COCOON
1985, 20th Century Fox, 117 min, USA, Dir: Ron Howard

Senior citizen troublemakers Art (Don Ameche), Ben (Wilford Brimley) and Joe (Hume Cronyn) have seemingly discovered the fountain of youth during one of their nightly excursions to an unattended swimming pool. After their swim, their ailments and fatigue dissipate and they begin to experience a renewed energy. Little do they know that the source of the pool’s power involves a pair of extraterrestrial visitors, who are eager to enlist the men’s help in an elaborate plot to return home. Featuring Brian Dennehy, Jack Gilford, Steve Guttenberg and Maureen Stapleton, this Ron Howard sci-fi classic won Oscars for Best Visual Effects and Best Supporting Actor (Ameche).


ENTER LAUGHING
1967, Sony Repertory, 112 min, USA, Dir: Carl Reiner

Carl Reiner's first feature is an astonishingly assured debut, with a visual polish (thanks largely to veteran cinematographer Joseph Biroc) and a deep sense of personal expression (it was based on Reiner's autobiographical novel of the same name). Reni Santoni plays a young Jewish man who dreams of becoming a comedian during the Depression. Needless to say, his parents think that working in the family drugstore is a safer bet. Even in this early film, Reiner shows his skill at casting secondary roles, with a supporting cast that includes Shelley Winters, Elaine May, Jose Ferrer, Jack Gilford, Janet Margolin and Michael J. Pollard.


SAVE THE TIGER
1973, Paramount, 100 min, USA, Dir: John G. Avildsen

Los Angeles garment businessman Jack Lemmon suffers a devastating intersection of midlife crisis and disillusionment with what he sees as moral decline in changing times. His deepening trauma pushes him to the edge as he considers desperate and illegal measures to salvage his tanking fashion enterprise. Lemmon won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance. Co-starring Jack Gilford, Patricia Smith. “…a virtuoso piece of movie acting. Jack Lemmon holds the movie together by the sheer force of his performance as Harry; he makes this character so convincing that we're fascinated…” - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times.


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