Edited by Solomon on 5/6/2016, 4:18 am
This fellow must be a genius! His web site pops up every now and then as an IMDb external reviewer. I watched "Montana Belle" last night, a western whose story he says is "not very good", lacking "narrative drive", and he's right about that, but it's directed by Allan Dwan.
What Grost does for certain directors is to cross-reference a large number of devices or similarities that occur across their movies, which suggests that they use them for staging and story development visually. These are their signature elements. Many of these go right by me as an average viewer who doesn't tabulate these things, notice them or keep track of them across films. But Grost has done this for us in some cases, such as Dwan. We can see that even in "Montana Belle", with a low budget, he has used devices he uses over and over again in his body of work. This doesn't mean the same exact thing, but a member of a broader set that Grost has abstracted.
In this way, one can appreciate Dwan's hand in shaping this film's visuals. And Grost does this for other films of his, and other directors like Lang, LeRoy, Ford, Gordon Douglas. Also he has a long piece on Woolrich http://mikegrost.com/woolrich.htm