ARTISTS AND MODELS
1955, Paramount, 109 min, Dir: Frank Tashlin

Former Looney Tunes director Frank Tashlin was the perfect choice to helm this wacky tale about comic books and their creators. In one of the last and best films of their highly successful partnership, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis play an aspiring artist and his comics-obsessed roommate; Dorothy Malone and Shirley MacLaine (in her second feature) provide romantic interest. Along with prime Lewis slapstick, Dino gets to croon some wonderful songs by Harry Warren and Jack Brooks.


PURPLE RAIN
1984, Warner Bros., 111 min, Dir: Albert Magnoli

Prince ascended to superstardom with his big-screen debut as The Kid, frontman of rock-R&B band The Revolution. Burdened with a troubled home life, The Kid also must contend with a rival bandleader (a wonderfully charismatic Morris Day) out to steal both his slot at a Minneapolis nightclub and his new girlfriend (Apollonia Kotero). Given the setting, there are plenty of electrifying performances here, and Prince’s Oscar-winning score includes such classics as “Let's Go Crazy,” “When Doves Cry” and the title song.


THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE
1983, Universal, 112 min, Dir: Wilford Leach

Much of producer Joseph Papp’s 1981 Broadway cast – including Rex Smith, Linda Ronstadt and Tony winner Kevin Kline – reprise their roles in this magical big screen adaptation of the beloved Gilbert & Sullivan comic opera. Angela Lansbury joins them as Ruth, the nursemaid who entrusts Frederic (Smith) to the Pirate King (Kline) until his 21st birthday, at which point Frederic meets and falls in love with the beautiful Mabel Stanley (Ronstadt) – but leaving the Pirates of Penzance proves trickier than he anticipated.


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