Saturday, March 10, 2007

Waddya hear? Waddya say?

After Martin Scorsese mentioned Angels With Dirty Faces in his Oscar acceptance speech I got the hankering to see it again. It holds up. There's a couple of spots where the action is a little confused, but Cagney is priceless and the staging and pacing is generally excellent. Which gets me to wondering... why is Michael Curtiz so underrated as a director? He's made some of the best loved films of the last century: most notably Casablanca, but also We're No Angels, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Captain Blood, The Charge of the Light Brigade, Mildred Pierce. He made 172 films in a career that spanned fifty years, yet he doesn't get the respect of another studio all-rounder like Howard Hawks, for instance. I blame Andrew Sarris.

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