Retail dvd (mgm home entertainment, widescreen)

The Unforgiven

Neglected by critics, rejected by director John Huston, The Unforgiven is nonetheless an essential companion to Ford's The Searchers. Sourced from Searchers author Alan Le May, it follows (spot the reversal!) a Kyowa girl (Audrey Hepburn) raised by a white family then hunted down by her 'real' Injun relatives. The genocidal ending, complete with half-brother incest, has to be seen to be believed.

The Comfort Of Strangers

Worth a look: Paul Schrader directs a Harold Pinter adaptation of an Ian McEwan novel, in Venice, in 1990. Rupert Everett and Natasha Richardson are trying to revive their marriage on holiday, but fall under the sinister influence of sadomasochists Christopher Walken and Helen Mirren. Venice is deeply cinematic, but Schrader opts for much nudity and is clearly in love with Everett. Creepy.

House Of Games

The original Mamet movie, a bravura directorial debut and a punchy manifesto, 1987's...Games pits frigid psychologist Lindsay Crouse against louche confidence trickster Joe Mantegna in the eponymous Chicago poker joint. Crouse is intrigued, Mantegna applies the charm, but soon the cons escalate and, in true Mametian style, the line between 'shark' and 'mark' disintegrates.

The Horse Soldiers

Another Cavalry Movie from Ford, and this time Johnny Reb's in the firing line as Yankee Colonel Wayne leads his troops on a demolition mission and kidnaps feisty southern belle Constance Towers. Here Ford's portentous 'Civil War is Hell' message doesn't quite gel with his trademark tomfoolery-drunken gags, funny fistfights and casual misogyny. The resulting film is strangely blank.

Solomon And Sheba

Po-faced but spectacular Biblical epic starring Yul Brynner (with hair) as the legendarily wise king who risks losing the throne of Israel by making whoopee with the saucy-but-pagan queen of Sheba (Gina Lollobrigida). George Sanders plays the villain (hurrah), the cast-of-thousands battle scenes are impressive and the unintentionally hilarious 'orgy' is an absolute must-see.

Blood Shot

Stunningly underrated, ferocious portrait of Wild Bill Hickok

Liebestraum

Possibly Mike Figgis' least-known film, this moody 1991 erotic mystery is like Stormy Monday set in Binghamton, NY. A writer visits his dying mother and uncovers secrets about a 30-year-old murder while shagging his friend's wife. It looks sexy, but the moodiness leads to tedium, and Kim Novak's heinously wasted.

La Lore

Robert Altman's offbeat '70s transposition of Chandler's noir classic

Canadian Bacon

The cult of Michael Moore reaches back to '94 for his non-documentary debut, a satirical comedy about a PR-inspired American war with Canada that pushes all the Moore-ish buttons (rapid-fire jibes about corporate domination, hawkish Republicans, arms proliferation and conspiracy theories) while remaining alarmingly unfunny.

Scorpio

Michael Winner's 1972 Cold War thriller manages to be built entirely from clichés, yet is almost completely incomprehensible. Burt Lancaster is the seen-it-all CIA man on the run through Europe from superiors who want him dead, pursued by his protégé, cat-loving contract killer Alain Delon. Muddy, but the stars tough it out, and if you've ever wanted to see Lancaster in blackface, dressed as a priest, this is your film.
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