POPEYE
1980, Paramount, 114 min, USA, Dir: Robert Altman

Few actors could bring a cartoon character to life the way Robin Williams does in his first major film role as the titular sailor man in director Robert Altman’s musical comedy (though Shelley Duvall is pretty well cast herself as rail-thin love interest Olive Oyl). Bluto, Wimpy, Swee'Pea and all your favorites are here, as Popeye searches for his father and discovers the power of spinach. While not the blockbuster it was expected to be, the film was a financial success, and its cult reputation has risen through the years, thanks in part to its Jules Feiffer-penned screenplay and Harry Nilsson’s music.


KISS ME, STUPID
1964, Park Circus/MGM, 126 min, USA, Dir: Billy Wilder

On the way from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, big-shot lounge singer Dino (Dean Martin) becomes stranded in Climax, Nevada. When local aspiring musicians (Ray Walston and Cliff Osmond) catch word of this, they sabotage Dino’s car and attempt to provide ingratiating entertainment in the form of local bar floozy Polly the Pistol (Kim Novak). With Felicia Farr and music by Ira and George Gershwin.


THE STING
1973, Universal, 129 min, USA, Dir: George Roy Hill

Circa 1936, con artist Robert Redford goes to his mentor, Paul Newman, for help when their mutual friend is whacked by the henchmen of numbers racketeer Robert Shaw. Newman decides to get a gang together that will put in play a complex scheme to fleece homicidal high-roller Shaw of a small fortune. The sterling cast includes Charles Durning, Ray Walston and Eileen Brennan. The epitome of the 1970s buddy film, THE STING won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Screenplay (by David S. Ward), Costume Design, Art Direction and Music (Marvin Hamlisch, adapted from Scott Joplin’s ragtime tunes).


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