THE FORTUNE
1975, Sony Repertory, 88 min, USA, Dir: Mike Nichols

Sexier than the Marx Bros., handsomer than Laurel and Hardy but not as smart as the Three Stooges, hapless 1920s con men Warren Beatty and Jack Nicholson see big money in the person of sanitary-napkin heiress Stockard Channing, and they’re willing to stoop to marriage and murder to get it. With its offbeat characters and occasionally dark tone, this underrated gem is a favorite of Joel and Ethan Coen. “Manically scatterbrained … farce of a rare order.” - Vincent Canby, The New York Times.


THE CHEAP DETECTIVE
2011, Sony Repertory (Columbia), 92 min, USA, Dir: Robert Moore

In this follow-up to MURDER BY DEATH, Peter Falk stars as Lou Peckinpaugh, a penny-pinching private eye trying to stay ahead of the police as he tracks down his partner’s killer and some missing diamonds in 1940s San Francisco. This loving parody of film noir - and Bogart movies in particular - rounds up all sorts of usual suspects, including Ann-Margret, Eileen Brennan, Sid Caesar, Madeline Kahn, Dom DeLuise, Stockard Channing and Louise Fletcher, to play the assorted femmes fatale, fall-guys, cops and crooks peopling Neil Simon’s gag-filled screenplay.


GREASE
1978, Paramount, 110 min, USA, Dir: Randal Kleiser

Pompadoured tough-guy John Travolta learns the meaning of true love, 1950s style, from summertime sweetheart Olivia Newton-John, with help from a fantastic supporting cast including Stockard Channing, Jeff Conaway, Eve Arden and Frankie Avalon. A soundtrack of wall-to-wall hits ("You’re the One That I Want," "Hopelessly Devoted to You," "Look At Me, I’m Sandra Dee") punctuates director Randal Kleiser’s irresistible teen-dream of a movie musical.


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