]

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Public Domain Movie Of The Week Double Feature

To get warmed up for Halloween, I present two of the most frightening horror movies you could ever want to see, Freaks and Nosferatu. [...]

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