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Cinema

Frank Sidebottom The Home of the Retrospective

ON DVD & BLU-RAY

The Defiant Ones (1958) dir: Stanley Kramer Blu Ray & DVD (Eureka!)

Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis play a pair of escaped prisoners chained together in this grittily realistic but entertaining look at racism. The two leads perform most of their own stunts, creating a sense of immersion in the film's natural dangers.

Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier in The Defiant Ones (1958)

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No Way Out (1950) starring Sidney Poitier Blu Ray & DVD (Eureka!)

Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s film noir message movie helped to pave the way for African-American leading men in Hollywood cinema. Aside from Poitier's subtly engaging performance, we get Richard Widmark's supremely loathsome racist villain and Linda Darnell as a hard-bitten wild card.

Sidney Poitier and Richard Widmark in No Way Out (1950)

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Inherit the Wind (1960) Blu Ray & DVD (Eureka!)

Stanley Kramer’s depiction of religious fundamentalism and group dynamics in a Bible Belt town remains all-too-relevant today. Its success centres on the powerhouse performances of Spencer Tracy and Fredric March, along with a cynically witty turn by Gene Kelly.

Fredric March in Inherit the Wind (1960)

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Smash Palace (1981) dir: Roger Donaldson Blu Ray (Arrow Academy)

This New Zealand-made drama, chronicling the emotional car crash of a marital breakup, holds its oddball genre mix together thanks to Bruno Lawrence's superb performance and Roger Donaldson's exhilarating direction.

Bruno Lawrence in Smash Palace

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The Grifters (1990) dir: Stephen Frears Blu Ray & DVD (101 Films)

This neo-noir, adapted from Jim Thompson's novel, is a stylishly tragic portrayal of the human beings behind its sundry scams and hardboiled dialogue. It's an overlooked gem, featuring outstanding performances by John Cusack, Anjelica Huston and Annette Bening.

The Grifters (1990) directed by Stephen Frears

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Irma Vep (1996) starring Maggie Cheung Blu Ray (Arrow Academy)

Olivier Assayas' underrated gem is an incredibly hard film to pigeonhole - at once a behind-the-scenes mockumentary jab at the arty pretensions of modern French cinema and an ode to the incomparable beauty of actress Maggie Cheung.

Maggie Cheung in Irma Vep (1996)

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Marty (1955) starring Ernest Borgnine Dual Format (Eureka!)

This Paddy Chayefsky-penned, Delbert Mann-directed tale of an Italian-American bachelor is a well-acted and heartfelt movie despite a few dated aspects. Oscar-winning Ernest Borgnine gives one of his finest and most multilayered performances here.

Betsy Blair and Ernest Borgnine in Marty

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The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972) Blu Ray (Indicator)

Paul Newman directed his wife Joanne Woodward and daughter Nell Potts in this sad but surprisingly funny and rewarding drama examining both the inherent psychological abuse within a broken family and the beacon of hope brought by education.

Nell Potts in The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds

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Suddenly, Last Summer (1959) Blu Ray (Indicator)

Joseph L. Mankiewicz's controversial adaptation of Tennessee Williams' play of homosexuality and lobotomies heavily emphasises words to paint pictures, yet still manages to be impressively cinematic.

Elizabeth Taylor in Suddenly, Last Summer

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Breathless (1983) starring Richard Gere Blu Ray (Second Sight)

Jim McBride’s American remake of Jean-Luc Godard’s French arthouse classic is like daubing a cathedral with lively street art. It’s sacrilegious, to be sure, but in a way that is fascinatingly off-kilter and a hell of a lot of fun.

Valérie Kaprisky in Breathless

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Erik the Conqueror directed by Mario Bava

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