DRIVE, HE SAID
1971, Sony Repertory, 90 min, USA, Dir: Jack Nicholson

Jack Nicholson’s first trip behind the camera as director is a subtle character study about basketball, college and Vietnam. It stands as one of the best sports-related movies ever made and captures the true feeling of the late ’60s/early ’70s college experience. William Tepper is a star basketball player with a drug-addled best friend (Michael Margotta) who is dodging the draft and a faculty-wife girlfriend (Karen Black) bent on giving him the boot. Bruce Dern's performance as the snide, take-no-prisoners coach is masterfully hard-nosed. With Robert Towne and Henry Jaglom in prime supporting roles, and cinematography by Bill Butler. "Nicholson deftly illustrates the background cynicism of big-time sports against the more obvious cynicism of college life." – Variety.


SMILE
1975, Park Circus/MGM, 117 min, USA, Dir: Michael Ritchie

Director Michael Ritchie’s savage, Norman Rockwell-in-rehab comedy stars Bruce Dern, Barbara Feldon (“Get Smart”), Michael Kidd and Geoffrey Lewis as a group of civic boosters desperately trying to stage a teenage beauty pageant in Santa Rosa, California. Annette O’Toole and Melanie Griffith are among the gorgeous, devious and very un-ladylike contestants in this wickedly funny snapshot of the underbelly of mid-’70s America.


THE HATEFUL EIGHT
2015, The Weinstein Company, 187 min, USA, Dir: Quentin Tarantino

For this wintery Western, writer-director Quentin Tarantino has marshaled an all-star cast including Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth and Bruce Dern. In post-Civil War Wyoming, a blizzard brings eight desperate characters - a combustible mix of bounty hunters, lawmen, criminals and ex-soldiers from both sides of the war - under the roof of stagecoach stopover Minnie's Haberdashery; it’s anybody’s guess who will make it out alive. Featuring glorious widescreen vistas and music by Ennio Morricone, Tarantino’s eighth film pulses with blood and betrayal.


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