HOWARD THE DUCK
1986, Universal, 110 min, USA, Dir: Willard Huyck

The titular sarcastic, cigar-chomping, 27-year-old hero of this ahead-of-its-time fan favorite hails from the planet Duckworld, from which he’s suddenly beamed away via an Earth-based scientific experiment gone awry. Landing in Cleveland, Howard must contend with this new and strange place, and, of course, prevent the very destruction of the universe by a villain who also gets accidentally beamed down to Earth. Visually inventive and engaging, HOWARD THE DUCK is an amazing oddity: a comic book film squarely aimed at adults with humor way above the heads of the young audience it drew.


AMERICAN GRAFFITI
1973, Universal, 110 min, USA, Dir: George Lucas

In the middle of the Vietnam- and Nixon-obsessed days of the early 1970s, director George Lucas and producer Francis Ford Coppola switched gears radically with this tender, nostalgic look at drive-ins, drag races and the death of doo-wop in a Northern California town in 1962. Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul LeMat, Charles Martin Smith, Cindy Williams, Candy Clark, MacKenzie Phillips and Harrison Ford head a cast of almost complete newcomers, in one of the most purely personal (and phenomenally successful) films of the entire New Hollywood era.


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