THE STAR
1952, Warner Bros., 89 min, USA, Dir: Stuart Heisler

“Come on, Oscar, let's you and me get drunk!” Bette Davis racked up another well-deserved Academy Award nomination playing a movie star whose career has hit the skids. Former actor turned boat mechanic Sterling Hayden throws her a lifeline - but can she put love above the chance at a Hollywood comeback? Natalie Wood costars.


THE ASPHALT JUNGLE
1950, Warner Brothers, 112 min, Dir: John Huston

The kingpin of caper films, featuring one of the best ensemble casts ever. Director John Huston's neo-realist adaptation of W. R. Burnett’s novel examines the ambitions of small-time hoods and brought a new level of empathy and authenticity to crime - that "left-handed form of human endeavor." Famous as the film that introduced Marilyn Monroe, THE ASPHALT JUNGLE deserves renewed recognition as a crucial work of noir Americana. With Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, James Whitmore and Jean Hagen.


THE LONG GOODBYE
1973, Park Circus/MGM, 112 min, USA, Dir: Robert Altman

Robert Altman deconstructs the private-eye genre while somehow remaining faithful to the spirit of the original Raymond Chandler novel (aided by screenwriter Leigh Brackett, who helped adapt Howard Hawks’ THE BIG SLEEP). Elliott Gould is a smart-aleck, slightly inept Philip Marlowe, a detective seemingly more concerned about feeding a cat than solving a case. He gets drawn into a labyrinth of deceptions and double crosses by friend Terry Lennox (Jim Bouton), a beautiful rich woman (Nina Van Pallandt) with a drunken, genius writer of a husband (Sterling Hayden in a tour de force portrayal), a quietly menacing psychiatrist (Henry Gibson) and a sociopathic gangster (Mark Rydell). Altman rips aside the slick veneer of the Southern California good life revealing the smog-drenched, corrupt underbelly like few other directors before or since.


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