BARFLY
1987, Park Circus/MGM, 100 min, USA, Dir: Barbet Schroeder

Legendary L.A. scribe Charles Bukowski penned the semiautobiographical screenplay for this gritty but graceful profile of an alcoholic writer. Mickey Rourke stars as Henry Chinaski, subsisting on menial jobs and the occasional writing gig as he spends the nights drinking and fighting with bartender Eddie (Frank Stallone). Golden Globe nominee Faye Dunaway costars as the kindred spirit who takes up with Henry after the two meet at another local saloon.


DESPERATE HOURS
1990, Park Circus/MGM, 105 min, Dir: Michael Cimino

Bristling with energy, director Michael Cimino and producer Dino De Laurentiis’ remake of the 1955 crime drama stars Mickey Rourke as Michael Bosworth, a psychotic criminal who uses his lawyer to escape while on trial. With two associates, Bosworth invades the home of Tim and Nora Cornell (Anthony Hopkins and Mimi Rogers), holding them and their kids hostage while they hide out for a few hours. Rourke’s and Hopkins’ full-throttle performances are matched by that of Lindsay Crouse as the FBI agent in pursuit.


SIN CITY
2005, Dimension Films, 124 min, USA, Dir: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller

Director Robert Rodriguez - with a little help from Quentin Tarantino - turned graphic novelist/co-director Frank Miller’s neo-noir tales of dark doings in Basin City into one of the most visually striking films of recent years. An anthology of several short stories (“The Hard Goodbye,” “The Big Fat Kill,” “That Yellow Bastard” and “The Customer Is Always Right”), SIN CITY features an all-star ensemble cast including Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Josh Hartnett, Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen and Benicio Del Toro. The violent crime thriller was one of the first films shot on a digital backlot, with most of the sets (and color accents to the high-contrast B&W cinematography) added in post-production to create a look of glittering grime.


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