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Classic Selection for the Weekend of
December 31, 1999 - January 2, 2000

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Happy New Year

      Happy New Year

You loved him as Columbo, but you probably have never heard about this big screen outing from 1987. Most people aren't aware of Falk's other work, but he has been an acclaimed actor since the fifties.

In this film, Falk stars as a jewel thief, Nick, who wants to rob a posh Harry Winston's jewelry store on New Year's Eve. In many ways, this robbery is the ultimate score due to its difficulty and high profile. Nick's usual partner can't join him in the heist, so he must turn to Charlie (Charles Durning), a crook who has wanted to work with the legendary Nick for a long time.

However, Nick starts to fall for an antique shop owner, Caroline (Wendy Hughes), who runs her business next door to the targeted store.

Is Nick too distracted by love to pull off the heist? Is Charlie up to the task?

There isn't much plot or character development to this film, but it is a great example of two veteran actors doing a professional and funny job. Falk showcases his talent at playing various characters in disguise, while Durning is the second rate criminal who has fallen into the opportunity of a lifetime.

Falk didn't start off life with a burning desire to star in film, television or the stage, but fell into it. After earning a Masters degree from Syracuse University, Falk worked as an efficiency expert for the budget bureau of Connecticut's state government. He grew bored with the job and started to act in his spare time. Soon, he started a new career and was gaining fame and fantastic reviews for his work in an off-Broadway production of "The Iceman Cometh." This led to many TV and film roles, most notably his Emmy award winning turn as a truck driver in the TV play, "The Price of Tomatoes" and Oscar nominated performances in 1960's "Murder, Inc." and 1961's "Pocketful of Miracles". In 1971, he won the role of Columbo and, as they say, the rest is history.

If you are in the mood for a New Year's Day-themed film this weekend and your TV and VCR have survived Y2K, check out Happy New Year.

Grade: B-

Director: John Avildsen

Screenwriter: Warren Lane


Peter Falk ………………….. Nick

Charles Durning ……………  Charlie

Wendy Hughes …………….. Caroline

Copyright 1999 -