KING OF HEARTS
1966, Cohen Media, 102 min, France/Italy, Dir: Philippe de Broca

During World War I, Scottish soldier Private Plumpick (Alan Bates) is sent on a mission to a village in the French countryside to disarm a bomb set by the retreating German army. Plumpick encounters a strange town occupied by the former residents of the local psychiatric hospital, who escaped after the villagers deserted. Assuming roles like bishop, duke, barber and circus ringmaster, they warmly accept the visitor as their King of Hearts. With his reconnaissance and bomb-defusing mission looming, Plumpick starts to prefer the acceptance of the insane locals over the insanity of the war raging outside. Since its debut, KING OF HEARTS has become a worldwide cult favorite and stands out as one of de Broca’s most memorable films.


LE MONTE-CHARGE
1962, Gaumont, 90 min, France/Italy, Dir: Marcel Bluwal

A highly fruitful collaboration between actor-director Robert Hossein and hard-boiled novelist Frédéric Dard (THE WICKED GO TO HELL, BLONDE IN A WHITE CAR) comes to an end with this spooky sendup of ELEVATOR TO THE GALLOWS, where ex-con Hossein returns to his old criminal haunts on Christmas Eve only to hook up with a mysterious, alluring woman (Lea Massari) whose circumstances become more complicated and bizarre as the evening progresses. In the midst of the “elevating” terror, one senses director Bluwal’s tongue subtly in cheek.


SALVADOR
1986, Park Circus/MGM, 123 min, UK/USA, Dir: Oliver Stone

Disenfranchised U.S. photojournalist Ricky Boyle (James Woods) throws himself and reluctant party buddy James Belushi into the turmoil of the 1980 Central American military dictatorship, winding up caught between the rebels and his own CIA. John Savage and Michael Murphy co-star. Boyle and Stone were nominated for Best Original Screenplay.


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