1960, 76 min, Czechoslovakia, Dir: Frantisek Vlacil

A forerunner of the Czech New Wave, Vlacil creates a touching allegory for the universal craving for freedom in his visually stunning first feature, infusing two parallel stories with powerful psychological connections. A homing pigeon released in Belgium flies across Europe toward a young girl who waits by the sea. A lonely boy in Prague wounds the bird with his gun and then remorsefully nurses it back to health, reluctant to set it free. With Katerina Irmanovova, Anna Pitasova. In Czech with English subtitles.

1981, Universal, 109 min, UK, USA, Dir: Mark Rydell

Writer Ernest Thompson’s adaptation of his 1979 play gave Henry Fonda one of the movies’ greatest swan songs. In his final performance, Fonda plays Norman Thayer, a retiree living on a lake called Golden Pond with his wife, Ethel (Katharine Hepburn). When their only child (played by Fonda’s real-life daughter, Jane) arrives with her fiancé and his son, the Thayers agree to take the boy for a few weeks while the couple get married and honeymoon. As the summer passes, the cantankerous old man slowly bonds with the teenager, something he was never able to do with his daughter. This warm look at love and reconciliation in the face of advancing age won Oscars for Fonda, Hepburn and Thompson and remains one of the most popular films of the 1980s.

1949, Sony Repertory, 100 min, USA, Dir: Nicholas Ray

Ray’s second picture was produced by star Humphrey Bogart’s Santana Productions and it reflects the gutsy social realism both men favored in their storytelling. Delinquent John Derek and his gutter-rat chums have shot a cop during a robbery. Bogart’s character, a successful attorney who extricated himself from the ghetto, feels obligated to defend Derek. Ray poses eternal questions about character versus environment and which is more responsible for rampant urban crime. NOT AVAILABLE ON DVD!

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