1985, Warner Bros., 115 min, USA, Dir: Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood produced, directed and starred in this taut Western, one of the most successful of the 1980s. A group of California prospectors are harassed by a powerful mine owner until a mysterious stranger known only as “Preacher” (Eastwood) rides into town to help defend them. With evocative cinematography by Bruce Surtees and solid supporting performances from Michael Moriarty, Carrie Snodgress and Chris Penn.

1993, Warner Bros., 187 min, USA, Dir: Robert Altman

Working from short stories by Raymond Carver, director Robert Altman creates a funny, tragic and wholly original portrait of Southern Californians whose lives intersect in surprising ways. The cast is one of Altman's best: Matthew Modine, Julianne Moore, Buck Henry, Lily Tomlin, Tom Waits, Andie MacDowell, Jack Lemmon, Lili Taylor and Robert Downey Jr. are just a few of the stars in this masterpiece.

1983, Universal, 94 min, USA, Dir: Francis Ford Coppola

Director Francis Ford Coppola again adapts an S.E. Hinton novel, reuniting with Matt Dillon. Shot in black-and-white with stylized use of color and professed to be among Coppola’s personal favorites, it’s grittier and more phantasmagorical than THE OUTSIDERS. Here, Dillon plays Rusty James, a young gangbanger who looks fondly back on the days of yesteryear when his loner brother, Motorcycle Boy (Mickey Rourke), held court as the king of the street toughs. With a young Diane Lane as Rusty’s sweetheart. Look out for Dennis Hopper as the boys’ ne’er-do-well father and William Smith as one of the meanest small-town cops in movie history. Costarring Chris Penn, Nicolas Cage and Tom Waits.

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