June 2015 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. NOTE: We are not affiliated with the New Beverly Cinema.
Get To Know Your Rabbit (1972, Dir: Brian DePalma)
Tom Smothers stars in this offbeat comedy about a businessman named Donald Beeman who quits his job and decides to become a traveling tapdancing magician. Yes, it’s quite a weird premise. The film isn’t a masterpiece but features some inventive visual stylization and some sporadic laughs. DePalma had troubles with Smothers during the production and the messy BTS drama ruined the experience for both men. It was later completed by the studio in 1970 and released two years later. Although it was a failure upon release and largely forgotten, hardcore DePalma fans will surely want to check it out. Co-starring John Astin, Katharine Ross and Orson Welles.
Boxcar Bertha (1970, Dir: Martin Scorsese)
Have you ever wondered where Martin Scorsese got his start? Well this AIP low budget cult crime classic was his earliest theatrical feature. The story is based on the Depression era biography “Sisters of the Road” and stars Barbara Hershey as Bertha and David Carradine as Bill Shelley, two train robbing lovers. It’s sort of another spin on Bonnie & Clyde (1967) but not as great. Following his less than satisfying experience on this film Martin Scorsese went on to write/direct the 1973 classic Mean Streets which put him on the map.
Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary (1975, Dir: Juan López Moctezuma)
A strange B-horror film about a surreal artist named Mary (Christina Ferrare) who is also a vampire. What makes this film stand apart from others in the subgenre is the fact Mary doesn’t use sharp teeth to draw blood and is unaffected by things like sunlight. Co-starring John Carradine and David Young.
The Big Heat (1953, Dir: Fritz Lang)
A film noir classic starring Glenn Ford as a tough as nails policeman that goes up against an underworld organization after the murder of his wife. Lee Marvin co-stars as a despicable thug that burns Gloria Grahame’s character’s face off with a pot of hot coffee.
Family Plot (1976, Dir: Alfred Hitchcock)
The final film from the Master of Suspense follows two sets of criminal couples played by William Devane & Karen Black and Bruce Dern & Barbara Harris. They become entangled with one another when a new caper involves finding the missing heir of a wealthy estate. Look for Hitchcock’s cameo as the silhouette through the glass door of the Registrar of Births and Deaths.
Winter Kills (1979, William Richert)
Based on the Kennedy assassination, this political thriller stars Jeff Bridges as the half brother of a slain President who is informed years later that a mysterious organization was behind it. This leads him on a personal investigation to find those responsible. Co-starring John Huston, Tomas Milian, Anthony Perkins, Sterling Hayden and Toshiro Mifune.
The Savage Seven (1968, Dir: Richard Rush)
Adam Roarke is Kisum, the leader of an outlaw biker gang who is in love with Marcia (Joanna Frank), a Native American girl. Their relationship is threatened when Marcia’s vindictive brother Johnnie comes between them. A biker gem that is filled with tension and plenty of action as the bikers and Indians battle each other on the reservation. Co-starring Max Julien, Larry Bishop (Hell Ride), Billy Green Bush.
Smith! (1969, Dir: Michael O’Herlihy)
After being accused of a crime, a Native American man named Jimmyboy (Frank Ramirez) seeks refuge on a ranch owned by Smith (Glenn Ford) a man who has close ties to the Indian community. A late 60s Walt Disney production co-starring Dean Jagger, Warren Oates, Chief Dan George, Jay Silverheels.
Breathless (1959, Dir: Jean Luc Godard)
A wannabe Humphrey Bogart/French criminal on the lam (Jean Paul Belmondo) falls in love with an American journalist (Jean Seberg) as he evades the law in Paris. This directorial debut from the Nouvelle Vague’s original “Enfant Terrible” is our favorite due to its groundbreaking style, inventive camerawork and editing.
They Died with Their Boots on (1941, Dir: Raoul Walsh)
A Western classic based on the life of infamous General George Custer (Errol Flynn) from his time at West Point academy to his service in the Civil War leading up to his death at Little Big Horn. This film, though largely historically inaccurate, became the second biggest hit the year of its release. Co-starring Arthur Kennedy, Olivia DeHavilland, Anthony Quinn, Gene Lockhart.
The Visitor (1979, Giulio Paradisi)
A truly bizarre cult oddity from AIP about an evil cosmic entity called “Sateen” that is implanted in the child of a human woman. When a Visitor (John Huston) is sent to Earth to help protect the family from the deadly energy, a battle between good and evil begins. While the movie is pretty nonsensical, it boasts an amazing cast which makes you wonder what kind of drugs they took to agree to be in this. Co-starring Mel Ferrer, Glenn Ford, Lance Henriksen, Sam Peckinpah.
Cimarron (1960, Dir: Anthony Mann)
A Western epic tale of an Oklahoma frontier family that spans from the 1889 Land Rush through to the formation of a successful newspaper business empire in the early 1900s. Starring Glenn Ford, Maria Schell, Anne Baxter, Russ Tamblyn, Mercedes McCambridge, Vic Morrow.
Bringing Up Baby (1938, Dir: Howard Hawks)
To me this film is the gold standard when it comes to screwball comedies. I’m actually not a fan of couples bickering a lot in movies but I can listen to Grant and Hepburn argue for hours since they were the perfect comedy duo. Katherine Hepburn was never funnier and more goofy as she was here. Hawks’ direction is also a sight to behold. I love some of the camera movements which just adds to the laughs. It’s a hysterical adventure that I can always enjoy just as much as I did the first time.
Whats Up Doc? (1972, Dir: Peter Bogdanovich)
A screwball comedy inspired by Howard Hawks’ films as well as Warner Brothers cartoons. The zany setup focuses on four sets of plaid travel bags and the people that own them. They are: Howard Bannister Phd (Ryan O’Neal), Judy Maxwell (Barbara Streisand), Mrs. Van Hoskins (Mabel Albertson) and “Mr. Smith” (Michael Murphy). A wacky barrel of hilarity from beginning to end that features a stellar cast of kooky character actors including Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars, Austin Pendleton, Sorrell Booke, Stefan Gierasch, John Hillerman, Randy Quaid and M. Emmet Walsh.
Anatomy of A Murder (1959, Dir: Otto Preminger)
A suspense filled courtroom drama classic about a lawyer (Jimmy Stewart) who is hired to defend a US Army Lieutenant (Ben Gazzara) that is accused of murdering a man he claims raped his wife (Lee Remick). Co-starring George C. Scott, Orson Bean, Murray Hamilton, Eve Arden.
The Losers (1970, Dir: Jack Starrett)
A group of Vietnam vets (William Smith, Adam Roarke, Paul Koslo, Houston Savage and Gene Cornelius) turned chopper gang are recruited by the US Armed Forces to go on a special behind the enemy lines mission in Cambodia to rescue a kidnapped CIA agent from the Red Chinese Army. The group of rowdy rebels customize a bunch of motorcycles with machine guns and other weaponry and break into the prison camp. Director Jack Starrett was inspired by Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch and for the movie’s biggest action sequence he shot a truly kick-ass slow-motion spectacle of high flying motorcycles, explosions and all out violence.
Hollywood Man (1976, Dir: Jack Starrett)
When filmmaker Rafe Stoker (William Smith) needs more money to complete his biker film opus, he makes a bad decision and goes to the Mob to borrow the dough. When Rafe resumes production, the underworld sends some hired thugs to mess up the film by any means to ruin the contract. A 70s cult classic that is part biker adventure, part mob film and all badass. It’s one of our favorites from the career of Jack Starrett. Co-starring Don Stroud, Ray Girardin, Mary Woronov.
3:10 To Yuma (1958, Dir: Delmer Daves)
Based on a short story by Elmore Leonard, Glenn Ford plays Ben Wade an outlaw who is captured by Dan Evans (Van Heflin) an Arizona rancher that takes the job because he needs money due to a long drought. Evans becomes an unlikely hero as he guards Wade while the gang he’s led try to free him. Ford was known for playing good guy roles so his turn as Wade makes the film rather unique. While he is “the villain” of the film, you always kind of know he’s not all bad. The striking black and white cinematography by Charles Lawton Jr. gives the movie a visual boldness making it one of the best looking Westerns of its day. The film was remade in 2007 by James Mangold.
The Blues Brothers (1980, Dir: John Landis)
Upon his release from prison, criminal Jake Blues (John Belushi) and his beloved brother Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) are sent on a mission from God to help save a Chicago orphanage from closing. This means getting their old band back together to raise the needed funds. The premise sounds simple but boy is this one cinematic adventure like no other. There’s fantastic music, lots of laughs and action! OUR FULL REVIEW
Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie (1980, Dir: Tommy Chong)
In this follow up to their hit 1978 debut film Up In Smoke, the Martin & Lewis of the stoner generation go on another high flying adventure in and around Los Angeles running into a wide variety of colorful characters on the way. A raucous, screwball comedy cult classic that is always recommended. Co-starring Paul Reubens, Edie McClurg.