THE FOG
1980, Rialto Pictures, 91 min, USA, Dir: John Carpenter

There’s atmosphere to burn in this spooky saga of bloodthirsty ghost pirates vengefully returning to decimate a sleepy California coastal town on the 100th anniversary of their shipwreck. Adrienne Barbeau is the spunky DJ sounding the alarm from her lighthouse-based radio station while the undead use the title mist as cover in their gory siege. With Jamie Lee Curtis.


ACT OF VIOLENCE
1948, Warner Bros., 81 min, USA, Dir: Fred Zinnemann

A dark masterpiece made during the Metro tenure of producer Dore Schary, this is emblematic film noir. Psychically scarred Robert Ryan stalks war hero Van Heflin from sylvan Big Bear Lake to the nocturnal underbelly of postwar downtown L.A. Robert Surtees’ stunning cinematography captures the dark side of the postwar boom, as well as superb performances from the entire cast, including a jaw-droppingly gorgeous 20-year-old Janet Leigh and a revelatory Mary Astor as a blowsy, street-wise hooker. Director Fred Zinnemann’s only foray into film noir is one of the best of the classic era.


THE VIKINGS
1958, MGM/Park Circus, 116 min, USA, Dir: Richard Fleischer

Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis play warring adventurers locked in a battle for land and the heart (or, more accurately, body) of the gorgeous Janet Leigh in this rousing epic. With an exuberant performance by Ernest Borgnine as the head Viking and stylish direction by the ever reliable Richard Fleischer, this is a fast, funny spectacle not to be missed on the big screen.


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