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On ‘Casino Royale,’ Redeeming Romance, and Points of No Return

In Classic Film Throwback Series, Featured, Reviews by Sam Hendrian

This article is part of our Classic Film Throwback series – By Sam Hendrian – If cliché has a name, it must be James Bond. This handsome secret agent who fights overly-ambitious super villains while employing ridiculously crafty gadgets and seducing beautiful women in his spare time has, for better or for worse, become an icon of popular entertainment since he …

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On ‘The Dark Knight’ and the Tactics of Satan

In Classic Film Throwback Series, Featured, Reviews by Sam Hendrian

This article is part of our Classic Film Throwback series – By Sam Hendrian – Evil is not always depicted accurately in art, especially in works intended to entertain the masses. Bumbling, relatively un-scary villains are all too common in films, and corruption is often startlingly portrayed as lighthearted and humorous rather than a serious threat to the goodness in Man’s …

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On ‘Jaws’ and Resisting Cowardice

In Classic Film Throwback Series, Featured, Reviews by Sam Hendrian

This article is part of our Classic Film Throwback series – By Sam Hendrian – Of all the things that unite us as human beings, one of the most prominent is fear. Fears vary from person to person, but they apply similar amounts of pressure; that is, they can make or break a person’s character. Steven Spielberg’s suspense classic Jaws (1975) …

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On ‘E.T. The Extra Terrestrial,’ Friendship, and Motherhood

In Classic Film Throwback Series, Featured, Reviews by Sam Hendrian

This article is part of our Classic Film Throwback series – By Sam Hendrian – “I’ll be right here.” Such are the simple but transcendentally comforting words that any of us would love to hear from someone we cherish. A promise of spiritual companionship even when worlds apart, they are the last lines the alien creature E.T. speaks to the human …

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On ‘Schindler’s List,’ Human Value, and the Mysterious Power of Grace

In Classic Film Throwback Series, Featured, Reviews by Sam Hendrian

This article is part of our Classic Film Throwback series – By Sam Hendrian – “Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.” So goes a Jewish proverb that Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley) uses to console a regret-haunted Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) at the end of Steven Spielberg’s life-affirming masterpiece Schindler’s List (1993). These simple yet poignant words capture the essence …

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On ‘The Breakfast Club’ and Youthful Restlessness

In Classic Film Throwback Series, Featured, Reviews by Sam Hendrian

This article is part of our Classic Film Throwback series – By Sam Hendrian – “When you grow up, your heart dies.” So goes the haunting statement made by high schooler Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy) to her fellow detention inmates towards the end of John Hughes’s popular film The Breakfast Club (1985). While such a bold statement may seem unfairly cynical, …

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On ‘Vertigo’ and Twisted Love

In Classic Film Throwback Series, Reviews by Sam Hendrian

This article is part of our Classic Film Throwback series – By Sam Hendrian – Captivating performances. Entrancing cinematography. Hauntingly seductive and beautiful music. Compelling and relevant themes. Masterful direction. These are just some of the many characteristics that make Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo one of the greatest movies ever made. Released in 1958, it was not initially hailed as a masterpiece …

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On ‘American Graffiti’ and Having the Courage to Leave Our Comfort Zones

In Classic Film Throwback Series, Featured, Reviews by Sam Hendrian

This article is part of our Classic Film Throwback series – By Sam Hendrian – Spoilers Below Before there was Luke Skywalker, there was Curt Henderson. Ring a bell? Probably not. He is the ordinary but immensely relatable young man at the heart of American Graffiti, George Lucas’s first hit film that came out four years before Star Wars. A fun, …

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On ‘Casablanca,’ True Love, and the Importance of Memories

In Classic Film Throwback Series, Reviews by Sam Hendrian

This article is part of our Classic Film Throwback series – By Sam Hendrian – “We’ll always have Paris.” So goes one of the many famous quotes from Michael Curtiz’s Casablanca, a Best Picture-winning wartime romance film that is hailed by some as the greatest Hollywood movie ever made. Released in 1942 as World War II raged across the globe, it …

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On Greed and Father-Son Relationships in ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’

In Classic Film Throwback Series, Reviews by Sam Hendrian

This article is part of our Classic Film Throwback series – By Sam Hendrian – Definition of “parable”: a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson. In many ways, this is what the Indiana Jones films are at their core: highly-entertaining parables with simple but relevant themes such as the drastic consequences of greed and the vitality of …