THE DIRTY DOZEN
1967, Warner Bros., 149 min, USA, Dir: Robert Aldrich

Lee Marvin whips a group of unruly criminals (including John Cassavetes and Charles Bronson) into shape for a WWII suicide mission, and the result is an action epic that deals with issues of race, class and war in a massively entertaining context. Ernest Borgnine is an ornery general making Marvin’s life hell.


IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT
1967, Park Circus/MGM, 109 min, USA, Dir: Norman Jewison

Director Norman Jewison’s hard-hitting Southern murder mystery garnered five Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Rod Steiger), Best Screenplay (Sterling Silliphant) and Best Editing (Hal Ashby). Philadelphia homicide detective Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) arrives in a small Southern town to visit his mother but becomes embroiled in a murder investigation when he is picked up as a suspect by the local constabulary for no reason other than the color of his skin. When Tibbs’ profession is verified, his Philadelphia boss offers Tibbs’ services to redneck Sheriff Steiger to help on the investigation. Incredulous, wary and unapologetically racist, Steiger reluctantly accepts and eventually learns to respect his northern colleague.


CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE
1945, 20th Century Fox, 68 min, USA, Dir: John Larkin

Lloyd Nolan plays a noble postman trying to save a father (Michael O’Shea) accused of killing the grumpy SOB who roughed up his young son. A deep roster of B-movie stalwarts gives life to this creaky, preachy but hugely entertaining warning about the dangers of “circumstantial evidence.” Directed by John Larkin. NOT ON DVD


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