JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN
1971, Shout Factory, 111 min, USA, Dir: Dalton Trumbo

Dalton Trumbo not only wrote but directed this fiercely powerful cry of anguish against the legions of aggression - the ultimate anti-war film. Joe (Timothy Bottoms), a foot soldier during WWI, loses his legs, arms and most of his face in an explosion. He awakes in a hospital and slowly becomes aware that not only is he imprisoned in a shell of a body but also the doctors think he is a vegetable. Through a series of flashbacks involving his father (Jason Robards), his fiancee and his fantasy encounters with Jesus Christ (Donald Sutherland), we learn about Joe’s character. As Joe’s hospital stay lengthens, he develops a friendship with a sympathetic nurse (Diane Varsi). “Trumbo has taken the most difficult sort of material - and handled it, strange to say, in a way that's not so much anti-war as pro-life. Perhaps that's why I admire it. Instead of belaboring ironic points about the ‘war to end war,’ Trumbo remains stubbornly on the human level. He lets his ideology grow out of his characters, instead of imposing it from above.” - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times.


GUN CRAZY
1950, Warner Bros., 86 min, USA, Dir: Joseph H. Lewis

A young man (John Dall) infatuated with firearms gets in over his head when he falls for a reckless carnival sharpshooter (Peggy Cummins) with a craving for armed robbery. Arguably the most hyper-charged, adrenaline-fueled B-movie of all time, the film has had a profound impact on several generations of filmmakers, from Jean-Luc Godard to Arthur Penn to Quentin Tarantino. Keep your eye out for a shot south down Las Palmas Avenue where you can see the newsstand and the church that still stand there today!


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