The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!

BBBB (out of 5) A Russian submarine traversing the depths of the Atlantic off the coast of New Hampshire accidentally runs aground and strands its Soviet passengers on shore, witnessed by a little boy whose parents (Carl Reiner, Eva Marie Saint) don’t believe his stories about Russian spies on the beach until they break into…

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Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? (Qui etes-vous, Polly Maggoo?)

BBB (out of 5) William Klein’s satire of show business has a suspicious attitude towards mid-sixties fashion trends and celebrity culture that the future will bear out in almost exact detail.  A French television crew doing a reality-based program on Brooklyn-born model Polly Maggoo (Dorothy McGowan) asks about her life, her inspiration and her true self…

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An American Dream (See You In Hell, Darling)

BB (out of 5) Television host and war hero Stuart Whitman has separated from ridiculously wealthy, self-destructive wife Eleanor Parker, going to visit her in her penthouse when she lets him know that she has just returned from abroad.  After they endure a nasty fight that shows off Parker’s superb dramatic talents in one powerful sequence, she…

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Chelsea Girls

BBB (out of 5) Andy Warhol’s experimental cinema always has a way of making you feel like you’re the only sober person at a party full of raging drunks, but if you’re prepared you’ll see this magnificent opus for the grand work that it is. Two separate reels play simultaneously, switching between soundtracks from one…

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The Sand Pebbles

BBB (out of 5) Robert Wise followed his mammothly successful The Sound Of Music with this giant war epic.  Steve McQueen plays an engineer who boards a gunboat in 1920s China, rife with anger and resentment between Chinese and white sailors aboard. China itself is being torn apart by revolution, and the members of this boat…

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The Fortune Cookie

BBBB (out of 5) This was the first time that Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau were teamed up on screen, and from this point on a legendary cinematic pairing was born. Lemmon plays an unhappily married business man who is persuaded by his money-grubbing brother-in-law to play up a minor injury into a major lawsuit that they…

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Who Wants To Kill Jessie (Who Killed Jessie) (Kdo Chce Zabit Jessii)

BB.5 (out of 5) Deliriously campy science-fiction film about husband and wife scientists who are both trying to make breakthroughs at work. The wife has created a serum that gives troubled sleepers pleasant dreams but, in removing their nightmares from their minds, brings their visions to life in the real world. After her husband reads…

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The Glass Bottom Boat

BB.5 (out of 5) The Doris Day formula is tired but still has its moments in this bubbly comedy. She plays a NASA employee (and part-time mermaid for her father’s titular tourboat!) who is assigned to write a biography on a brilliant scientist (Rod Taylor) who has come up with a highly classified project for the…

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Black Girl (La Noire De…)

BBBB (out of 5) Ousmane Sembene is one of the most notable figures in the history of twentieth century African art; he is credited with having made the first film by a Sub-Saharan African (his short Borom Sarret), the first feature by a Sub-Saharan African (this film), and the first African film in an African…

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Stop The World–I Want To Get Off

BB.5 (out of 5) This disappointing adaptation of the hit musical play keeps the show within the view of one sound stage and throws a couple of cameras at the action. This was probably meant as an experiment in minimalist filmmaking, but the direction lacks enough imagination to really pull it off successfully. Tony Tanner plays…

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Madame X

BB.5 (out of 5) The classic tearjerker that has been remade more times than Dracula and Frankenstein. Most people who refer to it nowadays are generally talking about this version, starring an aging Lana Turner and produced by Ross Hunter. The soap-operatic plot follows Turner as she marries a wealthy socialite (John Forsythe) and is…

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Morgan! A Suitable Case For Treatment

BBBB (out of 5) Vanessa Redgrave made her starring debut in this hilariously cracked British comedy. David Warner plays an oddball chap who is obsessed with communism and dressing up like a gorilla. His ex-wife (Redgrave) is happy to be away from him and anxious to marry her new love, an art dealer (Robert Stephens), but…

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