THE FORTUNE
1975, Sony Repertory, 88 min, USA, Dir: Mike Nichols

Sexier than the Marx Bros., handsomer than Laurel and Hardy but not as smart as the Three Stooges, hapless 1920s con men Warren Beatty and Jack Nicholson see big money in the person of sanitary-napkin heiress Stockard Channing, and they’re willing to stoop to marriage and murder to get it. With its offbeat characters and occasionally dark tone, this underrated gem is a favorite of Joel and Ethan Coen. “Manically scatterbrained … farce of a rare order.” - Vincent Canby, The New York Times.


MINNIE AND MOSKOWITZ
1971, Universal, 114 min, USA, Dir: John Cassavetes

Minnie Moore is a museum curator, whose married boyfriend does little for her self-esteem. Enter parking-lot attendant Seymour Moskowitz, who tells Minnie, “I think about you so much, I forget to go to the bathroom!” As mismatched as the title couple may seem, Gena Rowlands and Seymour Cassel make these wounded but hopeful souls entirely real. While Cassavetes remains conscious of the disconnect between movie-inspired romantic ideals and real-life relationships, he gives an early-’70s New Hollywood spin to the screwball comedy here.


PLATINUM BLONDE
1931, Sony Repertory, 89 min, USA, Dir: Frank Capra

The newspaper business inspired some of the best screwball comedies, this early gem from director Frank Capra among them. Workaday reporter Robert Williams catches the eye of idly rich Jean Harlow when he writes a story about her playboy brother. Can their marriage survive the difference in social class? Not if fellow journalist Loretta Young has anything to do with it! If the film’s title is forever associated with Harlow, the real revelation is Williams’ sparkling performance (which was also his last; he died days after PLATINUM BLONDE premiered).


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