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1966, Cohen Media, 102 min, France/Italy, Dir: Philippe de Broca

During World War I, Scottish soldier Private Plumpick (Alan Bates) is sent on a mission to a village in the French countryside to disarm a bomb set by the retreating German army. Plumpick encounters a strange town occupied by the former residents of the local psychiatric hospital, who escaped after the villagers deserted. Assuming roles like bishop, duke, barber and circus ringmaster, they warmly accept the visitor as their King of Hearts. With his reconnaissance and bomb-defusing mission looming, Plumpick starts to prefer the acceptance of the insane locals over the insanity of the war raging outside. Since its debut, KING OF HEARTS has become a worldwide cult favorite and stands out as one of de Broca’s most memorable films.

1946, Janus Films, 100 min, France, Dir: Marcel Carné

Director Marcel Carné and collaborator Jacques Prévèrt, the toast of French cinema in 1945 with the release of the epic CHILDREN OF PARADISE, found themselves in the doghouse with critics and audiences alike when they released their follow-up, GATES OF THE NIGHT. A troubled production history (original stars Jean Gabin and Marlene Dietrich bailed out), a contentious storyline (no one was happy with the pointed references to the black market that had sprung up after the Liberation) and the film’s unremitting darkness raised eyebrows and hackles when it was released in 1946. Seventy years later, however, the film can be seen as a singular, masterful work, filled with colorful and mysterious performances - including a young and highly appealing Yves Montand. With Pierre Brasseur, Serge Reggiani, Jean Vilar and Nathalie Nattier.

1959, Rialto Pictures, 88 min, France, Dir: Georges Franju

The London Evening Standard called Georges Franju’s classic horror nightmare "one of the most poetic horror films in the history of cinema." Originally released in the U.S. as THE HORROR CHAMBER OF DR. FAUSTUS, EYES WITHOUT A FACE is a diabolical chiller about a brilliant scientist who steals the faces of young women to restore his own daughter’s shattered looks. With Pierre Brasseur, Edith Scob and Aida Valli. In French with English subtitles.

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