Drama

Bait (1954) Hugo Haas, Cleo Moore, Hugo Haas, John Agar

Bait 1954
Another in the long line of the Trials-and-Tribulations (compounded by Misery and Irony) offerings from Hugo Haas. This time out his character, Marko (Hugo Haas, is searching for a lost gold mine with his young partner Ray Brighton (‘John Agar’ )qv)) and, despite the fact that Haas appears no more at home playing a prospector than Raymond Hatton would playing a Bulgarian diplomat, they find the mine. But Marko decides he doesn’t want to share with his partner and figures out a devious and complicated scheme to get rid of him. (Shooting him in the head and burying him in the desert is far too simple a solution in a Haas film.) So, Marko ups and marries buxom young Peggy (Cleo Moore) as a marriage of convenience, even though past experience would indicate any involvement with a character played by Cleo Moore would not be described as anything close to convenience.
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The Poll Diaries / Poll (2010) Chris Kraus, Paula Beer, Edgar Selge, Tambet Tuisk

The Poll Diaries (2010)
In the summer of 1914, thirteen-year-old Oda von Siering (Paula Beer) leaves Berlin to join her family and an assortment of German and Russian aristocrats on an estate in Estonia. The von Siering family home is a character in its own right, a hulking, neoclassical manor that hovers on stilts above the sea. Oda arrives there bearing her mother’s coffin and a gift requested by her surgeon father: a jarred, two-headed fetus to add to his laboratory of gruesome curiosities. Ebbo von Siering (Edgar Selge) sees himself in his daughter when she calmly and expertly learns to suture the corpse of a cat. What he fails to recognize – and what Oda luckily understands – is that their interest in science is their only similarity. His dedication to experimentation is linked to an appalling obsession with power and destruction, while Oda is genuinely curious about life. Her quick, quiet intelligence complements her humanity and her lucid understanding of right and wrong. When she strays from a family…
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Far from the Madding Crowd (1967) Julie Christie, Peter Finch, Alan Bates, John Schlesinger

Far from the Madding Crowd (1967)
Based on Thomas Hardy’s 19th century novel, Bathsheba Everdene is a willful, passionate girl who is never satisfied with anything less than a man’s complete and helpless adoration. And she captures the lives and loves of three very different men: Gabriel Oak, a sheep farmer who is captivated by her beauty and proposes marriage; William Boldwood, a prosperous man in his early forties and a confirmed bachelor; and Sergeant Frank Troy, a handsome, reckless swordsman given to sudden fits of violence.
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L’assedio / Besieged (1998) Thandie Newton, David Thewlis, Claudio Santamaria, Bernardo Bertolucci

Besieged (1998)
When an African dictator jails her husband, Shandurai goes into exile in Italy, studying medicine and keeping house for Mr. Kinsky, an eccentric English pianist and composer. She lives in one room of his Roman palazzo. He besieges her with flowers, gifts, and music, declaring passionately that he loves her, would go to Africa with her, would do anything for her. “What do you know of Africa?,” she asks, then, in anguish, shouts, “Get my husband out of jail!” The rest of the film plays out the implications of this scene and leaves Shandurai with a choice.
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The Comedians (1967) Peter Glenville, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Alec Guinness

The Comedians (1967)
Set in the Haiti of “Papa Doc” Duvalier, The Comedians tells the story of a sardonic Welsh hotel owner and his encroaching fatalism as he watches Haiti sink into barbarism and poverty. Complications include his inability to sell the hotel so he can leave, a friendship with a rebel leader, some politically “charged” hotel guests, an affair with the German-born wife of a South American ambassador, and the manipulations of a British arms dealer who’s in over his head.
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The Hanging Garden (1997) Thom Fitzgerald, Chris Leavins, Kerry Fox, Ian Parsons

The Hanging Garden (1997)
William, a once obese and troubled teen, goes back to his family’s home after being gone, without word, for ten years and finds it (and his family) haunted with his past. He had moved to the city and become a fit, well-adjusted gay man, but during his visit home, he becomes unhinged as the newly remembered reasons for his miserable adolescence come to life in each of their presents.
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Solino (2002) Fatih Akin, Barnaby Metschurat, Moritz Bleibtreu, Christian Tasche

Solino (2002)
In the sixties Romano Amato, his wife Rosa and their two sons Giancarlo and Gigi emigrate from Solino in Italy to Duisburg in the Ruhr area and establish the first Pizza restaurant in town. Their business emerges well and both children get used to Germany. 10 years later the brothers fall in love with the same woman; they break tie with each other in anger and Gigi returns to Solino with his mother. A decade later both meet again and have a retrospect on their lives.
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