RICHARD III
1995, Park Circus, 104 min, UK, Dir: Richard Loncraine

Shakespeare’s most villainous monarch is right at home in pre-WWII England in this boldly reimagined tale of Richard III’s murderous rise to power. Ian McKellen brings his acclaimed Royal National Theatre performance to the big screen, with stellar support from Annette Bening, Robert Downey Jr., Kristin Scott Thomas, Jim Broadbent and Maggie Smith. Some of Britain’s most iconic buildings are inventively repurposed here; the film’s audacious visual style earned Oscar nominations for art direction and costume design.


BACK TO SCHOOL
1986, Park Circus/MGM, 96 min, USA, Dir: Alan Metter

Rodney Dangerfield can’t get no respect as a father whose son has decided that he doesn’t want to go to college. Determined to show him the importance of education, Dangerfield enrolls at the university as well. He’s instantly popular due to his wild parties, but literature professor Sally Kellerman inspires him to crack the books. There are lots of laughs, of course, as well as a cameo by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. and a soundtrack by former Oingo Boingo frontman Danny Elfman.


CHAPLIN
1992, Sony Repertory, 143 min, USA, Dir: Richard Attenborough

Robert Downey Jr. earned a well-deserved Best Actor Oscar nomination for his performance as the titular comic legend. Like many of Chaplin’s best films, this biopic balances hilarious gags with moments of sadness as it traces the performer’s life and loves from his start in silent shorts to his retirement in Switzerland. CHAPLIN boasts superb production values led by Sven Nykvist’s cinematography and John Barry’s Oscar-nominated score as well as an outstanding supporting cast including Anthony Hopkins, Dan Aykroyd, Kevin Kline, Diane Lane and Geraldine Chaplin (playing her own grandmother).


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