1969, Sony Repertory, 103 min, Australia, Dir: Michael Powell

James Mason is at his crotchety, hard-drinking best as Rabelaisian artist Bradley Morrison, sojourning on a remote isle off the Great Barrier Reef to try to jumpstart his dried-up muse. He finds inspiration unexpectedly in the form of nubile free spirit Cora Ryan (a delightful, gorgeous Helen Mirren in one of her earliest roles), an outspoken teenager living with her alcoholic harridan of an aunt (Neva Carr-Glynn). With a great turn by Jack MacGowran (CUL-DE-SAC, FEARLESS VAMPIRE KILLERS) as Mason’s ne’er-do-well friend and Harold Hopkins as Mirren’s smitten, wannabe beau. Mason’s character was based on painter Norman Lindsay, famous for his sumptuous paintings of voluptuous nudes in natural settings.

1924, Cohen Media, 59 min, USA, Dir: Buster Keaton

Wealthy Rollo Treadway (Keaton) and Betsy, who has rejected his proposal of marriage, find themselves on the Navigator, a ship that Betsy's rich father has recently sold to a tiny country at war. When the Navigator drifts out to sea and grounds itself near a tropical island, Rollo and Betsy must not only learn to play house on the gigantic boat but fend off unhappy island natives who attack the vessel! One of the best of Keaton's career, THE NAVIGATOR is filled with unbeatable sight gags, including Buster's scuba-diving excursion with a giant squid, and a submarine that emerges at the perfect moment!

1928, Douris Corp., 70 min, USA, Dir: Buster Keaton

Decidedly not manly William Canfield Jr. (Keaton) joins the crew of his father, a gruff and sourpuss riverboat captain. When William falls for the daughter of his father's arch business rival, mayhem ensues. The finest moments of STEAMBOAT BILL, JR. occur during its cyclone sequence, in which Keaton performs what is probably his most notorious (and later imitated) stunt: During the blustery tumult, an entire building front collapses on him, narrowly missing him as he stands directly where the door would be. No trickery! Just the courageous bravura of Buster Keaton.

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