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[whitespace] By Richard von Busack

Mickey Blue Eyes
Opening wide in late August.

Well-built but derivative comedy about a meek art gallery auctioneer (Hugh Grant) who becomes Married to the Mob when he discovers that his fiance (Jeanne Tripplehorn) is the niece of a ranking mafioso. Livening up the plot is a gag about psychotic paintings passed off as fine art (one of the pieces is titled "Die Piggy Piggy Die Die"). As always, Grant is lightweight and inoffensive--and even funny when he's posing as the Kansas City mobster Mickey Blue Eyes, who has an accent halfway between Paul Muni's Scarface and Elmer Fudd. Mickey Blue Eyes is less cute, better-written and more tough-minded than Analyze This. Still, at this point a mafia satire isn't what you'd describe as the road not taken. You've even heard the soundtrack before: "Mambo Italiano," the title tune from Married to the Mob; "Just a Gigolo," the title tune from Mad Dog and Glory ...

Plays Aug 27-Sept 2 at the Castro Theater.

Italy, 1943: An Italian-American soldier named Tony (Fabio Frascaro) parachutes into a village in the Salentino area in the south of Italy, not far from where he was born. The locals decide to hide him from the authorities. While he hides, Tony falls in love with the voluptuous Cosima (Chiara Torelli), which outrages the son of the richest and most powerful man in town.

The Third Man (1949)
Plays at the Castro Theater Aug 13-26.

In Vienna, right after World War II, an undistinguished novelist named Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten) investigates the supposed death of his friend Harry Lime. Graham Greene and Carol Reed's great thriller is filled with images of a smashed night city, but all most viewers have eyes for is Orson Welles as the saturnine Lime. The Third Man without Welles would be like Alice in Wonderland without the Cheshire Cat. The film is about the failure of the best intentions and the robust success of the worst ones, foretelling the story of every American foreign intervention that went wrong. And Lime's smirk predicts the ugly future of the Cold War, its cost, its lies and its degradation. This new print is the British version, longer by 11 minutes; There are small differences in emphasis from the familiar version--but who needs an excuse to see The Third Man again?

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From the August 16, 1999 issue of the Metropolitan.

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