Farewell, My Lovely

Nobody does it better.

A cigarette on the lips, a glass of booze in one hand, a gun in the other, Robert Mitchum wears the rumpled suit of a world-weary PI like a second skin.

This mid-’70s film, set in 1941, follows along as our battered ‘n bruised hero tries to figure out why dead bodies keep popping up everywhere he goes.

The complex plot, which ties together neatly in the final moments, is courtesy Raymond Chandler.

Bonus points for catching an early Sylvester Stallone cameo, but it’s Mitchum, his voice laced with melancholy, who stands tallest in the dark night.

The Verdict

The bottle or the law?

Bedeviled by his love of liquor, attorney Frank Galvin has fallen hard at the start of this story —  driven from the cushy law firm he called home, and hounded by rumors of jury tampering in his past.

Handed a medical malpractice suit he’s expected to quickly settle, something stirs in his gut, however.

Instead of taking the easy way out, and diving back into the abyss, Galvin shocks everyone by picking a fight with opponents who have the best defense money can buy.

Stark and uncompromising, The Verdict is Paul Newman at his best.

Zardoz

The diaper isn’t even the weirdest part.

Yes, once you get a look at Sean Connery, the one true James Bond, rockin’ his red onesie as a wild man of the apocalypse, that’s probably your enduring image.

But there’s so much more what-the-Hell to go around in John Boorman’s ’70s mine-bender.

You got your giant flying stone heads (which everyone worships, naturally), Connery sporting a wedding dress, and your 2001-style dream sequences set to Beethoven.

It’s nutty, sort-of deep and meaningful, and utterly memorable.

As in, once seen, these images are going to be burned into your brain for life.