1971, Buena Vista Pictures, 128 min, UK/USA, Dir: James Clavell

Writer-director James Clavell’s epic adventure takes place in the shadow of the Thirty Years War, which ravaged Germany in the 17th century. One remote region remains unscathed when Omar Sharif arrives in search of refuge; unfortunately, he’s been followed into the valley by Michael Caine and his band of mercenary soldiers. With superb performances, a highly literate script and one of John Barry’s best scores, THE LAST VALLEY brings a little-known period of history to vivid life.

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.

1979, Universal/Columbia, 146 min, USA, Dir: Steven Spielberg

In the wake of the Pearl Harbor attack, wayward Japanese submarines, unidentified aircraft and accidental explosions put Los Angeles into a state of panic in director Steven Spielberg’s first feature comedy, co-written by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale (BACK TO THE FUTURE) and inspired by actual events. As Captain Wild Bill Kelso, John Belushi leads an all-star cast including Dan Aykroyd, Ned Beatty, John Candy, Christopher Lee, Toshirō Mifune, Robert Stack and many more. The restored Extended Edition adds 28 minutes to this cult favorite along with a full 5.1 Dolby Surround sound mix.

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