THE VINTAGE
1957, Warner Bros., 92 min, USA, Dir: Jeffrey Hayden

Adapted by screenwriter Michael Blankfort from a novel by Ursula Keir, this intoxicating crime drama follows two Italian brothers - one of them on the run from a murder charge - who seek refuge in the wine country of southern France. The criminal Ernesto (John Kerr) is drawn to a married woman (Michele Morgan) while his sibling Giancarlo (Mel Ferrer) attracts the affection of the young Lucienne (Pier Angeli). With the police and an angry husband (Leif Erickson) to contend with, will the brothers choose love or life on the lam? Features sweeping vistas of the French countryside as well as a pulsating score by David Raksin (which includes guitar work by costar Theodore Bikel).


THE TWO JAKES
1990, Paramount, 137 min, USA, Dir: Jack Nicholson

The follow-up to one of the most acclaimed films of the 1970s, THE TWO JAKES picks up a decade after CHINATOWN ended, with private eye Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) still shadowing unfaithful spouses. At least that’s how the job starts out when Julius “Jake” Berman (Harvey Keitel) hires him. In the sting operation to catch the guy his wife is cheating with, Berman ends up shooting the man – who just happens to be his business partner. Now Gittes must figure out if the shots were fired in rage or if he’s been deliberately set up as an accomplice to murder. From the same producer (Robert Evans) and screenwriter (Robert Towne) as the original, THE TWO JAKES digs into the dirt of Southern California’s oil industry much like CHINATOWN dug into the secrets of Los Angeles’ water table.


HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER
1986, Greycat Films, 83 min, USA, Dir: John McNaughton

This disturbing, low-budget indie, loosely based on the story of real-life serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, delivers exactly what its title promises. Brilliantly played by Michael Rooker, Henry is an ex-con living in a Chicago apartment with Otis, a gas station attendant he met in prison. In Henry’s day job he’s a part-time exterminator, but killing is also his hobby - one Otis soon comes to share in a series of gruesome slayings. When Otis’ sister Becky comes to live with them, she and Henry share a mutual attraction, but can any human being survive contact with this cold-blooded killer? The film landed on numerous year-end best lists upon its release, with writer-director McNaughton’s matter-of-fact style and sure hand with performers (many of them nonprofessional) drawing deserved comparisons to Cassavetes. “One of the 20 scariest movies of all time.” - Entertainment Weekly.


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