Liberty Valance

The Return of Cromwell

When I was a boy in Hollywood, in the palmy days of the mid-Sixties, my father (in addition to his grocery-and-rent-paying engineering job) wrote screenplays. None of these were ever sold, alas. But while I watched Batman and the Green Hornet, and stood bemused at the antic of the hippies, Dad’s fertile imagination ground out [...]

An American Tragedy

I taught for a while in Paris and, after knocking off work, would walk down the rue des Écoles, past the College de France, past the statue of Joachim du Bellay, to the Cinéma Henri Langois -- the best repertory cinema I know -- to see a Western. I took my seat in the dark [...]

The Disappearance of Song

  My wife and I have become eager viewers of old movies. In particular we have grown to love the films directed by John Ford, not only those recognized as masterpieces, such as Stagecoach, Rio Grande, The Searchers, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance -- we have enjoyed all the rest, too. We loved [...]