Tag Archives: James Mason

The Set of 400: #245 – My Favorite Toenail Polish

Today! Because I’m really sorry that I cheated so much. But I guess that’s just the way things are –

Lolita (1962)

Directed by Stanley Kubrick

Starring James Mason (x2), Peter Sellers, Sue Lyon, Shelley Winters, Gary Cockrell, Terry Kilburn (x2), Shirley Douglas, Marianne Stone, Jerry Stovin, Diana Decker, Lois Maxwell, Cec Linder

Finally we get to some Kubrick! I guess you’ll have to wait and see – checklist of the great man’s thirteen features in hand – what got left off the list (spoiler: Killer’s Kiss and Fear and Desire had no chance!), but don’t worry, film nerds, there is plenty of Stanley’s greatest hits to come. Many of his works feature an insane degree of difficulty, but none higher than the romantic drama adaptation of Vladimir Nobokov’s unconventional/disgusting relationship at the center of Lolita. Seriously, the above poster is no lie – in 1962, how the hell did they make a movie of Lolita? This question was also posed in the trailers for the film – it was considered impossible, by the standards of the day, still ruled by the Hayes Code, which was a far more strict and unforgiving system than the MPAA ratings that would follow a few years later.


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The Set of 400: #316 – My Favorite Gutzon Borglum Thrill Ride

Today! Because that plane’s dusting crops where there ain’t no crops –

North by Northwest (1959)

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Starring Cary Grant (x2), Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Leo G. Carroll, Martin Landau, Jessie Royce Landis, Josephine Hutchinson, Philip Ober, Adam Williams, Edward Platt, Robert Ellenstein

Hitchcock it is! The one with all the memorable set pieces, North by Northwest lands squarely in the Hitch Wrong Man sub-genre, wherein a regular schmoe (even one who looks like Cary Grant) gets caught up in a helluva lot of intrigue and murder, and is forced on the run, encountering devious foreign agents, low flying planes, and the lovely tourist attractions of South Dakota along the way. This is also the latest Hitchcock movie chronologically that I actually enjoy, but in all fairness, I’ve never actually sat down and watched Topaz. Or, hell, Frenzy for that matter. Maybe I need to keep these sweeping statements to things I can actually stand by. Frenzy might be the greatest movie ever made, I don’t know.

But, come on, it’s not – right?

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