THE BIG NIGHT
1951, Park Circus, 75 min, USA, Dir: Joseph Losey

George LeMain (John Barrymore Jr.) “celebrates” his 16th birthday by witnessing his father (Preston Foster) stoically absorb a dreadful beating from a mysterious local operator. The youngster seeks answers - and revenge - during an all night odyssey through downtown L.A., making this a truly noir coming-of-age tale. Losey abandoned the film during editing, fleeing to England after being subpoenaed by HUAC; co-screenwriters Hugo Butler and Ring Lardner Jr. adapted Stanley Ellin’s novel Dreadful Summit but were denied credit and blacklisted (along with supporting players Dorothy Comingore and Howland Chamberlain).


MASH
1970, 20th Century Fox, 116 min, USA, Dir: Robert Altman

Director Robert Altman’s breakout film defines black comedy and the pushing-the-envelope, pioneering spirit then blossoming in the New Hollywood of the 1970s. Donald Sutherland and Elliott Gould are hilarious as Hawkeye Pierce and Trapper John, newly arrived surgeons at the 4077th MASH unit located in a Korean War battle zone. They’re anarchic spirits with no patience for hypocrisy, bureaucracy or stupidity. Timeless, with a dream cast of standout performers, including Robert Duvall, Sally Kellerman and Tom Skerritt.


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