LISZTOMANIA
1975, Warner Bros., 103 min, UK, Dir: Ken Russell

Director Ken Russell is at his outrageous, surreal best in this biopic of Franz Liszt (played by The Who’s Roger Daltrey), an aural, visual and sexual feast for all the senses. Thrill to the progressive-rock score by Rick Wakeman (of Yes), which somehow incorporates rock, Liszt and Wagner in all their majesty. Pop-culture references abound as Russell equates Liszt with the music superstars of the day - and don’t miss the giant penises!


S.W.A.L.K.
aka MELODY
1971, 103 min, UK, Dir: Waris Hussein

This U.K. cult favorite about youthful romance - the titular acronym stands for “sealed with a loving kiss” - reunites OLIVER! stars Mark Lester and Jack Wild as school chums Daniel and Ornshaw, whose friendship is threatened when Daniel falls for Melody (Tracy Hyde). Future director Alan Parker got his start as the screenwriter on this film, which looks at love and marriage from a child’s point of view. With music by the Bee Gees.


CHARIOTS OF FIRE
1981, Warner Bros., 124 min, UK, Dir: Hugh Hudson

Based on actual events, this inspiring drama follows a pair of British runners in the 1924 Olympics: Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross) and Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson). Abrahams is a Jew who competes to battle anti-Semitism, while Liddell is a Christian who runs to glorify God - and confronts hurdles when he refuses to race on a Sunday. Named one of the top British films of all time by the British Film Institute, CHARIOTS OF FIRE won four Oscars, including Best Picture and Original Score (for Vangelis’ distinctive electronic music, forever linked to shots of young men in white running in slow motion along a beach).


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