Dawn of the blockbuster: the gangster classic ‘Underworld,’ released 86 years ago today

It’s fun to imagine how sensational the word-of-mouth about Josef von Sternberg's Underworld must have been, 86 years ago this week. This rip-roaring gangster classic laid the groundwork for decades of Hollywood action, yet it's also exotic and stylized, in the best silent-move tradition. Read more [...]

The 1920s Berlin of “Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler”

The Norbert Jacques novel that Fritz Lang and Thea von Harbou adapted for Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler had Dr. Mabuse carrying out his dastardly schemes in Munich. But while the city in the film is unnamed, there’s no mistaking it for anything but Weimar-era Berlin. Read more [...]