Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

Insofar as the 1944 Swedish film Torment is much remembered or discussed at all, it’s because the script was written by a 24-year-old named Ingmar Bergman, who was very eagerly in those days trying to kick-start a career in cinema, or theater, or both. He was successful in these goals. And this film is a […]

The honor of being the first Japanese feature-length animation is typically given to the 1945 propaganda film Momotaro’s Divine Sea Warriors, and by pretty much every definition of “feature-length” that’s correct. However, it was preceded by a 1943 film, Momotaro’s Sea Eagles, running to just 37 minutes (the shortest standard definition for “feature-length”, offered by […]

Before going into anything other details about 1944’s Going My Way, it’s probably appropriate to note that it was an enormous hit. It was the third highest-grossing film released during World War II in the United States, behind This Is the Army and For Whom the Bell Tolls (both released in 1943), making such an […]

The hook for Jojo Rabbit, and the central focal point of the advertising campaign, is that there’s little German boy in 1944, Johannes “Jojo” Betzler (Roman Griffin Davis), who like most ten-year-olds just wants to fit in and be admired, and in Germany in 1944, that means that Jojo wants more than anything to grow […]

Every week this summer, we’ll be taking an historical tour of the Hollywood blockbuster by examining an older film that is in some way a spiritual precursor to one of the weekend’s wide releases. This week: Disney revives the evergreen “Arabian Nights adventure” genre with their new remake of Aladdin. The studio’s original 1992 version […]

A review requested by Julia Eastwood, with thanks to supporting Alternate Ending as a donor through Patreon. Do you have a movie you’d like to see reviewed? This and other perks can be found on our Patreon page! Longtime readers perhaps recall my abiding fascination with World War II-era Hollywood films, and they don’t come […]

A review requested by Benjamin, with thanks to supporting Alternate Ending as a donor through Patreon. Do you have a movie you’d like to see reviewed? This and other perks can be found on our Patreon page! Double Indemnity is the noir of noirs. To be sure, there are more typical examples of the strengths […]

Every week this summer, we’ll be taking an historical tour of the Hollywood blockbuster by examining an older film that is in some way a spiritual precursor to one of the weekend’s wide releases. This week: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales drags Johnny Depp back out to sea, the site of […]

A review requested by Nik Evans, with thanks for contributing to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. Laura is a fucked-up movie about sex. There’s much else to say about it, virtually all of it good, but I think that’s the core of it. Movies released in America in 1944 didn’t have the […]

A second review requested by David Nemes, with thanks for contributing twice to the Second Quinquennial Antagony & Ecstasy ACS Fundraiser. Specifically, he asked me to review a film from this list that I wanted to revisit, for any reason. With a decade of hindsight, I’ve completed flipped my opinion on about one-third of those […]

The Universal horror movie is at heart a pre-WWII phenomenon; after The Wolf Man, released less than a week after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, the studio’s genre films would never rise above “decent enough”, and usually didn’t even hit that threshold, until they finally gave up making them in the middle of […]

There is a place that Universal could have sent its library of iconic monsters to in the 1940s that’s so unbelievably obvious and offers so many opportunities for wonderful weirdness that, in retrospect, it’s astonishing that it only happened once: the European theater of World War II. Imagine a 20th Century wolf man retaining just […]