GLORY
1989, Sony Repertory, 122 min, USA, Dir: Edward Zwick

In director Edward Zwick’s epic Civil War drama, Matthew Broderick plays Col. Robert Shaw, a Boston abolitionist chosen to lead the Union Army’s first all-black regiment, the Massachusetts 54th. In spite of Confederate threats to execute all captured black soldiers and their commanding officers, the ranks of the 54th swell with volunteers, including gravedigger John Rawlins (Morgan Freeman) and escaped slave Trip (Denzel Washington). Though the Union treats them as second-class soldiers, the regiment becomes a fighting force, leading the charge on Charleston’s Fort Wagner. The 54th’s courage during that exceptionally bloody battle helped turn the tide of the war, bringing legions of black recruits to the Union cause. Winner of three Academy Awards, including Best Supporting Actor for Washington. “The magic of GLORY comes from the film itself. It speaks of heroism writ large, from people whom history had made small.” - Entertainment Weekly.


THE LIMEY
1999, Lionsgate, 89 min, USA, Dir: Steven Soderbergh

This complex crime thriller features a tour-de-force performance by Terence Stamp as Wilson, a British ex-con who travels to Los Angeles to investigate the death of his daughter. As her friends Eduardo (Luis Guzman) and Elaine (Lesley Ann Warren) help Wilson fill in the blanks about his beloved Jenny - whom he hadn’t seen since she was a child - the trail leads to the girl’s former boyfriend, Terry Valentine. A record producer/drug dealer played by a superb Peter Fonda, Valentine dodges Wilson and sends a hit man after him, but neither the assassin, a team of bodyguards nor the DEA can prevent “the limey” from confronting his child’s killer. Masterfully directed by Steven Soderbergh, the film employs footage from a 1967 film, starring Stamp, to cut back and forth between the present day and Wilson’s back-story.


THE HIRED HAND
1971, Sundance Channel, 90 min, USA, Dir: Peter Fonda

This quietly unassuming but powerful Western languished for decades in obscurity - until it was recently restored in a beautiful new print through the efforts of director and star Peter Fonda, editor Frank Mazzola and the Sundance Channel. After many years away, world-weary Harry (Peter Fonda) returns to the family farm with easygoing pal Arch (the superb Warren Oates), only to be greeted by bitter wife Hannah (Verna Bloom). Determined to settle down, Harry’s healing relationship with Hannah is imperiled when grudge holders from the past threaten him. The stunning, near-hallucinatory cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond looks even better today than it did in 1971. Not to be missed!


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