In the Season 2 finale, Chummy and PC Noakes face several challenges; Fred is thrilled when his daughter and her infant son arrive for a visit; Jenny meets a potential suitor; and Nonnatus House is targeted for demolition.
This mini-series is a dramatization of the real-life story of Harry Gordon Selfridge, the flamboyant and visionary American founder of the famous London department store that revolutionized the modern shopping experience.
A recently widowed woman, the wealthy Margaret Da Lorca (Bette Davis), meets her twin sister Edith Phillips (also played by Davis) after nearly eighteen years' estrangement at her late husband Frank's funeral. After the funeral, Margaret invites Edith to her home at the Da Lorca mansion where Margaret takes pity on Edith, commenting on her sister's drab attire, and offers her "cast-offs" from her wardrobe. There is friction between the two women when they reminisce about the late Frank Da Lorca, with whom Edith had originally courted, she still holding a grudge toward Margaret for Frank's breaking off with Edith and 'having' to marry Margaret. This, Edith was led to believe at the time, was because Margaret and Frank had a love affair, with Margaret falling pregnant and having his baby boy. However, after Edith storms out after an angry exchange with Margaret, she is taken home by Margaret's chauffeur who tells her that there hadn't been a child born while he had been in the Da Lorca's employ. Edith then realizes that Margaret had lied to Frank about being pregnant. Edith runs a cocktail lounge in downtown LA called 'Edie's' which is struggling financially, and she is way behind with the rent. After a visit from her landlord threatening closure of the bar, Edith ruminates over Margaret's deception and her own current predicament. Edith is dating Jim, a local police sergeant, who comes to visit her that day at the bar on her Birthday. He brings her a gift of a watch and Edith tells Jim that she had been to a funeral earlier that day. Edith pleads with Jim to take her out that night, away from the bar. However, he tells her that he reluctantly has to work. When Jim leaves the bar, Edith is resolved to get the truth from Margaret about her pregnancy that required Frank to marry her. She telephones Margaret telling her that she knows "everything" and demands that she visit Edith at the bar. During a massage, Margaret tries to fob her sister off until Edith threatens to go to the Da Lorca mansion, implying she will make a scene. Margaret hastily gets dressed (donning the black mourning outfit she had earlier worn for Frank's funeral, with full-length veil), and arrives at the bar in her chauffeur-driven car. In the meantime, Edith has acquired a gun, and has been preparing for Margaret's visit, by styling her hair like Margaret's and 'rehearsing' her sister's execution to look like her own suicide.
Edith kills her sister then takes over Margaret's identity. However, she soon finds herself in dire straits when her impersonation is discovered by Margaret's lover Tony, and he begins to blackmail her. In the meantime, the police are suspicious about Tony's sudden acquisition of money and a high-end sports car. His apartment is searched, where they find a stash of expensive jewelry that he had solicited from Edith. The police also find arsenic. Edith discovers from Tony that Margaret had murdered Frank with the help of Tony. During an argument where he threatens Edith, Tony is killed by Duke, the De Lorca's Great Dane. In the meantime, the police exhume Frank's body and traces of arsenic are found in it. Edith is arrested for the murder that her sister and Tony had committed. In a desperate plea, Edith confesses to Jim that she isn't Margaret, and in fact had nothing to do with Frank's murder. However, Jim refuses to believe that Edith would be capable of murdering anyone, let alone her own twin sister. Edith (as Margaret) is tried, found guilty of murder, and sentenced to death. At the end of the film, just before Edith is taken away from the courthouse to her morbid fate, she sees Jim by the car that is waiting for her. Jim, seemingly confused as to the true identity of 'Margaret', tells her that what she had said to him about actually being Edith has been playing on his mind. Edith reminds him what he had previously told 'Margaret', which was "Edith would never hurt a fly". She enters the car and is driven off.
Witness for the Prosecution
Sir Wilfrid Robarts (Charles Laughton), a master barrister in ill health, takes on Leonard Vole (Tyrone Power) as a client, despite the objections of his private nurse, Miss Plimsoll (Elsa Lanchester), who says the doctor warns him against taking on any criminal cases. Vole is accused of murdering Mrs. Emily French (Norma Varden), a rich, older widow who had become enamored of him, going so far as to make him the main beneficiary of her will. Strong circumstantial evidence all points to Vole as the killer.
When Sir Wilfrid speaks with Vole's German wife Christine (Marlene Dietrich), he finds her rather cold and self-possessed, but she does provide an alibi. Therefore, he is greatly surprised when she is called as a witness for the prosecution. While a wife cannot testify against her husband, it is shown that Christine was in fact still married to another man when she wed Leonard (although Vole, believing in good faith that he was married to Christine at the time, might still have qualified under the spousal privilege rule). She testifies that Leonard admitted to her that he had killed Mrs. French, and that her conscience forced her to finally tell the truth.
During the trial (in the Old Bailey, carefully recreated by art director Alexandre Trauner), Sir Wilfrid is contacted by a mysterious woman, who (for a fee) provides him with letters written by Christine herself to a mysterious lover named Max. The affair revealed by this correspondence gives Christine such a strong motive to have lied that the jury finds Leonard not guilty.
However, Sir Wilfrid is troubled by the verdict. His instincts tell him that it was "...too neat, too tidy, and altogether...too symmetrical!". And so it proves. By chance, he and Christine are left alone in the courtroom. She takes the opportunity to take credit for the whole thing. When she heard him say at the beginning that a wife's testimony would not be convincing, she decided to set it up so that hers would be given for the prosecution and then be discredited. An ex-actress, she had played the part of the mystery woman so well that Sir Wilfrid did not recognize her when he negotiated for the letters. She knew that Leonard was guilty; her testimony was the truth. Her letters are a fraud - Max never existed. When asked why she did it, she confesses that she loves Leonard.
Leonard appears and, now protected by double jeopardy, nonchalantly confirms what Christine had said. A young woman (Ruta Lee) then rushes into his arms. When he admits that he and the young woman are going away together, Christine kills him with a knife in a fit of fury. Sir Wilfrid remarks that Christine did not murder Leonard, but that she "executed him". Miss Plimsoll then cancels Sir Wilfrid's holiday, realizing that he cannot resist taking charge of Christine's defense.
Norman Dale arrives in the rural Indiana town of Hickory to be a high school teacher and basketball coach. He had lost a previous coaching position after striking a student, so he is under pressure to succeed.
Like much of the state, Hickory's community is passionate about basketball. People are aware that the best player in town, Jimmy Chitwood, does not intend to play on this season's team. Faculty member Myra Fleener warns the new coach not to try to persuade Jimmy to change his mind; she believes he needs to focus on school work in order to get a scholarship to attend college and have a better future.
The school enrollment is so small that Dale has only a few players on his squad. Built on a four pass offense, Dale remains steadfast when a player disobeys him in an early season game, keeping him on the bench and playing with four players after another fouls out. The coach alienates the community with a slow, defensive style that does not immediately produce results and by losing his temper, which causes him to be ejected from more than one game. Dale needs a new assistant coach and invites knowledgeable basketball fan Shooter, the alcoholic father of one of his players, to join him on the bench. This, too, confounds the town, including Shooter's son.
Planet of the Apes
Planet of the Apes is a 1968 American science fiction film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, based on the 1963 French novel La Planete des singes by Pierre Boulle. The film stars Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Maurice Evans, Kim Hunter and Linda Harrison. It was the first in a series of five films made between 1968 and 1973, all produced by Arthur P. Jacobs and released by 20th Century Fox. The series was followed by a remake in 2001 and a reboot in 2011.
The film tells the story of an astronaut crew who crash-land on a strange planet in the distant future. Although the planet appears desolate at first, the surviving crew members stumble upon a society in which apes have evolved into creatures with human-like intelligence and speech. The apes have assumed the role of the dominant species and humans are mute creatures wearing animal skins.
The script was originally written by Rod Serling but had many rewrites before eventually being made. Directors J. Lee Thompson and Blake Edwards were approached, but the film's producer Arthur P. Jacobs, upon the advice of Charlton Heston, chose Franklin J. Schaffner to direct the film. Schaffner's changes included creating a more primitive ape society, instead of the more expensive idea of having futuristic buildings and advanced technology. Filming took place between May-August 1967, mostly in California and Arizona, with the opening scene shot at Lake Powell, Utah. The film's budget was approximately $5,800,000.
The film was released on February 8, 1968, in the United States and was a commercial success, gaining $32,589,624 at the international box office. The film was groundbreaking for its prosthetic makeup techniques by artist John Chambers, and was well received by critics and audiences, launching a film franchise, including four sequels, as well as a short-lived television show, animated series, comic books, various merchandising, and eventually a remake in 2001 and a reboot in 2011. In particular, Roddy McDowall had a long-running relationship with the Apes series, appearing in four of the original five films (absent, apart from a brief voiceover, from the second film of the series, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, in which he was replaced by David Watson in the role of Cornelius), and also in the television series.
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
The story begins in 1917; Baby Jane Hudson (Julie Allred) is a vaudevillian child star. She performs to adoring crowds and inspires the creation of a rather expensive "Baby Jane" doll. Jane is shown to have become a spoiled brat whose doting stage-father Ray (Dave Willock) gives in to her whims and demands while her disapproving mother and jealous, overlooked sister Blanche (Gina Gillespie) watch from the sidelines.
By 1935, the now grown sisters' roles have been reversed. Both are movie stars, but Blanche is the successful and glamorous one, while Jane's films have flopped. Unable to establish her talent as an adult actress, Jane has taken to drinking. One night after a party, the car pulls up to the gate of their mansion and the camera shows only the legs of one of the sisters stepping out of the car. The camera then shows the feet of the other sister as the accelerator is pressed. The next scene shows the car smashed into the gate with the hanging mystery of who was who.
The story picks up years later with a wheelchair bound Blanche (Joan Crawford) and a severely aged Jane (Bette Davis) living together. Blanche lives primarily in her bedroom watching her old movies on television and reliving her former career. Jane is an antagonist who fights with her sister constantly, drinks excessively, and wears caked-on makeup in an effort to appear young. Blanche is almost entirely dependent on her bitter, abusive sister save for her friendly relationship with their cleaning woman, Elvira (Maidie Norman). Elvira is concerned for Blanche's well being at the hands of "crazy" Jane, but Blanche staunchly defends her. Elvira tells Blanche that she has discovered her sister has been opening her mail and dumping it in the trash, but Blanche is slow to condemn her and shows great concern for her sister's welfare.
In her own world, Jane is also reliving her childhood sucess in a very dark, disturbing manner. She is lost in her memories when she sees her reflection in the mirror and is horrified. At that moment Blanche calls for her sister with repeated annoying buzzes from her room: She wants to know why she cannot call out on the telephone, had it been left off the hook downstairs? Jane is highly annoyed with her sister when Blanche informs her she may be selling the house. Jane then fights with her sister, fearing what will become of her, and rips the telephone cord out of the wall, further isolating Blanche in her room. When Jane brings up Blanche's lunch afterwards, Blanche discovers that under the silver serving dish lies her beloved parakeet dead on a bed of tomato slices.
Jane makes herself up to go out and place an advertisement for a piano player so that she can restart her performing career. While she is out, Blanche tries to get the attention of her neighbor, Mrs. Bates (Anna Lee), who is tending to her flowers below Blanche's window. When Blanche cannot get her attention, she writes a note pleading for help and throws it from her window. Unfortunately, Jane returns at that very moment and the distraction of the car coming up the driveway prevents Mrs. Bates from seeing the crumpled paper. Jane does find the note, however, and when she brings Blanche's dinner up, she fights with her sister again, telling her the house is hers and it will never be sold. Jane mocks her sister's kind concern and drops the folded note in her lap. Jane leaves the room, and when Blanche goes to her serving tray for the dinner, she cannot bring herself to touch it.
The next morning when Elvira arrives, Jane gives her the day off. Jane's abuses on Blanche continue and they fight again when she brings Blanche her lunch. Blanche has not touched her dinner from the night before and wants to know why her breakfast had not been brought. Jane responds because she had not eaten her dinner and she herself tauntingly eats from the previous night's plate. As she takes the old serving tray away, she tells her sister they have rats in the basement, and when Blanche goes to her lunch, she finds a dead rat on the plate. Blanche screams hysterically and Jane laughs evilly at her sister's despair. Meanwhile, a talented but down-and-out man named Edwin Flagg (Victor Buono) sees Jane's advertisement and makes an appointment to see her that afternoon.
Joan Crawford as Blanche Hudson.
When Edwin shows up at the house, Jane grotesquelly performs her signature song from when she was a little girl, "I've Written a Letter to Daddy," with Edwin playing the piano. Edwin tries to hide his disgust. Jane then brags about who she was as a child and shows him a scrapbook of herself. At this time, Blanche uses her buzzer repeatedly to call her sister, wanting to know who the visitor is. Enraged, Jane goes upstairs, fights with Blanche, and consequently rips the buzzer out of the wall and smacks her sister. Back in the living room, Jane and Edwin agree to his salary and they plot the next moves. Jane then drives him home. While she's out, Blanche goes into Jane's room looking for food (by now, she hasn't eaten in a couple of days) and discovers that Jane has practiced forging her signature and is writing checks. She works her way down the stairs to use the telephone. Blanche calls Jane's doctor and tells him that she needs help and asks if he could come to the house right away.
Jane comes back to find Blanche talking to the doctor. Blanche abruptly ends the conversation and tries to make excuses to her looming sister. Jane cruely beats her as she lies on the floor, kicking her in the head and stomach until she is unconscious. Jane then calls the doctor back and, disguising her voice to sound like her sister, tells him not to come because "Jane" has found another doctor. Then Jane drags her sister to her room, ties her up by her arms, gags her, and leaves her there.
The next day, Elvira arrives to see Blanche. Jane tells her that her services are no longer needed and dismisses her. Suspicious, Elvira sneaks into the house when Jane leaves again to go to the bank for money to pay Edwin. She finds Blanche's room locked and is attempting to remove the door from the hinges when Jane comes home and catches her. Upon Elvira's demands, Jane gives her the key, and as the maid enters the room to find Blanche bound and gagged, Jane uses the hammer to kill Elvira. Jane sinks deeper into her delusions about "if only they had loved me enough." Edwin then rings the doorbell, but Jane does not answer, "not now Edwin, not now," and when he leaves, she sobs in despair. She then takes Elvira's body from the house and disposes of it by driving and dropping it some distance away.
Later, the police come to the house and tell Jane that a cousin of her maid has reported her missing. She tells them that she hasn't seen Elvira for a week. Jane prepares to leave with her sister, fearing the police will discover what she's done. Suddenly, a drunken Edwin shows up to receive his first payment. While he is there, Blanche is able to knock something down in her room, Edwin hears the noise and goes upstairs and finds her tied to her bed. He is shocked by her "dying" condition as she begs for his help. Edwin runs out of the house to get away. Desperate, Jane puts her sister in the car and drives to the beach.
The next morning, the search is on for them. Elvira's body has been found and there are bulletins on the radio. Blanche, starved and dehydrated, is lying on the sand with Jane sitting beside her. Blanche tells Jane the truth about what happened years before. It was she, Blanche, who had tried to run over her drunken sister. Jane, however, had moved out of the way in time and Blanche had slammed into the gate and snapped her own spine, managing to drag herself out of the car. Because Jane was too drunk to realize what happened, she has since believed that she was responsible for her sister's condition. Jane sadly asks, "You mean all this time we could have been friends?" With her mental condition completely deteriorated, Jane runs off to a beach-side concession booth to get ice cream cones for the two of them. The police arrive to find Jane as she dances on the sand, with a crowd surrounding her. Finally she again has the attention that she's craved, and she dances, joyfully, happy at last in her decayed imagination. The police spot a motionless Blanche lying on the sand and hurry over to help her as the film ends. Whether Blanche has survived is not revealed.
A recently widowed woman, the wealthy Margaret Da Lorca (Bette Davis), meets her twin sister Edith Phillips (also played by Davis) after nearly eighteen years' estrangement at her late husband Frank's funeral. After the funeral, Margaret invites Edith to her home at the Da Lorca mansion where Margaret takes pity on Edith, commenting on her sister's drab attire, and offers her "cast-offs" from her wardrobe. There is friction between the two women when they reminisce about the late Frank Da Lorca, with whom Edith had originally courted, she still holding a grudge toward Margaret for Frank's breaking off with Edith and 'having' to marry Margaret. This, Edith was lead to believe at the time, was because Margaret and Frank had a love affair, with Margaret falling pregnant and having his baby boy. However, after Edith storms out after an angry exchange with Margaret, she is taken home by Margaret's chauffeur who tells her that there hadn't been a child born whilst he had been in the Da Lorca's employ. Edith then realises that Margaret had lied to Frank about being pregnant. Edith runs a cocktail lounge in downtown LA called 'Edie's' which is struggling financially, and she is way behind with the rent. After a visit from her landlord threatening closure of the bar, Edith ruminates over Margaret's deception, and her own current predicament. Edith is dating Jim, a local police sergeant, who comes to visit her that day at the bar on her Birthday. He brings her a gift of a watch and Edith tells Jim that she had been to a funeral earlier that day. Edith pleads with Jim to take her out that night, away from the bar. However, he tells her that he reluctantly has to work. When Jim leaves the bar, Edith is resolved to get the truth from Margaret about her pregnancy that required Frank to marry her. She telephones Margaret telling her that she knows "everything" and demands that she visit Edith at the bar. During a massage, Margaret tries to fob her sister off until Edith threatens to go to the Da Lorca mansion, implying she will make a scene. Margaret hastily gets dressed (donning the black mourning outfit she had earlier worn for Frank's funeral, with full-length veil), and arrives at the bar in her chauffeur-driven car. In the meantime, Edith has acquired a gun, and has been preparing for Margaret's visit, by styling her hair like Margaret's and 'rehearsing' her sister's execution to look like her own suicide.
Edith then takes over Margaret's identity. However, she soon finds herself in dire straits when her impersonation is discovered by Margaret's lover Tony, and he begins to blackmail her. In the meantime, the police are suspicious about Tony's sudden acquirement of money, and a high-end sports car. His apartment is searched, where they find a stash of expensive jewellery that he had solicited from Edith. The police also find arsenic. Edith discovers from Tony that Margaret had murdered Frank with the help of Tony. During an argument where he threatens Edith, Tony is killed by Duke, the De Lorca's Great Dane. In the meantime, the police exhume Frank's body and traces of arsenic are found in it. Edith is arrested for the murder that her sister and Tony had committed. In a desperate plea, Edith confesses to Jim that she isn't Margaret, and in fact had nothing to do with Frank's murder. However, Jim refuses to believe that Edith would be capable of murdering anyone, let alone her own twin sister. Edith (as Margaret) is tried, found guilty of murder, and sentenced to death. At the end of the film, just before Edith is taken away from the courthouse to her morbid fate, she sees Jim by the car that is waiting for her. Jim, seemingly confused as to the true identity of 'Margaret', tells her that what she had said to him about actually being Edith has been playing on his mind. Edith reminds him what he had previously told 'Margaret', which was "Edith would never hurt a fly". She enters the car and is driven off.
Call Northside 777
In Chicago in 1932, during Prohibition, a policeman is murdered inside a speakeasy. Frank Wiecek (Richard Conte) and another man are quickly arrested, and are later sentenced to serve 99 years' imprisonment each for the killing. Eleven years later, Wiecek's mother puts an ad in the newspaper offering a $5,000 reward for information about the true killers of the police officer. This leads the city editor of the Chicago Times Brian Kelly (Lee J. Cobb) to assign reporter P.J. McNeal (James Stewart) to look more closely into the case. McNeal is skeptical at first, believing Wiecek to be guilty. But he starts to change his mind, and meets increased resistance from the police and the state attorney's office, who are unwilling to be proved wrong. This is quickly followed by political pressure from the state capital, where politicians are anxious to end a story that might prove embarrassing to the administration. Eventually, Wiecek is proved innocent by, among other things, the enlarging of a photograph showing the date on a newspaper that proves that a key witness's statement was false.
Eight Men Out
The 1919 Chicago White Sox are considered the greatest team in baseball and, in fact, one of the greatest ever assembled to that point. However, the team's owner, Charles Comiskey, is a skinflint with little inclination to reward his players for a spectacular season.
When a gamblers gets wind of the players' discontent, it offers a select group of Sox -- including star pitcher Eddie Cicotte -- more money to play badly than they would have earned by winning the World Series against the Cincinnati Reds.
A number of players, including Chick Gandil, Swede Risberg, and Lefty Williams, go along with the scheme. The team's greatest star, Shoeless Joe Jackson, is depicted as being not very bright and not entirely sure what is going on. Buck Weaver, meanwhile, is included with the seven others but insists that he wants nothing to do with the fix.
When the best-of-nine series begins, Cicotte deliberately pitches poorly to lose the first game. Williams does likewise in Game 2, while Gandil and Hap Felsch make glaring mistakes on the field. Several of the players become upset, however, when the various gamblers involved fail to pay their promised money up front.
Chicago journalists Ring Lardner and Hugh Fullerton grow increasingly suspicious. Meanwhile, the team's manager, Kid Gleason, continues to hear rumors of a fix, but he remains confident that his boys will come through in the end.
A third pitcher not in on the scam, Dickey Kerr, wins Game 3 for the Sox, making both gamblers and teammates uncomfortable. Other teammates such as Ray Schalk continue to play hard, while Weaver and Jackson show no visible signs of taking a dive. Cicotte, who won 29 games during the season, loses again in Game 4. With the championship now in jeopardy, Gleason intends to bench him from his next start, but Cicotte begs for another chance. The manager reluctantly agrees and is rewarded with a victory in Game 7. Unpaid by the gamblers, Williams also intends to do his best, but when his wife's life is threatened, he purposely pitches badly to lose the final game.
Cincinnati wins the World Series (5 games to 3) to the shock of Sox fans. Even worse, sportswriter Fullerton exposes the strong possibility that this series was not on the level. His findings cause Comiskey and the other owners to appoint a new commissioner of baseball, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, and give him complete authority over the sport.
Eight players are indicted and brought to trial. Cicotte, Williams, and Jackson even sign confessions. But in court, while Weaver maintains his innocence, the confessions are mysteriously found to be stolen, and the popular Chicago players are found not guilty. While they celebrate, however, Judge Landis bans all eight from professional baseball for life, citing their failure to reveal being approached by gambling interests in the first place.
Weaver is among those exiled from the game. The final scene shows him in the bleachers of a New Jersey minor league ballpark, watching Jackson play under an assumed name.
Handsome, irresponsible cad Johnnie Aysgarth (Cary Grant) sweeps dowdy Lina McLaidlaw (Joan Fontaine) off her feet and charms her into running away and marrying him, despite the strong disapproval of her wealthy father, General McLaidlaw (Sir Cedric Hardwicke). After their honeymoon, they set up housekeeping in extravagant fashion, though she soon learns that Johnnie is broke and was hoping to live off her father's generosity. She persuades him to get a job and he goes to work for his cousin, estate agent Captain Melbeck (Leo G. Carroll).
Gradually, Lina learns that Johnnie has continued to gamble on the horses, despite his promise to quit, and that he has sold family heirloom chairs given to them as a wedding present to help pay for things. She repeatedly catches him in lies and discovers that he has been caught embezzling and fired from his job, though Melbeck assures her he will not prosecute if the money is repaid. Johnnie's good-natured, if scatterbrained, friend Beaky (Nigel Bruce) tries to reassure her that her husband is a good sort, but without much success.
When the general dies, Johnnie is severely disappointed to find that he has left Lina only his portrait -- which is later seen in some infrequently-used living room. He convinces Beaky to finance his next venture, a land development, even though neither of them knows much about the business. Lina tries to talk Beaky out of it, but he trusts his friend completely. Johnnie overhears and warns his wife to stay out of his affairs, but later calls the whole thing off. When Beaky leaves for Paris, Johnnie accompanies him partway. Later, news reaches Lina of Beaky's death in Paris. Johnnie misleads her and an investigating police inspector about remaining in London. This and other details lead Lina to suspect he caused his friend's demise.
She begins to fear that her husband is plotting to kill her for her life insurance. He has been questioning her friend Isobel Sedbusk (Auriol Lee), a writer of mystery novels, about untraceable poisons. Johnnie brings Lina a glass of milk before bed, but she is too afraid to drink it.
Needing to get away for a while, she makes up a story to stay with her mother for a few days. Johnnie insists on driving her there. He speeds recklessly in a powerful convertible (a 1936 Lagonda LG45) on a dangerous road beside a cliff. Suddenly, Lina's door opens. Johnnie reaches for her, his intent unclear to the terrified woman. When she shrinks from him, he stops the car.
In the subsequent row, it emerges that Johnnie was actually intending to kill himself. Now however, he has decided that suicide is the coward's way out and is resolved to face his responsibilities and even go to jail for the embezzlement. He was actually in Liverpool at the time of Beaky's death, seeking to borrow on Lina's life insurance policy to settle matters with Melbeck. Her suspicions allayed, Lina tells him that they will face the future together.
Hawaii is a 1966 American film directed by George Roy Hill and based on the novel of the same name by James A. Michener. It tells the story of an 1820s Yale University divinity student (Max von Sydow) who, along with his new bride (Julie Andrews), becomes a Calvinist missionary in the Hawaiian Islands. It was filmed at Old Sturbridge Village, in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, and on the island of Oahu in Hawaii.
Elliot Richards (Brendan Fraser) is a geeky, over-zealous man working a dead-end technical support job in a San Francisco computer company. He has no friends and his co-workers use him, knowing he will do anything for acceptance. He has a crush on his colleague, Alison Gardner (Frances O'Connor), but lacks the courage to ask her out. After Elliot is again ditched by his co-workers, at a bar while trying to talk to Alison, he says to himself that he would give anything for Alison to be with him. Satan (Elizabeth Hurley), in the form of a beautiful woman, overhears him and offers to give Elliot seven wishes in return for his soul.
As a test, he wishes for a Big Mac and Coke. Satan takes him to McDonald's and places the order. Elliot has to pay for it, because, "there ain't no such thing as a free lunch." After taking Elliot to her office, based at a nightclub in Oakland, Satan convinces Elliot to sign her contract, and delivers further wishes. Each wish has Elliot living them out with Alison and his co-workers in surrogate roles. However, he doesn't know that Satan will always spoil his wishes by adding something he doesn't want. Elliot wishes to be rich and powerful, with Alison as his wife. Satan makes him a Colombian drug lord whose wife despises him and cheats on him with Raul, his co-worker, who is secretly planning to get rid of Elliot and take his position and property. Soon after there is a firefight between his and Raul's people where Elliot "dies". When he returns to the real world, Satan points out that he never wished for Alison to love him.
Secondly, Elliot wishes to be emotionally sensitive so he will understand the needs and desires of women. Satan makes him so sensitive that he spends most of his time crying over how beautiful the world is, and constantly asks Alison, his girlfriend of "three magical weeks," whether he has hurt her or if she needs anything. Alison says she has had enough of it and wants to be with a man who is strong and shallow. She then leaves Elliot for a man who is strong, rude and completely different from the romantic and emotionally sensitive Elliot. Elliot then wishes to be a superstar athlete who would be a woman magnet. Satan makes him a cliché-spewing NBA star, but also gives him a small penis and a low IQ, which causes Alison, a sports reporter, to lose interest in him shortly after they meet.
He then wishes to be intelligent, witty and well-endowed. Satan grants this by making him a famous writer whom Alison falls in love with at a cocktail party. When they arrive at Elliot's home to make love it is revealed that Elliot is gay and living with a flamboyant male partner. Lastly, Elliot wishes to be President of the United States to try to improve the world and get Alison to take him seriously. Satan makes him Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre on the night of his assassination which he nearly avoids. After each wish is renounced, Elliot meets with Satan and she blames him for not being specific enough. Eventually he returns to work, thinking about what he should do with the last two wishes. Satan appears on the computer screen, pointing out that on their first meeting he asked for a Big Mac and Coke, although she had stated that it was a test wish and granted it before Elliot signed the contract. Elliot loses his patience and storms out of his office.
Elliot visits a church looking for God's help, where he briefly confesses to a priest who seems sympathetic. However, after being asked whether he thinks asking Satan for a Big Mac and Coke counts as a wish, the priest, believing he is drunk, has Elliot arrested. The sergeant books him, and Satan, dressed as a police officer, throws him in a cell, telling him that she does like him, and it would not hurt to have her as a friend. Elliot's cellmate (Gabriel Casseus) tells him that he cannot possibly sell his soul as it belongs to God, and although Satan may try to confuse him, in the end he will realise who he truly is, and what his purpose is. Elliot questions the man as to his identity, but the response is simply "a really good friend".
Elliot asks Satan to cancel their contract. When Satan refuses, Elliot states he will not use his final wish. Satan teleports them to Hell, where she transforms first into a black horned monster, then into a giant. When Satan pushes him to make a final wish, Elliot wishes that Alison could have a happy life - with or without him. Satan sighs and Elliot falls into the depths of Hell. Elliot wakes up on a marble staircase, wondering if it is Heaven. Satan tells him that it is a courthouse and that a selfless wish voids the contract, so he keeps his soul. Elliot admits that despite her manipulation of him he has come to like Satan and regards her as a friend, something she does not object to. She replies that Heaven and Hell can be found on Earth; it is up to humans to choose. Elliot asks Alison out, only to learn that she is already dating somebody. He continues with his life, but with a better understanding of who he is.
Later Elliot is confronted by Bob, one of his co-workers, who starts ridiculing Elliot at the encouragement of his co-workers. Elliot loses his temper and grabs a terrified Bob by the shirt, but lets go, simply saying, "Nice talking to you." A threatening look sends his other co-workers scurrying away in fear. At home, he meets a new neighbor, Nicole Delarusso (also played by Frances O'Connor), whose looks resemble Alison's, but whose personality, interests and dressing styles are much closer to his. He offers to help her unpack and they presumably begin a relationship. While the two walk along a boulevard, Satan and Elliot's cellmate, both dressed in white, are seen playing chess, looking at Elliot and his new girlfriend revealing the cellmate is God. The scene ends by listing foibles of Nicole's and Elliot's, which they both tolerate.
Spirit of St. Louis
The Spirit of St. Louis is a 1957 biographical film directed by Billy Wilder and starring James Stewart as Charles Lindbergh. The screenplay was adapted by Charles Lederer, Wendell Mayes, and Billy Wilder from Lindbergh's 1953 autobiographical account of his historic flight, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1954. Along with reminiscences of his early days in aviation, the film depicts Lindbergh's historic 33-hour transatlantic flight in the Spirit of St. Louis monoplane from his take off at Roosevelt Field to his landing at Le Bourget Field in Paris on May 21, 1927.
On May 19, 1927, pilot Charles A. "Slim" Lindbergh (James Stewart) tries to rest in a hotel near Roosevelt Field on Long Island, New York. He has been waiting for a week for the rain to stop so he can attempt the first successful nonstop solo transatlantic flight from New York to Paris. While Lindbergh tries to fall asleep, his friend Frank Mahoney (Bartlett Robinson) guards his hotel room door from reporters who have also been waiting for a break in the weather. Unable to sleep, Lindbergh reminisces about his recent days as an airmail pilot flying from St. Louis to Chicago.
Flying to Chicago in winter, Lindbergh lands his old de Havilland biplane in a small airfield to refuel. Despite the bad weather, Lindbergh takes off, unaware that the Chicago landing field has closed due to snow. Lindbergh's aircraft ices up and stalls, forcing him to parachute out with the mailbag. He continues his journey by train and meets a suspender salesman who tells Lindbergh that two airmen just died competing for the Orteig Prize to be awarded to the first pilots to fly from New York City to Paris (or in a reverse direction[N 1]), nonstop.
From a diner at Lambert Flying Field in St. Louis, Lindbergh calls Columbia Aircraft Corporation in New York City, pretending to represent a group of prominent businessmen. Lindbergh is quoted the price of $15,000 (equal to $200,690 today) for a Bellanca aircraft. For the next six weeks, Lindbergh presents his idea of entering the competition to St. Louis financiers and prominent St. Louis citizens, explaining he can cross the ocean in 40 hours in a single-engine aircraft if he strips it of all non-essential weight, allowing room for extra fuel tanks. The men are excited by Lindbergh's vision and name the aircraft, Spirit of St. Louis.
At the request of his backers, Lindbergh travels to San Diego, California to check out a small aircraft factory, Ryan Aeronautical Company. There he meets Mahoney, the president of the company, who promises to build him an aircraft in just 90 days. At the factory, Frank, Lindbergh, and Ryan's chief engineer Donald Hall (Arthur Space) agree on a design. To decrease weight, Lindbergh refuses to install radios or heavy equipment and plans to navigate by "dead reckoning". [N 2]. In the race to complete the aircraft ahead of schedule, workers at the factory agree to work 24-hour shifts. Lindbergh learns that two pilots, who were vying for the Orteig Prize, were killed during their flight test.
When the Ryan aircraft is complete, Lindbergh flies his new aircraft to St. Louis, and then on to New York. Unable to sleep, Lindbergh leaves his hotel room and goes to Roosevelt Field, where his aircraft is being filled with three hundred gallons of fuel. To decrease weight, he even eliminates the parachute. Because of limited space in the cockpit, the magnetic compass was placed in an awkward position. A young woman offers her mirror, which is then glued into place for the pilot's view. When Lindbergh is not watching, Mahoney slips a Saint Christopher medal into the pilot's lunch bag.
With the weather clearing, Lindbergh and the heavy Spirit of St. Louis trundle down the muddy runway and barely clear the treetops at the end of the field. Every hour, Lindbergh switches fuel tanks to keep the weight load balanced. As he flies over Cape Cod, he realizes he has not slept in 28 hours. He remembers back to times when he slept on railroad tracks, on short bunk beds, and under a windmill. When Lindbergh begins to doze aboard the Spirit of St. Louis, he is awakened by a fly. When he flies over Nova Scotia and sees a motorcyclist below, he remembers his own Harley-Davidson, which he traded for his first aircraft, a war-surplus Curtiss Jenny.
As Lindbergh flies over the seemingly endless Atlantic, he remembers barnstorming across the Midwest and performing dangerous stunts in a flying circus. At the 16th hour, as darkness descends, he worries that an engine cylinder might crack from the cold. The sight of a "white ship", which he soon realizes is an iceberg, is evidence that he is near the Arctic Circle. After 18 hours, the aircraft's wings ice up and the engine stalls. The Spirit of St. Louis begins to drop, but the ice breaks off in the warmer air and he is able to restart the engine. Back on course, Lindbergh discovers that his compasses are malfunctionings, forcing him to navigate by the stars. By dawn, he is so tired he falls asleep, causing the aircraft to circle and descend, but sunlight reflecting off the mirror awakens him in time to regain control.
After Lindbergh sees a seagull and realizes he is close to land, he tries without success to hail a fisherman below. He soon sights land and determines from map features that he has reached Dingle Bay, Ireland. As he reaches for one of his sandwiches, Lindbergh discovers the hidden Saint Christopher medal. Hanging the medal on the instrument panel, he flies on, crossing the English Channel and then up the coast of France, following the Seine to Paris. Once again the engine cuts out, from lack of fuel, but he is able to recover by switching tanks. Evening descends and Lindbergh finally sees the lights of Paris ahead of him. As he approaches Le Bourget Airfield, he is confused by the spotlights. He doesn't understand that the strange movements below him are actually crowds of people. Exhausted and panicked, Lindbergh makes his descent whispering a prayer, "Oh, God help me!" After landing, hordes of people rush to Lindbergh, blind him with camera flashes, and carry him off triumphantly to the hangar. Tired and confused, Lindbergh eventually realizes that the crowds are cheering for his great achievement. When Lindbergh returns to New York, he is given a huge parade in his honor.
An Affair to Remember
The film is considered one of the most romantic of all time, according to the American Film Institute. The film was a remake of McCarey's 1939 film Love Affair, starring Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer. An Affair to Remember was almost identical to Love Affair on a scene-to-scene basis. McCarey used the same screenplay as the original film, which was penned by Delmer Daves and Donald Ogden Stewart.
Contributing to the success of the 1957 film is its theme song, "An Affair to Remember (Our Love Affair)", composed by Harry Warren and with lyrics by Leo McCarey and Harold Adamson. The song is sung by Vic Damone during the film's opening credits and then sung later by Deborah Kerr's character, Terry McKay, a nightclub singer-turned-music teacher. Kerr's singing was dubbed by Marni Nixon, who also dubbed for Kerr in the film The King and I.
Nickie Ferrante (Cary Grant), a well-known playboy and dilettante in the arts, meets Terry McKay (Deborah Kerr) aboard the transatlantic ocean liner SS Constitution en route from Europe to New York. Each is involved with someone else. After a series of chance meetings aboard the ship, they establish a friendship. When Terry joins Nickie on a brief visit to his grandmother when the ship anchors near her home on the Mediterranean coast, she sees Nickie with new eyes and their feelings blossom into love. During their visit, it is revealed that Nickie has had a talent for painting, but has dropped said trait due to his critical attitude towards his own art. As the ship returns to New York City, they agree to reunite at the top of the Empire State Building in six months' time, if they have succeeded in ending their relationships and starting new careers.
On the day of their rendezvous, Terry, in her haste to reach the Empire State Building, is struck down by a car while crossing a street. Gravely injured, she is rushed to the hospital. Meanwhile, Nickie, waiting for her at the observation deck at the top of the building, is unaware of the accident and, after many hours, finally concedes at midnight that she will not arrive, believing that she has rejected him.
After the accident Terry, now unable to walk, refuses to contact Nickie, wanting to conceal her disability. Instead, she finds work as a music teacher. Nickie has pursued his talent as a painter and has his work displayed by an old friend, an art shop owner. Six months after the accident, she sees Nickie with his former fiance at the ballet, which she herself is attending with her former boyfriend. Nickie does not notice her condition because she is seated and only says hello as he passes her.
Nickie finally learns Terry's address and, on Christmas Eve, makes a surprise visit to her. Although he steers the conversation to make her explain her actions, Terry merely dodges the subject, never leaving the couch on which she sits. As he is leaving, Nickie mentions a painting that he had been working on when they originally met, and that it was just given away at the art shop to a woman who liked it but had no money. He is about to say that the woman was in a wheelchair when he pauses, suddenly suspecting why Terry has been sitting unmoving on the couch. He walks into her bedroom and sees his painting hanging on the wall, and a wheelchair concealed there. He now knows why she did not keep their appointment. The film ends with the two in a tight embrace, each realizing that the other's love endures. In closing, Terry says, "If you can paint, I can walk; anything can happen, don't you think?"
No Way Out
No Way Out is a 1987 thriller film about a U.S. Naval officer investigating a Washington, D.C. murder. It stars Kevin Costner, Gene Hackman, and Sean Young. Will Patton, Howard Duff, George Dzundza, Jason Bernard, Fred Thompson, and Iman appear in supporting roles.
The film is a remake of The Big Clock; both films are based on Kenneth Fearing's novel The Big Clock. In addition to the Orion Pictures Corporation studio, filming locations included Baltimore, Annapolis, Arlington, Washington, D.C., and Auckland, New Zealand. The film features original music by the Academy Award-winning Maurice Jarre.
At a ball, United States Navy Lieutenant Commander Tom Farrell meets a young woman, Susan Atwell, and the two immediately begin an affair, although Atwell is involved with someone else. During his next Naval deployment, Farrell rescues a fellow sailor during a storm and becomes a hero. He is brought back to Washington to work at The Pentagon for Secretary of Defense David Brice on the recommendation of his General Counsel Scott Pritchard, an old friend of Farrell's. Brice, determined to cancel a boondoggle Navy project that has powerful political backing, decides that Farrell should act as his direct liaison to the CIA to gather information about whether the Soviets really are working on a similar project.
Soon after, Farrell finds out that the other man in Susan's life is Secretary Brice, who in turn learns of Susan's infidelity. While demanding the name of her new lover, Brice slaps Susan in a jealous rage, knocking her off an indoor balcony to her death. Ready to turn himself in, Brice is persuaded by Pritchard to cover up everything and blame it on someone else. They concoct a story that Susan's other lover was in fact a long-suspected but never confirmed KGB sleeper agent code-named "Yuri." In the aftermath, they focus all attention on an attempt to capture him.
Confident that "Yuri" doesn't exist, CIA director Marshall dismisses the possibility of Pritchard having an affair with Susan, saying that Pritchard is homosexual. Brice appoints Farrell to lead the investigation to find Susan's other lover, placing him in the position of attempting to find evidence that could implicate himself. The only forensic evidence in the case is a discarded Polaroid negative recovered from Susan's house, which requires lengthy computer processing to become visible, and semen found in Susan's vagina, though mentioned, it is not pursued in the film. Farrell pleads with systems analyst and old friend Sam Hesselman to slow down the processing, and tells him about Susan and Brice. Meanwhile, Farrell sets about proving Brice was involved with Susan by searching computer files for evidence that Brice gave Susan a government-registered gift he had previously received from Morocco.
Pritchard harasses Nina Beka, a close friend of Susan's, by threatening deportation back to South Africa, then sends covert assassins to kill her, but Farrell rescues her just in time. A suspicious Sam goes to Pritchard with concerns about what Farrell told him. Realizing that Sam can implicate Brice, Pritchard shoots and kills him. Farrell obtains the printout before the picture implicating him becomes visible and presents it to Brice, who then shifts the blame to Pritchard, arguing that Pritchard was jealous of his relationship with Susan. A devastated Pritchard commits suicide and is falsely exposed as "Yuri" to the police by Brice, hoping to escape blame for Susan's death, and Farrell, who is free of suspicion, is finally able to leave the Pentagon.
As Farrell sits beside Susan's grave, two plainclothes men arrive and take him away for questioning. One of the interrogators is Farrell's landlord, who addresses Farrell in Russian. Farrell, who responds in kind, is in fact the real "Yuri", and his landlord is his KGB supervisor. Yuri/Farrell was planted in the U.S. as a teenager and became the KGB's "mole" in the Department of Defense. Aware of Brice's affair, the Russians assigned Farrell to seduce the Secretary of Defense's mistress and gather intelligence from her.
Although his handlers demand that he return to the Soviet Union, Farrell refuses and leaves as his handler says, "He will return. Where else does he have to go?"
This intense drama examines the fight between good and evil among an American infantry platoon in the jungles of Vietnam. Writer/director Stone draws on his own first-hand experiences of combat and takes a close look at the life of foot soldiers, as seen through the eyes of a new recruit.
Doc Martin - The Movie
Doc Martin is a British television comedy drama series starring Martin Clunes in the title role. It was created by Dominic Minghella after the character of Dr. Martin Bamford in the 2000 comedy film Saving Grace. The show is set in the fictional seaside village of Portwenn and filmed on location in the village of Port Isaac, Cornwall, United Kingdom, with most interior scenes shot in a converted local barn. Five series aired between 2004 and 2011, together with a feature-length special that aired on Christmas Day 2006.
Top Hat is a 1935 screwball comedy musical film in which Fred Astaire plays an American dancer named Jerry Travers, who comes to London to star in a show produced by Horace Hardwick (Edward Everett Horton). He meets and attempts to impress Dale Tremont (Ginger Rogers) to win her affection. The film also features Eric Blore as Hardwick's valet Bates, Erik Rhodes as Alberto Beddini, a fashion designer and rival for Dale's affections, and Helen Broderick as Hardwick's long-suffering wife Madge.
The film was written by Allan Scott and Dwight Taylor. It was directed by Mark Sandrich. The songs were written by Irving Berlin. "Top Hat, White Tie and Tails" and "Cheek to Cheek" have become American song classics. It has been nostalgically referenced -- particularly its "Cheek to Cheek" segment -- in many films, including The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) and The Green Mile (1999).
Top Hat was the most successful picture of Astaire and Rogers' partnership (and Astaire's second most successful picture after Easter Parade), achieving second place in worldwide box-office receipts for 1935. While some dance critics maintain that Swing Time contained a finer set of dances, Top Hat remains, to this day, the partnership's best-known work.
Soldier in the Rain
Soldier in the Rain is a 1963 American comedy-drama film starring Jackie Gleason and Steve McQueen. Produced and co-written by Blake Edwards, the screenplay is based on a 1960 novel by William Goldman. The film was directed by Ralph Nelson. It concerns the friendship between an aging Army Master Sergeant (Gleason) and a young country bumpkin buck sergeant (McQueen). Tuesday Weld also stars.
The film was released five days after President John F. Kennedy's assassination, which didn't help its box office take.
Sergeant Eustis Clay (McQueen) is a peacetime soldier who can't wait to finish his service and move on to bigger, better things. He is a personal favorite of Master Sergeant Maxwell Slaughter (Gleason), a military lifer who is considerably brighter than Eustis but enjoys his company and loyalty.
Eustis is involved in a number of schemes and scams, including one in which he will sell tickets to see an equally dim private named Meltzer (Tony Bill) run a three-minute mile. He inconveniences Slaughter more than once, including a traffic mishap that requires him being bailed out of jail.
Determined to tempt Slaughter with the joys of civilian life before his hitch is up, Eustis fixes him up on a date with the much-younger, not too bright Bobbi Jo Pepperdine (Weld). At first Slaughter is offended but gradually he sees another side of Bobbi Jo, including a mutual fondness for crossword puzzles. Eustis and Slaughter golf together and begin to enjoy the good life.
One night, Eustis is devastated to learn of the death of Donald, his dog. A pair of hated rivals use their status as Military Policemen to lure Eustis into a barroom brawl. He is beaten two-against-one and is nearly defeated when Slaughter angrily comes to his rescue. Together they win the fight, but the middle-aged, overweight Slaughter collapses from the effort.
Hospitalized, he delights Eustis by suggesting that they leave the Army together and go live on a tropical isle, surrounded by blue seas and beautiful girls. Slaughter dies, however, and Eustis, a changed man, re-enlists in the Army for another hitch.
No Time For Sergeants
Mac Hyman's hilarious barracks novel No Time for Sergeants was adapted for TV by Ira Levin in 1955, with newcomer Andy Griffith as bumptious Air Force draftee Will Stockdale. This TV version was soon afterward transformed into a Broadway play, and then a movie, again with Griffith in the lead. Brought to the Air Force base in handcuffs because his farmer father has been hiding his draft notices, good-natured Will becomes the target of ridicule for the other transcripts. Especially nasty is Private Irvin (Murray Hamilton), but Will is able to forgive him because he knows that Irvin is suffering from some mysterious disease called ROTC. Will's best pal is hot-headed private Ben (Nick Adams), who wants to be transferred to the Infantry and convinces Will to try for the same goal. Slowly becoming aware that the trusting, naive Will may prove to be a troublemaker, career sergeant King (Myron McCormick), who wants nothing more out of life than a little peace and quiet, tries to keep Stockdale out of mischief by appointing him "PLO" -- Permanent Latrine Orderly, a dubious distinction in which Will takes enormous pride. Later on, King tries to pull strings to get Will transferred, succeeding only in losing his sergeant's stripes. The story goes off on a zany tangent when Will and Ben find themselves on a crippled plane in flight. They manage to escape with their lives, but all evidence suggests that they've been killed in the plane's crash. Imagine the dismay of newly reinstated Sergeant King when Will and Ben show up in his office -- just as the entire base is gathered for a memorial service for the two "fallen heroes." Featured in a minor role as a "coordination officer" is Griffth's future TV cohort Don Knotts, while Sammy Jackson, who played Stockdale in a 1964 sitcom version of No Time for Sergeants, shows up in an unbilled bit.
Judith Traherne (Bette Davis) is a young, carefree, hedonistic Long Island socialite/heiress with a passion for horses, fast cars, and too much smoking and drinking. She initially ignores severe headaches and brief episodes of dizziness and double vision, but when she uncharacteristically takes a spill while riding, and then tumbles down a flight of stairs, her secretary/best friend Ann King (Geraldine Fitzgerald) insists she see the family doctor, who refers her to a specialist.
Dr. Frederick Steele (George Brent) is in the midst of closing his New York City office in preparation of a move to Brattleboro, Vermont, where he plans to devote his time to brain cell research and scientific study on their growth. He reluctantly agrees to see Judith, who is cold and openly antagonistic toward him. She shows signs of short-term memory loss, but dismisses her symptoms. Steele convinces her the ailments she is experiencing are serious and potentially life-threatening, and puts his career plans on hold to tend to her.
When diagnostic tests confirm his suspicions, Judith agrees to surgery to remove a malignant brain tumor. Steele discovers the tumor cannot be completely removed, and realizes she has less than a year to live. The end will be painless but swift--shortly after experiencing total blindness, Judith will pass away.
In order to allow her a few more months of happiness, Steele opts to keep the diagnosis a secret and assures Judith and Ann the surgery was a success. Ann is suspicious and confronts Steele, who admits the truth. She agrees to remain silent.
Judith and Steele become involved romantically and eventually engaged. While helping his assistant pack the office prior to their departure for Vermont, Judith discovers her case history file containing letters from several doctors, all of them confirming Steele's prognosis. Assuming Steele was marrying her out of pity, Judith breaks off the engagement and reverts to her former lifestyle. One day, her stablehand Michael O'Leary (Humphrey Bogart), who for years has loved her from afar, confronts her about her unruly behavior and she confesses she is dying. Their conversation convinces her she should spend her final months happy, dignified, and with the man she loves. She apologizes to Steele, and the two marry and move to Vermont. (Throughout the film Judith and O'Leary engage in arguments about the prospects of a colt, Challenger. O'Leary insists Challenger will never make a racehorse while Judith sees him as a future champion, and just before her death O'Leary admits she was correct.)
Three months later, Ann comes to visit. She and Judith are in the garden planting bulbs when Judith comments on how odd it is she still feels the heat of the sun under the rapidly darkening skies. She realizes she actually is losing her vision and approaching the end. Steele is scheduled to present his most recent medical findings (which hold out the long-term prospect of a cure for this type of cancer) in New York, and Judith, making an excuse to remain home, helps him pack and sends him off. Then, after bidding Ann, her housekeeper Martha (Virginia Brissac), and her dogs farewell, she climbs the stairs, lies down on her bed. We see her face and the image blurs to grey.
Rocky is a 1976 American sports drama film directed by John G. Avildsen and both written by and starring Sylvester Stallone. It tells the rags to riches American Dream story of Rocky Balboa, an uneducated but kind-hearted debt collector for a loan shark in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Rocky starts out as a club fighter who later gets a shot at the world heavyweight championship. It also stars Talia Shire as Adrian, Burt Young as Adrian's brother Paulie, Burgess Meredith as Rocky's trainer Mickey Goldmill, and Carl Weathers as the champion, Apollo Creed.
The film, made on a budget of $1.1 million and shot in 28 days, was a sleeper hit; it made over $225 million the highest grossing film of 1976, and won three Oscars, including Best Picture. The film received many positive reviews and turned Stallone into a major star. It is noted as one of the best films ever made. It spawned five sequels: Rocky II, III, IV, V and Rocky Balboa.
Rain Man is an Oscar-winning 1988 drama film written by Barry Morrow and Ronald Bass and directed by Barry Levinson. It tells the story of an abrasive and selfish yuppie, Charlie Babbitt, who discovers that his estranged father has died and bequeathed all of his multimillion-dollar estate to his other son, Raymond, an autistic savant of whose existence Charlie was unaware.
The film stars Dustin Hoffman as Raymond Babbitt, Tom Cruise as Charlie Babbitt and Valeria Golino as Charlie's girlfriend, Susanna. Morrow created the character of Raymond after meeting Kim Peek, a real-life savant; his characterization was based on both Peek and Bill Sackter, a good friend of Morrow who was the subject of Bill, an earlier film that Morrow wrote. Rain Man received overwhelmingly positive reviews at the time of its release, praising Hoffman's role and the wit and sophistication of the screenplay.
The film won four Oscars at the 61st Academy Awards (March 1989), including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Actor in a leading role for Hoffman. Its crew received an additional four nominations. The film also won the Golden Bear at the 39th Berlin International Film Festival.
The Searchers is a 1956 American Western film directed by John Ford, based on the 1954 novel by Alan Le May, and set during the Texas-Indian Wars. The film stars John Wayne as a middle-aged Civil War veteran who spends years looking for his abducted niece (Natalie Wood), along with Jeffrey Hunter as his adoptive nephew, who accompanies him.
The film was a commercial success, although it received no major Academy Award nominations. It was named the Greatest American Western of all time by the American Film Institute in 2008, and it placed 12th on the American Film Institute's 2007 list of the 100 greatest American movies of all time. Entertainment Weekly named it the best Western of all time. The British Film Institute's Sight & Sound magazine ranked it as the seventh best movie of all time in a 2012 survey.
Much Ado About Nothing
Don Pedro (Denzel Washington) and his noblemen are visiting their good friend Leonato (Richard Briers) in Messina after having quashed the uprising led by Don John (Keanu Reeves), the prince's bastard half-brother. Among the victors are the misogynistic and witty Benedick (Kenneth Branagh), erstwhile flame of Leonato's equally sharp-tongued and somewhat fierce niece, Beatrice (Emma Thompson), who is something of a misandrist, and Benedick's "sworn brother" Claudio (Robert Sean Leonard), a young count. Claudio has been thinking fondly of Leonato's gentle and lovely daughter Hero since before he went to war, and returns to find her as attractive as ever. Don Pedro, learning of his young friend's feelings, arranges the match at a party. Despite Don John's best efforts to foil it, the Prince's plan works out perfectly in the end. Needing something to pass the time until the wedding day, Don Pedro decides to arrange a similar fate for Beatrice and Benedick. Of course, both parties being such "professed tyrant[s]" to the opposite sex, this match will take a little more ingenuity.
Vincent Parry, convicted of murdering his wife, escapes from prison and is taken in by Irene Jansen, an artist with an interest in his case. Helped by a friendly cabbie, Parry gets a new face from a plastic surgeon, thereby enabling him to dodge the authorities and find his wife's real killer. He has difficulty staying hidden at Irene's, because Madge Rapf, the spiteful woman whose testimony sent him up to prison, keeps stopping by.
Auntie Mame is a 1958 film based on the novel by Patrick Dennis and its theatrical adaptation by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee. This film version stars Rosalind Russell and was directed by Morton DaCosta. Mame, a musical version of the story, appeared on Broadway and was later made into a 1974 film starring Lucille Ball as the title character.
Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
As a young ne'er-do-well named Lightfoot (Jeff Bridges) steals a car, an assassin attempts to shoot a minister delivering a sermon at his pulpit. The preacher escapes on foot. Lightfoot, who happens to be driving by, inadvertently rescues him by running over his pursuer and giving the preacher a lift.
Lightfoot eventually learns that the "minister" is really a notorious bank robber known as "The Thunderbolt" (Clint Eastwood) for his use of a 20 millimeter cannon to break into a safe. Hiding out in the guise of a clergyman following the robbery of a Montana bank, Thunderbolt is the only member of his old gang who knows where the loot is hidden.
As The Hustler's "Fast" Eddie Felson, Paul Newman created a classic antihero, charismatic but fundamentally flawed, and nobody's role model. A pool player from Oakland, CA, as good as anyone who ever picked up a cue, Eddie has an Achilles' heel: arrogance. It's not enough for him to win: he must force his opponent to acknowledge his superiority. The movie follows Eddie from his match against billiards champ Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason) as he falls in love with Sarah (Piper Laurie), an alcoholic would-be writer and sometime prostitute, and falls under the spell of Bert Gordon (George C. Scott), a successful gambler who offers to take Eddie under his wing and teach him how to play in the big time. However, when Sarah joins Eddie and Bert on a trip to Louisville for a high-stakes match with a dandy named Findlay (Murray Hamilton), the consequences prove tragic. Along with a classic performance by Newman, The Hustler also features turns by Scott, Laurie, and Gleason, in a rare dramatic role. Cameos from pool champ Willie Mosconi and boxer Jake LaMotta add to the atmosphere of Harry Horner's grubby production design and Eugen SchĂĽfftan's camerawork. Director Robert Rossen, who had been working in films since 1937, was to direct only one more film, Lilith (1964), before his death in 1966. In 1986, Newman returned to the role of "Fast" Eddie in Martin Scorsese's The Color of Money, for which he finally earned an Academy Award as Best Actor.
Dial M for Murder
Based on the popular mystery play by Frederick Knott, Dial M For Murder is more talky and stagebound than most Hitchcock films, but no less enjoyable. British tennis pro Ray Milland suspects that his wealthy wife Grace Kelly is fooling around with handsome American Robert Cummings. Milland blackmails a disgraced former army comrade (Anthony Dawson) into murdering Kelly and making it look like the work of a burglar. But Milland's carefully mapped-out scheme does not take into account the notion that Kelly might fight back and kill her assailant. When the police (represented by John Williams) investigate, Milland improvises quickly, subtly planting the suggestion that his wife has committed first-degree murder. He almost gets away with it; to tell you more would spoil the fun of the film's final thirty minutes. Hitchcock claimed that he chose this single-set play because he was worn out from several earlier, more ambitious projects, and wanted to "recharge his batteries." Compelled by Warner Bros. to film Dial M for Murder in 3-D, Hitchcock perversely refused to throw in the standard in-your-face gimmickry of most stereoscopic films of the era--though watch how he visually emphasizes an important piece of evidence towards the end of the film
By concentrating on character development with this first of several sequels to his Oscar-winning smash Rocky (1976), writer/director Sylvester Stallone earned critical praise that would desert him with the boxing saga's shallower subsequent chapters. Stallone returns as Rocky Balboa, a Philadelphia prize fighter enjoying his brief fame after nearly defeating world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers). When Rocky is offered lucrative product endorsement opportunities, his limited education and lack of sophistication quickly become an impediment to his future success, causing him embarrassment and his pregnant wife, Adrian (Talia Shire), a great deal of financial concern. Meanwhile, Creed is brooding over his near loss to a fighter he considers an amateur far beneath him and decides to goad a reluctant Rocky into a high-profile rematch. With the family resources dwindling and his pride wounded, Rocky decides that fighting is all he knows and makes the fateful decision to climb back into the ring once more with Creed to vie for the championship belt, despite assurances from all concerned that he will blind himself irreparably.
Eight Men Out
Writer/director John Sayles' dramatization of the most infamous episode in professional sports -- the fix of the 1919 World Series -- is considered by many to be among his best films and arguably the best baseball movie ever made. This adaptation of Eliot Asinof's definitive study of the scandal shows how athletes of another era were a different breed from the well-paid stars of later years. The Chicago White Sox owner, Charlie Comiskey (Clifton James), is portrayed as a skinflint with little inclination to reward his team for their spectacular season. When a gambling syndicate led by Arnold Rothstein (Michael Lerner) gets wind of the players' discontent, it offers a select group of stars -- including pitcher Eddie Cicotte (Sayles regular David Strathairn), infielder Buck Weaver (John Cusack), and outfielder "Shoeless" Joe Jackson (D.B. Sweeney) -- more money to play badly than they would have earned to try to win the Series against the Cincinnati Reds. Sayles cast the story with actors who look and perform like real jocks, and added a colorful supporting cast that includes Studs Terkel as reporter Hugh Fullerton and Sayles himself as Ring Lardner.
A couple who've been apart for years are brought back together by difficult circumstances in this independent drama. Frank (Richard Ray Whitman) is a man of Native-American heritage with a checkered past who was once married to Irene (Casey Camp-Horinek). While Frank's love for Irene never died, she grew tired of his wayward ways and they broke up. After many years apart, Irene gets word that Frank is in the hospital; he's dying of cancer, and desperately wants to make his peace with his daughter and granddaughter before he goes. Since Frank isn't well enough to travel on his own, Irene agrees to help him drive across Oklahoma for the meeting, and as they make their way across the state they're reminded of why they fell for one another (and why their love didn't last). Frank and Irene also meet a variety of interesting characters along the way as they travel through Oklahoma's Native American communities. Barking Water received its world premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
Love in the Afternoon
Gary Cooper more or less repeats his international-roue characterization from 1938's Bluebeard's Eighth Wife for the 1957 romantic comedy Love in the Afternoon (both films were co-scripted by Billy Wilder, who also directed the latter picture). Audrey Hepburn co-stars as the daughter of Parisian private eye Maurice Chevalier. Investigating the amorous activities of Cooper, Chevalier relates what he's discovered to cuckolded husband John McGiver, who declares that he's going after Cooper with a pistol. Overhearing this conversation, Hepburn rushes off to rescue Cooper. She keeps him far away from McGiver by adopting a "woman of the world" pose. Cooper quickly sees through this charade; still, she is fascinated by Hepburn and attempts to relocate her after she disappears. Meeting Chevalier one day, Cooper relates the story of the Mystery Woman, never dreaming that he is describing Chevalier's daughter. Equally in the dark, Chevalier offers to locate the elusive Hepburn. Once he's tumbled to the fact that his quarry is his own flesh and blood, Chevalier advises Hepburn against contemplating a relationship with the much-older Cooper. She, of course, fails to heed this warning, setting the stage for an ultraromantic finale. Love in the Afternoon is highlighted by a superb running gag involving a quartet of gypsy violinists, who insist upon dogging Cooper's trail wherever he goes-including a steam bath. Love in the Afternoon was adapted by Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond from the novel Ariane by Claude Anet.
Richard Brooks and John Huston's screenplay for Huston's Key Largo eschews the lofty blank verse of Maxwell Anderson's original play, concentrating instead on the simmering tensions among the many characters. Humphrey Bogart plays Frank McCloud, an embittered war veteran who travels to Key Largo in Florida, there to meet Nora Temple (Lauren Bacall), the wife of his deceased war buddy. Arriving at a tumbledown hotel managed by Nora's father-in-law James Temple (Lionel Barrymore), McCloud discovers that the establishment has been taken over by exiled gangster Johnny Rocco (Edward G. Robinson) and what's left of his mob. Also in attendance is Gaye Dawn (Claire Trevor), Rocco's alcoholic girlfriend. While the others bristle at the thought of being held at bay by the gangsters, the disillusioned McCloud refuses to get involved: "One Rocco more or less isn't worth dying for." As he awaits a contact who is bringing him enough money to skip the country, Rocco is responsible for the deaths of a deputy sheriff and two local Indian youth. Unwilling to take a stand before these tragedies, McCloud finally comes to realize that Rocco is a beast who must be destroyed. To save the others from harm, McCloud agrees to pilot Rocco's boat to Cuba through the storm-tossed waters. Just before McCloud leaves, Gaye Dawn slips him a gun -- which leads to the deadly final confrontation between McCloud and Rocco. His resolve to go on living renewed by this cathartic experience, McCloud heads back to Nora, with whom he's fallen in love. Claire Trevor's virtuoso performance as a besotted ex-nightclub singer won her an Academy Award -- as predicted by her admiring fellow actors, who watched her go through several very difficult scenes in long, uninterrupted takes. While Key Largo sags a bit during its more verbose passages, on a visual level the film is one of the best and most evocative examples of the "film noir" school.
The Great Train Robbery
Not a remake of the landmark 1903 Edwin S. Porter film, The Great Train Robbery is a dramatization of the famous first hold-up of a moving train in 1855 England. The conspirators in this undertaking are Edward Pierce (Sean Connery), Agar (Donald Sutherland) and Clean Willy (Wayne Sleep). Pierce is the brains, Clean Willy the brawn, and safecracker Agar provides the finesse. The scheme involves stealing a shipment of gold bars intended to be used in the payroll for the Army in the Crimean War. Lesley Anne Down co-stars as Miriam, the woman on the outside who arranges Connery's getaway. When released in England, this film was titled The First Great Train Robbery, so as not to be confused with Britain's embarrassing 1963 railroad heist. Director Michael Crichton adapted the story from his own, more-clinical novel on the same subject. Filmed in Ireland, The Great Train Robbery was dedicated to the memory of its director of photography, Geoffrey Unsworth, who died shortly after the production wrapped.
The autobiography of Henri Charriere, one of the few people to successfully escape from the notorious French penal colony of Devil's Island, served as the basis for Papillon. Steve McQueen plays the pugnacious Charriere (known as "Papillon," or "butterfly," because of a prominent tatoo), incarcerated--wrongly, he claims--for murdering a pimp. He saves the life of fellow convict Louis Dega (Dustin Hoffman), a counterfeiter who will later show his gratitude by helping Charriere in his many escape attempts, and by smuggling food to Charriere when the latter is put in solitary confinement. One breakout, which takes Charriere and Dega to a leper colony and then to a native encampment, is almost successful, but Charriere is betrayed (allegedly because he stopped for an act of kindness) and back the prisoners go to French Guiana. Years later, Dega is made a trustee and is content with his lot, but the ageing, white-haired Charriere cannot be held back. A tribute to the unquenchability of the human spirit, Papillon brought in an impressive $22 million at the box office.
The French Lieutenant's Woman
John Fowles' original novel The French Lieutenant's Woman was distinguished by a literary technique that involved telling a story of Victorian sexual and social oppression within the bounds of a 1970s viewpoint. How does one convey this time-frame dichotomy on film? The decision made by director Karel Reisz and Harold Pinter was to frame Fowles' basic plot within a "modern" context of their own making. While we watch as Sarah (Meryl Streep), a 19th-century Englishwoman ruined by an affair with a French lieutenant, enters into another disastrous relationship with principled young Charles (Jeremy Irons), we are constantly made aware that what we're seeing is only a film. This is done by surrounding the story with a modern narrative, focusing on a movie production company which is on location--filming The French Lieutenant's Woman. Meryl Streep doubles in the role of Sara and the American actress who plays her, while Jeremy Irons essays the dual role of Charles and the handsome Briton playing Charles. Likewise, everyone else in the cast is seen as "themselves" and as their French Lieutenant's Woman characters. Not surprisingly, the "real" Streep and Irons enter into an affair which closely parallels their characters' relationship. The commercial TV version of French Lieutenant's Woman eliminates 30 minutes' worth of "extraneous" scenes.
Robert L. Pike's crime novel Mute Witness makes the transition to the big screen in this film from director Peter Yates. In one of his most famous roles, Steve McQueen stars as tough-guy police detective Frank Bullitt. The story begins with Bullitt assigned to a seemingly routine detail, protecting mafia informant Johnny Ross (Pat Renella), who is scheduled to testify against his Mob cronies before a Senate subcommittee in San Francisco. But when a pair of hitmen ambush their secret location, fatally wounding Ross, things don't add up for Bullitt, so he decides to investigate the case on his own. Unfortunately for him, ambitious senator Walter Chalmers (Robert Vaughn), the head of the aforementioned subcommittee, wants to shut his investigation down, hindering Bullitt's plan to not only bring the killers to justice but discover who leaked the location of the hideout.
In this cinemadaptation of William Inge's Broadway comedy Bus Stop, Marilyn Monroe is cast as Cherie, a fifth-rate nightclub chanteuse who captures the heart of Montana rodeo champ Bo (Don Murray). He, in turn, kidnaps Cherie and bundles her off to the roadside bus stop of the title. Gradually, the headstrong Bo learns that you can't rope a gal the same way you lasso a steer, but before this happens his face is rearranged by gallant bus driver Carl (Robert Bray). By this time, however, Cherie has fallen in love with her impulsive but basically good-hearted abductor. Others in the cast include Arthur O'Connell as Bo's level-headed travelling companion and "protector" Virgil, Betty Field as down-to-earth bus stop proprietress Grace, and Eileen Heckart as Cherie's confidante Vera. The film later inspired a 1961 TV series. A few TV prints of Bus Stop still exist bearing the alternate title Wrong Kind of Girl.
Hoosiers tells the true story of a group of underdogs who become champions. Set in the 1950s, Hoosiers is about a hard-luck, unemployed college basketball coach (Gene Hackman) who gets a chance to coach a small-town Indiana high-school basketball team. Facing resentment from the community and the team itself, Hackman manages to inspire his young athletes, leading them to the state championship with the help of the assistant coach (Dennis Hopper), who happens to be a recovering alcoholic.
Witness for the Prosecution
Having just recovered from a heart attack, fabled British barrister Sir Wilfred Robards (Charles Laughton) has been ordered by his doctor to give up everything he holds dear-brandy, cigars and especially courtroom cases. Robards' already shaky resolve to follow doctor's orders flies out the window when he takes up the defense of Leonard Vole (Tyrone Power), a personable young man accused of murdering a rich old widow. The case becomes something of a sticky wicket when Vole's "loving" German wife Christine (Marlene Dietrich) announces that she's not legally married to Robards' client-and she fully intends to appear as a witness for the prosecution! At the close of this film, a narrator implores the audience not to divulge the ending; we will herein honor that request. A delicious Billy Wilder mixture of humor, intrigue and melodrama, Witness for the Prosecution is distinguished by its hand-picked supporting cast: John Williams as the police inspector, Henry Daniell as Robards' law partner, Una O'Connor as the murder victim's stone-deaf maid, Torin Thatcher as the prosecutor, Ruta Lee as a sobbing courtroom spectator, and Charles Laughton's wife Elsa Lanchester as Robards' ever-chipper nurse (a role especially written for the film, so that Lanchester could look after Laughton on the set). And keep an eye out for that uncredited actress playing the vengeful-and pivotal-cockney. Adapted by Wilder, Harry Kurnitz and Larry Marcus from the play by Agatha Christie, Witness for the Prosecution was remade for television in 1982. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
While serving time for insanity at a state mental hospital, implacable rabble-rouser Randle Patrick McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) inspires his fellow patients to rebel against the authoritarian rule of head nurse Mildred Ratched (Louise Fletcher). This Milos Forman masterpiece was the first film since It Happened One Night (1934) to take all five major Oscar prizes for picture, director, screenplay, actor (Nicholson) and actress (Fletcher).
The Thomas Crown Affair
Thomas Crown (Steve McQueen) is a self-made Boston millionaire who masterminds a bank heist in hopes of leaving it all behind. Tired of being part of the Establishment, he has hopes of pulling off the caper and flying to Rio. Erwin Weaver (Jack Weston) leads the cast of crooks who never actually meet Crown but manage to pull off the robbery without a hitch. Crown deposits 3 million in a Swiss bank account, pays off the crooks, and waits for the insurance company to repay the bank for the loss. Eddy Malone (Paul Burke) is the savvy detective who helps insurance investigator Vicky Anderson (Faye Dunaway) find the mastermind behind the heist. Thomas Crown Affair became one of the first films to employ many split-screen images throughout its running time, as devised by editor Hal Ashby. Michel Legrand's score was nominated for an Academy Award, and the song The Windmills Of Your Mind, written by Legrand with Alan and Marilyn Bergman took home the coveted Oscar.
In this adaptation of Francoise Sagan's best selling novel, Paula is a beautiful, 40-year old, highly successful businesswoman. She is deeply in love with Roger, her mature consort of five years. Roger is a very charming "gallant" who loves Paula but is too selfish to give up his freedom to be promiscuous. When Paula meets Phillip, the 24-year old, immature, lawyer son of one of her rich clients, he falls hopelessly in love with the glamorous, sympathetic older woman and insists that the age difference will be no barrier to a romance. Paula resists the young man's persistent advances, but finally succumbs when Roger initiates yet another affair with one of his young "Maisies." An affair begins, and society does not approve.
Arthur is a sweet but wildly irresponsible playboy whose millions have left him lonely and with no motivation in life. On the threshold of an arranged marriage with a simpering socialite whom he does not love, Arthur meets the spunky, blue-collar waitress Linda Marolla, and falls head over heels. However, just as he begins to pursue a relationship with Linda, his father and iron-willed grandmother threaten to pull the plug on his huge inheritance if he doesn't honor his position in life and go through with his marriage. Arthur must decide which is more important to him: his new love, or his 750 million dollars in the bank.
Ingrid Bergman stars as Anna Corev, an amnesiac woman who has been released from an asylum in Bucharest and is wandering the streets of Paris in 1928. About to kill herself by throwing herself into the Seine, she is saved by Bounin (Yul Brynner) a Russian general in exile. Bounin is seeking a woman to impersonate Grand Duchess Anastasia, the daughter of the murdered Tsar of Russia who has long been rumoured to have survived the revolution, in order to claim a substantial inheritance. Tired and alone, Anna agrees to let Bounin with his associates Chernov (Akim Tamiroff) and Petrovin (Sascha Pitoeff) train her in the ways of Russian royalty in order to claim the prize.
Anna will have to convince many exiled members of the Russian nobility of her claim, but most are reluctant to accept her even though a few start to believe. It is decided that the most effective way to end the argument once and for all is for Anna to convince the Dowager Empress of Russia (Helen Hayes), but she has seen many girls claiming to be Anastasia and is now refusing to meet any more. Anna and Bounin set out for Copenhagen to seek an audience with her, knowing that she will be hard to convince. But things are becoming more complicated â€“ Bounin is getting increasingly enamoured of his charge, and to confuse him further he is starting to wonder if Anna might not really be Anastasia.
'Anastasia' is a romantic fantasy rather than an accurate historical piece, and on that level it is spectacular. Sumptuous, beautiful to look at and meticulous in its detail, it is an example of very fine filmmaking. However high the production values, it is the cast that carries this film, with outstanding performances all round. Ingrid Bergman shows great depth and quality as Anna, while Yul Brynner is the perfect romantic lead. Nearly fifty years old, the film has hardly dated at all and stands up well to the test of time.
Four Weddings and a Funeral
This acclaimed British comedy centers on the intermittent romance between a charming (if slightly bumbling) Englishman and a beautiful American woman, who seem to always run into each other at weddings. Indeed, it is at the first of the title's four weddings that Charles (Hugh Grant) and Carrie (Andie McDowell) meet, enjoying a brief but fleeting connection. The spark is rekindled several months later, when they unexpectedly meet at another wedding. Unfortunately, however, Carrie has become engaged to another, a fact that complicates matters for them both. The story may seem simple, but the film is elevated by screenwriter Richard Curtis' ear for witty dialogue and a colorful supporting cast. Director Mike Newell's sympathetic attention to character keeps the proceedings believable, and prevents the film's more serious moments from seeming mawkish. These elements, along with Grant's star-making performance as Charles, helped the film achieve unexpected international success, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.
Dressed to Kill
One of Brian De Palma's most divisive films, Dressed to Kill is a spine-chilling Alfred Hitchcock update for the late 1970s. Sexually frustrated wife and mother Kate Miller (Angie Dickinson) visits her New York psychiatrist, Dr. Elliott (Michael Caine), to complain about her unfulfilling erotic life. When she then goes to meet her husband at a museum, she meets an anonymous man whom she follows out to a cab. After an afternoon of satisfying sex, Kate discovers that the man has a venereal disease, but that information becomes a moot point when a razor-wielding blonde woman slashes Kate to ribbons in the elevator of the man's building. Blonde prostitute Liz (Nancy Allen), who caught a glimpse of the murderer, becomes both the prime suspect and the killer's next target. With the police less than willing to believe her story, Liz joins forces with Kate's son Peter (Keith Gordon) to get the psychopath themselves. Steamy material cut to get an R-rating was restored on the unrated laser disc version.
The Nun's Story
Audrey Hepburn stars in The Nun's Story as Sister Luke, postulant of a Belgian order of nuns. Though frequently disillusioned in her efforts to spread good will -- at one point she is nearly killed by a mental patient (Colleen Dewhurst) -- Sister Luke perseveres. Sent as a nurse to the Belgian Congo, an assignment she'd been hoping for, Sister Luke is disappointed to learn that she will not be ministering to the natives but to European patients. Through the example of no-nonsense chief surgeon Peter Finch, the nun sheds her idealism and becomes a diligent worker -- so much so that she contracts tuberculosis. Upon the outbreak of World War II, Sister Luke tries to honor the edicts of her order and not take sides, but this becomes impossible when her father (Dean Jagger) is killed by the Nazis. Realizing that she cannot remain true to her vows, Sister Luke leaves the order and returns to "civilian" life. The Nun's Story ends with a long, silent sequence in which Sister Luke divests herself of her religious robes, dons street garb, and walks out to an uncertain future. There is no background music: director Fred Zinnemann decided that "triumphant" music would indicate that Sister Luke's decision was the right one, while "tragic" music would suggest that she is doing wrong. Rather than make an editorial comment, the director decided against music, allowing the audience members to fill in the blanks themselves. The Nun's Story is based on the book by Kathryn Hulme, whose depiction of convent life was a lot harsher and more judgmental than anything seen in the film.
A Shot in the Dark
A murder has been committed at the palatial Parisian residence of Benjamin Ballon (George Sanders). All the evidence points to sexy, wide-eyed housemaid Maria Gambrelli (Elke Sommer). Police inspector Dreyfuss (Herbert Lom) is prepared to make an arrest -- and then the gloriously, monumentally inept Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers) arrives on the scene. Clouseau may have difficulty getting through the day without falling into ponds, knocking people cold with opened doors, and pocketing flaming cigarette lighters, but his instincts are right on target when he decides that Mme. Gambrelli is being framed by someone else in the Ballon household. Even as the murder victims pile up, Clouseau is determined to prove Mme. Gambrelli's innocence. As he cuts a bumbling, destructive swath through Paris, Clouseau drives Dreyfuss literally insane. This fact leads to the literally explosive climax, and to the ultimate vindication of Mme. Gambrelli. While we first met Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther, Shot in the Dark is the film that truly established the Clouseau mythos: the festive clumsiness, the convoluted dialogue ("You shot him in a rit of fealous jage!"), the Fractured French ("A beump on zee head!"), the twitching lunacy of poor Inspector Dreyfuss, the unexpected "judo lessons" of Clouseau's houseboy Kato (Burt Kwouk), and of course the hilariously macabre jokes involving dead or seriously injured bystanders. You'd never know it, but A Shot in the Dark was inspired by a standard three-act stage comedy by Harry Kurnitz, which in turn was adapted from the French play L'Idiote by Marcel Achard.
The Music Man
Meredith Wilson's hit 1957 Broadway musical was transferred to the screen in larger-than-life fashion in 1962. Robert Preston repeats his legendary stage performance as fast-talking con man Harold Hill, who goes from town to town selling citizens on starting a "boy's band," then extracts money from them by ordering instruments and uniforms, with the promise that he'll teach the kids how to be musicians. Once he's collected his bankroll, Hill skips town, leaving the kids in the lurch. Looking for new suckers in Iowa, Hill arrives in River City, where he declares that the only way to save the youth of River City from the lure of the poolroom is to organize a boy's band. He charms the mayor's wife Eulalie (Hermione Gingold) into forming a "ladies' dance committee" and sets his sights on winning over local music teacher Marian Paroo (Shirley Jones). Marian rightly considers Hill a fraud, especially when he espouses the "Think System" of learning music: if you think a tune, he claims, you can play it. But Marian becomes Hill's staunchest ally when her young brother Winthrop (Ronny Howard), sullen and withdrawn since the death of his father, exuberantly comes out of his shell at the prospect of joining Hill's band; and Marian's budding romance with the charming but unreliable Hill ultimately brings her out of her own shell as well. Marion Hargrove's script uses most of the original play, with a handful of amusing expansions, especially in the roles played by Gingold and by Buddy Hackett as Hill's comic sidekick.
Annie Get Your Gun
Judy Garland was originally slated to star in MGM's film version of Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun, but she was forced to pull out of the production due to illness (recently discovered out-takes reveal a gaunt, dazed Garland, obviously incapable of completing her duties). She was replaced by Betty Hutton who, once she overcame the resentment of her co-workers, turned in an excellent performance--perhaps the best of her career. Hutton is of course cast as legendary sharpshooter Annie Oakley, who ascends from dirty-faced backwoods gamin to the uppermost rungs of international stardom. Her mentor is Buffalo Bill, played by Louis Calhern (like Hutton, Calhern was a last-minute replacement: the original Buffalo Bill, Frank Morgan, died before production began). Annie's great rival is arrogant marksman Frank Butler (Howard Keel) with whom she eventually falls in love. She goes so far as to lose an important shooting match to prove her affection--a scene that hardly strikes a blow for feminism, but this is, after all, a 1950 film. Of the stellar supporting cast, J. Carroll Naish stands out as Sitting Bull, whose shrewd business acumen is good for several laughs. Virtually all the Irving Berlin tunes were retained from the Broadway version, including "Doin' What Comes Naturally", "You Can't Get a Man with a Gun", "Anything You Can Do", "The Girl That I Marry", "My Defenses are Down", "They Say It's Wonderful" and the rousing "There's No Business Like Show Business", which was later tantalizingly excerpted in MGM's pastiche feature That's Entertainment II. Alas, due to a complicated legal tangle involving the estates of Irving Berlin and librettists Herbert Fields and Dorothy Fields, Annie Get Your Gun hasn't been shown on television in years.
After the Thin Man
This second of MGM's Thin Man films reteams William Powell and Myrna Loy as, respectively, bibulous private detective Nick Charles and his socialite wife Nora. The Charleses are sucked into another murder case via Nick's lovely cousin Elissa Landi, whose husband Alan Marshall has vanished. Hubby has been conducting an affair with nightclub thrush Dorothy McNulty (later known as Penny Singleton) and is also blackmailing gangsterish Joseph Calleia. When the corpses begin piling up, Nick and Nora try to piece the clues together, with the earnest assistance of Jimmy Stewart, who carries a torch for Landi. You won't believe who turns out to be the murderer in this one--then again, given the plot's strict adherence to "least likely suspect" formula, you probably will.
Thelma and Louise
Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon play Thelma and Louise, two working-class friends who together have planned a weekend getaway from the men in their lives. Thelma's husband, Darryl (Chris McDonald), is an overbearing oaf, and Louise's boyfriend, Jimmy (Michael Madsen), simply will not commit. Though the road trip starts out as a good time, the pair eventually wind up at a bar. A tipsy Thelma ends up in the parking lot of the bar with a would-be rapist. Louise shoots the man dead. The two decide that they have no choice but to go on the run. They eventually meet up with a young criminal named J.D. (Brad Pitt), whose cowboy spirit rubs off on the timid Thelma. The pair is pursued by a police officer (Harvey Keitel) sympathetic toward their plight. He chases them to the Grand Canyon, where the women make a fateful decision about their lives. Directed by Ridley Scott, Thelma & Louise brought first-time screenwriter Callie Khouri many accolades including the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.
The Dirty Dozen
Director Robert Aldrich took what he considered a hopelessly old-fashioned script by Lukas Heller and Nunnally Johnson and fashioned The Dirty Dozen into one of MGM's biggest moneymakers of the 1960s--and the sixth highest-grossing film in the studio's history. Lee Marvin plays Major Reisman, assigned to coordinate a suicide mission on a French chateau held by top Nazi officers. Since no "normal" GI can be expected to volunteer for this mission, Reisman is compelled to draw his personnel from a group of military prisoners serving life sentences. This "dirty dozen" includes a sex pervert (Telly Savalas), a psycho (John Cassavetes), a retarded killer (Donald Sutherland), and the equally malevolent Charles Bronson, Trini Lopez, Jim Brown, and Clint Walker. On the dim promise of receiving pardons if they survive, the criminals undergo a brutal training program, then are marched behind enemy lines dressed as Nazi soldiers, the better to overtake the chateau and kill everyone in it--including the innocent wives and mistresses of the German officers.
The Razor's Edge (1946)
After several years' service with the Marines in World War II, Tyrone Power made his much anticipated return to the screen in The Razor's Edge. Power is appropriately cast as disillusioned World War I vet Larry Darrell, who returns from hostilities questioning his old values. To find himself, Larry joins several other members of the Lost Generation in Paris. He is disillusioned once more when the society deb whom he loves, Isabel Bradley (Gene Tierney), marries another for wealth and position. She returns to Larry's life to break up his romance with unstable, alcoholic Sophie MacDonald (Anne Baxter in a powerhouse Oscar-winning performance). After Sophie's death, Larry determines that the life offered him by Isabel is not to his liking, and continues seeking his true place in the scheme of things. Acting as a respite between the plot's various intrigues is Clifton Webb as a waspish social arbiter, who ends up a lonely, dying man, imperiously dictating arrangements for his own funeral. The Razor's Edge was based on the novel by W. Somerset Maugham, who appears onscreen in the form of Herbert Marshall. The film would be remade in 1984, with Bill Murray in the Tyrone Power role. This film re-teamed Tierney and Webb two years after their appearance together in Laura.
Mississippi Burning is an all-names-changed dramatization of the Ku Klux Klan's murders of three civil rights workers in 1964. Investigating the mysterious disappearances of the three activists are FBI agents Gene Hackman (older, wiser) and Willem Dafoe (younger, idealistic). A Southerner himself, Hackman charms and cajoles his way through the tight-lipped residents of a dusty Mississippi town while Dafoe acts upon the evidence gleaned by his partner. Hackman solves the case by exerting his influence upon beauty-parlor worker Frances McDormand, who wishes to exact revenge for the beatings inflicted upon her by her Klan-connected husband Brad Dourif. Many critics took the film to task for its implication that the Civil Rights movement might never have gained momentum without its white participants; nor were the critics happy that the FBI was shown to utilize tactics as brutal as the Klan's. The title Mississippi Burning is certainly appropriate: nearly half the film is taken up with scenes of smoke and flame.
All About Eve
Based on the story The Wisdom of Eve by Mary Orr, All About Eve is an elegantly bitchy backstage story revolving around aspiring actress Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter). Tattered and forlorn, Eve shows up in the dressing room of Broadway mega-star Margo Channing (Bette Davis), weaving a melancholy life story to Margo and her friends. Taking pity on the girl, Margo takes Eve as her personal assistant. Before long, it becomes apparent that naĂŻve Eve is a Machiavellian conniver who cold-bloodedly uses Margo, her director Bill Sampson (Gary Merill), Lloyd's wife Karen (Celeste Holm), and waspish critic Addison De Witt (George Sanders) to rise to the top of the theatrical heap. Also appearing in All About Eve is Marilyn Monroe, introduced by Addison De Witt as "a graduate of the Copacabana school of dramatic art." This is but one of the hundreds of unforgettable lines penned by writer/director Joseph L. Mankiewicz, the most famous of which is Margo Channing's lip-sneering admonition, "Fasten your seat belts. It's going to be a bumpy night." All About Eve received 6 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
In the dead of a Moscow winter, three bodies are found in Gorky Park. Police Inspector Renko (William Hurt) is unable to identify the corpses, since even their fingerprints have removed. For reasons unknown to him, Renko's investigation is somehow being stymied by his higher-ups. Ferreting out information on his own, Renko makes the acquaintance of Soviet dissident Irina (Joanna Pacula), a friend of one of the victims, and Lee Marvin as Armand Hammer-style American businessman. As in Martin Cruz Smith's novel, the identity of the killer is not as well hidden as the reasons behind the killing. "Glasnost" had not yet taken effect in 1983, thus Gorky Park was filmed in Finland rather than Russia. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Retired gunslinger William Munny (Clint Eastwood) reluctantly takes one last job -- and even more reluctantly accepts a boastful youth (Jaimz Woolvett) as a partner. Together, they learn how easily complicated truths are distorted into simplistic myths about the Old West. Gene Hackman (who won an Oscar) and Richard Harris stand out as old foes who have an unhappy reunion. The film also earned Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director (Eastwood).
Robin Williams learns that keeping in touch with his children can be a drag in this hit comedy. Daniel Hillard (Williams) is an eccentric actor who specializes in dubbing voices for cartoon characters. Daniel is a kind man and a loving father, but he's a poor disciplinarian and a shaky role model. After throwing an elaborate and disastrous birthday party for his son, Daniel's wife Miranda (Sally Field) reaches the end of her patience and files for divorce. Daniel is heartbroken when Miranda is given custody of the children, and he's only allowed to visit them once a week. Determined to stay in contact with his kids, Daniel learns that Miranda is looking for a housekeeper, and with help from his brother Frank (Harvey Fierstein), a makeup artist, Daniel gets the job disguised as Mrs. Iphegenia Doubtfire, a stern but caring Scottish nanny. Daniel pulls off the ruse so well that neither his ex-wife nor his children recognize him, and in the process, he learns how to be the good parent he should have been all along. However, Daniel also has to deal with the little matter of Miranda's new boyfriend, Stu (Pierce Brosnan).
Can an independent, contemporary woman find happiness with a guy who sells pickles? Isabelle Grossman (Amy Irving) is an attractive, intelligent Jewish woman in her early 30s. She has a good job and a nice apartment on the Upper West Side, and she values her independence; she often visits her grandmother Bubbie (Reiz Bozyk), who lives on the Lower East Side and wants Isabelle to meet a nice Jewish man and settle down. Bubbie goes so far as to obtain the services of Hannah Mandelbaum (Sylvia Miles), a matchmaker who finds the "perfect" man for Isabelle: a pickle salesman named Sam Posner (Peter Riegert). Isabelle thinks Sam is a nice enough guy, but she has a hard time imagining herself spending her life with the pickle man, and she isn't sure if she wants to pursue the relationship. However, Sam is taken with Isabelle and goes out of his way to change her mind. Crossing Delancy was directed by Joan Micklin Silver, whose breakthrough film Hester Street also examined Jewish culture on the Lower East Side, albeit from the vantage point of the 1890s.
Heaven Can Wait
On the day of his death in 1943, the spirit of Henry Van Cleave (Don Ameche) obligingly heads for the place where so many people had previously told him to go. The immaculately dressed septuagenarian arrives at the outer offices of Hades, where he is greeted by His Excellency (Laird Cregar), the most courteous and gentlemanly Satan in screen history.
His Excellency doubts that Van Cleave has sinned enough to qualify for entrance into Hades, but Henry insists that he's led the most wicked of lives, and proceeds to tell his story. Each milestone of Henry's life, it seems, has occurred on one of his birthdays.
Upon reaching 15, Henry (played as a teenager by Dickie Moore) naively permits himself to get drunk with and be seduced by his family's French maid (Signe Hasso). At 21, Henry elopes with lovely Martha Strabel (Gene Tierney) stealing her away from her stuffy fiance Albert Van Cleve (Allyn Joslyn), Henry's cousin. At 31, Henry nearly loses Martha when, weary of his harmless extracurricular flirtations, she goes home to her boorish parents (Eugene Pallette and Marjorie Main).
Henry's grandpa (Charles Coburn) orders the errant husband not to let so wonderful a girl as Martha get away from him. Henry once more declares his love to Martha, and she can't help but be touched by his boyish sincerity. Twenty years later, Henry, now a faithful and proper husband and father, attempts to charm a beautiful musical-comedy entertainer (Helen Walker) so that she'll forsake his young and impressionable son. But Henry's gay-90s romantic approach is out of touch with the Roaring 20s, and he ends up paying the entertainer a tidy sum to rescue his son--a fact that amuses Henry's understanding wife Martha, who now knows that her husband is hers and hers alone.
Ten more years pass: Henry dances a last waltz with Martha, whose loving smile hides the fact that she knows she hasn't much longer to live. Five years later, it is "foxy grandpa" Henry who must be kept in check by his conservative son Jack (Michael Ames). Finally, it is 1943: as he quietly drinks in the loveliness of his night nurse (Doris Merrick), the bedridden Henry contentedly breathes his last. His story told, Henry once again asks to be permitted to enter Hades. But His Excellency, realizing that the only "sin" Henry has truly committed is attempting to live life to the fullest, quietly replies "If you'll forgive me, Mr. Van Cleave, we just don't want your kind down here."
While he allows that Henry may have some trouble getting past the Pearly Gates, the wait will be worth it, since his loving wife Martha will be waiting for him. His Excellency cordially escorts Henry to the elevator, giving the operator a one-word instruction: "Up."
A charming delight from first frame to last, Heaven Can Wait is another winner from director Ernst Lubitsch, and his first in Technicolor. Samson Raphaelson's screenplay was based on Birthdays, a play by Laslo Bus-Fekete.
Laurence Olivier recreates his stage role of Archie Rice in this in-your-face film adaptation of John Osborne's play. The son of a legendary music hall comedian (Roger Livesey), Archie is strictly a third-rater, headlining a tacky music hall revue in a seedy seaside resort town. Archie can't admit that he's a failure, and his grim insouciance destroys everyone around him. Archie finagles his dying father into financing one last revue; he cheats shamelessly on his alcoholic wife (Brenda De Banzie); and he all but forces one of his sons (Albert Finney) to run off to join the army, only to die in the Suez. Through all his personal crises, Archie jigs and jabbers before his ever-diminishing audience, but by the end of the film he isn't even entertaining himself. Joan Plowright, who married Olivier shortly after completing The Entertainer, plays the film's one sympathetic character: Archie's daughter, whose love for her father blinds her to his flaws. The Entertainer was remade for television in 1976, with Jack Lemmon as Archie Rice and original songs by Marvin Hamlisch.
Based on the Nobel Prize-winning novel by Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago covers the years prior to, during, and after the Russian Revolution, as seen through the eyes of poet/physician Yuri Zhivago (Omar Sharif). In the tradition of Russian novels, a multitude of characters and subplots intertwine within the film's 197 minutes (plus intermission). Zhivago is married to Tonya (Geraldine Chaplin), but carries on an affair with Lara (Julie Christie), who has been raped by ruthless politician Komarovsky (Rod Steiger). Meanwhile, Zhivago's half-brother Yevgraf (Alec Guinness) and the mysterious, revenge-seeking Strelnikoff (Tom Courteney) represent the "good" and "bad" elements of the Bolshevik revolution. Composer Maurice Jarre received one of Doctor Zhivago's five Oscars, with the others going to screenwriter Robert Bolt, cinematographer Freddie Young, art directors John Box and Terry Marsh, set decorator Dario Simoni, and costumer Phyllis Dalton. The best picture Oscar, however, went to The Sound of Music.
Bonnie and Clyde
Producer/star Warren Beatty had to convince Warner Bros. to finance this film, which went on to become the studio's second-highest grosser. It also caused major controversy by redefining violence in cinema and casting its criminal protagonists as sympathetic anti-heroes. Based loosely on the true exploits of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker during the 30s, the film begins as Clyde (Beatty) tries to steal the car of Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway)'s mother. Bonnie is excited by Clyde's outlaw demeanor, and he further stimulates her by robbing a store in her presence. Clyde steals a car, with Bonnie in tow, and their legendary crime spree begins. The two move from town to town, pulling off small heists, until they join up with Clyde's brother Buck (Gene Hackman), his shrill wife Blanche (Estelle Parsons), and a slow-witted gas station attendant named C.W. Moss (Michael J. Pollard). The new gang robs a bank and Clyde is soon painted in the press as a Depression-era Robin Hood when he allows one bank customer to hold onto his money. Soon the police are on the gang's trail and they are constantly on the run, even kidnapping a Texas Ranger (Denver Pyle) and setting him adrift on a raft, handcuffed, after he spits in Bonnie's face when she kisses him. That same ranger leads a later raid on the gang that leaves Buck dying, Blanche captured, and both Clyde and Bonnie injured. The ever-loyal C.W. takes them to his father's house. C.W.'s father disaproves his son's affiliation with gangsters and enters a plea bargain with the Texas Rangers. A trap is set that ends in one of the bloodiest death scenes in cinematic history. The film made stars out of Beatty and Dunaway, and it also featured the screen debut of Gene Wilder as a mortician briefly captured by the gang. Its portrayal of Bonnie and Clyde as rebels who empathized with the poor working folks of the 1930s struck a chord with the counterculture of the 1960s and helped generate a new, young audience for American movies that carried over into Hollywood's renewal of the 1970s. Its combination of sex and violence with dynamic stars, social relevance, a traditional Hollywood genre, and an appeal to hip young audiences set the pace for many American movies to come.
Produced and directed by Otto Preminger, Exodus is a 212-minute screen adaptation of the best-selling novel by Leon Uris. The film is concerned with the emergence of Israel as an independent nation in 1947. Its first half focuses on the efforts of 611 holocaust survivors to defy the blockade of the occupying British government and sail to Palestine on the sea vessel Exodus. Paul Newman, a leader of the Hagannah (the Jewish underground), is willing to sacrifice his own life and the lives of the refugees rather than be turned back to war-ravaged Europe, but the British finally relent and allow the Exodus safe passage. Once this victory is assured, 30,000 more Jews, previously interned by the British, flood into the Holy Land.
The Pink Panther Strikes Again
Most Inspector Clouseau fans regard The Pink Panther Strikes Again as the best of the clumsy Parisian detective's "comeback" films of the 1970s. Driven insane by the stupidities of Clouseau (Peter Sellers), ex-inspector Dreyfuss (Herbert Lom) transforms into a master criminal. Kidnapping the inventor of a death ray, Dreyfuss threatens to use the demon device indiscriminately unless Clouseau is offered as a "sacrifice." A hunted man, Clouseau is forced to adopt one transparent (but hilarious) disguise after another. He is rescued from being incinerated by Dreyfuss when Soviet spy Olga (Leslie Ann Down) falls in love with him and strives to protect him.
The Pink Panther
In the first in a series of detective comedies from director Blake Edwards starring Peter Sellers as bumbling French Inspector Jacques Clouseau, the mishap-prone snoop is actually a supporting player. David Niven stars as Sir Charles Litton, a suave jewel thief known as "The Phantom."
Vacationing in a deluxe Alpine resort, Litton's real purpose is to purloin the Pink Panther, a gem of enormous worth owned by a princess (Claudia Cardinale). On his trail for years, Inspector Clouseau keeps losing his quarry, perhaps because his wife Simone (Capucine) is Litton's lover and alerts him every time her husband draws near. Also after the Panther is Litton's American nephew, George (Robert Wagner).
At a posh costume ball at the princess' villa, the bauble is stolen and Clouseau, still trying to determine the bandit's identity, is framed for the crime himself. The Pink Panther made Sellers and his Clouseau act so popular that the character moved to center stage in a series of farcical sequels.
City Slickers blends sight gags, one-liners, and sincerity, with both humor and drama arising from the characters and their situations. Mitch (Billy Crystal) is a radio station sales executive who finds himself in the throes of a mid-life crisis; accompanied by two friends, Phil (Daniel Stern) and Ed (Bruno Kirby) in the grip of similar problems, he heads to New Mexico for his birthday to participate in a two-week "vacation" cattle drive to Colorado. The three friends and the rest of their group, including an attractive, newly single young woman and two African-American dentists, are all urbanites lost when it comes to herding cattle and surviving on the prairie; it's up to authentic, almost mythic cowboy Curly (Jack Palance, who won an Oscar for the role), to whip them into shape. As various adventures occur along the way, including run-ins with outlaw cattlehands, treacherous natural mishaps, and Mitch's delivery of a newborn calf, the three "city slickers" open up to each other, learn to appreciate Curly's Old West values, and begin to resolve their midlife dilemmas. When Curly dies, it's left to Mitch, Phil, and Ed to bring in the herd.
The Color Purple
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker, The Color Purple spans the years 1909 to 1949, relating the life of Celie (Whoopi Goldberg), a Southern black woman virtually sold into a life of servitude to her brutal husband, sharecropper Albert (Danny Glover). Celie pours out her innermost thoughts in letter form to her sister Nettie (Akousa Busia), but Albert has been hiding the letters Nettie writes back, allowing Celie to assume that Nettie is dead. Finally, Celie finds a champion in the don't-take-no-guff Sofia (Oprah Winfrey), the wife of Glover's son from a previous marriage. Alas, Sofia is "humbled" when she is beaten into submission by angry whites. Later, Celie is able to forge a strong friendship with Albert's mistress Shug (Margaret Avery). Emboldened by this, Celie begins rifling through her husband's belongings and finds Nettie's letters. Able at last to stand up to her husband, Celie leaves him to search for a new life on her own. A major box-office hit, The Color Purple was nominated for eleven Oscars. The film was co-produced by Quincy Jones, who also wrote the score.
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
With this all-star Cinerama epic, producer/director Stanley Kramer vowed to make "the comedy that would end all comedies." The story begins during a massive traffic jam, caused by reckless driver Smiler Grogan (Jimmy Durante), who, before (literally) kicking the bucket, cryptically tells the assembled drivers that he's buried a fortune in stolen loot, "under the Big W." The various motorists setting out on a mad scramble include a dentist (Sid Caesar) and his wife (Edie Adams); a henpecked husband (Milton Berle) accompanied by his mother-in-law (Ethel Merman) and his beatnik brother-in-law (Dick Shawn); a pair of comedy writers (Buddy Hackett and Mickey Rooney); and a variety of assorted nuts including a slow-wit (Jonathan Winters), a wheeler-dealer (Phil Silvers), and a pair of covetous cabdrivers (Peter Falk and Eddie "Rochester" Anderson). Monitoring every move that the fortune hunters make is a scrupulously honest police detective (Spencer Tracy). Virtually every lead, supporting, and bit part in the picture is filled by a well-known comic actor: the laughspinning lineup also includes Carl Reiner, Terry-Thomas, Arnold Stang, Buster Keaton, Jack Benny, Jerry Lewis, and The Three Stooges, who get one of the picture's biggest laughs by standing stock still and uttering not a word. Two prominent comedians are conspicuous by their absence: Groucho Marx refused to appear when Kramer couldn't meet his price, while Stan Laurel declined because he felt he was too old-looking to be funny. Available for years in its 154-minute general release version, the film was restored to its roadshow length of 175 minutes on home video; the search goes on for a missing Buster Keaton routine, reportedly excised on the eve of the picture's premiere. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
The Night They Raided Minsky's
Narrator Rudy Vallee announces that he knows we are a "real high class audience," thus he has "some swell story to tell." Thus begins The Night They Raided Minsky's, set in the rarefied world of burlesque in the 1920s. Amish girl Rachel Schpitendavel (Britt Ekland) comes to New York in hopes of securing work as a dancing interpreter of religious stories. She gets a job at Minsky's burlesque house, where the dance numbers are "Biblical" only when some gum-chewing stripper performs Salome's Dance of the Seven Veils. The many subplots leading up to Rachel's accidental invention of the striptease during a midnight Minsky's show involve many: top banana Chick Williams (Norman Wisdom) and womanizing straight-man Raymond Paine (Jason Robards Jr.); Billy Minsky (Elliot Gould), whose efforts to stage girlie shows at the National Winter Garden are looked down upon by Minsky Sr. (Joseph Wiseman), who holds the lease on the theater; gangster Trim Houlihan (Forrest Tucker), who intends to shut down Minsky's if he can't get a piece of the action; Ekland's preacher father Harry Andrews, who shows up in New York just in time to see his daughter bare all in front of a cheering audience; and Vance Fowler (Denhom Elliot), self-appointed protector of public morals, whom Paine hopes to embarrass by having Rachel perform her religious dance. A straightforward adaptation of Rowland Barber's novel The Night They Raided Minsky's would seem to be called for here, but novice director William Friedkin and film editor Ralph Rosenblum seem determined to turn the film into a kaleidoscope Hard Day's Night clone. Happily, producer Norman Lear is able to accommodate several nostalgic re-creations of such burlesque chestnuts as "Crazy House" and "Meet Me Round the Corner," as well as six delightful in-period songs penned by Bye Bye Birdie's Charles Strouse and Lee Adams, the best of which is the ribald "Perfect Gentleman." Bert Lahr makes his last appearance on screen in the role of washed-up funnyman Professor Spats; he died during production, and had to be extensively doubled throughout.
The touching story of a boy and his killer whale made this family drama a surprise box office hit. Jesse (Jason James Richter) is a kid without parents who has bounced from one foster home to another and is living on the streets. One night, he's caught spraying graffiti with his friend Perry (Michael Bacall) in a theme park. Jesse and Perry are caught red handed by Dwight (Mykel T. Williamson), a policeman who thinks that Jesse needs a more stable and disciplined environment. Dwight arranges for Jesse to stay with a new foster family, Glen and Annie Greenwood (Michael Madsen and Jayne Atkinson), with whom Jesse has an initially stormy relationship. Part of Jesse's punishment involves cleaning up the damage he caused at the park, where the new attraction is Willy, a killer whale who is being trained to do tricks. However, Willy was traumatized when he was stolen from his family by mercenary fisherman and does not respond well to the genuine concern of his trainers, Rae (Lori Petty) and Randolph (August Schellenberg). Jesse and Willy, both stranded without families in a place where they don't fit in, develop a close emotional bond, and with Jesse's help, Willy begins to display aptitude as a performer. Thanks to his friendship with Willy, Jesse develops a new sense of responsibility and a healthier relationship with the Greenwoods. However, Dial (Michael Ironside), the owner of the park, doesn't much care for animals and isn't happy with the slower-than-expected progress of Willy's training; having insured the whale for $1 million dollars, he figures that Willy is worth more dead than alive, and Jesse, Rae, and Randolph have to rescue their aquatic friend and return him to the ocean when Dial seems ready to live up to his threats.
Director Joel Schumacher inherited the Batman franchise from Tim Burton and began steering it in the campier direction of the Sixties television show with this third installment. First-time Batman/Bruce Wayne (Val Kilmer), in his only outing as the Caped Crusader, is effectively brooding as he ponders strange dreams about his parents' death and escapes his own near-demise at the hands of Two-Face (Tommy Lee Jones), a former district attorney driven insane and turned into a master criminal when a gangster throws acid in his face. Meanwhile, as sexy psychologist Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman) tries to analyze and seduce both Bruce Wayne and Batman, Wayne Enterprises employee Edward Nygma (Jim Carrey) reacts badly to getting fired, using his self-invented mind-energy device to transform into the super-intelligent Riddler. The Riddler teams up with Two-Face to bring down Batman and drain the minds of Gotham City residents with his device, while Batman gets some much-needed help in the form of circus performer Dick Grayson (Chris O'Donnell), out for vengeance after being orphaned by Two-Face.
"Garbo Laughs!" declared the ads for Ninotchka. In the face of dwindling foreign revenues, MGM decided to put Greta Garbo, a bigger draw in Europe than the US, in a box-office-savvy comedy, engaging the services of master farceur Ernst Lubitsch to direct. The film opens in Paris during the aftermath of the Russian revolution.
A trio of Russian delegates (Sig Rumann, Felix Bressart, and Alexander Granach) are sent to Paris to sell the Imperial Jewels for ready cash. Grand Duchess Swana (Ina Claire), who once owned the jewels, sends her boyfriend Count Leon (Melvyn Douglas) to retrieve the diamonds, and he turns the trio into full-fledged capitalists, wining and dining them all through Paris.
Moscow then dispatches the humorless, doggedly loyal Comrade Ninotchka (Garbo) to retrieve both the prodigal Soviets and the gems. When Leon turns his charm on Ninotchka, she regards him coldly, informing him that love is merely a "chemical reaction." Even his kisses fail to weaken her resolve. Leon finally wins her over by taking an accidental fall in a restaurant, whereupon Ninotchka laughs for the first time in her life. She goes on a shopping spree and gets drunk, while Leon begins falling in love with her in earnest.
As a bonus to the frothy script, by Billy Wilder and others, and its surefire star power, Ninotchka features what is perhaps Bela Lugosi's most likeable and relaxed performance.
Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands opens as an eccentric inventor (Vincent Price) lovingly assembles a synthetic youth named Edward (Johnny Depp). Edward has all the essential ingredients for today's standard body, with the exception of a pair of hands. For what is initially thought to be a temporary period, he is fitted with long, scissor-like extremities that, while able to trim a mean hedge, are hardly conducive to day-to-day life.
When the kindly inventor dies, however, Edward is left lonely and cursed with some very heavy metal for hands. He is eventually taken in by Peg Boggs (Dianne Weist), an Avon lady who takes pity on him after seeing his bleak existence.
Edward, in spite of his inherent ability to slay anyone he comes across, is a gentle soul whose only wish is to be loved. His impromptu family has, at best, a limited understanding of Edward, but he finds himself drawn to Peg's weary but sympathetic daughter, Kim (Winona Ryder), who is dating Jim (Anthony Michael Hall), the neighborhood bully. Meanwhile, Edward finds himself a local celebrity after the town realizes that his talents include creative hedge trimming and an unrivaled ability to cut hair. His so-called friends are proven fair-weather when Edward is accused of a crime, after which his only supporters are Peg and Kim.
Behind the black cowl, Gotham City superhero Batman is really millionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton), who turned to crimefighting after his parents were brutally murdered before his eyes. The only person to share Wayne's secret is faithful butler Alfred (Michael Gough). The principal villain in Batman is The Joker (Jack Nicholson) who'd been mob torpedo Jack Napier before he was horribly disfigured in a vat of acid. The Joker's plan to destroy Batman and gain control of Gotham City is manifold. First he distributes a line of booby-trapped cosmetics, then he goes on a destruction spree in the Gotham Art Museum while the music of Prince blasts away in the background, and finally he orchestrates an all-out campaign to win the hearts and minds of the Gothamites, hoping to turn them against the Cowled One. Meanwhile, reporter Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger) becomes the love of Batman's life-which of course plays right into the Joker's hands.
A Mighty Wind
The writing and directing team who created Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show turn their satiric eye toward the world of folk music in this sly mockumentary. Irving Steinbloom was one of the great behind-the-scenes figures of the folk music boom of the late '50s and early '60s, and helped to nurture the careers of three of the best known acts of the era. The Folksmen -- Mark Shubb (Harry Shearer), Alan Barrows (Christopher Guest), and Jerry Palter (Michael McKean) -- were an earnest folk trio who sang of America's noble past and the challenges of the future; they split up in the early '70s after a failed attempt to go electric. Mitch & Mickey were a duo in both music and life, comprised of Mitch Cohen (Eugene Levy) and Mickey Devlin (Catherine O'Hara). They sang soulful songs of love until the collapse of their relationship sent Mitch into a deep and incapacitating depression. And The Main Street Singers were a nine-piece vocal group -- a "neuftet," as they prefer it -- who offered energetic good-time music, cranking out nearly 30 albums in the course of a decade; their current incarnation, The New Main Street Singers (played by Jane Lynch, Parker Posey, John Michael Higgins, David Alan Blasucci, Steve Pandis, Christopher Moynihan, Paul Dooley and Patrick Sauber) is still on the road. When it is announced that the legendary Irving Steinbloom has died (the character never appears in the film), his son Jonathan (Bob Balaban) decides that the best way to memorialize his father is through music, and with the help of Mike LaFontaine (Fred Willard) of Hi-Class Management, they set out to bring The Folksmen, Mitch & Mickey, and The New Main Street Singers back together for a special concert at New York's Town Hall. Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer -- who previously teamed up for This Is Spinal Tap -- not only perform together as The Folksmen in A Mighty Wind, but composed most of the songs performed onscreen.
A Fish Called Wanda
In A Fish Called Wanda, Jamie Lee Curtis plays an ambitious con artist who uses every ounce of her sexual wiles to obtain a fortune in jewels stolen by her gangster lover Tom Georgeson. First, she romances Georgeson's dimwitted but deadly henchman Kevin Kline (who won an Academy Award for his performance). Then, to clear the path for her getaway with Kline, Jamie woos Georgeson's starched-shirt attorney, John Cleese -- and it's Cleese whom she genuinely falls in love with. Michael Palin, Cleese's former Monty Python cohort, plays a stuttering mob flunkey who continually messes up his one big assignment: killing a little old lady (it isn't that he has any qualms about knocking off the old dear; it's just that her pet dogs keep getting in the way). A Fish Called Wanda was scripted by star John Cleese.
Don Hewes (Fred Astaire) and Nadine Hale (Ann Miller) are a dancing team, but she decides to start a career on her own. So he takes the next dancer he meets, Hannah Brown (Judy Garland), as a new partner. After a while this new team is so successful, that Florence Ziegfeld is interested in them, but due to the fact, that Nadine Hale dances also in the Ziegfeld Follies, Don says no. Inspite of the fact, that he is in love with Hannah, he keeps the relation to her strictly business. So Hannah is of the opinion, that he is still in love with Nadine, and her suspicion grows, when he dances with Nadine in a Night Club floor-show.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
John Huston's 1948 treasure-hunt classic begins as drifter Fred C. Dobbs (Humphrey Bogart), down and out in Tampico, Mexico, impulsively spends his last bit of dough on a lottery ticket. Later on, Dobbs and fellow indigent Curtin (Tim Holt) seek shelter in a cheap flophouse and meet Howard (Walter Huston), a toothless, garrulous old coot who regales them with stories about prospecting for gold. Forcibly collecting their pay from their shifty boss, Dobbs and Curtin combine this money with Dobbs's unexpected windfall from a lottery ticket and, together with Howard, buy the tools for a prospecting expedition. Dobbs has pledged that anything they dig up will be split three ways, but Howard, who's heard that song before, doesn't quite swallow this. As the gold is mined and measured, Dobbs grows increasingly paranoid and distrustful, and the men gradually turn against each other on the way toward a bitterly ironic conclusion. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is a superior morality play and one of the best movie treatments of the corrosiveness of greed. Huston keeps a typically light and entertaining touch despite the strong theme, for which he won Oscars for both Director and Screenplay, as well as a supporting award for his father Walter, making Walter, John, and Anjelica Huston the only three generations of one family all to win Oscars.
Arsenic and Old Lace
Arsenic and Old Lace is director Frank Capra's spin on the classic Joseph Kesselring stage comedy, which concerns the sweet old Brewster sisters (Josephine Hull, Jean Adair), beloved in their genteel Brooklyn neighborhood for their many charitable acts. One charity which the ladies don't advertise is their ongoing effort to permit lonely bachelors to die with smiles on their faces--by serving said bachelors elderberry wine spiked with arsenic. When the sisters' drama-critic nephew Mortimer (Cary Grant) stumbles onto their secret, he is understandably put out--especially since he has just married the lovely Elaine Harper (Priscilla Lane). Given the homicidal tendencies of his aunts, the sinister activities of his escaped-convict older brother Jonathan (Raymond Massey) and the disruptive behavior of younger brother Teddy (John Alexander)--who is convinced that he's really Theodore Roosevelt, and runs around the house yelling "CHAAAAARGGGE"--Mortimer isn't keen on starting a family with his new bride. "Insanity runs in my family," he explains. "It practically gallops." Further complications ensue when the murderous Jonathan Brewster arrives home, with his snivelling accomplice Dr. Einstein (Peter Lorre) in tow. When Jonathan learns that his darling aunts have killed twelve men, he is incensed--they're challenging his own record of murders. Though the movie rights for Arsenic and Old Lace were set up so that the film could not be released until 1944, director Capra shot the film quickly and inexpensively in 1941, so that his family could subsist on his $100,000 salary while he was serving in World War II.
Rusty Sabich (Harrison Ford) is a bland, oppressed man who burns with a quiet, corrosive intensity that can flare uncontrollably. A Philadelphia prosecutor, Sabich's fire seems to have one outlet: his job. He loves prosecuting people. Otherwise, his life is dead-ended. He has a loveless marriage to a neurotic woman (Bonnie Bedelia) and an overbearing boss (Brian Dennehy) in a labyrinthine law enforcement world of corruption and twisted relationships. Then Carolyn Polhemus (Greta Scacchi) comes into his life. Lovely and seductive, Polhemus easily entices him to break his marital vows, but she schemes to get him to try for his boss' job. When he refuses, she leaves him. When she turns up dead, the victim of an apparent rape-murder, clues begin to point to Sabich. His blood type almost perfectly matches that in the semen found in the victim, carpet fibers at the crime scene match those found in his house, and most damning, his fingerprints are found on a beer glass in Polhemus' apartment. His protestations of innocence ignored, Sabich is put on trial for the murder and hires his biggest adversary (Raul Julia) to defend him.
One of the best Ismail Merchant/James Ivory films, this adaptation of E. M. Forster's classic 1910 novel shows in careful detail the injuriously rigid British class consciousness of the early 20th century. The film's catalyst is "poor relation" Margaret Schlegel (Emma Thompson), who inherits part of the estate of Ruth Wilcox (Vanessa Redgrave), an upper-class woman whom she had befriended. The film's principal characters are divided by caste: aristocratic industrial Henry Wilcox (Anthony Hopkins); middle-echelon Margaret and her sister Helen (Helena Bonham Carter); and working-class clerk Leonard Bast (Sam West) and his wife (Nicola Duffett). The personal and social conflicts among these characters ultimately result in tragedy for Bast and disgrace for Wilcox, but the film's wider theme remains the need, in the words of the novel's famous epigram, to "only connect" with other people, despite boundaries of gender, class, or petty grievance. Filmed on a proudly modest budget, Howards End offers sets, spectacles, and costumes as lavish as in any historical epic. Nominated for 9 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director, the film took home awards for Thompson as Best Actress, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's adapted screenplay, and Luciana Arrighi's art direction.
Bringing Up Baby
Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant star in this inspired comedy about a madcap heiress with a pet leopard who meets an absent-minded paleontologist and unwittingly makes a fiasco of both their lives. David Huxley (Grant) is the stuffy paleontologist who needs to finish an exhibit on dinosaurs and thus land a $1 million grant for his museum. At a golf outing with his potential benefactors, Huxley is spotted by Susan Vance (Hepburn) who decides that she must have the reserved scientist at all costs. She uses her pet leopard, Baby, to trick him into driving to her Connecticut home, where a dog wanders into Huxley's room and steals the vital last bone that he needs to complete his project. The real trouble begins when another leopard escapes from the local zoo and Baby is mistaken for it, leading Huxley and Susan into a series of harebrained and increasingly more insane schemes to save the cat from the authorities. Inevitably, the two end up in the local jail, where things get even more out of hand: Susan pretends to be the gun moll to David's diabolical, supposedly wanted criminal. Naturally, the mismatched pair falls in love through all the lunacy. Director Howard Hawks delivers a funny, fast-paced, and offbeat story, enlivened by animated performances from the two leads, in what has become a definitive screwball comedy.
The Thin Man
After a four year absence, one time detective Nick Charles returns to New York with his new wife Nora and their dog, Asta. Nick re-connects with many of his old cronies, several of whom are eccentric characters, to say the least. He's also approached by Dorothy Wynant whose inventor father Clyde Wynant is suspected of murdering her step-mother. Her father had left on a planned trip some months before and she has had no contact with him. Nick isn't all that keen on resuming his former profession but egged-on by wife Nora, who thinks this all very exciting, he agrees to help out. He solves the case, announcing the identity of the killer at a dinner party for all of the suspects.
Gene Tierney portrays a beautiful but unstable woman who marries successful novelist Cornel Wilde. Tierney wants to spend all her time with her new husband, but finds it impossible to do so thanks to his work and the frequent visits of family and friends. When Wilde's crippled younger brother (Darryl Hickman) comes to the couple's summer house to stay, Ms. Tierney indirectly causes the boy to drown. Later, upon discovering that she's pregnant, Tierney deliberately falls down the stairs, choosing to miscarry rather than share her husband's affections with an infant. When it becomes clear that family friend Jeanne Crain is attracted to her husband, Ms. Tierney commits suicide, making her death appear to be murder and framing Crain for the "crime." In court, Ms. Crain is mercilessly grilled by prosecuting attorney Vincent Price, who happens to be Tierney's ex-lover! Filmed in lush Technicolor, Leave Her to Heaven is based on the best-selling novel by Ben Ames Williams.
Leslie Caron plays Gigi, a young girl raised by two veteran Parisian courtesans (Hermione Gingold and Isabel Jeans) to be the mistress of wealthy young Gaston (Louis Jourdan). When Gaston falls in love with Gigi and asks her to be his wife, Jeans is appalled: never has anyone in their family ever stooped to anything so bourgeois as marriage! Weaving in and out of the story is Maurice Chevalier as an aging boulevardier who, years earlier, had been in love with Gingold's character. Chevalier gets most of the best Lerner & Loewe tunes, including Thank Heaven for Little Girls, I'm Glad I'm Not Young Any More, and his matchless duet with Gingold, I Remember it Well. Caron's best number (dubbed by Betty Wand) is The Night They Invented Champagne while Jourdan gets the honor of introducing the title song. Filmed on location in Paris, Gigi won several Oscars, including Best Picture; it also represented the successful American movie comeback of Chevalier, who thanks to this film was "forgiven" for his reputed collaboration with the Nazis during World War II.
The 1940 British production of Gaslight was the first of two cinematic adaptations of Patrick Hamilton's play. Oozing faux continental charm, Anton Walbrook inveigles his way into the confidence of the young mistress (Diana Wynyard) of a large Victorian mansion. Walbrook is searching for the rubies that he'd stolen from the previous owner of the house -- whom he'd also murdered. Suspecting that Wynyard is about to catch on to his secret, Walbrook enlists the aid of a sluttish maidservant to drive his loving bride crazy. The ploy almost works, but Wynyard is rescued by an unexpected ally. Gaslight was released in the U.S. as Murder in Thornton Square, then withdrawn entirely on the occasion of MGM's expensive 1944 remake of Gaslight, which starred Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman. To avoid confusion, MGM allegedly ordered that all prints of the original Gaslight be destroyed. Evidently that order was not honored to the letter, since the 1940 Gaslight is still safely available for both theatrical and TV exhibition.
The Woman in the Window
Directed by Fritz Lang, The Woman in the Window, a sadly tragic film noir, is the story of the doomed love of married psychology-professor Wanley (Edward G. Robinson), who, with murderous results, meets and falls in love with another woman. Wanley first sees the portrait of a beautiful woman, Alice (Joan Bennett), and then meets the woman herself. After committing murder in self-defense, he finds himself blackmailed by Heidt (Dan Duryea). The script, written by Nunnally Johnson, is carefully structured with crisp dialogue and a convincing ending. Lang is at his best, getting excellent performances from Robinson, as the doomed, naive professor, and Bennett both. The Woman in the Window shows that good and evil are present in all, and that circumstances frequently dictate moral choices. Based on J.H. Wallis' novel Once Off Guard, the film gives viewers their money's worth with not one but two logical and satisfying surprise twists at the end.
To Have and Have Not
Harry Morgan and his alcoholic sidekick, Eddie, are based on the island of Martinique and crew a boat available for hire. However, since the second world war is happening around them business is not what it could be and after a customer who owes them a large sum fails to pay they are forced against their better judgement to violate their preferred neutrality and to take a job for the resistance transporting a fugitive on the run from the Nazis to Martinique. Through all this runs the stormy relationship between Morgan and Marie "Slim" Browning, a resistance sympathizer and the sassy singer in the club where Morgan spends most of his days.
A Night at the Opera
The Marx Brothers' A NIGHT AT THE OPERA is the zany comedy team's last truly brilliant film. It contains some of the funniest gags ever recorded on film ( the famous "Stateroom Scene must be witnessed to be believed! ). But beyond that, the movie itself works the best as a finely-tuned machine that fires its pistons at full throttle in every department from music, to the subplot writing to the marvelous MGM production values. Alan Jones substitutes for brother Zeppo here as the romantic, crooning love interest, but nothing can diminish the love pas de deux between Groucho's Rufus T. Firefly and the Grand Dame of oblivious comic foils, Margaret Dumont playing the regally asinine Mrs. Claypool. A NIGHT AT THE OPERA just may chalk up the most per-minute laughs of any movie to date - make sure you take a clicker-counter to keep track because your side may be aching to much to fully concentrate!
A socialite's (Grace Kelly) ex-husband (Bing Crosby) and a magazine writer (Frank Sinatra) show up for her wedding and cause havoc.
The Madness of King George
Based on Alan Bennett's acclaimed play The Madness of George III, The Madness of King George takes a dark-humored look at the mental decline of King George III of England. The film's story begins nearly three decades into George's reign, in 1788, as the unstable king (Nigel Hawthorne, reprising his stage role) begins to show signs of increasing dementia, from violent fits of foul language to bouts of forgetfulness. This weakness seems like the perfect chance to overthrow the unpopular George, whom many blamed for the loss of the American colonies, in favor of the Prince of Wales (Rupert Everett), but the king's prime minister William Pitt (Julian Wadham) and his wife Queen Charlotte (Helen Mirren) are determined to protect the throne. Doctors are brought in, but the archaic treatments of the time prove of little value. In desperation, they turn to Dr. Willis (Ian Holm), a harsh, unconventional specialist whose unusual methods recall modern psychiatry. Willis struggles to break through to the mad king, treating him with an anger and haughtiness George has never before experienced. Stressing the absurdity of the entire situation, Bennett's witty screenplay emphasizes dry humor over tragedy, even utilizing references to King Lear for comic effect. Hawthorne's fiery yet vulnerable performance received much critical praise, including Best Actor at the British Academy Awards and a nomination for the same at the Oscars.
Driving Miss Daisy
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Alfred Uhry, Driving Miss Daisy affectionately covers the 25-year relationship between a wealthy, strong-willed Southern matron (Jessica Tandy) and her equally indomitable Black chauffeur, Hoke (Morgan Freeman). Both employer and employee are outsiders, Hoke because of the color of his skin, Miss Daisy because she is Jewish in a WASP-dominated society. At the same time, Hoke cannot fathom Miss Daisy's cloistered inability to grasp the social changes that are sweeping the South in the 1960s. Nor can Miss Daisy understand why Hoke's "people" are so indignant. It is only when Hoke is retired and Miss Daisy is confined to a home for the elderly that the two fully realize that they've been friends and kindred spirits all along. The supporting cast includes Esther Rolle as Miss Daisy's housekeeper and Dan Aykroyd as Miss Daisy's son, Boolie (reportedly, playwright Uhry based the character upon himself). Driving Miss Daisy won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actress (Jessica Tandy), Best Screenplay (Uhry), and Best Makeup (Manlio Rochetti). ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
Set in France around 1760, the Marquise de Merteuil needs a favour from her ex-lover, Vicomte de Valmont. One of the Marquise de Merteuil's ex-lovers, Gercourt, is betrothed to a young, virtuous, woman called Cecile de Volanges. The Marquise would like Valmont to seduce Cecile before her wedding day, thus humiliating Gercourt. Meanwhile, Valmont has a conquest of his own in mind: Madame de Tourvel, a beautiful, married, and God fearing woman. The Marquise doesn't think that Valmont can seduce Mme de Tourvel. She tells him that if he can provide written proof of a sexual encounter with Mme de Tourvel, she will offer him a reward: one last night with her. Valmont, however, will find himself falling in love with Mme de Tourvel, and facing the deadly jealousy of the Marquise de Merteuil. All along, Cecile de Volanges is used as a pawn in this game of sexual conquest and scorned love.
Bridges of Madison County
The path of Francesca Johnson's future seems destined when an unexpected fork in the road causes her to question everything she had come to expect from life. While her husband and children are away at the Illinois state fair in the summer of 1965, Robert Kincaid happens turn into the Johnson farm and asks Francesca for directions to Roseman Bridge. Francesca later learns that he was in Iowa on assignment from National Geographic magazine. She is reluctant seeing that he's a complete stranger and then she agrees to show him to the bridges and gradually she talks about her life from being a war-bride from Italy which sets the pace for this bittersweet and all-too-brief romance of her life. Through the pain of separation from her secret love and the stark isolation she feels as the details of her life consume her, she writes her thoughts of the four-day love affair which took up three journals. The journals are found by her children after the lawyer was going over Francesca's will and all the contents which produces a key to her hope chest in the bedroom which contained some of hers and Robert's things. The message they take from the diaries is to what you what you have to do to be happy in life. After learning that Robert Kincaid's cremated remains were scattered off Roseman Bridge and that their mother requested that she too be cremated and her ashes to be scattered off Roseman Bridge, the children must decide whether to honor their mother's final wishes or bury her alongside their father as the family had planned. Adapted from the novel by Robert James Waller, this is the story of a special love that happens just once in a lifetime -- if you're lucky.
Charlotte Vale suffers under the domination of her Boston matron mother until Dr. Jaquith gets her to visit his sanitarium where she is transformed from frump to elegant, independent lady. When she goes off on a South American cruise she falls in love with Jerry, already married. Back home she confronts her mother who dies of a heart attack. Charlotte, guilt-ridden, returns to the sanitarium where she finds Jerry's depressed daughter Tina. Tina achieves happiness through her attachment to Charlotte and the two move back to Boston. When Jerry sees how happy his daughter is, he leaves her with Charlotte. What about marriage for Charlotte and Jerry? "Don't ask for the moon when we have the stars."
A gripping, old-fashioned WWII spy thriller, EYE OF THE NEEDLE features Donald Sutherland as Faber, a murderous Nazi spy stationed in Britain who uncovers the Allies' plans to invade Normandy. En route to a rendezvous with a U-boat at a remote island, Faber is stranded by a violent storm and forced to seek shelter with Lucy (Kate Nelligan), a sexually frustrated housewife, and her husband, a paraplegic ex-fighter pilot (Christopher Cazenove). Romance soon develops between Lucy and the spy, but Lucy's husband begins to suspect Faber's true identity.
Directed with considerable flair by Richard Marquand, this adaptation of Ken Follett's best-selling novel boasts one of Sutherland's best performances. As the cold-blooded spy who thinks nothing of plunging a stiletto into anyone who gets in his way, he is positively chilling. An accomplished stage actress who has yet to find the screen success that she deserves, Nelligan is excellent as well. Underrated at the time it was released, EYE OF THE NEEDLE is worthy viewing for anyone fond of classic Hollywood wartime thrillers. The old master film composer Miklos Rozsa even provides a score in the grand tradition.
The twenty-three years old wealthy sportswoman Judith Traherne has painful headaches and double-vision, and the family doctor, Dr. Parsons, convinces her to go with her best friend Ann King to a consultation with a famous specialist. After the physical examination, Dr. Frederick Steele finds that Judy has a lethal glioma brain tumor, and he immediately operates her to withdraw the tumor. However, the result of the biopic examination indicates that she has less than six months of life, but Dr. Steele and Ann hides the diagnose from Judy. Meanwhile, Judy and Dr. Steele fall in love for each other, and they decide to get married and move to Vermont. But Judy finds the correspondence from the laboratory and very depressed, she starts to drink and have a promiscuous life. Later, she realizes that she should spend the last moments of her life with her love.
Carousel was adapted from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway musical of the same name--which, in turn, was based on Liliom, a play by Ferenc Molnar. Gordon MacRae stars as carnival barker Billy Bigelow, who much against his will falls in love with Maine factory girl Julie Jordan (Shirley Jones). Billy proves an improvident and unreliable husband, but Julie stands by him. Upon discovering that Julie is pregnant, the unemployed Billy sees an opportunity for some quick money by joining his unsavory pal Jigger (Cameron Mitchell). The scheme goes awry, and Billy dies. Standing before the Pearly Gates, Billy is given a chance to redeem himself by the kindly Starkeeper (Gene Lockhart). He is allowed to return to Earth to try to brighten the life of his unhappy 15-year-old daughter Louise (Susan Luckey). Billy offers Louise a star that he has stolen from the sky; when Louise backs off in fear, Billy slaps her. He feels like a failure until he and his Heavenly Friend (William LeManessa) attend Louise's school graduation ceremony. There the invisible Billy watches as the principal (Gene Lockhart again) inspires Louise (and, by extension, Julie) by assuring her that so long as she has hope in her heart, she'll never walk alone.
MGM musical numbers from the introduction of sound in the late '20s through to the 1950s, possibly with Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, and Judy Garland getting the most coverage. Linked by some of the stars who worked at MGM handing the commentary on one to another.
An American in Paris
Jerry Mulligan, a struggling American painter in Paris, is "discovered" by an influential heiress with an interest in more than Jerry's art. Jerry in turn falls for Lise, a young French girl already engaged to a cabaret singer. Jerry jokes, sings and dances with his best friend, an acerbic would-be concert pianist, while romantic complications abound.
An Affair to Remember
Handsome playboy Nicky Ferrante and beautiful night club singer Terry McKay have a romance while on a cruise from Europe to New York. Despite being engaged to other people, both agree to reunite at the top of the Empire State Building in six months. However, an unfortunate accident keeps Terry from the reunion, and Nicky fears that she has married or does not love him anymore. Will he discover the truth behind her absence and reunite with his one true love, or has fate and destiny passed them by?
While staying in a London hotel with his English theatrical backer, Horace Hardwick, American musical revue star Jerry Travers wakes up Dale Tremont, Horace's downstairs neighbor, with his compulsive tap dancing. Upon seeing the furious Dale, Jerry falls instantly in love and, in spite of her snubbing, daily sends flowers to her room. Then, while posing as a hansom cab driver, Jerry delivers Dale to her riding lesson in the park and romances her in a pavilion during a rain storm. Dale's loving bliss is shattered, however, when she incorrectly deduces that Jerry, whose name she has never heard, is actually the husband of her matchmaking friend, Madge Hardwick. In spite of her desire to return to America, Dale is convinced by Alberto Beddini, her adoring, ambitious Italian dressmaker, to accept Madge's invitation to join her in Italy. Before leaving, Dale encounters Jerry in the hotel and slaps him without explanation. Worried that the slap will cause a scandal, the hotel management admonishes a confused Horace, who in turn blames the incident on Bates, his quarrelsome valet. After Horace orders Bates to follow Dale, he receives a telegram from Madge saying that Dale is on her way to the Lido in Venice. Overjoyed, Jerry rushes through his London revue and flies to Venice with Horace, unaware that Dale has confessed to Madge in their hotel room that her husband has made illicit advances toward her. In Italy, Jerry continues to be baffled by Dale's emotional vacilations, while Horace is equally baffled by Alberto's threats of bodily violence. At the hotel nightclub, Dale dances with Jerry at the urging of Madge, who is unaware that Dale has mistaken Jerry, the man that she is trying to get Dale to marry, for Horace. When Jerry then proposes to Dale, she slaps him again, while Madge, who had taken Dale's initial revelations about Horace with good humor, punches her husband in the eye. Depressed and heartsick, Dale succumbs to the affections of Alberto and accepts his marriage proposal. The next day, Jerry learns that Dale has married and, by tap dancing as he did in London, connives to see her alone. Although Dale finally learns Jerry's true identity while cruising with him in a gondola, the revenge-hungry Alberto pursues the couple across the canals. Eventually Bates reveals that, while following Dale and Alberto, he had impersonated a clergyman and performed their marriage ceremony. Legally single, Dale now accepts Jerry's proposal and, back in the nightclub, dances happily with him across the floor.
In early summer 1939, middle-class English housewife Kay Miniver happily returns from a London shopping trip to Belham, the Thames Valley village in which she lives, and is flattered that station master Ballard has named his newly propagated rose after her. That night, Kay feels slightly guilty over buying an expensive hat, while her architect-husband Clem feels the same way about his new sportscar. When they eventually confess their respective purchases, they laugh, happy in the knowledge that they can now afford some of life's little luxuries. The next day, Kay and Clem welcome home their eldest child Vin, who has returned home for the summer holiday and is a bit pompous after his year at Oxford. Vin embarrasses his parents when he insults Carol Beldon, granddaughter of local aristocrat Lady Beldon, when Carol comes to ask Kay to influence Ballard to withdraw his rose from competing against Lady Beldon's in the annual flower show.
At a dance that night, Carol receives a secret message from Vin asking her to meet him. The two confess their mutual attraction and promise to write to each other while Carol and her grandmother are away in Scotland. Some weeks later, concern over the fall of Poland dominates village conversations, and at church on Sunday, the vicar's sermon is interrupted by news that England is now at war with Germany. While Clem, Kay and their two youngest children, Toby and Judy, return home, Vin goes to the Beldon estate to make certain that the newly returned Carol and her grandmother are adequately prepared. Although Lady Beldon at first refuses to take seriously new air raid regulations, Vin takes charge of the situation. He and Carol also come to an "agreement" about their relationship and kiss for the first time.
Eight months later, after Vin has left school to join the RAF, the Minivers, like others in the village, have made accommodations for the war, but have yet to seriously feel its effects. In the pub, the locals laugh at the radio admonitions of the traitor Lord Haw Haw that England will soon fall, and discuss a German pilot who parachuted out of his plane and may be hiding near the village. That night, Vin proposes to Carol, much to the delight of Clem and Kay. Immediately thereafter, Vin is ordered back to his airbase, and in the middle of the night, Clem, a member of the Thames River patrol, is awakened and told to meet at the pub. Like the other local boat-owners, Clem is at first amused and somewhat irritated by the call-up, but soon finds that his is one of thousands of privately owned, seaworthy crafts needed to evacuate stranded British soldiers from Dunkerque, France. Five days later, Kay's only news of what Vin and Clem may be doing comes from the papers. When she goes for a stroll in her garden one morning, she sees the boots of the missing German pilot. Unable to get the sleeping flyer's gun away, she rushes to the house, but he forces his way into her kitchen and holds her at gunpoint while she brings him food.
Weakened from his wounds, the flyer collapses and Kay is able to take his revolver and call for help. Before the police arrive, though, the German bitterly tells Kay that England will soon fall, just as Holland and Poland did, and she slaps him. After the police take the flyer away, Clem returns in his badly damaged boat, unharmed, but exhausted from his ordeal, and soon they learn that Vin, too, is safe. A short time later, Vin and Carol marry, after Kay convinces Lady Beldon that the couple are right for each other. One night, while Carol and Vin are on their honeymoon, Clem, Kay, Judy and Toby retreat to their bomb shelter while an air battle rages overhead. As the children sleep, Kay calmly knits and Clem reads until the bombing becomes so fierce that the children awaken, crying, and the family fearfully huddles together, realizing that their house has been hit.
When Carol and Vin return from their honeymoon, they are shocked by the bomb damage, but Kay and Clem shrug off the partial destruction of their home and look forward to going to the annual flower show. At the show, Lady Beldon is secretly informed that she has won the competition, but when Kay helps her to realize that the judges chose her rose over Ballard's more worthy flower because of her position in the village, Lady Beldon announces that Ballard has won the prize. The show is then interrupted by an air raid warning. As Kay drives Carol home, they are heartsick at the destruction they see. When a plane dives toward them, Kay thinks that the car has been hit but soon realizes that Carol has been badly wounded. Kay is able to get Carol home, but she dies before medical help can arrive. On Sunday morning, in the badly damaged village church, the vicar sadly talks of those who have died, including Carol and Ballard. As the vicar reads from the Ninety-First Psalm, Vin goes to Lady Beldon's pew to comfort her, and more British planes take to the air.
Mildred Pierce dotes on her daughters while husband Bert looks to Maggie Binderhof for affection. They soon divorce, leaving Mildred to raise the girls on her own. Elder daughter Veda goads her mother about their lack of money and in response Mildred proposes opening a small restaurant. Realtor Wally Fay advises her while making numerous rebuffed passes and introduces her to Monte Baragon whose property becomes the first of a chain of restaurants. Mildred has an affair with Monte. Meanwhile, money-hungry Veda pretends to be pregnant by wealthy Ted Forrester in order to bilk his family of $10,000. Mildred tears up the check, is slapped by Veda, and orders her daughter to leave. After time away, Mildred returns to find Veda singing in a cheap club. Veda will return only if Mildred promises luxury, so Mildred agrees to marry Monte in exchange for a third of her businesses. It soon becomes clear that something is going on between Veda and Monte. Mildred learns of this only after Monte has sold out his third of the her business leaving her bankrupt. She goes to Monte's beach house to kill him... Shots ring out, but what really happened?
The Great Escape
Based on a true story, "The Great Escape" deals with the largest Allied escape attempt from a German POW camp during the Second World War. The first part of the film focuses on the escape efforts within the camp and the process of secretly digging an escape tunnel. The second half of the film deals with the massive effort by the German Gestapo to track down the over 70 escaped prisoners who are at this point throughout the Third Reich attempting to make their way to England and various neutral countries.
Call Northside 777
In this documentary-inspired thriller, P.J. McNeal (James Stewart) is a reporter who is asked by his editor to look into a potential story: their newspaper has been carrying an ad offering a substantial reward for information regarding the murder of a policeman that occurred eleven years ago. It turns out the ad was placed by a cleaning woman named Tillie Wiecek (Kasia Orzazewski); her son Frank (Richard Conte) was convicted of the crime, but she is thoroughly convinced her son had nothing to do with the killing.
McNeal doesn't believe for a moment that Frank could be innocent, but he sees a good human interest story in Tillie and writes a piece that receives a great deal of favorable attention. Brian Kelly (Lee J. Cobb), McNeal's editor, thinks there might be more to this story and asks P.J. to look into the original murder case. To McNeal's surprise, Frank passes a lie detector test in which he proclaims his innocence, and the more he digs into records on the case, the more he finds wrong with the original investigation; some evidence is missing, much is inconclusive, and the reporter begins to wonder if Frank might have been railroaded after all, or if the police might be trying to keep something quiet.
Auditions for 1933's newest show, Pretty Lady, are nearly over when Peggy Sawyer, fresh off the bus from Allentown, Pennsylvania, arrives in New York City with valise in hand. Billy Lawlor, already cast as one of the juvenile leads, notices Peggy and hopes to charm her into accepting a date with him. He informs her she's missed the audition but he can help her bypass that process, but choreographer Andy Lee has no time for Billy's latest conquest and tells her, "Beat it, toots." Embarrassed and flustered, Peggy rushes off, only to slam right into director Julian Marsh himself.
One-time star Dorothy Brock, indignant at being asked to audition for a role, is reassured by Julian he merely wants to make sure the songs are in her key. Despite his feeling Dorothy is a prima donna past her prime, he agrees to cast her in order to get financial backing from her wealthy beau Abner Dillon. Outside of the theatre, writer Maggie and chorus girls Anytime Annie, Phyllis, and Lorraine take pity on Peggy and invite her to join them for lunch and some advice. They encourage her to show them a dance routine that is witnessed by a love-struck Julian, who decides there might be room for one more chorus girl after all.
At a pre-production party, Julian learns that Dorothy is seeing old boyfriend Pat Denning behind Abner's back. Knowing this could destroy the show's future, he decides to put an end to the affair. One phone call to an unsavory acquaintance and Denning is visited by a couple of thugs who convince him to break it off with Dorothy. Soon after the show's cast heads to Philadelphia for the out-of-town tryout.
On opening night, Peggy trips and crashes into Dorothy, knocking her to the stage. Julian fires the young chorine on the spot.
Dorothy's ankle is broken, and the show may close. The chorus kids, certain Peggy could fill the lead role, find Julian and tell him that Peggy's a fresh young face who can sing and dance circles around Brock. Julian decides it's worth a shot and rushes off to the train station to catch Peggy before she departs.
At Philadelphia's Broad Street Station, Julian apologizes to Peggy and asks her to stay and star in Pretty Lady, but she responds that she's had enough of show business and wants to go home to Allentown. Dumbfounded, Julian tries to coax her with the words "Come on along and listen to the lullaby of Broadway...." After the cast joins him in the serenade, Peggy decides to accept his offer.
Forced to learn the part in two days, Peggy is on the verge of a nervous breakdown when she has an unexpected visit from Dorothy, who has been watching the rehearsals and realizes beneath her nervous exterior, Peggy is good, "maybe even better than I would have been." She even offers a little friendly advice on how to perform the last song, "About a Quarter to Nine."
The opening night curtain is about to rise when Julian, who is completely in love with Peggy at this point, stops by for a last minute lip-lock and pep talk in which he utters the now iconic line, "You're going out there a youngster, but you've got to come back a star!" The show is a huge success sure to catapult Peggy into stardom. And even though she's invited to and expected to attend the official opening night party, Peggy decides to go to the chorus party instead. Julian is left alone on stage with only a single ghost light casting his huge shadow on the back wall. He quietly begins to sing, "Come and meet those dancing feet on the avenue I'm taking you to... 42nd Street."
One, Two, Three
Berlin, after the Second World War: C.R. MacNamara presides over the Coca-Cola branch of Germany. He is working hard and trying his very best to impress the Atlanta headquarters, since he has heard that the European headquarters in London will soon be looking for a new head. Now, Coca-Cola boss Mr. Hazeltine asks MacNamara to take care of his daughter Scarlett, who is going to take a trip to Europe. Scarlett, however, does not behave the way a young respectable girl of her age should. Instead of sightseeing, she goes out until the early morning and has lots of fun. Finally, she falls in love with Otto Piffl, a young man from East Berlin and a flaming Communist, and marries him surprisingly.
When MacNamara hears of the marriage, he schemes, with the help of his assistant Schlemmer, to get Piffl put into an East German prison. When he receives a note that Mr. Hazeltine and his wife are coming to Germany to visit their daughter in Berlin, he needs to get Piffl out of prison again, convert him to Capitalism and present him as a fine, young and noble husband in order to get his London post, and all of that very quick!
Elmer Gantry is a fast talking, hard drinking traveling salesman who always has a risqué story and a hip flask to entertain cronies and customers alike. He is immediately taken with Sister Sharon Falconer, a lay preacher whose hellfire and damnation revivalism has attracted quite a following. Gantry uses his own quick wit and knowledge of the bible to become an indispensable part of Sister Sharon's roadshow but soon finds that his past catches up with him in the form of Lulu Bains, now a prostitute. While Gantry seeks and eventually gets forgiveness from Sharon, tragedy strikes when she finally manages to get out of her revivalist tent and opens a permanent church.
In a small Connecticut town, local minister Reverend George Lambert is shot to death point blank on the street. Although he was beloved by most, he did have his detractors for not absolving those he deemed to have done bad deeds. The shooting is witnessed by many, although the murderer's face is unseen. Weeks go by with no progress on finding the killer, the police and city officials under much pressure to make progress. Based on circumstantial evidence including seven witnesses identifying him and the bullet used in the murder coming from his gun, drifter and WWII veteran John Waldron is charged with murder. State's Attorney Henry Harvey is initially as anxious as anyone to see Waldron charged. However as the case goes to preliminary state hearing, Harvey proceeds to prove Waldron innocent. Some see his move as purely a political one as prosecuting a loyal war veteran is not seen as a popular move for potential gubernatorial candidate Harvey. With the hullabaloo swirling around him, Harvey strives to discover the truth behind the charges against Waldron, despite pressure from some to prosecute Waldron for murder regardless of his guilt or innocence.
Bridges at Toko-Ri
Set during the Korean War, a Navy fighter pilot must come to terms with with his own ambivalence towards the war and the fear of having to bomb a set of highly defended bridges.
Cast includes William Holden, Grace Kelly, Fredrick March and Mickey Rooney.
Six Degrees of Separation
Flan and Ouisa Kittredge, rich NYC art dealers, are called on one night by a young man, Paul, who professes to be a friend of their kids' from Harvard. They offer him a bed for the night; he enchants them with a home-cooked meal and magnificent conversation. The next morning, they learn that he is not all he seems to be. Their investigations are intriguing and lead them to re-evaluate their lives.
The Magnificent Ambersons
The young, handsome, but somewhat wild Eugene Morgan wants to marry Isabel Amberson, daughter of a rich upper-class family, but she instead marries dull and steady Wilbur Minafer. Their only child, George, grows up a spoiled brat. Years later, Eugene comes back, now a mature widower and a successful automobile maker. After Wilbur dies, Eugene again asks Isabel to marry him, and she is receptive. But George resents the attentions paid to his mother, and he and his whacko aunt Fanny manage to sabotage the romance. A series of disasters befall the Ambersons and George, and he gets his come-uppance in the end.
John Sayles' murder-mystery explores interpersonal and interracial tensions in Rio County, Texas. Sam Deeds is the local sheriff who is called to investigate a 40-year-old skeleton found in the desert....As Sam delves deeper into the town's dark secrets, he begins to learn more about his father, the legendary former sheriff Buddy Deeds, who replaced the corrupt Charlie Wade. While Sam puzzles out the long-past events surrounding the mystery corpse, he also longs to rekindle a romance with his old high-school flame. Sayles' complex characters are brought together as the tightly woven plot finally draws to its dramatic close.
Woody Allen's romantic comedy of the Me Decade follows the up and down relationship of two mismatched New York neurotics. Jewish comedy writer Alvy Singer (Allen) ponders the modern quest for love and his past romance with tightly-wound WASP singer Annie Hall (Diane Keaton). The twice-divorced Alvy knows that it's not easy to find a mate when the options include pretentious New York intellectuals and lifestyle-obsessed Rolling Stone writers, but la-di-dah-ing Annie seems different. Along the rocky road of their coupling, Allen/Alvy weigh in on such topics as endless therapy, movies vs. TV, the absurdity of dating rituals, anti-Semitism, drugs, and, in one of the best set pieces, repressed Midwestern WASP insanity vs. crazy Brooklyn Jewish boisterousness. Annie wants to move to Los Angeles to find that fame that finally does in the relationship -- but not before Alvy gets in a few digs at vacuous, mantra-fixated California. Originally entitled Anhedonia (the inability to enjoy oneself), Annie Hall blended the slapstick and fantasy from such earlier Allen films as Sleeper (1973) and Bananas (1971) with the more autobiographical musings of his stand-up and written comedy, using an array of such movie techniques as talking heads, splitscreens, and subtitles. Within these gleeful formal experiments and sight gags, Allen and co-writer Marshall Brickman skewered 1970s solipsism, reversing the happy marriage of opposites found in classic screwball comedies. Hailed as Allen's most mature and personal film, Annie Hall beat out Star Wars for Best Picture and also won Oscars for Allen as director and writer and for Keaton as Best Actress; audiences enthusiastically responded to Allen's take on contemporary love and turned Keaton's rumpled menswear into a fashion trend.
How I Won the War
This film features former Beatle John Lennon and Roy Kinnear as ill-fated enlisted men in under the inept command of Lieutenant Earnest Goodbody. The story unwinds mostly in flashbacks of Lieutenant Goodbody who has lower-class beginnings and education which make him a poor officer who commands one of the worst units of the army.
Gigot (Gleason) is a mute Frenchman living in the Montmartre district of Paris in the 1920s. He makes a hand-to-mouth living as a janitor at his landlady's apartment building. Though treated with condescension by most of his neighbors (and often the butt of practical jokes), he is much loved by the local children and by animals, whom he often feeds. He seems content with his life, though he has one strange passion: he attends every local funeral, whether or not he knew the departed, marching in the funeral march and crying along with the other mourners.
One rainy evening he is returning home when he comes across a woman named Collette (Katherine Kath) and her young daughter Nicole (Diane Gardner) sitting in a doorway trying to keep dry. He lets them stay at his apartment. Collette is suspicious of Gigot from the start but young Nicole warms to him right away. One of the highest points in the movie is the scene wherein Gleason does a stunning pantomime, Gigot takes Nicole to church only to discover she is unbaptized and completely ignorant of what a church is and unaware of God. Young Nicole points to a crucifix and asks Gigot who that is. Gigot clearly struggling and regretful of his muteness acts out the story of Christ beginning with Mary cradling the baby Jesus, His childhood through to the horror of the crucifixion. When Gigot is through he opens his eyes to see Nicole staring at him with a single tear on her face. Nicole then turns and blows a kiss to Christ on the cross. Gigot oftens entertains the little girl, sometimes by dancing to his old Victrola, and on another by dressing as a waiter to feed his mouse. He is also very protective of Nicole, once running alongside her on a merry-go-round to make sure she doesn't fall off. It is this protectiveness that leads him to prevent Collette from soliciting a john several minutes later on a park bench near the merry-go-round. Gigot is beaten by the frustrated man for his troubles. Furious, Collette threatens to leave with Nicole, but stays when Gigot claims he has money. With an hour to prove himself and uncertain what to do, an opportunity is handed him when he passes by the bakers. The baker and his wife are called away, leaving the till open. Gigot is very reluctant, but steals from the till. He takes broken cookies (to feed to the pigeons) - and leaves the usual steep payment for them!
With his ill-gotten gains, Gigot, Collette and Nicole go on a shopping spree, buying much-needed new clothes for Collette and Nicole and a meal at the local restaurant for all three. Gigot is even persuaded to get a straw boater and a shave. But the good times are not to last - Collette's ex-boyfriend decides he wants her back, and Collette agrees. She wants to take Nicole, but he persuades her to wait til morning. Unknown to her, Gigot sees them leaving together and is heartbroken. The next morning, when Collette returns, she finds Gigot and Nicole missing. The baker discovers the theft, and soon Gigot is a suspect. Morever, two bureaucrats called in by one of Gigot's neighbors have come to (apparently) have Gigot committed. But Gigot and Nicole are only at an abandoned basement, listening to the Victrola while Gigot dances - with a little too much gusto though, as the roof falls in. Gigot is unhurt, but Nicole is unconscious. Frightened, he takes the girl to the church, where the parish priest calls a doctor. Thinking the Victrola may help, he goes back to retrieve it and runs straight into an angry mob. (He needn't have worried: Nicole is not seriously hurt.) The mob chases Gigot to what looks like an old coal loader near the river, Gigot falls into the river and does not resurface. The locals think Gigot is dead, and organise a funeral for him. Gigot is not dead, merely hiding. He sees the funeral march and as always follows, though he keeps a distance. When the time comes for the eulogy, he realizes it is he they're holding the service for, and is moved by what may be their false sentiments. Suddenly, one of the mourners sees Gigot, and the chase starts again.
Fiddler on the Roof
Fiddler on the Roof is based on Tevye and his Daughters (or Tevye the Milkman) and other tales by Sholem Aleichem. The story centers on Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his family and religious traditions while outside influences encroach upon their lives. He must cope with both the strong-willed actions of his three older daughtersâ€”each one's choice of husband moves farther away from the customs of her faithâ€”and with the edict of the Tsar that evicts the Jews from their village.
People Will Talk
Successful and well-liked, Dr. Noah Praetorius (Cary Grant) becomes the victim of a witchhunt at the hands of Professor Elwell (Hume Cronyn), who disdains Praetorius's unorthodox medical views and also questions his relationship with the mysterious, ever-present Mr. Shunderson.
Fuel is added to the fire when Praetorius befriends young Deborah Higgins (Jeanne Crain), who has become suicidal at the prospect of having a baby by a lover who has left her.
On the Town
As three sailors â€“ Gabey (Gene Kelly), Chip (Frank Sinatra), and Ozzie (Jules Munshin) â€“ begin their shore leave, Gabey falls in love with the picture of "Miss Turnstiles", who is actually Ivy Smith (Vera-Ellen). The sailors race around New York attempting to find her in the brief period they have ("New York, New York").
They are assisted by, and become romantically involved with, two women, and pair up: Ozzie with Claire (Ann Miller), an anthropologist; and Chip with Hildy Esterhazy (Betty Garrett), an aggressively amorous taxi driver; and eventually, Gabey with Ivy, an aspiring actress.
The Magnificent Seven
A Mexican village is periodically raided by bandits led by Calvera (Eli Wallach). As he and his men ride away from their latest visit, Calvera promises to return.
Desperate, the village leaders travel to a border town to buy guns to defend themselves. They approach a veteran gunslinger, Chris (Yul Brynner). He tells them guns alone will not do them any good; they are farmers, not fighters.
They ask him to lead them, but Chris rejects them, telling them a single man is not enough. They keep at him though, and he eventually gives in. He recruits six additional men, each of whom comes for a different reason. They must prepare the town to repulse an army of over 100 bandits who will arrive wanting food.
Dances With Wolves
Lt. John Dunbar is dubbed a hero after he accidentally leads Union troops to a victory during the Civil War. He requests a position on the western frontier, but finds it deserted. He soon finds out he is not alone, but meets a wolf he dubs "Two-socks" and a curious Indian tribe. Dunbar quickly makes friends with the tribe, and discovers a white woman who was raised by the Indians. He gradually earns the respect of these native people, and sheds his white-man's ways.
In this Gene Kelly classic dance-musical comedy, Kelly and Sinatra plays Joe and Clarence (respectively), two navy sailors who have a few days leave in Hollywood. All Joe wants to do is to have a good time and meet up with his girl, the unseen Lola. Clarence on the other hand just wants to get a girl. They soon meet a little boy who ran away from home and wants to join the navy. They take him home and soon meets his young beautiful singer-wannabe aunt Susan (Kathryn Grayson). Clarence develops a crush on her, so he asks Joe to help him get Susan to like him. Soon Joe gets himself caught in between a promise to Susan to meet a big time music producer, and trying to get Clarence ready for their date. The only problem is, Joe doesn't know the music producer and he's starting to fall in love with Susan himself. So whats a guy to do?
The film version of Frances Iles' Before the Fact , Alfred Hitchcockâ€™s 'Suspicion' is a sordid look at a wife suspecting her husband of murder. Cary Grant is Johnnie Aysgarth, a charming, debonair, English bachelor who surprisingly falls in love with the bookish Lina McLaidlaw (Joan Fontaine). As Johnnie has been cheating and stealing since school days the relationship is not exactly welcomed by Lina's parents causing the two to elope.
Once back from their honeymoon Lina discovers that Johnnie has no income but what is more distressing, he has bought them an expensive house and commissioned an interior designer and to add to that gambles what little money they have at the racetrack.
Due to Lina's obvious disapproval, Johnnie finds a job working for a relative of his, Captain Melbeck, played by Leo G. Carroll, but to afford the good life he so enjoys becomes involved in an embezzling scheme and is promptly fired but neglects to inform Lina.
Beaky a friend of Johnnie's arrives as a houseguest and Johnnie's strange behaviour towards him causes Lina to assume that maybe there is more to Johnnie than she would like to acknowledge, a dark and sinister side.
The two boys then decide to go to Europe to investigate a financial venture but Beaky suddenly dies which forces Lina to think that Johnnie is a murderer and she is his next victim and every unusual action he makes, Lina interprets as an attempt on her life.
Run Silent, Run Deep
World War II United States Navy submarine Commander P.J. Richardson, (Clark Gable) has an obsession with the Japanese destroyer that sank his previous boat and three others. He convinces the navy board to give him a new sub command with the provision that his exec be someone who has just returned from active sea patrol. He is single-mindedly training the crew of his new boat, the USS Nerka, to return to the Bungo Straits and sink the destroyer, captained by the crafty ex-submariner, now destroyer captain, nicknamed Bungo Pete. The executive officer, Lieutenant Jim Bledsoe (Burt Lancaster), is worried about the safety of his boat and his crew. Bledsoe also is seething with resentment at Richardson and the Navy brass for denying him the command of the ship which rightfully should have been his.
Richardson begins to drill the crew on a rapid bow shot, normally a desperation move in which the sub fires at a destroyer moving in for the kill "down the throat", i.e. at its bow coming head-on. He then bypasses one target only to take on a Japanese destroyer using the bow shot on which they have drilled. The crew becomes outraged when it becomes apparent that Richardson is choosing to avoid all legitimate targets in order to enter the Bungo Straits undetected in direct contradiction to mission orders, jeopardizing the boat and its crew merely to avenge the dead submarine. Shortly after engaging Bungo Pete, they are attacked by aircraft that had been clearly alerted to their presence and had been waiting in ambush. They are forced to dive and narrowly escape destruction from depth charges. Three of the crew are killed and Richardson suffers a skull fracture which incapacitates him. They also come close to being hit by what they mistakenly believe is one of their own torpedoes doubling back on them. By sending up blankets, equipment, and the bodies of the dead, they convince the Japanese that the sub has been sunk. Bledsoe uses Richardson's incapacitation to assume command and as an excuse to return to Pearl Harbor.
While listening to Tokyo Rose proclaiming the sinking of their ship, they are mystified how the Japanese were able to identify the crew of the boat. They later realize the Japanese are collecting their garbage. Bledsoe then further realizes that the submarine now has a real advantage--the Japanese believe they are sunk and their source of intelligence has dried up--and returns to the Bungo Straits to take on the Akikaze destroyer, which the sub defeats only to be again subjected to a mystery torpedo. Richardson deduces that it was not the Akikaze alone who had been killing the US subs but a Japanese sub working in concert with the destroyer. He orders the boat into a dive just seconds before a Japanese torpedo shoots by. The US sub then forces its adversary to surface and destroys it. The older sub skipper thus achieves his revenge. The film ends with Richardson dying from his head injury and being buried at sea.
Loretta Castorini, a Brooklyn bookkeeper in her late 30s whose husband died several years earlier in a bus accident, decides it's time to get married again. So she accepts the proposal of a nice, middle-aged fellow named Johnny Cammareri. Loretta is convinced her first marriage was cursed because she and her husband had gotten married at City Hall; this time, she's determined to do things right, even as she admits to her mother, Rose, that she's not really in love with Johnny. (To which Rose replies: "Good. When you love them, they drive you crazy, 'cause they know they can." Rose speaks from rueful experience; she suspects, with good reason, that her husband, Cosmo, is cheating on her.) Loretta is convinced that marrying Johnny is the safe and sure thing to do - until she meets his estranged younger brother Ronny, who tends the ovens in a neighborhood bakery. Loretta discovers that in startling contrast to the pleasant, mild-mannered Johnny, Ronny is moody and passionate; what follow are complications worthy of a comic opera.
Tensions between the Hutu and Tutsi peoples lead to a civil war, in a country where corruption and bribes are routine. Paul Rusesabagina (Don Cheadle), the manager of Sabena HĂ´tel des Mille Collines, is Hutu but his wife, Tatiana (Sophie Okonedo), is Tutsi. His marriage is a source of friction with Hutu extremists, most prominently George Rutaganda, a friendly supplier to the hotel who also is the local leader of Interahamwe, a brutal anti-Tutsi militia.
As the political situation in the country deteriorates, Paul and his family observe neighbors being dragged from their homes and openly beaten in the streets. Paul curries favor with people of influence, bribing them with money and alcohol, seeking to maintain sufficient influence to keep his family safe. When civil war erupts and a Rwandan Army officer threatens Paul and his neighbors, Paul barely negotiates their safety, and brings everyone to the hotel. More refugees come to the hotel from the overburdened United Nations camp, the Red Cross, and orphanages. Paul must divert the Hutu soldiers, care for the refugees, be a source of strength to his family, and maintain the appearance of a functioning high-class hotel, as the situation becomes more and more violent, with mobs in the streets just outside the gates.
The UN Peacekeeping forces, led by Colonel Oliver (Nick Nolte), are unable to take assertive action against the Interhamwe since they are forbidden to intervene in the genocide. The foreign nationals are evacuated, but the Rwandans are left behind. When the UN forces attempt to evacuate a group of refugees, including Paul's family, they are ambushed and must turn back. In a last-ditch effort to save the refugees, Paul speaks to the Rwandan Army General, Augustin Bizimungu (Fana Mokoena) and when the bribes no longer work, he blackmails him with threats of being tried as a war criminal. The family and the hotel refugees finally leave the besieged hotel in a UN convoy, and they travel through retreating masses of refugees and militia to reach safety behind Tutsi rebel lines.
Of Mice and Men
George Milton (Gary Sinise) is in a train boxcar, reminiscing upon the events that have just happened. He thinks back to when he and his companion Lennie Small (John Malkovich) are fleeing from their previous employment in Weed. They were run out of town after Lennie was accused of attempted rape when he touched a young woman's dress (prompted by his love of stroking soft things). Then George thinks of the events that have recently happened and make up the movie, taking place during the Great Depression. After running from Weed, George and Lennie are trying to attain their shared dream of settling down on their own piece of land. Lennie's part of the dream, which he never tires of hearing George describe, is merely to have soft rabbits on the farm, which he can pet. The two go to work at a ranch named Tyler Ranch.
At the ranch, the dream appears to move closer to reality. Candy (Ray Walston), the aged, one-handed ranch-hand, offers to pitch in with Lennie and George so they can buy the farm. The dream disappears when Lennie accidentally kills the young and attractive wife (Sherilyn Fenn) of Curley (Casey Siemaszko), the ranch owner's son, while trying to stroke her hair. A lynch mob led by Curley gathers. Realizing he is doomed to a life of loneliness and despair like the rest of the migrant workers, and wanting to spare Lennie a painful death at the hands of the vengeful and violent Curley, George shoots Lennie in the back of the head before the mob can find him. The film closes with the opening scene of George reminiscing in the train boxcar.
House of Games
David Mamet wrote and directed this twist-laden tale of a psychiatrist who becomes involved with a master con artist. Starring Lindsay Crouse, Joe Mantegna, Mike Nussbaum, Lilia Skala, and J.T. Walsh.
A Thousand Clowns
Unemployed television writer, Murray Burns, lives in a cluttered New York City one-bedroom apartment with his 12-year-old nephew, Nick. Murray has been unemployed for five months after walking out on his previous job, writing jokes for a pathetic comedian who hosts a children's television show. Nick, abandoned by Murray's sister seven years earlier, now attends a school for gifted children.
When Nick writes a school assignment on the benefits of the unemployment system, some of what he writes about his home environment causes his school to send social workers to investigate his living conditions. Confronted by investigators for the Child Welfare Bureau, Murray is given the option of finding a job or losing custody of his nephew. Along the way, Murray charms and seduces Sandra (played by Barbara Harris), the young psychologist assigned to Nick's case.
Although Murray tries to avoid returning to work, he finds himself in a dilemma: if he wishes to keep his nephew, he must swallow his dignity and acknowledge his greater responsibilities. When he chooses to go back to work for a man he detests, he ultimately loses the respect of the nephew he so highly prizes. However Nick also stands up for himself, telling the comedian how terrible he is. At the end Sandra and Nick begin to clean the apartment, and a more normal home life, with a stronger child, may be developing.