INSIGNIFICANCE
1985, Hanway Films, 109 min, UK, Dir: Nicolas Roeg

This adaptation of Terry Johnson’s play brings together four of the most iconic personalities of the 20th century in a thought-provoking meditation on fame, power and the unknowability of the human soul. As she is filming a movie in New York City, Marilyn Monroe (Theresa Russell) visits Albert Einstein (Michael Emil) as Joe DiMaggio (Gary Busey) and Senator Joe McCarthy (Tony Curtis) circle around them. Roeg’s non-linear approach to the story opens fascinating windows into the characters of the actress, the professor, the ballplayer and the senator, and this speculative drama earned the Technical Grand Prize at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival.


FLESH AND FURY
1952, Universal, 83 min, Dir: Joe Pevney

Tony Curtis delivers a knockout performance as a deaf boxer who looks to be easy pickings for a mercenary blonde (Jan Sterling) while a compassionate reporter (Mona Freeman) tries to prevent him from being counted out for good. Bernard Gordon’s crisp script and a solid supporting cast (including the debut of Harry Guardino) bolsters Curtis’ early starring turn.


THE DEFIANT ONES
1958, Park Circus/MGM, 97 min, USA, Dir: Stanley Kramer

Racist jailbird Tony Curtis finds himself chained body and soul to fellow convict Sidney Poitier, in director Stanley Kramer’s stark, bare-knuckled prison-break drama. Curtis’ fierce, hardened performance here is among his finest – as blunt and unforgiving as anything by De Niro or Keitel in the ’70s.


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