THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL
1952, Warner Bros., 118 min, USA, Dir: Vincente Minnelli

Hugely entertaining - and still on-target - drama of the relentless scramble to succeed in Hollywood, starring Kirk Douglas as producer Jonathan Shields, a born hustler who creates great movies while he alienates everyone who loves him – including Lana Turner as the alcoholic daughter of a Barrymore-like matinee idol, Barry Sullivan as a trusting young director and Dick Powell as a sharp-tongued screenwriter.


THE GANGSTER
1947, Warner Bros., 84 min, USA, Dir: Gordon Wiles

Barry Sullivan gives an intense performance as Shubunka, a two-bit, paranoid Scarface trying to stave off elimination by the encroaching syndicate. This Poverty Row product compresses the rise-and-fall gangster scenario into a moody bit of noir theater, bolstered by a supporting cast that blasts its way through the stylized dialogue of uncredited scripter Dalton Trumbo. Co-starring ice skater-turned-actress Belita.


FORTY GUNS
1957, 20th Century Fox, 79 min, USA, Dir: Samuel Fuller

Director Sam Fuller had to sacrifice his original title, WOMAN WITH A WHIP, but kept everything else - from Barbara Stanwyck’s black-leather dominatrix gear to the film’s naked gun-lust (Her: "May I feel it?" Him: "It might go off in your face."). Still the most subversively entertaining Western ever made, a surreal dreamscape in which nothing is motivated by natural laws. With Barry Sullivan, Gene Barry. "It’s not even really a Western - I don’t know what it is... FORTY GUNS doesn’t care." - Martin Scorsese.


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