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1976, Warner Bros., 138 min, USA, Dir: Alan J. Pakula

Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman shine as Washington Post investigative reporters Woodward and Bernstein, the pair responsible for uncovering the shocking truth behind the Watergate break-in. A tense, real-life detective saga demonstrating what a courageous free press can accomplish, with a sterling supporting cast that includes Jason Robards, Martin Balsam, Jack Warden, Jane Alexander, Hal Holbrook and F. Murray Abraham.

1975, Sony Repertory, 109 min, USA, Dir: Hal Ashby

Director Hal Ashby’s classic mid-’70s comedy is a harsh and funny time capsule stuffed full of great performances. Warren Beatty excels as an amorous hairdresser contending with sexual politics and his many romantic entanglements, from the wife (Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner Lee Grant) of his business adviser Jack Warden to Warden’s mistress (Julie Christie) and teenage daughter (Carrie Fisher, in her first role). The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Original Screenplay for Beatty and Robert Towne.

1980, Sony Repertory, 113 min, USA, Dir: Robert Zemeckis

Screenwriters Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis simultaneously satirize and celebrate what it means to be successful in America in this hilarious tale of a used-car salesman (Kurt Russell) who will do anything to hold onto his lot and make a sale. Jack Warden gives one of the best performances of his career as twin brothers who own rival dealerships where the gimmicks become increasingly outrageous as the competition escalates; Russell is at his most charming as a cynical variation on the Capra-esque hero.

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