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Cinema

Frank Sidebottom The Home of the Retrospective

ON DVD & BLU-RAY

Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion (1970) Blu Ray (Arrow)

Luciano Ercoli's giallo features a distinctive shortage of murders and a fairly derivative, predictable mystery plot. However, there's style to burn in Alejandro Ulloa’s cinematography, Ennio Morricone’s score and the precious red-headed beauty of Dagmar Lassander.

Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion (1970)

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Yanks (1979) dir: John Schlesinger Blu Ray & DVD (Eureka!)

This absorbing WWII drama features a trio of romances between American soldiers and British ladies. However, it's the attention to background details and cultural differences which provide the real meat here, rather than these couplings. Starring Richard Gere, Lisa Eichhorn, Vanessa Redgrave and William Devane.

Yanks (1979)

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Shampoo (1975) Blu Ray (The Criterion Collection)

Warren Beatty plays a lothario hairdresser who juggles multiple girlfriends: Julie Christie, Goldie Hawn and Lee Grant. As farce and satire, it doesn't really work as it should but there is some amusement to be had, along with Carrie Fisher in her movie debut.

Warren Beatty in Shampoo (1975)

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The Pyjama Girl Case (1977) starring Ray Milland Blu Ray (Arrow)

This Italian-made mystery, set in Sydney in Australia, was inspired by an actual murder case which occurred in the same area. Far from being the typical giallo, it’s one of those films which could leave the viewer genuinely in two minds about it.

Dalila Di Lazzaro in The Pyjama Girl Case

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The Odessa File (1974) starring Jon Voight (Indicator)

Ronald Neame's serviceable but rather talk-heavy adaptation of Frederick Forsyth's novel is worth watching mainly for the story, Voight’s performance and some tense moments of action. You'll never look at German subway trains the same way again.

Jon Voight in The Odessa File

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Death Line (1972) starring Donald Pleasance Blu Ray (Network)

Mind the doors! If you can buy the implausible premise of cannibals descended from former London Tube construction workers, then this intelligent and gruesome horror is for you. Donald Pleasance gives an enjoyable, eccentric performance as the determinedly working class police inspector on the case.

Death Line (1972)

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Street Mobster (1972) starring Bunta Sugawara Blu Ray (Arrow)

Kinji Fukasaku's distinctively deglamourised Jitsuroku eiga Yakuza flick makes heavy use of shaky cinéma vérité camerawork and Dutch angles. It has a certain raw energy about it but fails to generate much sympathy for its central protagonist.

A Yakuza tattoo in display in Street Mobster (1972)

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Alice Sweet Alice (1976) dir: Alfred Sole Blu Ray (88 Films)

Paula E. Sheppard plays a troubled young girl who is accused of murder in this Catholic-flavoured proto-slasher, which also features Brooke Shields in her first film role. It's overly melodramatic but has some effectively messy kill scenes.

Brooke Shields in Alice Sweet Alice

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The Case of the Scorpion's Tail (1971) Blu Ray (Arrow)

This typically entertaining Sergio Martino giallo makes up for its convoluted and contrived plot with some energetic setpieces and blood-splattered murders.

Ida Galli in The Case of the Scorpion's Tail

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The China Syndrome (1979) Blu Ray (Indicator)

James Bridges' account of a nuclear plant incident has some truly chilling real-life precedents. This 1970s mixture of ambitious reporter movie, paranoia thriller and disaster movie is highlighted by excellent performances courtesy of Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon and Michael Douglas.

Jack Lemmon in The China Syndrome

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