MR. AND MRS. BRIDGE
1990, Park Circus/Miramax, 126 min, UK/USA/Canada, Dir: James Ivory

In Merchant-Ivory’s MR. AND MRS. BRIDGE, change sweeps into the traditionalist world of an aging, well-to-do American couple. Besieged by a progressive cultural climate and by his adult children’s attempts at autonomy in 1940s Missouri, patriarch Walter (Paul Newman) struggles to retain a rapidly eroding sense of order. His only ally in this battle, submissive wife India (Joanne Woodward), is no less subject to his domestic tyranny, however. In this adaptation of two Evan S. Connell novels, screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala delivers her customary restraint, brought to the screen with a quiet authenticity by real-life couple Newman and Woodward.


NO DOWN PAYMENT
1957, 20th Century Fox, 105 min, Dir: Martin Ritt

This highly underrated ensemble drama is one of the most perceptive looks at life in the suburbs ever made. Three couples struggle with such things as alcoholism, debt and racial bias as new neighbors move in to their Sunrise Hills subdivision; a fine cast includes Joanne Woodward, Cameron Mitchell, Tony Randall (playing way against type), Pat Hingle and Barbara Rush.


THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS
1971, Universal, 98 min, USA, Dir: Anthony Harvey

This charmingly goofy, surprisingly romantic Sherlock Holmes iteration finds the famous duo in modern-day New York, with Holmes (George C. Scott) an obsessive paranoid and a female Watson (Joanne Woodward), a psychiatrist helplessly fascinated by the detective.


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