MARATHON MAN
1976, Paramount, 125 min, USA, Dir: John Schlesinger

Nail-biting political thriller with Dustin Hoffman investigating the death of his government agent brother, Roy Scheider - and running smack into Nazi-on-the-run Laurence Olivier, in one of his most wildly entertaining performances. Marthe Keller earned a Golden Globe nomination for her role as Hoffman’s ill-fated girlfriend.


THE PROFESSIONALS
1966, Sony Repertory, 117 min, USA, Dir: Richard Brooks

Writer-director Richard Brooks earned a pair of Oscar nominations for this vastly underrated film. A Texas rancher enlists a team of mercenaries to rescue his wife, who has been kidnapped by a Mexican bandit. But the hired guns - Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan and Woody Strode – soon learn that their employer hasn’t told them the whole story (the outstanding cast also includes Ralph Bellamy, Claudia Cardinale and Jack Palance). Beautifully shot by Conrad Hall, THE PROFESSIONALS is an irresistible mix of action, intrigue and humor that ranks among the very best Westerns of the 1960s.


HELL IN THE PACIFIC
1968, Buena Vista Pictures, 103 min, USA, Dir: John Boorman

“They hunted each other as enemies…they tormented each other as savages…they faced each other as men!” This tense World War II drama stars two real-life veterans of that conflict, Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune, as soldiers stranded on a Pacific island who must learn to cooperate in order to survive. With minimal reliance on dialogue, director John Boorman’s third feature (and second with Marvin) benefits enormously from Conrad Hall’s cinematography and Lalo Schifrin’s music.


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