From the Film Vault

From the Film Vault Blog

Program Notes: The Sign of the Cross (1932)

The Sign of the Cross movie poster

Forty years after The Wild Bunch, 35 after Taxi Driver, and with memories of head-squishing Drive still fresh, I can report that Cecil B. DeMille’s sword-and-sandal epic The Sign of the Cross still has the power to shock.

New on DVD: Safe House (2012)

Safe House movie poster

Safe House is a spy movie about one guy’s attempts to survive while exposing a conspiracy within the CIA and offers Denzel Washington in award-winning charmy/scary mode.

Program Notes: Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)

Birdman of Alcatraz movie poster

Robert Stroud never saw Birdman of Alcatraz, the film about his life released a year before his death. Too bad. It’s a good movie, even if Burt Lancaster’s portrayal makes him seem like a better person than he actually was.

Program Notes: King David (1985)

King David movie poster

At least King David isn’t silly. Credit director Bruce Beresford and writers Andrew Birkin and James Costigan for trying to tell a Bible story without all the sword-and-sandal silliness that so often afflicts the genre.

New on DVD: Act of Valor (2012)

Act of Valor movie poster

As drama, Act of Valor is no great shakes. But as a docudrama of how America’s most elite fighting force goes about its dangerous business, it's pretty awesome - as authentic a recreation of covert action as we’ll ever see on a movie screen.