BATMAN (1966)
1966, 20th Century Fox, 105 min, USA, Dir: Leslie Martinson

The "Batman" TV show spawned this feature-length opus, bringing to the big screen more tongue-in-cheek antics from Batman (Adam West) and Robin (Burt Ward) as they battle a villainous alliance of the Penguin (Burgess Meredith), the Joker (Cesar Romero), the Riddler (Frank Gorshin) and Catwoman (Lee Meriwether).


NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN
1983, Park Circus/MGM, 134 min, UK/USA, Dir: Irvin Kershner

Sean Connery learned not to say “never” when he returned to the screen as James Bond after swearing off the role following DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER. In this second adaptation of Ian Fleming’s Thunderball, the British Secret Service agent must recover a pair of nuclear warheads stolen by SPECTRE operative Maximillian Largo (Klaus Maria Brandauer). Made outside of the franchise’s usual Eon Productions, NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN features some new faces playing familiar characters (Max von Sydow as Blofeld, Edward Fox as M) as well as Kim Basinger and Barbara Carrera as the requisite “Bond girls.”


FLASH GORDON
1980, Universal, 111 min, France/USA, Dir: Mike Hodges

Like the early-1930s serial, director Mike Hodges’ FLASH is surprisingly faithful to Alex Raymond’s original comic strip, with just the right balance of action, tongue-in-cheek humor and mind-blowing production design (here courtesy of wizard Danilo Donati), with a score by none other than Queen! Relative unknowns Sam J. Jones and Melody Anderson play Flash and Dale, but the supporting cast is full of heavyweights, including Max Von Sydow as Ming, Topol as Dr. Zarkov and Ornella Muti as Aura, as well as Lina Wertmuller favorite Mariangela Melato (SWEPT AWAY) and future James Bond Timothy Dalton.


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