The Man with the Golden Arm is a 1955 American drama film with elements of film noir, based on the novel of the same name by Nelson Algren, which tells the story of a drug addict who gets clean while in prison, but struggles to stay that way in the outside world. Although the addictive drug is never identified in the film, according to the American Film Institute “most contemporary and modern sources assume that it is heroin”, in contrast to Algren’s book which named the drug as morphine. The film stars Frank Sinatra, Eleanor Parker, Kim Novak, Arnold Stang and Darren McGavin. It was adapted for the screen by Walter Newman, Lewis Meltzer and Ben Hecht (uncredited), and directed by Otto Preminger. The film’s initial release sparked controversy due to its serious, in-depth treatment of the then-taboo subject of drug addiction.
It was nominated for three Academy Awards: Sinatra for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Joseph C. Wright and Darrell Silvera for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White and Elmer Bernstein for Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture. Sinatra was also nominated for best actor awards by the BAFTAs and The New York Film Critics. The film is in the public domain.
Better Off Dead is a 1985 American dark teen romantic comedy film starring John Cusack and written and directed by Savage Steve Holland. It tells the story of high school student Lane Myer who is suicidal after his girlfriend breaks up with him shortly before Christmas.
“Can your heart stand the shocking facts about grave robbers from outer space?” That’s the question on the lips of the narrator of this tale about flying saucers, zombies and cardboard tombstones. A pair of aliens, angered by the “stupid minds” of planet Earth, set up shop in a California cemetery. Their plan: to animate an army of the dead to march on the capitals of the world. (The fact that they have only managed to resurrect three zombies to date has not discouraged them.) An intrepid airline pilot living near the cemetery must rescue his wife from this low-budget terror. “Can you prove it *didn’t* happen?”
Stars: Tor Johnson, Vampira, Tom Keene, and Gregory Walcott
Vincent Price gives a stellar performance as the suavely malevolent host of a “haunted house party” who offers his guests $10,000 if they can survive a night in the murderous mansion.
Watch for the great Elisha Cook Jr,(he played Wilmer in the “Maltese Falcon”) as the groveling homeowner.
The eerie looking home used for the exterior shots is the Ennis Brown house in Los Angeles, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1924. It was later used in the films “Blade Runner”, “Black Rain”, and “Rocketeer”.
In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city’s mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.