FIERCE CREATURES
1997, Universal, 93 min, UK/USA, Dir: Fred Schepisi, Robert Young

The stars of A FISH CALLED WANDA reconvened for this underrated farce adapted from an idea by Monty Python’s Terry Jones and Michael Palin. A series of corporate mergers brings Jamie Lee Curtis to the Marwood Zoo, where the institution’s director (John Cleese) and its owner (Kevin Kline, in a dual role) have differing ideas on how to boost profits. Among the schemes that goes hilariously wrong: a plan to purge the zoo of all animals that aren’t violent enough to draw crowds of onlookers.


ICEMAN
1984, Universal, 100 min, USA, Dir: Fred Schepisi

In this thought-provoking sci-fi drama, anthropologist Stanley Shephard (Timothy Hutton) is summoned to an Arctic base when a Neanderthal man is discovered frozen in a glacier. As the scientists thaw the body, the man (an Oscar-worthy John Lone) is resuscitated – and at risk of becoming a guinea pig for research unless Shephard intervenes.


ROXANNE
1987, Sony Repertory, 107 min, USA, Dir: Fred Schepisi

Steve Martin was never better than as long-nosed Colorado fire chief C.D. Bales in this sparkling update of Cyrano de Bergerac. Daryl Hannah is the titular beauty who catches the eye of a rookie fireman (Rick Rossovich) reliant on Bales’ way with words for his love letters to her. Martin penned the screenplay to this charming romantic comedy, among the best of the 1980s - the film’s barroom challenge to devise 20 nose jokes is just one example of the writer-star’s razor-sharp wit.


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