BEING THERE
1979, Warner Bros., 130 min, USA, Dir: Hal Ashby

In one of his most sublime performances, Peter Sellers stars as a simpleton who gains great influence when his pronouncements are mistaken for profundities in director Hal Ashby’s hilarious adaptation of the Jerzy Kosinski novel. As gardener Chance, he must leave the Washington, D.C., estate to which he’s tended his entire life after its owner dies. Wandering the streets, he’s struck by a limousine and taken under the wing of its passenger, Eve Rand (Shirley MacLaine), and her power-broker husband (Oscar winner Melvyn Douglas). Be sure to stay through the end credits!


THE CHANGELING
1980, Joel B. Michaels/Garth Drabinsky Productions, 109 min, USA, Dir: Peter Medak

Director Peter Medak’s superb ghost story has been recently rediscovered for what it is: one of the most chillingly effective portraits of the supernatural made in the past 30 years. George C. Scott stars as a musician, grieving over the recent deaths of his wife and daughter, who moves into a drafty old mansion - only to find it inhabited by the spirit of a young and very restless ghost.


BILLY BUDD
1962, Warner Bros., 123 min, UK, Dir: Peter Ustinov

Herman Melville’s last novel was staged in 1951 as both a Benjamin Britten opera and a Broadway play; the latter served as the basis for this superb high-seas adventure. Peter Ustinov directs and co-stars as the captain of a British ship during the Napoleonic wars who gives his Master of Arms (an unforgettably cruel Robert Ryan) a free hand, leading to tragic consequences. In the title role as a young sailor pressed into service, Terence Stamp earned an Oscar nomination.


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