MILLER’S CROSSING
1990, 20th Century Fox, 115 min, USA, Dir: Joel and Ethan Coen

Joel and Ethan Coen’s brilliant, atmospheric tribute to 1930s gangster melodramas is full to the brim with venomous one-liners and a catalog of characters worthy of any pre-WWII James Cagney/Warner Bros. picture. Bitter Gabriel Byrne is adviser to sentimental but tough gang boss Albert Finney in a small Northeastern town. But their complacently corrupt burg is about to erupt in violence when nouveau-riche newcomer Jon Polito and his merciless, grim reaper of an enforcer (J.E. Freeman) make a play for the big time. The supporting cast - including Marcia Gay Harden and John Turturro - is superb, all getting to voice some of the most vitriolic dialogue this side of 1957’s SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS. “The Coens are artists too, and their cool dazzler is an elegy to a day when Hollywood could locate moral gravity in a genre film for grownups.” - Richard Corliss, Time


TWO FOR THE ROAD
1967, 20th Century Fox, 111 min, USA, Dir: Stanley Donen

Stanley Donen and screenwriter Frederic Raphael relate the ups and downs of a marriage via vignettes that goes back and forth in time, focusing on various road trips through Europe, at different stages of a relationship in this ultra-60s, offbeat romantic comedy. In career highlight performances, Albert Finney and Audrey Hepburn are a husband and wife who can't stand each other, yet can't stand to be apart. With mod fashions by Mary Quandt and Paco Rabonne among other hip designers of the day.


MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS
1974, Paramount, 128 min, USA, Dir: Sidney Lumet

This delightful Agatha Christie adaptation features one of the most astonishing casts in film history - including Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Albert Finney, Sean Connery and Richard Widmark, among many others. The meticulous and intricate story, which follows Hercule Poirot’s (Finney) investigation of the title crime aboard a luxury train, is a pretext for director Lumet to offer up a glorious tribute to old-fashioned Hollywood glamour.


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