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  • The Diary of Major Thompson

    The Diary of Major Thompson

    Sarris's "Far Side of Paradise" entry for Sturges in The American Cinema (1969). "Far Side of Paradise" refers to "the directors who fall short of the Pantheon either because of a fragmentation of their personal vision or because of disruptive career problems."

    Acknowledged as the foremost satirist of his time, Preston Sturges enjoyed his greatest vogue between 1940 and 1944, when his pungent wit and frenetic slapstick exploded on such targets as Tammany Hall politics, advertising, American fertility rites, hero…

  • The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend

    The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend

    Sarris's "Far Side of Paradise" entry for Sturges in The American Cinema (1969). "Far Side of Paradise" refers to "the directors who fall short of the Pantheon either because of a fragmentation of their personal vision or because of disruptive career problems."

    Acknowledged as the foremost satirist of his time, Preston Sturges enjoyed his greatest vogue between 1940 and 1944, when his pungent wit and frenetic slapstick exploded on such targets as Tammany Hall politics, advertising, American fertility rites, hero…

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  • Abraham Lincoln

    Abraham Lincoln

    Andrew Sarris's "Pantheon" entry for D.W. Griffith in The American Cinema (1968)

    It is about time that D.W. Griffith was rescued from the false pedestal of an outmoded pioneer. The cinema of Griffith is no more outmoded, after all, than the drama of Aeschylus. When one observes in the bird-in-a-cage telephone-booth image in Hitchcock’s The Birds a derivation of a similarly objective viewpoint in Griffith’s Broken Blossoms, the alleged antiquity of Griffith becomes more dubious than ever. Only in film…

  • Lawrence of Arabia

    Lawrence of Arabia

    If there had been no newspaper strike, and mine were a lonely voice instead of an only voice, Lawrence of Arabia might now be festooned with the superlatives accorded such previous superproductions as The Best Years of Our Lives, Around the World in 80 Days, The Bridge on the River Kwai, and Ben Hur. But like its almost forgotten predecessors, Lawrence is simply another expensive mirage, dull, overlong, and coldly impersonal. Its objective is less to entertain or enlighten than…