THE VIKINGS
1958, MGM/Park Circus, 116 min, USA, Dir: Richard Fleischer

Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis play warring adventurers locked in a battle for land and the heart (or, more accurately, body) of the gorgeous Janet Leigh in this rousing epic. With an exuberant performance by Ernest Borgnine as the head Viking and stylish direction by the ever reliable Richard Fleischer, this is a fast, funny spectacle not to be missed on the big screen.


THE NEW CENTURIONS
1972, Sony Repertory, 103 min, USA, Dir: Richard Fleischer

Director Richard Fleischer brings his usual straightforward approach to this underrated adaptation of former cop-turned-author Joseph Wambaugh’s bestseller. George C. Scott is excellent as the seasoned police veteran who shepherds young newcomer Stacy Keach in the ways of the street. Initially hoping to support himself by police work until he gets his degree, law student Keach is gradually worn down by the pitiless grind and lets go of his ambition and family (including wife Jane Alexander). The job likewise takes its toll on Scott, but he is better at keeping his emotions hidden – until it is too late.


BARABBAS
1961, Sony Repertory, 137 min, Italy, Dir: Richard Fleischer

Closer in spirit to Scorsese’s THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST than to the biblical epics of its own day, director Richard Fleischer’s visually stunning drama (shot in Technirama 70) about the thief (Anthony Quinn) given amnesty in place of Jesus is a moving, gritty and harrowingly unsentimental odyssey of one lonely unfortunate’s spiritual evolution. With Silvana Mangano, Ernest Borgnine and Jack Palance.


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