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The Best Man  /  Seven Days in May

Seven Days in May
July 8, 2017 - 7:30 pm

The Best Man  (1964)

Gore Vidal's eerily prescient drama dares to imagine what extremes two presidential candidates (Henry Fonda and Cliff Robertson) might pursue in their fervent race to the highest office in the United States government. The taut, volatile film directed by Playhouse 90 alum Franklin Schaffner illuminates an all-too-realistic political arena where cults of personality and skeletons in closets are commodities and moral integrity is an impediment. Featuring innovative cinematography by Haskell Wexler, The Best Man presents an unheeded warning of a dark vision of an America in free fall, endangered by a placated electorate concerned only with the telegenics of their candidates.

35mm, b/w, 102 min.  Production: Millar/Turman Productions.  Distribution: United Artists.  Director: Franklin J. Schaffner.  Producer: Stuart Millar, Lawrence Turman.  Screenwriter: Gore Vidal.  Cinematographer: Haskell Wexler.  Editor: Robert Swink.  Music: Mort Lindsey.  Cast: Henry Fonda, Cliff Robertson, Edie Adams, Margaret Leighton, Shelley Berman.

Seven Days in May  (1964)

Director John Frankenheimer successfully collaborated with writer Rod Serling on numerous dramas during the live days of television, most notably on the Emmy Award-winning Playhouse 90 production “The Comedian.”  Here, Frankenheimer expertly transplants Serling's dialog-driven style and passion for Cold War issues to the big screen in arguably the best of Serling's feature film projects.  The tense political thriller concerns a nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union that sparks a hawkish Air Force General (Burt Lancaster) to secretly plot a well-coordinated military coup of the presidency.  Kirk Douglas co-stars as a Marine Corps Colonel who suspects treason and must advise the President (Fredric March) in an attempt to prevent the imminent collapse of the United States government.

35mm, b/w, 120 min.  Production: Joel Productions, Seven Arts Productions.  Distribution: Paramount Pictures.  Director: John Frankenheimer.  Producer: Edward Lewis.  Screenwriter: Rod Serling.  Based on the novel by Charles Waldo and Fletcher Knebel.  Cinematography: Ellsworth Fredericks.  Editor: Ferris Webster.  Music: Jerry Goldsmith.  Cast: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March, Ava Gardner, Edmond O’Brien.