THE LAST MOVIE
1971, Arbelos Films, 108 min, USA, Dir: Dennis Hopper

Among the most storied productions of the New Hollywood era, this self-reflexive drama follows a movie crew making a Western in a remote Peruvian village. Director Dennis Hopper stars as the baleful stuntman Kansas, who stays behind after production wraps, hoping to find redemption in the arms of a former prostitute - until local inhabitants take over the abandoned set and begin to stage a ritualistic re-enactment of the film. Given carte blanche by Universal after the tremendous commercial success of EASY RIDER, Hopper set up shop as far from the Hollywood machine as possible, with an on-screen entourage that included Kris Kristofferson, Julie Adams, Peter Fonda, Dean Stockwell, Russ Tamblyn, Michelle Phillips and director Samuel Fuller. Though it effectively ended his career for many years, Hopper’s THE LAST MOVIE remains thrillingly innovative and remarkably contemporary, influenced greatly by the work of Bruce Conner and the French New Wave, as well as the Pop and Abstract artists revered by the writer-director-star. The film has been newly restored in 4K from the original camera negative and sound elements.


THE MAN FROM THE ALAMO
1953, Universal, 79 min, USA, Dir: Budd Boetticher

“Out of Texas’ bravest hour…came the man they called the coward.” As the titular character of this Technicolor Western, John Stroud (Glenn Ford) is chosen to leave the famed fort during its siege and warn the locals of Mexican General Santa Ana’s approach. But after the battle, when there are no survivors to vouch for him, Stroud is accused of desertion and must work to clear his name and bring those who’d exploited the massacre at the Alamo to justice. Costarring Julie Adams, Chill Wills, Hugh O’Brien and Jeanne Cooper.


BEND OF THE RIVER
1952, Universal, 91 min, USA, Dir: Anthony Mann

James Stewart stars as a former border raider who narrowly escapes the hangman's noose (he still smarts from the rope) and is trying to start over again in the wide-open Oregon country. Instead, he winds up involved with the wily and charming Arthur Kennedy in a wagon train that includes the eligible Laurie Baile (Julie Adams) and a load of supplies worth their weight in gold. One of director Anthony Mann's finest films, combining action, character and landscape in a seamless and wildly satisfying package.


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