Subject: Zero Mostel and Phil Silvers on sale for limited time




TODAY'S SPECIAL

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum (1966)
Starring Zero Mostel and Phil Silvers

Beautiful print and will play in all DVD players.
Director Richard Lester uses the Burt Shevelove/Larry Gelbart/Stephen Sondheim Broadway musical hit as a launching pad for some of his wildest slapstick gaggery. Zero Mostel repeats his stage role as Pseudolus, the cunning Roman slave who'll do anything to win his freedom. The plot hinges on three Roman houses next door to each another. One is the home of Pseudolus' masters: the philandering Senex (Michael Hordern), his domineering wife, Domina (Patricia Jessell), and their handsome but empty-headed son, Hero (Michael Crawford). The second house is a brothel belonging to unctuous procurer Lycus (Phil Silvers). The third house has long been empty, in that its owner, the senile Erronius (Buster Keaton), has gone on a long journey to find his children, who were kidnapped in infancy by pirates. Other principals include Pseudolus' fellow slave, the aptly named Hysterium (Jack Gilford); vain warrior Miles Gloriosus (Leon Greene), who marches triumphantly into Rome declaring "I am a parade!"; and the virginal Philia (Annette Andre), a resident of Lycus' "domicile" who is loved by Hero but who has been promised in marriage to Miles Gloriosus. There are also acrobats, transvestites, a phony funeral, and an outsized climactic chase.
Director: Richard Lester
Writers: Melvin Frank, Michael Pertwee, Burt Shevelove, Larry Gelbart, Titus Maccius Plautus

Stars: Zero Mostel, Phil Silvers, Buster Keaton, Michael Crawford, Jack Gilford, Annette Andre, Michael Hordern, Leon Greene, Roy Kinnear, Alfie Bass, John Bluthal, Pamela Brown, Patricia Jessel
Academy Awards, USA 1967

Winner
Best Music, Scoring of Music, Adaptation or Treatment
Ken Thorne
Don Black accepting the award.

Golden Globes, USA 1967

Nominee
Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical

Songs include:

Comedy Tonight
Written by Stephen Sondheim
Performed by Zero Mostel and ensemble

Everybody Ought to Have a Maid
Written by Stephen Sondheim
Performed by Zero Mostel, Michael Hordern, Jack Gilford and Phil Silvers

Bring Me My Bride
Written by Stephen Sondheim
Performed by Leon Greene, Zero Mostel and the ensemble

Lovely
Written by Stephen Sondheim
Performed by Annette Andre and Michael Crawford

The Dirge
Written by Stephen Sondheim
Performed by Leon Greene and ensemble

While Buster Keaton often used a stunt double due to his illness, he improvised running into a tree branch and falling backwards onto the ground - much to the horror of the director and crew.  This was Buster Keaton's final film before his death on February 1, 1966 at the age of 70.
It was always considered essential to the film that Zero Mostel should repeat his Broadway success in the leading role, but the actor demanded director approval before he would agree to take part. He submitted a shortlist of five names, any of whom he would accept as director - Orson Welles, Charles Chaplin, Jean Renoir, Richard Lester and Seth Holt. Dick Lester got the job.
The ever-present flies in the end sequence are an in-reference to the actual flies that plagued the production. Fruit and vegetables were present throughout the sets on location in Spain, and were often left to rot in the sun at the end of the shooting day.
Order this rarely-seen and hard-to-find classic today for the low price of $5.99.
New Additions At Zeus:
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)

Stars: Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes, Lionel Jeffries

One of the stars of Walt Disney's Mary Poppins, Dick Van Dyke, is re-united with that film's composer and lyricist, Richard M.Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, in this big budget and bloodless children's fantasy musical, based on the children's book by James Bond author Ian Fleming. Van Dyke plays Caractacus Potts, a failed inventor who lives in a big house with his two children -- Jemima Heather Ripley and Jeremy Adrian Hall -- and eccentric father Lionel Jeffries. Potts has to raise 30 shillings so his children can buy a broken-down racing car from the junkyard. After a disastrous attempt to sell his invention of whistling sweets to Lord Scrumptious (James Robertson-Justice), the local candy maker, he finally gets enough money for the car by doing a Dick Van Dyke dance routine at the county fair. Potts takes the car and miraculously transforms the vehicle into a shiny new car named Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. While on a picnic with the children and Truly Scrumptious (Sally Ann Howes), Lord Scrumptious' beautiful daughter, Potts concocts a fantasy tale about the magical powers of the car, which can now float on water and fly. In the tale, Baron Bomburst (Gert Frobe) wants the car for himself and kidnaps the automobile and the inventor. But Bomburst captures Grandpa by mistake along with the wrong car, so Potts, Truly, and the children have to enlist Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on a rescue mission to Bomburst's lair to save Grandpa.

Life Portrait of Jimmy Carter (1999)

Early life and career of Jimmy Carter.
Threat To A Happy Ending (1957)

Stars: William Bendix, Gene Barry, Lori Nelson

How does a cop protect his family when his profession encroaches on his family life?
Big Hearted Herbert (1934)

Stars: Aline MacMahon, Guy Kibbee, Patricia Ellis

Guy Kibbee trots out his small-town blowhard routine in the title role of Big Hearted Herbert. He plays a former plumber who strikes it rich in the bathroom-fixture manufacturing business (guess which fixture we don't see in this Post-Code film). A stingy soul, Kibbee prefers the company of pinchpennies like himself. Though it's fun to see him tweak the noses of the local big spenders, Kibbee learns the error of his strict parsimony when his wife requires an emergency operation. Based on a play by Sophie Kerr and Anna Steese Richardson, Big Hearted Herbert was remade in 1940 as Father is a Prince.
Doctors' Wives (1931)

Stars: Warner Baxter, Joan Bennett, Victor Varconi

The trials of being a doctor's wife are presented in this drama. The story centers upon the problematic marriage of one couple. Their troubles begin when the doctor makes a housecall to a seductive woman with designs upon him. His suspicious wife follows him and spies on him. She thinks they are getting romantic when he is actually trying to extricate himself from his predatory patient. She decides to get revenge with his best friend, but nothing happens. The doctor later finds out that she saw him. He then becomes suspicious because it is she who is now seldom home. He confronts his friend about the alleged adultery. The friend becomes distraught and tries to kill himself. The doctor operates to save his friend's life. He then discovers that his wife has been taking nursing classes so she could work beside her husband and see him more often.
Watch On The Rhine (1943)

Stars: Bette Davis, Paul Lukas, Geraldine Fitzgerald

An expansion of, and improvement upon, Lillian Hellman's stage play of the same name, Watch on the Rhine stars Paul Lukas, recreating his Broadway role of tireless anti-fascist crusader Kurt Muller. As the clouds of war gather in Europe in the late 1930s, Muller arrives in Washington DC, accompanied by his American wife Sara (top-billed Bette Davis) and their children Joshua (Donald Buka), Bodo (Eric Roberts) and Babette (Janis Wilson). The Mullers stay at the home of Sarah's wealthy mother Fanny Fannelly (Lucille Watson), who lives in her own world of society get-togethers and can't be bothered with politics. Also staying with Fanny is Rumanian aristocrat Teck de Branovis (George Coulouris) and his American wife Marthe (Geraldine Fitzgerald). To protect his family, Muller keeps his "underground" activities a secret from Fanny and her guests, but de Branovis is suspicious of the mild-mannered visitor. It turns out that de Branovis is actually a Nazi sympathizer, willing to betray Muller for a price. Using blackmail as one of his weapons, de Branovis threatens to destroy all that Muller has been fighting for. To prevent this, Muller kills de Branovis in cold blood. Now technically a murderer, Muller bids his family a reluctant goodbye, heading back to Europe to continue his vital work. If ever there was a justifiable homicide in a motion picture, it was the killing of the odious de Branovis in Watch on the Rhine. Still, the Hollywood production code dictated that a murderer must always pay for his crimes, thus a coda is added, alluding to Muller's death-providing a golden opportunity for a nifty smiling-through-the-tears curtain speech by Bette Davis. Scripted by Lillian Hellman's lover Dashiel Hammett, Watch on the Rhine earned several Academy Award nominations, as well as a "best actor" Oscar for Paul Lukas.

James Garner

Burt Lancaster

Alan Ladd

John Payne

Joan Blondell

Robert Stack

Dennis Hopper

Frank Gifford

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