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Arts and Minds

Is It Safe?

By Bret McCabe | Posted 3/5/2008

Befitting the month that the Academy Awards announce the 2008 Oscar winners, Turner Classic Movies has run its now annual 31 Days of Oscars series spotlighting a different decade's Oscar winners every weeknight. It's a fun way to catch up on the classics-On the Beach, High Noon, and The Seven Samurai air the evening of Feb. 27-but few nights pack the more than eight-hour punch that is this Friday's Feb. 29 schedule. Starting at 8 p.m., TCM screens a quartet of classic 1970s paranoid thrillers back to back, all in wide-screen letterbox format: Fred Zinnemann's 1973 The Day of the Jackal, in which Edward Fox's suave assassin is so good at killing he kisses a woman into the big sleep; Sydney Pollack's 1975 Three Days of the Condor, in which Robert Redford kidnaps Faye Dunaway to hide out from his own intelligence employers; John Schlesinger's 1976 Marathon Man, which arguably includes the prototype of the sophisticated cold-blooded serial killer in American cinema; and, finally, Franklin Schaffner's 1978 The Boys From Brazil. Fortunately, the worst of the bunch airs last--time has not been kind to The Boys From Brazil or Ira Levin's source novel--but the first three offer some of the more entertaining moviemaking of the era.

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