From the sublime to the ridiculous, the much-missed Madeline Kahn’s comedic genius shines in the unusual double feature of Paper Moon and Yellowbeard. We like having friends over for private movie screenings, and this pair drew a dozen Pringles-munching viewers. Both movies hold up well: Paper Moon, with its poignant portrayal of life during the Great Depression but saved from sentimentality by wry humor; and Yellowbeard, with its farcical, Python-tinged swashbuckling. Kahn, who rarely had more than a modest role, is always memorable and hilarious, but her roles here each have their touching qualities as well. You’ll also enjoy Tatum O’Neal’s acclaimed and nuanced performance in Paper Moon and the grand caricatures of Graham Chapman (also much missed) and John Cleese in Yellowbeard.
- Paper Moon (USA) 1973, Paramount. List price: $12.98
- Yellowbeard (England) 1983, MGM. List price: $14.99
— By Valerie Polichar, writer/editor/singer, valeriepolichar.com