Subject: Peter McEnery and Claudia Cardinale on sale for limited time




TODAY'S SPECIAL

The Adventures Of Gerard (1970)
Starring Peter McEnery and Claudia Cardinale

Beautiful color print and will play in all DVD players.
Peter McEnery stars as Col. Etienne Girard, Hussar officer of the Napoleonic era. The story takes place during the Little Corporal's 1808 campaign in the Spanish peninsula. Col. Gerard's adventures include an ongoing war of nerves against Napoleon's forces, not to mention a steamy affair with one Countess Teresa Claudia Cardinale. "Nappy" himself is played by Eli Wallach, who certainly has the right temperament for the role, even though he's much too tall to be thoroughly convincing. Filmed in Spain, The Adventures of Gerard is based on characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Director: Jerzy Skolimowski
Writers: H.A.L. Craig (scenario), Arthur Conan Doyle (based on the "Brigadier Gerard" stories by)

Stars: Peter McEnery, Claudia Cardinale, Eli Wallach, Jack Hawkins, Mark Burns, Norman Rossington, John Neville
The makeup department built up the bridge on Eli Wallach's nose to make it more like Napoleon's.
There's plenty of amusing detail to savor - the subject matter of the Napoleonic Wars is treated as farce most of the time and, in fact, there's quite a bit of slapstick involved (to which Skolimowski's technique is happy to oblige via numerous camera tricks, pretty much the sole link here to his early Polish films) - and, accordingly, all the performances are broadly delineated: Peter McEnery is a pompous yet likable ne'er-do-well hero; Eli Wallach is a buffoonish (and gay) Napoleon; while Jack Hawkins has a whale of a time (which, alas, happened very seldom in the films he made following the tragic loss of his voice) as the flustered leader of a bandit rabble who have adopted novel means of torture and execution.
Apart from asides to the audience, McEnery also engages in a constantly interrupted duel with British officer Mark Burns - with whom he also spars for the affections of beautiful and fiery Spanish countess Claudia Cardinale. John Neville is the Duke of Wellington in his last film for almost 20 years (when he achieved some latter-day notoriety, in another tongue-in-cheek fantasia no less, with the title role of Terry Gilliam's THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN [1988]). Riz Ortolani contributes a suitably jaunty, yet frequently rousing, score.
There are also very weirdly filmed (and plain weird) sequences that put this film far above other silly 1960s "romp films." The best example is a stunning slow-mo bit where a bandit with his head popping up in the middle of table is killed William Tell fashion by his preposterously debonair chief.
This is a fun film. With its tongue-and-cheek dialog ("The Emperor himself approved my mustache!"), none-too-subtle sex humor, vigorous visual gags, hairbreadth escapes and coincidences, broad stereotypes (the English and their tea! and there is a whole fox-hunting sequence), and the time-honored technique of directly addressing the camera (which is a technique I like, when done well, which it is here), it is a genuine hoot. And McEnery has a subtlety about him. He can do a lot with a twist of his mustache or a raised eyebrow. He does sexy-stupid really well.
Order this rarely-seen and hard-to-find classic today for the low price of $5.99.
New Additions At Zeus:
Barnacle Bill (1941)

Stars: Wallace Beery, Marjorie Main, Leo Carrillo

MGM tried to recapture the magic of the Wallace Beery/Marie Dressler films of the 1930s with Barnacle Bill. Beery is teamed with Marjorie Main, a Dressler "type" who had a roughneck style all her own. In the film, grumbly old fisherman Beery spends most of his screen time avoiding Main, who intends to trap him into matrimony. The rest of the time, Beery must contend with a daughter he never knew he had and with landlubbers who want to rob him of his seagoing livelihood. Barnacle Bill was one of six MGM films costarring Wallace Beery and Marjorie Main, an experience neither star enjoyed very much.
Barricade (1950)

Stars: Dane Clark, Raymond Massey, Ruth Roman

Gold-mine operator "Boss" Kruger (Raymond Massey) has certainly earned his nickname. A frontier dictator, Kruger runs his mine like a prison colony; indeed, most of the workers are fugitives from justice, given dubious "protection" by Kruger. Two of the laborers are Judith Burns (Ruth Roman) and Bob Peters (Dane Clark), both on the lam from the law. Judith and Bob befriend lawyer Milburn (Robert Douglas), who seeks to prove that Kruger is a murderer. A bit too talky for the tastes of most western fans, Barricade redeems itself with a spectacularly violent conclusion.
Barry Lyndon (1975)

Stars: Ryan O'Neal, Marisa Berenson, Patrick Magee

With ornate imagery reminiscent of paintings from the story's 18th century period, Stanley Kubrick's adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's novel depicts the rise and fall of a sensitive rogue in the British aristocracy. Young Irishman Redmond Barry (Ryan O'Neal) leaves home to seek his fortune after apparently killing an English officer in a duel. Through a series of mishaps and accidents, Barry winds up fighting with the Prussian army in the Seven Years' War under the command of Capt. Potzdorf (Hardy Kruger); at war's end, Potzdorf enlists Barry to spy on a shady Chevalier (Patrick Magee). Instead, Barry joins up with the Irish Chevalier to flee Prussia and live as gamblers among Europe's elite. Wishing to climb even higher, Barry soon meets the beautiful Lady Lyndon (Marisa Berenson), marrying her for her fortune after her older titled husband dies. Her son Lord Bullingdon (Leon Vitali), however, despises the upstart Barry, and, regardless of how his mother may feel, sees to it that the re-named Barry Lyndon will never be able to stake his claim to the entrenched aristocracy. Coming after Kubrick's esteemed hits 2001 (1968) and A Clockwork Orange (1971), Barry Lyndon opened with high expectations and met with decidedly mixed responses to its restrained tone. Even with Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Director (and wins for Cinematography, Art Direction, Costumes, and Adapted Score), Barry Lyndon was a box office failure, as mid-'70s audiences increasingly turned away from such narrative challenges as its epic length and muffled emotions. Since then, Barry Lyndon has gained in stature, taking its place among the formidable artistic achievements of Kubrick's career.
The Bashful Bachelor (1942)

Stars: Chester Lauck, Norris Goff, Zasu Pitts

The Bashful Bachelor was the second of six 1940s B films inspired by the popular radio series Lum 'N' Abner. The two principal characters are the proprietors of the Jot 'Em Down Store in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Lum (Chester Lauck) endeavors to impress a marriageable middle-aged lady (ZaSu Pitts) by becoming a hero. Lum's partner Abner (Norris Goff) reluctantly agrees to pretend to be the victim of several staged accidents, so that Lum can come to the rescue and prove his courage. Somehow this ends with a slapstick horse race. Director Mal St. Clair reaps better results from Lum 'N' Abner than he would in his subsequent Laurel & Hardy comedies at 20th Century-Fox. The Bashful Bachelor was put together by independent Voco Productions, and released by RKO Radio.


Bathing Beauty (1944)

Stars: Red Skelton, Esther Williams, Basil Rathbone

If you've never seen a '40s singing, swimming musical this may be the one to catch. Featuring a mammoth cast, including such notables as Xavier Cugat, Basil Rathbone, Red Skelton, and Esther Williams, this is a swimming spectacular. The plot's quite thin: Skelton plays a lovesick songwriter who enrolls in a girls' school to stay near his new wife who ditched him shortly after the wedding bells rang and was hired on as the college's swim teacher. Of course Esther Williams is the beautiful swimming instructor who spends most of her time in the pool performing in a score of choreographed pieces.

Keir Dullea

John Payne

Yvonne DeCarlo

Linda Darnell

Charlton Heston

Tony Curtis

Gary Cooper

Marilyn Monroe

Cliff Robertson

Arline Judge

Kay Francis

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