Les Miserables: “Hunger comes with love.”

I finished reading Les Miserables by Victor Hugo for the second time some years back.  The first time I read it was in high school.  I liked it then, I love it now, even after all this time. I guess everyone knows about Jean Valjean stealing a loaf of bread and being pursued by Javert.  …

Ikiru: Making Death Relevant by Kurosawa

This film examines a fundamentally human question we all wrestle with from time to time. Is the universe a dark and cold place, or do our actions have lasting, and permanent, consequences?  Kurosawa doesn't answer the question because it's fundamentally unanswerable. As most human questions are. But his characters speak and react as if they …

Gunsmoke: “I will not tolerate a disturbance. You know me.”

Forget everything you know, or think you know, about Matt Dillon and Kitty and Doc.  This radio series which ran for nine years was meant to be an adult-oriented western that broke the mold and challenged the archetypal Western hero.  The creators, Norman MacDonnell and John Meston wanted to shatter all Western stereotypes.  They were …

Dragnet – Old Time Radio that delivers stark violence and murder for adults

I am always amazed at how "adult" OTR is compared to the sanitized candycorn of TV from the same era. Or even compared to many commercial television programs slopping their sugar water today. One such example is Dragnet. The old radio programs are very brutal and violent, very different from the watered down television programs …