The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, June 10-16

06/10/2015 5:00 AM |


The Damned (1963)
Directed by Joseph Losey
Fleeing the Blacklist, Losey landed in England in time to work with two of the UK’s most distinguished artistic ambassadors: Harold Pinter and Hammer Films. Less celebrated than his collaboration with the joyously astringent dramatist is this radioactive melodrama, made for the famous British production house as they were clamoring for respectability. Hammer gave Losey a pulpy premise and he turned it into a heartbreaking shapeshifter, a lavish downer about people whose fates have been written in permanent ink. A tourist flees a gang of psychopathic teddy boys and in so doing runs right into a secret military operation. Nine children are being held and experimented on, but to what ends? To no one’s surprise Oliver Reed shines as the terrifying, posh leader of the gang whose humanity has to be dragged from his soul kicking and screaming. He perfectly embodies the deceptive comforts of living Losey wishes to expose. Scout Tafoya (June 12, 4:30pm, 9:30pm at BAM’s “Black & White ‘Scope: International Cinema”)