THE RUNNING MAN
1987, Paramount, 101 min, USA, Dir: Paul Michael Glaser

Adapted from a Stephen King novel, this ’80s sci-fi favorite is set in 2019, two years after economic collapse has plunged the United States into totalitarianism. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as a police helicopter pilot framed for a massacre and forced to appear in the popular reality TV show “The Running Man,” in which convicts are pursued by heavily armed hunters. As the show’s host, Richard Dawson (of “Family Feud” fame) is at his smarmy best; María Conchita Alonso, rocker Mick Fleetwood and wrestler Jesse Ventura help round out the cast.


BLUE COLLAR
1978, Universal, 114 min, USA, Dir: Paul Schrader

Paul Schrader’s directorial debut is one of his best pictures and remains one of the most searing accounts ever of the urban working man’s life in America. Harvey Keitel, Richard Pryor and Yaphet Kotto are auto plant workers and best friends who are less than happy with their severely corrupt union. When their nocturnal burglary of the union’s safe nets cash along with a startling revelation of cooked books - kickbacks, payoffs and collusion with organized crime - the lives of the three comrades become a nightmare of looking-over-their-shoulders paranoia. The director co-wrote the screenplay with his brother, Leonard Schrader (THE YAKUZA), and the amazing original score is by Jack Nitzsche (PERFORMANCE), with an unforgettable hard blues-rock opening-credits song warbled by none other than Captain Beefheart. A film comparable in street credibility and manic energy to Scorsese’s MEAN STREETS - if you have never seen this, it is not to be missed. "Very probably the most clear-sighted movie ever made about the ways that shopfloor workers get f*****d over by 'the system.'" - Time Out (UK)


MIDNIGHT RUN
1988, Universal, 126 min, USA, Dir: Martin Brest

This superb action comedy teams bounty hunter Jack Walsh (Robert De Niro) and former Mafia accountant Jonathan "The Duke" Mardukas (Charles Grodin) on a madcap, cross-country road trip. Exchanging insults, fighting off feds and thugs alike, Grodin and De Niro's chemistry is unmatched. Director Brest keeps the anarchic humor and hilariously foul-mouthed dialogue coming at a lightning pace. Memorable support from the hysterically profane Dennis Farina, Joe Pantoliano, John Ashton and a sunglasses-wearing Yaphet Kotto.


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