Marriage, Motherhood, and Money: The Morality of the American Dream in Mildred Pierce

Nominated for six Academy Awards, and winner of one (Best Actress – Joan Crawford), Mildred Pierce is a practically perfect film. It boasts a taut, compelling storyline; lush, evocative, noir-style cinematography; and first-rate performances across the board. Essentially a cautionary tale about flouting the institution of marriage, misguided methods of mothering, and the idolatrous pursuit of money, it makes a […]

The Reproach of a Box of Treasure – Lifeboat and the Treasures of the Church

From the crisis of today the Church of tomorrow will emerge—a Church that has lost much. She will become small and will have to start afresh … It will be hard going for the Church, for the process … will make her poor. -Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, 1969 It is the reproach of a box of treasure, that once overboard it […]

On Cuckoo Captains and Seemingly Sinking Ships: Lessons from The Caine Mutiny

You don’t work with a captain because you like the way he parts his hair. You work with him because he’s got the job, or you’re no good. – Lt. Barney Greenwald, The Caine Mutiny Like [Noah’s] Ark, the Catholic Church is not perfect. It’s not tidy, clean, and odor-free. It has plenty of problems and challenges and unruly passengers, […]

Portrait of Iniquity: Sin and Redemption in The Picture of Dorian Gray

“Sin is a thing that writes itself across a man’s face. It cannot be concealed. People talk sometimes of secret vices; there are no such things. If a wretched man has a vice, it shows itself in the lines of his mouth, the droop of his eyelids, the moulding of his hands, even.” – Oscar Wilde   In the main, […]

Calvary on the Docks: Catholic Themes in On the Waterfront

“You want to know what’s wrong with our waterfront? … It’s making the love of a buck, the cushy job, more important than the love of man. It’s forgetting that every fellow down here is your brother in Christ. But remember, Christ is always with you … And He’s saying with all of you, if you do it to the […]

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