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The Sicilian Clan
Alain Delon stars as a cold-blooded killer rescued in Paris by a Sicilian mob family in this 1969 crime thriller. French director Henri Verneuil handled the story with an assured sense of style, stocking it with the sort of visual signatures that would stick in Quentin Tarantino’s mind. The Sicilian Clan also has an elaborate heist plus memorable characters, including the mob padrone dreaming of retiring to Sicily and a dogged French detective on Delon’s trail.
Dr. Orloff’s Monster
The character called Dr. Jekyll in this 1964 film by cult director Jesús “Jess” Franco doesn’t have a Mr. Hyde. But he does possess a laboratory in a crumbling castle, a beautiful niece who drops in to visit, a plethora of dark family secrets and a zombie named Andros whom he controls with ultra-sound waves. But will he lose control? An eccentric servant provides comic relief; thunderstorms and black-and-white cinematography deepen the gothic gloom.
Passage to Mars
A manned mission to Mars might happen someday. Meanwhile, a group of adventurers have tested the prototype of a Mars rover in the inhospitable Arctic. Passage to Mars documents their efforts, proving the value of advance preparation. The rover, a modified Humvee with tank tracks for tires, loses power and gets stuck in the snow. When they try again, the Humvee breaks down. Shipping spare parts to Mars may prove challenging. Actor Zachary Quinto narrates.
The Men’s Club
The idea is that men seldom give themselves the opportunity to unload—to really talk to each other like women do. Card table/football game chitchat doesn’t cut it. Leonard Michaels adapted his novel The Men’s Club for this 1986 movie. The humor hasn’t always aged well and the sex-talk stories aren’t always interesting. And yet, those stories provided a platform for emotionally vivid acting from the era’s A-List, including Harvey Keitel, Roy Scheider and Frank Langella.