First Monday Films

with Irv Slifkin, film expert and author

Mondays at 7:00 pm in the library meeting room


January 8: Raising Arizona
1987 PG-13 94 min.
Directed by Joel Coen
Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, John Goodman, Trey Wilson, William Forsythe
The Coen Brothers’ hyperactive screwball comedy focuses on childless couple Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter who find their oddball lives get even weirder when they decide to kidnap an infant from a furniture tycoon.

February 5: Goldfinger
1964 110 min. PG
Directed by Guy Hamilton
Sean Connery, Gert Frobe, Honor Blackman, Harold Sakata
Sean Connery’s third outing as Ian Fleming’s James Bond is a thrill-a-thon brimming with lush locations, sleek cars, diabolical bad guys, gorgeous women, memorable music and Connery at he-man-iest 007 best. The British agent goes against the title character, a gold-obsessed tycoon whose henchman shows Bond a new definition for the term “hat trick.”

March 5: Scarface (AKA: Scarface: The Shame of a Nation)
1932 90 min. PG
Directed by Howard Hawks
Paul Muni, Ann Dvorak, George Raft, Boris Karloff
The original gangster epic from director Howard Hawks and producer Howard Hughes showcases the then-unknown Paul Muni as Tony Camonte, a fictionalized version of Chicago’s Al Capone. Bootlegging, bombs, machine guns and an unhealthy love for his sister are key elements in the explosive (under)world of the country’s most dangerous man.

April 12: Eight Men Out
1988 PG 119 min.
Directed by John Sayles
John Cusack, Charlie Sheen, D.B. Sweeney, David Strathairn
A powerful portrait at one of sports’ darkest days: the 1919 “Black Sox Scandal,” in which the favored Chicago White Sox threw the World Series to the Cincinnati Reds. Writer-director John Sayles colorfully delves into the behind-the-scenes machinations of the event from different perspectives and makes this an emotional home run.

May 7: The Gang’s All Here
1943 Not Rated. 103 minutes
Directed by Busby Berkeley
Alice Faye, Carmen Miranda, James Ellison, Phil Baker, Benny Goodman and his Orchestra
An explosion of Technicolor, lively music, outrageous dance sequences and campy goings on courtesy of legendary choreographer/director Busby Berkeley! Entertainer Alice Faye falls for soldier James Elilson before he ships out for World War II duty in the South Pacific. Meanwhile, Carmen Miranda, she with fruit on her head, gets to sing “The Lady in the Tutti Fruitti Hat.”

June 4: The Asphalt Jungle
1950 112 min. Not Rated
Directed by John Huston
Sterling Hayden, Sam Jaffe, Louis Calhern, Marilyn Monroe, Jean Hale
John Huston’s influential heist tale is teeming with tension and boasts a superior cast of thugs doing their criminal thing. Sam Jaffe is the just-out-of-the joint mastermind targeting a $500,000 jewel theft, and connecting to a diverse group of thieves—including tough guy gambler Sterling Hayden and slick lawyer Louis Calhern–to carry out his nefarious plan.

July 9: The taking of Pelham One Two Three
1974  104 min. Rated: R
Directed by Joseph Sargent
Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam, Héctor Elizondo.
A crackerjack, crowd-pleasing thriller with Walter Matthau as a New York Transit Authority officer in charge of dealing with hostage situations and he’s got a tough one on his hands: a group of men have infiltrated the city’s subway system and have taken a train full of passengers hostage.
RATINGS NOTE: The film is rated R for language and violence.

August 6: Portrait of Jennie
1948  86 min. Not Rated
Directed by William Dieterle
Joseph Cotten, Jennifer Jones, Ethel Barrymore, Lillian Gish.
This David O. Selznick production is a haunted romantic story of a most extraordinary kind. Struggling artist Joseph Cotten finds inspiration to paint a picture of a young, mysterious girl named Jennie (Jennifer Jones, the soon-to-be Mrs. Selznick) he meets in Central Park in the 1830s. The girl then appears at different intervals in Cotten’s life, but her unusual aging fascinates and perplexes the smitten Cotten at the same time.

September 10: Random Harvest
1943  126 min. Not Rated
Directed by Mervyn Leroy
Ronald Colman, Greer Garson, Philip Dorn, Henry Travers.
Nominated for seven Academy Awards, this first-class MGM soap opera boasts Ronald Colman is a shell-shocked veteran who survives World War I with a severe case of amnesia. Now living as a writer and married with a child to former dance hall singer Greer Garson, Colman’s newly accepted existence is thrown into a tizzy when an auto accident restores his memory and his dissimilar previous life.

October 1: The Truman Show
1996  103 min. Rated: PG-13
Directed by Peter Weir
Jim Carrey, Laura Linney, Ed Harris, Noah Emmerich, Natascha McElhone.
Jim Carrey is Truman Burbank, insurance agent and the unsuspecting star of his own popularity reality show in which cameras follow his day-to-day existence living in an artificial Hollywood dome disguised to look like a seaside town. His world is populated by actors, including his fictional wife (Laura Linney), and is carefully monitored by a media guru (Ed Harris).

November 5: The woman in the window
1944  99 min. Not Rated
Directed by Fritz Lang
Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Dan Duryea, Raymond Massey.
Top-notch psychological film noir from the great Fritz Lang (Metropolis, The Big Heat) posits Edward G. Robinson as a married, mild-mannered college professor interested in the woman (Joan Bennett) who posed for a portrait he sees in the window of a gallery. When he actually meets her, he thinks his fantasies will soon come true, unaware of what dangers she brings. The same principals got together with Lang a year later for the equally impressive “Scarlet Street.”

December 3: The court jester
1956  101 min. Not Rated
Directed by Norman Panama & Melvin Frank
Danny Kaye, Basil Rathbone, Angela Lansbury, Glynis Johns.
In this delightful spoof of swashbucklers set in medieval times, Danny Kaye plays a former carnival performer enlisted to protect an infant baby who happens to be the rightful king of England. Kaye, who
serves as a minstrel for a Robin Hood-like outlaw and his followers, gets entangled with nefarious noblemen, pretty princesses and secret codes –“put the pestle in the vessel…”.