Boxers. The Cleveland Museum of Art on Wednesday begins a weekly series called “Lords of the Ring: Boxing Films before Rocky and Raging Bull.” The series, selected from more than 250 films, includes a lot of gems, such as the original, Wallace Beery-Jackie Cooper version of The Champ (Wednesday); John Garfield in Body and Soul (July 13); Champion with Kirk Douglas (July 27); Requiem for a Heavyweight (Aug. 17) and the John Huston classic Fat City (Aug. 24).
All showings are at 7 p.m. on Wednesday and the following Friday in Morley Lecture Hall. Each film is $10, or $8 for CMA members, seniors 65 and over, and students. Vouchers and passes will not be accepted.
For a full list of films and other information, visit www.clevelandart.org/events/films/lords-of-the-ring.
More sporting art. The film series is associated with the CMA exhibit Stag at Sharkey’s: George Bellows and the Art of Sports, which includes about two dozen of the paintings, drawings and lithographs by the artist and former Ohio State student.
Best known for the boxing painting mentioned in the exhibit’s title. Bellows (1882-1925) died relatively young from a ruptured appendix but was already considered a great American artist. The exhibit is at CMA through Sept. 18.
New on disc. The fourth season of House of Cards arrives on DVD and Blu-ray on Tuesday. It involves the presidential campaign of Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey), maneuvering by and for his wife (Robin Wright) and a formidable, social-media-savvy opponent (Joel Kinnaman). Plus betrayal, violence and the ongoing question of whether the Underwoods are the worst human beings in their political world — or merely the most self-aware in their awfulness.
Also on DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday are two little-seen and not-kindly-reviewed films that show commercial stars going artsy. One is By The Sea, written and directed by Angelina Jolie Pitt, who also co-stars in a tale of what one writer called “an impossibly chic couple whose marriage is unraveling.” It pretty much invited art-vs.-life speculation as Angelina’s hubby Brad plays the other half of that couple.
The other is I Saw the Light, in which Tom Hiddleston (Loki in the Avengers saga) plays Hank Williams Sr. Hiddleston was widely praised, the movie not so much.
Finally … Turner Classic Movies will mark July 4 with an array of movies about American experiences Monday and into Tuesday. Among them: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (3 p.m.) and a string of musical pearls: West Side Story (5:15), The Music Man (8 p.m.), Yankee Doodle Dandy (10:45 p.m.) and 1776 (1 a.m. Tuesday).
Rich Heldenfels writes about popular culture for the Beacon Journal, Ohio.com, Facebook and Twitter. You can contact him at 330-996-3582 or firstname.lastname@example.org.