RAMBLING ROSE
1991, Rialto Pictures, 112 min, USA, Dir: Martha Coolidge

Martha Coolidge’s compassionate Depression-era drama, adapted by Calder Willingham from his 1972 novel, stars Laura Dern in the title role as a young woman fleeing a disreputable past. She winds up at the doorstep of the Hillyers (Robert Duvall and Diane Ladd), who agree to take her in – but Rose’s flirtatious presence ultimately proves unsettling. Anchored by four outstanding performances (including Lukas Haas as smitten Buddy Hillyer), the film brought Oscar nominations to both Ladd and Dern, the first time a real-life mother and daughter had been so honored.


LADYBUG LADYBUG
1963, Park Circus/MGM, 82 min, USA, Dir: Frank Perry

From Frank and Eleanor Perry, the husband-wife filmmaking duo behind such acclaimed films as DAVID AND LISA and THE SWIMMER, comes this anxiety-inducing Cold War drama based on a real incident that occurred in a rural elementary school. The film follows a group of schoolchildren and staff who react to a nuclear attack alarm bell; unsure whether or not the threat is legitimate, they make their way to a bomb shelter as they contemplate their possible destruction. Shot in a naturalistic documentary style that adds to the frightening reality of the scenario, LADYBUG LADYBUG is both a document of 1960s Middle America and a reflection of today’s ever-present fear of nuclear holocaust. Jane Connell, William Daniels, James Frawley and Estelle Parsons lead the ensemble cast.


THREE CASES OF MURDER
1955, 99 min, UK/USA, Dir: David Eady, George More O'Ferrall, Wendy Toye

This rare U.K. horror anthology is made up of three harrowing stories sure to keep you up at night. The first segment, directed by Wendy Toye, one of Britain’s first female directors, involves a mysterious Mr. X (Alan Badel), who is eternally trapped inside a painting in a museum. John Gregson, Emrys Jones and Elizabeth Sellars star as a tragic love triangle in the second episode, aptly titled “You Killed Elizabeth.” The final segment, long thought to have been directed by an uncredited Orson Welles, features Welles as Lord Mountdrago, a despicable politician who finds himself cursed with rather sinister dreams. All three tales culminate in a supremely creepy vision of murder that blends the real with the supernatural.


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