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  • Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

    Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

    “Fogged In”

    I should have known better, but I looked forward to DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS. Michael Caine and Steve Martin as con men on the Cote d'Azur, in a remake of the 1964 BEDTIME STORY—it sounded plausible. And there's nothing the matter with the performances. Caine is the slick Continental who operates very discreetly, very romantically. His confederates drop a few words into the ears of pre-researched middle-aged rich American women; they let it be known that he's a deposed…

  • Beaches

    Beaches

    “Fogged In”

    Sisters aren't just doing it for themselves—they're also doing it to themselves. BEACHES, the first film from Bette Midler's All Girl Productions, probably started out trying to be truthful to women's experiences. As a mission, that can really snarl you up. The movie is about the lifelong friendship between two women of contrasting backgrounds—Midler as CC Bloom, the show-biz-crazy Jewish redhead from New York, and Barbara Hershey as Hillary Whitney, the repressed wealthy Wasp from San Francisco. They're…

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  • Something Wild

    Something Wild

    "Doubling Up"

    For seven decades of romantic screwball comedies, sexy, smart, funny women have been waking up heroes who, through fear or shyness or a stuffy educational background, were denying their deepest impulses. The women perform a rescue mission. Sometimes, in earlier eras, they did it in the guise of dumb blondes (like Marie Wilson) or dizzy dames (like Katharine Hepburn in BRINGING UP BABY), but mostly they were wisecracking broads, like Mae West and Joan Blondell, and Jean Harlow…

  • 1900

    1900

    “Hail, Folly!”

    At a certain point in their careers—generally right after an enormous popular success—most great movie directors go mad on the potentialities of movies. They leap over their previous work into a dimension beyond the well-crafted dramatic narrative; they make a huge, visionary epic in which they attempt to alter the perceptions of people around the world. Generally, they shoot this epic in what they believe is a state of super-enlightenment. They believe that with this film they're literally…