Jacques Becker – Les aventures d’Arsène Lupin AKA The Adventures of Arsène Lupin (1957)

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Synopsis
The great gentleman thief, Arsène Lupin, engages in a series of daring schemes to deprive his wealthy countrymen of rare jewels and priceless paintings. His activities arouse the interest of Kaiser William II of Germany who arranges for Lupin to be kidnapped and brought to his castle. The Kaiser offers Lupin a challenge: to steal a jewel of great value from a secret hiding place. Should Lupin accept the wager? Continue reading

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Jon Jost – Frameup (1993)

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synopsis

Made on short ends of film left over from The Bed You Sleep In, Frameup is a freewheeling road comedy about a pair of dimwitted lovers on the run. Ricky-Lee (Howard Swain), a two-bit criminal prone to spouting lengthy, obscenity-laced soliloquies, meets Beth-Ann (Nancy Carlin), an airheaded waitress with a weakness for romance novels, at the diner where she slings coffee. Immediately smitten, she joins him on a meandering journey across the Pacific Northwest — punctuated by the occasional robbery — and on into California, where the couple dream of heading to the sunny beaches of Los Angeles. Ricky-Lee’s ineptitude catches up with him eventually, however, and their trip is cut short when a convenience store robbery goes awry. Continue reading

Pierre Granier-Deferre – Adieu, Poulet AKA The French Detective (1975)

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Synopsis
In the French city of Rouen an election is marred by a fight between the supporters of two of the candidates. In the fracas a man is beaten to death and the killer then shoots a passing police officer! The officer has time to warn his colleagues that the killer is Proctor, a well-known thug whose brother is campaigning on behalf of law and order candidate Lardatte! Commissaire Verjeat’s pursuit of Proctor is hampered by Lardatte for whom he has a personal dislike and misses no opportunity to humiliate. As a result he then finds himself with a very short time to capture Proctor, since he faces a promotion and a posting outside of Rouen, which will take him off the case. Verjeat is sure that this is courtesy of Lardatte and his police contacts! To cap it all, his sidekick, the eccentric Inspector Lefevre, implicates them both in a case of police corruption! Continue reading

Jim Cinque – The Night Of The Cat (1973)

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When her sister is murdered by a group of goons working for a local mobster, Beth goes on the fritz, donning a wig, taking martial arts lessons, and using a cane to help take on opponents. Soon, she meets her sibling’s murderers face to face, and they’re in for it. Kathy Allen and George Oakley star in this North Carolina revenge opus. No-budget no-frills regional filmmaking at its rawest awaits you in this Charlotte, North Carolina celluloid catastrophe about a woman who becomes an avenging “catwoman” and takes on the mob. With bare titties, godawful acting, hilariously lame “action,” and joyously unconvincing fight scenes, it’s not only a breath-taking wonder from beginning to end, but so utterly simplistic that you’ll need to take notes to follow it. Morganna, the uber-busty stripper for became famous in the 80s as baseball’s “The Kissing Bandit,” appears in a strip club scene. Continue reading

Woody Allen – Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993)

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There’s a real murder and a real mystery in Woody Allen’s Manhattan Murder Mystery, but these plot pegs are used mainly to allow Allen to explore modern urban relationships. Allen plays a book editor, married to Diane Keaton (who replaced Mia Farrow, for reasons which were well publicized at the time). Keaton is a free spirit, ever willing to try new experiences, but Allen is a wet blanket. When it becomes apparent that a neighbor has killed his wife, Keaton is eager to investigate the mystery, but Allen thinks her suspicions are nonsensical and doesn’t want to leave his apartment. Undaunted, Keaton finds another “Nick Charles” in the form of family-friend Alan Alda, who, along with his enthusiastic wife (Angelica Huston), joins in the investigation. Slightly jealous, Allen reluctantly agrees to go along on Keaton’s clue-hunting expedition–and it is he who discovers the corpse, who as it turned out was killed after Keaton started poking around the apartment building.
— Hal Erickson @ allmovie.com Continue reading

Thomas Brasch – Engel aus Eisen AKA Angels of Iron (1981) (DVD)

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Berlin, 1948/1949. The town is divided into two sectors. The world is close to World War III. West Berlin is kept alive by the biggest airlift in history. While the city is deadlocked, three teenagers set out to fulfil their dreams: Völpel (Hilmar Thate), ex-executioner, receives secret information from Police Headquarters. Gladow (Ulrich Wesselmann), 17 years old, wants to be like Al Capone. Lisa Gabler (Katharina Thalbach) dreams of buying Berlins biggest revue venue the ‘Friedrichstadt Palast.’ But suddenly, the droning of the airplanes ceases? Based on a true story from the times of the ‘Berlin Blockade.’ Continue reading

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