May 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.
A thrilling action-adventure about one woman’s roaring rampage of revenge on her ex-partners in the assassination biz. A highly charged mash-up of exploitation genres that culminates in a beautifully bombastic and bloody battle. Starring Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Sonny Chiba, Michael Madsen, Lucy Liu, Daryl Hannah, Vivica A. Fox.
How To Murder Your Wife (1965, Dir: Richard Quine)
A stylish comedy with an artistic angle that I’ve always enjoyed since first seeing it many years ago. Jack Lemmon is Stanley Ford, a successful cartoonist whose freewheeling bachelor lifestyle is ruined when he meets a beautiful woman (Virna Lissi) and gets hitched. Before long, Stanley realizes marriage is not for him and begins planning a way to get rid of his new bride. Co-starring Terry-Thomas, Eddie Mayehoff, Claire Trevor, Mary Wickes, Jack Albertson, Sidney Blackmer.
Chinese Hercules (1973, Dir: Ta Huang)
Not what you’d call a “classic”, but a solid martial arts film from the early 70s. It’s pretty much your standard story where the shamed loner finds himself and saves the day. The real standout is Bolo Yeung (the Chinese Hercules of the title) who kicks mucho ass and actually has a few lines to say besides just his trademark grunts. This was the film after Enter The Dragon that turned him into a breakout star.
The Black Dragon (1974, Dir: Chin Ku Lu)
Martial arts sensation Ron Van Clief stars as “The Black Dragon” who along with his new friend Thai Lu (Jason Pai Pow) takes on the Phillipino underworld to stop the flow of dreaded opium into China. A kung fu adventure that features some outstanding action sequences and plenty of humor.
The Bank Dick (1940, Dir: Edward F. Cline)
A screwball comedy classic starring the legendary W.C. Fields as Egbert Souse a man who helps stop a bank robbery and ends up with a job as a security guard. The hilarity is non stop as Fields lets everyone around him have it using his trademark drinker’s wit and smarmy attitude. Look for Three Stooges alum Shemp Howard as a bartender. Co-starring Cora Witherspoon, Una Merkel, Evelyn Del Rio, Grady Sutton.
The Great Escape (1963, Dir: John Sturges)
Based on a true story that occurred in World War II, the film revolves around a German StaLag where a mischievous band of Allied POWs plan an escape by tunneling under the ground. One of the greatest war movies featuring an all star cast of iconic actors including Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, James Garner, and Richard Attenborough.
Boeing Boeing (1965, Dir: John Rich)
A goofy bedroom farce starring Tony Curtis as Bernard Lawrence a playboy/journalist living in Paris that is having flings with several stewardesses on mixed flight schedules. When his old pal Robert Reed (Jerry Lewis) suddenly shows up at his door, things are further thrown into turmoil. Co-starring Dany Saval, Christiane Schmidtmer, Suzanna Leigh, Thelma Ritter.
Gambit (1966, Dir: Ronald Neame)
A deftly clever and comical caper film starring the great Michael Caine as Harry Dean, a professional thief who creates a special plan to heist a priceless ancient statue from a guarded penthouse owned by the world’s richest man Mr. Shahbandar (Herbert Lom). Harry’s cohort in the scheme is the beautiful showgirl Nicole (Shirley MacClaine) who’s a dead ringer for Shabandah’s late wife.
The Sand Pebbles (1966, Dir: Robert Wise)
Set in 1926, Jake Holman (Steve McQueen) is a Machinist’s Mate 1st Class on the USS San Pablo (aka The Sand Pebble). McQueen who made his name playing rebellious loners, shines in this movie as a man who bucks the system and disrupts the order of things in his fleet. Co-starring Richard Attenborough, Richard Crenna, Candice Bergen, Marayat Andriane, Mako, Simon Oakland.
All In A Night’s Work (1961, Dir: Joseph Anthony)
A screwball comedy starring Dean Martin as Tony Ryder, a man who inherits his wealthy late uncle’s newspaper business. Tony is placed in a precarious position when the board of directors consider him unfit to run the company. Meanwhile a hotel detective informs him about a mysterious woman (Shirley MacLaine) who was seen leaving his late uncle’s hotel room the night he died. For fans of the early 60s Rat Pack era, this is a prime cut. Co-starring Cliff Robertson, Charles Ruggles, Norma Crane, Jack Weston.
The Man Who Saw Tomorrow (1981, Dir: Robert Guenette)
A rarely seen documentary hosted by Orson Welles which investigates the predictions of famed French astrologer and physician Michel de Notredame aka Nostredamus.
Hell Squad (1958, Dir: Burt Topper)
This AIP WWII gem is about a squad of five U.S. soldiers fighting in Tunisia. All of the men are killed except for Private Russo (Willy Campo). When he encounters a lone German officer, the two become stuck in a tense standoff. Like Sam Fuller’s The Steel Helmet, this was a low budget production (shot for only $11,500) that was filmed entirely in California.
Suicide Battalion (1958, Dir: Edward L. Cahn)
An AIP WWII B-movie classic set in the Phillipines about a group of American soldiers who are sent on a mission to destroy an enemy base and keep important documents out of the hands of the Japanese. Starring Mike Connors, John Ashley, Jewell Lain, Russ Bender, Bing Russell.
Soldier of Orange (1977, Dir: Paul Verhoeven)
During World War II a group of Dutch students on different life altering courses taking on various roles in the war either as conspirators or resistance fighters. Starring Rutger Hauer, Jeroen Krabbé, Derek de Lint, Edward Fox. Based on the autobiographical book Soldaat van Oranje by Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema.
Something Wild (1986, Dir: Jonathan Demme)
A straight laced banker named Charlie Driggs (Jeff Daniels) gets hooked into a whirlwind relationship with Lulu (Melanie Griffith) a wild woman he meets randomly one day. The two proceed to go on a liberating and exciting road adventure together as they get to know each other better. Trouble later arises when Lulu’s ex boyfriend Ray (Ray Liotta) a psychotic thug, appears and tries to get her back. Co-starring Charles Napier, John Sayles, Tracey Walter, Gary Goetzman.
Married To The Mob (1988, Dir: Jonathan Demme)
When Frank “The Cucumber” de Marco (Alec Baldwin) is wacked for having an affair with a fellow mobster’s woman, his wife Angela (Michelle Pfeiffer) tries to flee from any more trouble with her young son. Meanwhile an FBI agent Mike Downey (Matthew Modine) assigned to watch Angela begins to fall in love with her. A quirky crime comedy that has some excellent performances and laughs. Co-starring Dean Stockwell, Mercedes Ruehl, Paul Lazar, Joan Cusack, Ellen Foley.
Me and Orson Welles (2008, Dir: Richard Linklater)
In 1937, young actor Richard Samuels (Zac Efron) is hired by Orson Welles (Christian McKay) to play Lucius in the stageplay of Julius Caesar on Broadway. Richard soon becomes romantically involved with Sonja (Claire Danes) a production assistant. An overlooked, entertaining period comedy that fans of Linklater should see.