HELL IN THE PACIFIC
1968, Buena Vista Pictures, 103 min, USA, Dir: John Boorman

“They hunted each other as enemies…they tormented each other as savages…they faced each other as men!” This tense World War II drama stars two real-life veterans of that conflict, Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune, as soldiers stranded on a Pacific island who must learn to cooperate in order to survive. With minimal reliance on dialogue, director John Boorman’s third feature (and second with Marvin) benefits enormously from Conrad Hall’s cinematography and Lalo Schifrin’s music.


CAT BALLOU
1965, Sony Repertory, 97 min, USA, Dir: Elliot Silverstein

Jane Fonda plays the title role in this comedic hit, named by the AFI as one of the top 10 Westerns of all time. Schoolteacher Catherine Ballou must resort to desperate measures when her father and his Wyoming ranch are targeted by the Wolf City Development Corporation, but the man she hires as a gunfighter turns out to be a drunk. For his dual role as inebriated Kid Shelleen and his assassin brother, Lee Marvin won a Best Actor Oscar. Among the memorable supporting performers are Nat King Cole and Stubby Kaye, who provide running musical commentary.


THE KILLERS (1964)
1964, Universal, 93 min, USA, Dir: Donald Siegel

This second adaptation of the Ernest Hemingway short story features Lee Marvin and Clu Gulager as hit men puzzled by the calm demeanor of their latest victim (John Cassavetes). The dead man held the secret to a million-dollar heist, and the missing loot draws the killers into the worlds of femme fatale Sheila Farr (Angie Dickinson) and mob boss Jack Browning (Ronald Reagan, in his final film role before turning to politics).


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