A FISH CALLED WANDA
1988, Park Circus/MGM, 108 min, USA/UK, Dir: Charles Crichton

A tale of murder, lust, greed, revenge and seafood. It’s the Ealing Studios meets Monty Python and one of the funniest films ever made. Ealing great Charles Crichton (THE LAVENDER HILL MOB) directs John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin (“Don't call me stupid.”) Kline in his Oscar-winning performance. The best slapstick comedy this side of the Marx Brothers. A movie that manages to be smart, dumb and mean all at the same time.


THE LAVENDER HILL MOB
1951, Rialto Pictures, 81 min, UK, Dir: Charles Crichton

The distinctive blend of comedy and crime that made Ealing one of Britain’s most revered studios is on full display in this tale of a bank clerk (Alec Guinness) and a foundry owner (Stanley Holloway) who concoct a nearly perfect plot to steal a fortune in gold bullion. The film struck some gold at the Academy Awards, with a Best Actor nomination for Guinness (his first) and a Best Original Screenplay award for writer T.E.B. Clarke. Keep your eyes peeled for young Audrey Hepburn and Robert Shaw in minor roles.


BIRDMAN OF ALCATRAZ
1962, Park Circus, 147 min, USA, Dir: John Frankenheimer, Charles Crichton

Convicted killer Robert Stroud (Burt Lancaster) becomes an internationally respected bird expert from behind prison bars in this true story. Director John Frankenheimer livens up a potentially static tale with innovative visuals and help from a supporting cast that includes Karl Malden, Telly Savalas and Edmond O'Brien.


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