THE PROFESSIONALS
1966, Sony Repertory, 117 min, USA, Dir: Richard Brooks

Writer-director Richard Brooks earned a pair of Oscar nominations for this vastly underrated film. A Texas rancher enlists a team of mercenaries to rescue his wife, who has been kidnapped by a Mexican bandit. But the hired guns - Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan and Woody Strode – soon learn that their employer hasn’t told them the whole story (the outstanding cast also includes Ralph Bellamy, Claudia Cardinale and Jack Palance). Beautifully shot by Conrad Hall, THE PROFESSIONALS is an irresistible mix of action, intrigue and humor that ranks among the very best Westerns of the 1960s.


LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR
1977, Paramount, 136 min, USA, Dir: Richard Brooks

A young, sexually unsatisfied school teacher (Diane Keaton) begins a wild string of late-night romps with increasingly dangerous men including disturbed thug Tony (Richard Gere) - the most dangerous of them all. This brooding, lurid adaptation of Judith Rossner's best-selling novel follows one woman on a desperate search for fulfillment, and is shockingly based on the true life of a New York City schoolteacher. Keaton’s stellar, subtle performance earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress.


THE CATERED AFFAIR
1956, Warner Bros., 92 min, USA, Dir: Richard Brooks

Ernest Borgnine is a middle-aged New York cabbie scraping for years to save up for his own cab. When his daughter (Debbie Reynolds) announces that she is going to marry in a simple ceremony, domineering wife Bette Davis insists on planning a wedding well beyond the working-class family's means, to impress their friends and family and to make up for what she never had. Director Richard Brooks and screenwriter Gore Vidal bring Paddy Chayefsky's story to the screen with sensitivity and intelligence.


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