THE COMFORT OF STRANGERS
1990, 107 min, USA/Italy/UK, Dir: Paul Schrader

Noted playwright Harold Pinter penned this sinister adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel about twisted relationships. Considering marriage, British couple Rupert Everett and Natasha Richardson travel to Venice, where well-to-do bar owner Christopher Walken and wife Helen Mirren take an unnatural interest in them.


MODESTY BLAISE
1966, 20th Century Fox, 119 min, Dir: Joseph Losey

Director Joseph Losey’s brilliant Pop Art spoof stars gorgeous Monica Vitti as jewel thief/spy-for-hire Modesty Blaise, with Mod poster boy Terence Stamp as her catlike Cockney sidekick. Dirk Bogarde co-stars as Modesty’s nemesis, a villain who always seems to have goldfish swimming in his cocktails. And watch out for Mrs. Fothergill (Rosella Falk), who enjoys strangling men with her thighs!


THE BIRTHDAY PARTY
1968, Disney, 127 min, USA, Dir: William Friedkin

Based on Harold Pinter’s celebrated play, THE BIRTHDAY PARTY stars the great Robert Shaw as Stanley, the put-upon tenant - with the menacingly enigmatic Patrick Magee and Sydney Tafler as the unwelcome strangers out to make Shaw’s barely marginal life a perfect hell. An underrated master of adapting stage drama to film (see THE BOYS IN THE BAND), Friedkin pushes Pinter’s savage material to the limit here, creating an unnerving sense of despair and paranoia.


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