KINGPIN
1996, MGM Repertory, 113 min, USA, Dir: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly

The tagline says it all for this laugh-out-loud lewd fest from the Farrelly brothers: “A movie with a lot of balls.” Roy (Woody Harrelson) would have been the world’s best bowler, if not for the loss of his bowling hand to a gang of ruffians. Now a down-and-out bowling alley supplies salesman with a prosthetic hook for a hand, Roy encounters Ishmael (Randy Quaid), a Quaker runaway who dreams of hitting the bowling big-time, and begins training this newfound protege to become the next king of the bowling lanes. With Bill Murray in fine form as Ishmael’s toughest competition, bowling celebrity Ernie McCracken.


THE BIG LEBOWSKI
1998, Universal, 117 min, USA, Dir: Joel Coen

“What do you do for recreation?” “Oh, the usual. I bowl. Drive around. The occasional acid flashback.” The Dude (a perfectly cast Jeff Bridges) decides to seek satisfaction when he’s mistaken by some German nihilists for an uptight multimillionaire with the same name, Jeffrey Lebowski (David Huddleston). Enlisting the help of his best bowling buddies, short-fuse ’Nam vet Walter (a brilliantly misguided John Goodman) and wimpy Donny (Steve Buscemi), the Dude is determined to get to the bottom of the confusion of identities. With an excellent and appropriately bizarre supporting cast, including a seductive, swing-riding Julianne Moore as Maude Lebowski, John Turturro as bowling rival and pederast “The Jesus,” and Tara Reid as millionaire Lebowski’s bored, pedicured trophy wife.


HAZARD
1948, Paramount [Universal], 95 min, USA, Dir: George Marshall

More a comedy-adventure than a straight noir, but we welcome any chance to see Paulette Goddard in her prime! She plays a gambler who antes herself up as the prize in a game against a professional card shark (Fred Clark). Upon losing, she takes it on the lam, pursued cross-country by a private dick (Macdonald Carey) hired to haul her back to the altar. Surrounded by a wonderful cast (Stanley Clements, Percy Helton, Frank Faylen, Taylor Holmes, Charles McGraw), Goddard shows why she was one of the most luminous and charismatic stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Not on DVD!


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