January 2015 Movie Highlights at the New Beverly Cinema
With Quentin Tarantino re-opening the New Beverly Cinema as a celluloid-only picture house, we are taking a closer look at some of the great movies he is programming each month. Every town on the planet should have a New Bev, but since it’s really a one of a kind type of place, here’s another way for you to discover the movies and hunt them down so you can program your own movie nights with friends. NOTE: We are not affiliated with the New Beverly Cinema.
On New Years Eve, the mega oceanliner Poseidon runs into a huge storm which capsizes the ship. An exuberant preacher (Gene Hackman) and his fellow passengers (an all star cast of actors) played by Shelly Winters, Jack Albertson, Ernest Borgnine, Stella Stevens, Pamela Sue Martin and Red Buttons manage to survive. They must make their way through the inverted hallways and rooms to safety. The film is action packed and filled with melodrama as the survivors fight with each other and against time to get out alive.
Gianni Garko stars as Sartana, a mysterious gunslinger who gets involved in an insurance swindle fronted by a group of dignitaries. This spaghetti western gem that’s part A Fistful of Dollars, and The Good The Bad and The Ugly is chock full of double crosses. Parolini’s trademark gallery of colorful supporting characters make it all the more entertaining.
See No Evil (1971, Dir: Richard Fleischer)
Following a traumatic horse riding accident which took her sight, a woman named Sarah (Mia Farrow) goes to visit relatives in England. While out on a date with an old boyfriend (Norman Eshley), her Uncle (Robin Bailey), Aunt (Diane Grayson) and cousin (Dorothy Alison) are murdered. When Sarah discovers the bodies, she becomes the next target of the psychotic killer who left an incriminating piece of evidence behind at the crime scene. This is an often overlooked, atmospheric and highly suspenseful thriller.
Annie Hall (1977, Dir: Woody Allen)
Woody Allen is Alvy Singer, a man who has just ended a lengthy relationship with Annie (Diane Keaton). The film is Alvy’s fond remembrance of the many comical ups and downs they experienced as a couple. One of Woody’s most cinematically inventive films and one of my personal favorites of all time. Co-starring Tony Roberts, Carol Kane, Christopher Walken, Colleen Dewhurst.
New York, New York (1977, Dir: Martin Scorsese)
Following the success of his 1976 film Taxi Driver, Martin Scorsese did a total 180 and made this post WWII era musical. He teamed up once again with Robert DeNiro who stars as Jimmy Doyle an arrogant saxophone player that sets his sights on Francine Evans (Liza Minnelli) a new singer on the NY nightclub circuit. The story follows their hectic relationship as they fall in love and then become estranged. NY NY was a box office failure upon release mainly due to artistic and personal troubles but is still one we recommend to both Scorsese and musical genre fans. Co-starring Lionel Stander, Barry Primus, George Memmoli.
Million Dollar Legs (1932, Dir: Edward F. Cline)
An early screwball comedy masterpiece that was inspired by the Los Angeles Summer Olympics. If you’re a fan of the unbridled lunacy of The Marx Brothers, this was sort of a precursor to their kinds of films. Starring Jack Oakie, W.C. Fields, Andy Clyde, Susan Fleming.
Following the heinous massacre of his martial arts school, student Tsiau Chin Hau wants to retaliate against the ninja master Cheng Yun and his highly skilled five element ninja warriors (Gold, Wood, Fire, Water, Earth) who were responsible. Chin begins to study the ways of the ninja and together with some newfound friends, he takes on his adversaries using his newly acquired fighting style. A vibrant, action packed martial arts classic.
Mandingo (1975, Dir: Richard Fleischer)
On the southern plantation of Falconhurst, a land owner Warren Maxwell (James Mason) and his son Hammond (Perry King) train a slave called Mede (Ken Norton) as a Mandingo fighter. Meanwhile, Hammond dismisses his wife Blanche (Susan George) on their wedding night after discovering she’s not a virgin. Hammond then begins a love affair with his house slave Ellen (Brenda Sykes) while Blanche in turn seduces Mede. The film is an especially well made depiction of life in the slavery period with alot of sexually explicit scenes. Mandingo ended up being a very successful big budget exploitation film.
Conan The Destroyer (1984, Dir: Richard Fleischer)
In a less overtly violent, more lighthearted sequel to John Milius’ 1982 hit film, Arnold Schwarzenegger reprises his role as the musclebound barbarian warrior. This new tale of high adventure sees Conan escorting Jehnna (Olivia D’abo) the niece of a Queen (Sarah Douglas) to find a special sacred jewel. Co-starring Mako, Grace Jones and Wilt Chamberlain.
Strangers on A Train (1951, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock)
An up and coming amateur tennis star named Guy Haines (Farley Granger) wants to get rid of his annoying wife so he can marry a classier woman. When he encounters Bruno (Robert Walker) a fellow passenger on a train they agree to take part in a diabolical criss-cross murder scheme. One of Hitchcock’s greatest suspense filled thrillers.
The Long Ships (1964, Dir: Jack Cardiff)
A mythic giant golden bell called “The Mother of Voices” is sought after by Moorish king Aly Mansuh (Sidney Poitier). When he discovers that a loudtalking Viking named Rolfe (Richard Widmark) may know of its location, a large expedition is quickly set in motion to retrieve it. This grand action-adventure film (which is a longtime favorite of ours) is filled with excitement and humor. Co-starring Russ Tamblyn, Oskar Homolka.
Duel of the Iron Fist (1971, Dir: Chang Cheh)
There’s knife fights aplenty in this hard hitting, visceral crime themed Shaw Brothers action classic starring Ti Lung, David Chiang and Ku Feng. If you love spaghetti westerns, yakuza films and Hollywood gangster movies, you’ll love the hell outta this!
The New Centurions (1972, Dir: Richard Fleischer)
Based on the book by Joseph Wambaugh, this film depicts the turbulent and violent life of a group of police officers in Los Angeles with an honesty and bluntness. The film excels in how it shows the moment to moment dangers cops face on duty and the toll it takes on them. Starring George C. Scott, Stacy Keach, Erik Estrada, Scott Wilson, Rosalind Cash.
Ride Lonesome (1959, Dir: Budd Boetticher)
A bounty hunter named Ben Brigade (Randolph Scott) plans to take wanted outlaw Billy John (James Best) to justice in Santa Cruz, CA. During their trek, Brigade helps a woman (Karen Steele) and encounters two men (Pernell Roberts and James Coburn) who he surmises are really there to disrupt his efforts to bring Billy John in. A classic crackerjack pulp Western adventure from one of the best directors of the genre. Co-starring Lee Van Cleef.
The Last Run (1971, Dir: Richard Fleischer)
A rarity that stars George C. Scott as Harry Garmes, an American criminal living in Portugal who is hired by an escaped convict (Tony Musante) to drive him and his girlfriend (Trish Van Devere) to France. Garmes takes the job but is soon pursued by the authorities and his old mafia associates along the way turning the trip into a deadly game of cat and mouse. Co-starring Colleen Dewhurst, Aldo Sambrell. TRIVIA: John Huston was the film’s original director but due to constant battling with Scott, he quit and was replaced by Fleischer.
The Don is Dead (1973, Dir: Richard Fleischer)
Anthony Quinn is Don Angelo, a mafioso who decides to takes control of his friend Don Regalbuto’s dealings after his death. Regalbuto’s son Frank (Robert Forster) is put on the sidelines since he’s inexperienced. Don Angelo shows his disrespect for Frank when he begins an affair with Frank’s girlfriend (Angel Tompkins) who is an aspiring singer. Meanwhile, a consigliere of a jailed chieftain looking to destroy all the other families sets off a mafia war. A throwback to the old school gangster films of the 30s and 40s like Scarface and White Heat. Lots of high drama and plenty of furious Italian mob action!
Charles Bronson is Vince Majestyk, a war vet turned melon farmer who gets caught in a deadly predicament when he doublecrosses a feared mobster (Al Lettieri) he was incarcerated with. It’s Bronson at his badass best! Co-starring Paul Koslo, Linda Cristal. Screenplay by Elmore Leonard.
What happens when author Stephen King (Carrie) and George A. Romero (Night of The Living Dead) team up to make a horror anthology? That would be this darkly funny, macabre cult classic that was inspired by 50s EC and DC horror comics like Tales From The Crypt, Vault of Horror and others. Starring Adrienne Barbeau, Leslie Nielsen, Ted Danson, Hal Holbrook.
Sexploitation director Russ Meyer & his pal film critic/screenwriter Roger Ebert were set loose inside the candy store that was 20th Century Fox and this unique cult classic was the result. It’s a comedic satire, a rock ‘n roll film and a lurid melodrama all mixed together and injected with some good acid. Turn it on and go beyond the boundaries of ordinary cinema! Starring Dolly Read, David Gurian, Michael Blodgett, John LaZar.
Soylent Green (1973, Dir: Richard Fleischer)
Set in a dystopian future, NYPD detective Robert Thorn (Charlton Heston) lives with his old friend “Sol” Roth (Edward G. Robinson) a scholar who often assists him with his cases. Thorn’s latest investigation involves the murder of William Simonson, a wealthy director at Soylent Corp, a food processing empire. Thorn interviews several of Simonson’s acquaintances and as he gets deeper into the case, he discovers that there is some very disturbing secrets behind the reason for the mysterious death involving the successful company. Another cinematic spin on the political/social themes that show a world altered due to human overconsumption and/or wrecklessness.