HOW I WON THE WAR
1967, Park Circus/MGM, 110 min, UK, Dir: Richard Lester

Maverick director Richard Lester (A HARD DAY’S NIGHT and HELP!) recruited John Lennon (in his only solo acting role) for this wildly surreal satire on war movies, featuring Michael Crawford (THE KNACK) as a blissfully unaware idiot charged with building a cricket pitch behind enemy lines during World War II. Although nominally set in the 1940s, HOW I WON THE WAR exudes the 1960s’ anti-establishment tone, featuring abrupt time shifts, jump-cutting and Lester’s patented blend of biting wit and surreal slapstick which presaged Monty Python. Incidentally, Lester always chafes when this film is simplistically described as “an anti-war movie.” As he explains: “It’s an ‘anti-WAR-MOVIE’ movie.” With Jack MacGowran.


A HARD DAY’S NIGHT
1964, Janus Films, 85 min, UK, Dir: Richard Lester

Director Richard Lester's brilliant, carefree comedy set the tone for the rest of the 1960s and captured The Beatles at their best, clowning (as one respected reviewer said) like the new Marx Bros. From Lester's restless, handheld camerawork to writer Alun Owen's surreal, day-in-the-life script and George Martin's sprightly score (both Oscar-nominated) to the Beatles themselves - exuberantly singing “Can't Buy Me Love,” “She Loves You” and 10 other Beatles classics - this is the essence of the ’60s.


SUPERMAN 2
1980, Warner Bros., 116 min, USA, Dir: Richard Lester

Three super-villains from Krypton (including Terence Stamp) arrive on Earth to bedevil Christopher Reeve’s Man of Steel.


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