Is Paris Burning? – Rene Clements’ 1966 retelling of the French Underground and the liberation of Paris in WW2. The pros: Some amazing location shooting and a terrific performance by Gert Frobe as a German officer charged with an impossible task – Defending the city against the unstoppable Allied tide. The cons: Unlike Hoops Dreams, this movie is 3 hours long, and SEEMS like it. Also, it’s jammed with high profile cameos, and they tend to distract. Oh, look! Kirk Douglas! Hey, Simone Signoret! Still, I recommend this one.
The Baron of Arizona – I guess I was expecting this Samuel Fuller work from 1950 to be more or less a standard Western. It has elements of that, but it’s also a bio and a Noir Western (It was photographed by the great James Wong Howe). Vincent Price plays James Reavis, who tries and almost succeeds in carrying out a swindle that would net him the whole state of Arizona. This is loosely based on a true story. It’s somewhat interesting and I give it lukewarm recommendation.