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Cinema

Frank Sidebottom The Home of the Retrospective

FILM RETROSPECTIVES

A nostalgic (but not blindly nostalgic) look back at some cult and classic movies. Are they worth checking out once you take off the rose-tinted glasses? Find out in this retrospective section.

Harper (1966) starring Paul Newman and Lauren Bacall

This William Goldman-penned, Jack Smight-directed adaptation of Ross Macdonald's novel updates the dark and cynical language of film noir with a dash of 1960s cool and California sun. It's a fine opportunity to hang out with various dubious characters played by an all-star cast.

Paul Newman and Janet Leigh in Harper

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Point Blank (1967) starring Lee Marvin and Angie Dickinson

John Boorman's adaptation of Donald E. Westlake’s novel combines a dreamlike depiction of a man in shell-shock with a memorably pulpy, violent action-thriller. It's one of Marvin's best and also features a fine rogue's gallery of supporting actors including Carroll O'Connor and John Vernon.

Lee Marvin in Point Blank (1967)

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The Bloodstained Butterfly (1971) directed by Duccio Tessari

This Italian giallo murder mystery deviates from the usual tropes to provide a classy and surprisingly cinematic legal procedural.

Carole André in The Bloodstained Butterfly

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Les Diaboliques (1955) directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot

This adaptation of Pierre Boileau & Thomas Narcejac's novel is a darkly potent thriller full of suspense and twists which proved to be a major inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock.

Véra Clouzot in Les Diaboliques

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The Killers (1964) starring Lee Marvin and Angie Dickinson

Don Siegel's adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's short story overcomes its cheap made-for-TV production values with some hilariously hardboiled dialogue, playful violence and the classic onscreen double-act of Lee Marvin and Clu Gulager.

Lee Marvin and Clu Gulager in The Killers

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North by Northwest (1959) directed by Alfred Hitchcock

While an archetypal mixture of Hitchcockian tropes, this vicariously thrilling and funny adventure stands as one of his very best.

Cary Grant in North by Northwest

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Duel (1971) - Steven Spielberg’s first major hit

This made-for-TV killer trucker movie was such an eye-opener that it got extended and put in cinemas. It's a film loaded with cat-and-mouse tension and terror ably bolstered by Dennis Weaver's fine performance.

Truck in Steven Spielberg's Duel

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The Parallax View (1974) directed by Alan J. Pakula

This imaginative and disturbing conspiracy thriller starring Warren Beatty was given some extra charge at the time because of the Watergate Scandal and still holds up well today.

The Parallax View finale

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The Conversation (1974) directed by Francis Ford Coppola

Gene Hackman plays a surveillance expert in this neglected masterpiece. A superbly-constructed thriller cum character study focussing on perception.

Gene Hackman with saxophone in The Conversation

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Beverly Hills Cop (1984) starring Eddie Murphy

This comedic cop thriller, directed by Martin Brest and produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, is formula stuff but blends action and humour very well.

Eddie Murphy, John Ashton and Judge Reinhold in Beverly Hills Cop

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