Rififi / Du rififi chez les hommes (1955) Jules Dassin, Jean Servais, Carl Möhner, Robert Manuel, Crime, Thriller, Film-Noir

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After making such American noir classics as Brute Force and The Naked City, the blacklisted director Jules Dassin went to Paris and embarked on his masterpiece: a twisting, turning tale of four ex-cons who hatch one last glorious robbery in the City of Light. Rififi is the ultimate heist movie, a mélange of suspense, brutality, and dark humor that was an international hit, earned Dassin the best director prize at the Cannes Film Festival, and has proven wildly influential on the decades of heist thrillers that have come in its wake.

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Soldier (1998) Paul W.S. Anderson, Kurt Russell, Jason Scott Lee, Jason Isaacs, Action, Sci-fi

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In a futuristic society, some people are selected at birth to become soldiers, and trained in such a manner that they become inhuman killing machines. One of the most succesfull and older of these soldiers (Russell) is pitted against a new breed of soldiers, and after the confrontation is believed to be dead. His body is left behind in a semi-abandoned colonial planet, where everything is peaceful, and he is taught about the other aspects of life. But eventually he has to fight the new breed of soldiers again, this time to defend his new home…

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The Time, the Place and the Girl (1946) David Butler, Dennis Morgan, Martha Vickers, Jack Carson, Musical, Comedy, Romance

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The stuffy manager of lovely opera singer Vicki Cassel and her uncle, a classical conductor, is determined to close down the noisy nightclub that’s next door to the Cassels’ home. The club’s owners–Steve, a handsome ladies man, Jeff, his clownish sidekick–hatch a plan to keep the club open. Steve arranges to meet–and woo–Vicki and then invite her and her uncle to the club. When Vicki’s snobbish aunt and the manager discover that Vicki now favors popular music to the classics, they arrange to get the club closed. But that doesn’t keep Steve and Jeff down. Instead they decide to put on a Broadway show if they can get a backer. They find their “angel” in Vicki’s uncle who agrees to finance the show only if Vicki is the leading lady. But once again, Vicki’s aunt and manager may be the spoiler in everyone’s plans.

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Hot Millions (1968) Eric Till, Peter Ustinov, Maggie Smith, Karl Malden, Comedy, Crime

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Marcus is just out of prison for embezelment but discovers that it is no longer a world of ledgers but has become one of computers. Looking for an angle, he convinces Caesar Smith, noted computer whiz to follow his life long desire, to hunt butterflies in the Amazon. Using Caesar’s resume, he finds employment in the corporate world and begins a very large operation under the noses of his superiors. On this journey, he meets Patty, who seems to have no real tallents at all. Marcus marries her, as Ceasar and now has the problem of hiding his hot cash.

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La montagna di luce / Temple of a Thousand Lights (1965) Umberto Lenzi, Richard Harrison, Luciana Gilli, Wilbert Bradley, Adventure

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Here is an interesting variation of the popular heist flick genre. Richard Harrison stars as Alan Foster, a notorious bank robber from NYC hiding out in India. He get the bright idea to steal the “Mountain of Light,” a large diamond encased in the forehead of a 20 foot religious Buddha (which is currently stuck on the crown of the Queen of England in real life). This is an adequate adventure that is notable for Harrison’s extremely harsh words he throws at his Indian helper and the scenes where Harrison dons make up to blend it flawlessly with the Indians. Seriously, he passes by without a second glance from anyone even though he is standing out like Anna Nicole Smith at a Mensa function. The film was directed without much style by Umberto Lenzi but does feature some stunning sets and locations (it was shot in Malaysia)

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Getting Gertie’s Garter (1945) Allan Dwan, Dennis O’Keefe, Marie McDonald, Barry Sullivan, Comedy, Romance

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Getting Gertie’s Garter is an updated adaptation of the venerable stage farce by Wilson Collison and Avery Hopwood. Dennis O’Keefe, newly married to lovely Sheila Ryan, is in a jam. O’Keefe’s former girl friend, exotic dancer Marie McDonald, has in her possession an expensive, jeweled garter given to her by O’Keefe in his bachelor days. McDonald intends to show the garter to O’Keefe’s suspicious wife, so Our Hero must retrieve the embarrassing accouterment without tipping off the missus. Previously filmed in 1927, Getting Gertie’s Garter was one several enjoyable films produced by Edward Small and directed by Allan Dwan, all based on popular stage comedies.

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