Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Brits and other bad guys

Paraphrasing Lloyd Bridges in Airplane!, I picked the wrong week to go on vacation. At Anthology Film Archives, Maniac director and DVD maven William Lustig is screening some gritty gems from the 70s, many of them unavailable on home video, that killer of retrospective programs. Pick hits include The Outfit (1973), with Robert Duvall and Robert Ryan, Elliott Gould and Robert Blake as cops in Busting (1974), and Tommy Lee Jones in the Vietnam-infected Rolling Thunder (1977).

I hope to see some of Film Forum's "Brit Noir" series upon our return. If Film Forum hauling out Dr. Strangelove every other week makes series like these possible, I'm all for it. Most of these are new to me, but the well-cast Hell Drivers and a villainous Peter Sellers in Never Let Go on the weekend of Aug. 21-22 make for an exciting double feature. The series is practically an homage to hell driver Stanley Baker, whose two-fisted career bears closer examination. And any exhumation of the so-called "British Marilyn Monroe," Diana Dors (including her Ruth Ellis-ish turn in Yield to the Night) is worth the price of admission.

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