George Montgomery, Yvonne De Carlo, Tab Hunter, Brian Donlevy, John Russell, James Craig, Richard Arlen, & Fuzzy Knight as Buck. Tension mounts as a U.S. marshall and his hot-headed deputy escort a prison wagon with four deadly criminals across the Texas Badlands
During World War II, the Nazis institute a plan to smuggle some art masterworks from a French museum onto a train and into Germany. The train inspector, with the help of the French Resistance, tries to derail it.
"You'll believe a man can fly," the ads said, and by SUPERMAN's end that's just about true. Christopher Reeve essays the title role and makes it his own, combining correctly chiseled features with a likable comic humanity, while the film itself nicely balances special effects with the romance of Superman and Lois Lane (Margot Kidder). The story opens on the planet Krypton, where Superman's father (Marlon Brando) sends his son off to Earth, where he grows up to be "mild-mannered reporter" Clark Kent. Flying around in tights and cape, Superman-alias-Clark saves the day--and Lois--a number of times. Eventually he rescues all mankind from the evil Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman) and his assistants (Ned Beatty and Valerie Perrine, in an excellent bit of comic caricature) as they plot to take over the world. Lois is killed in the course of events, but Superman circles the globe at such terrific speed that its rotation is reversed, bringing his beloved back to life. The film burdens itself with too many story lines and an overlong (though beautifully photographed) prolog, but things really get moving when Reeve takes the screen. A worldwide hunt was conducted to find the right man for the role, with Robert Redford, Burt Reynolds, Nick Nolte, Kris Kristofferson, Sylvester Stallone, Ryan O'Neal, Clint Eastwood, and Charles Bronson among the candidates. So excellent is Reeve, however, that it is nearly impossible to think of anyone else as the Man of Steel. Nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Sound, Best Original Score and Best Film Editing.
This good western, filled with a cast of old veterans, features Calhoun as a cynical bounty hunter who signs on to do Chaney's dirty work. Chaney wants to ruin a small town's reputation, so the railroad will divert its path to run through his property. Calhoun brings in tough-guy Cabot, gambler Hoover, and Darnell (in her last screen performance) and her floozies, who set up shop in the local saloon. The townsfolk, led by sheriff Best, try to resist the demoralization of their settlement, but Cabot's men tar and feather the lawman. Calhoun is shocked by this turn of events (having grown to respect Best) and switches sides to defend the town, leading to a showdown. An enjoyable effort, and one of the last westerns to be made in the traditional style with a cast of old-timers.
Some vicious gunmen ride into the small town of Plainview, but storekeeper MacMurray foils their attempted bank robbery by accidentally shooting and killing the ringleader. The townsfolk hail him as a hero, but their enthusiasm sours when gunmen Homeier, Lambert, Pickard, and others return to exact vengeance. Then a reign of terror ensues while the outlaws bide their time, knowing the circuit-riding marshal will not visit the town for days. The town turns against MacMurray and his wife (Malone), except for staunch friend Brennan, a local doctor. MacMurray's general store is boycotted and he is even asked to leave town so the baddies won't cause trouble. He refuses, going into a showdown against the outlaws. His bravery, even though he knows he will be killed, and the exhortations of Brennan bring the citizens around so that all do their bit to destroy the menacing killers. MacMurray turns in a fine performance, as do Malone, Rettig (as their son), and old reliable Brennan, in a film that borrows from a lot of films, such as BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK; BROKEN ARROW; and most certainly HIGH NOON, the most imitated western of them all. But the movie still stands on its own, thanks to MacMurray's riveting performance.
Set in North Africa and Italy during the late 1930's and early '40's, "The English Patient" is an epic drama of two haunting love stories that unfolds against a background of international upheaval. Through the prism of war, and of love and friendship, various themes -- of fidelity, adultery, nationality and betrayals -- are dramatized and explored. The story, based on Michael Ondaatje's Booker Prize-winning novel, is told elliptically, through the histories of four characters who find themselves in a ruined monastery in Italy at the end of World War II. Slowly they reveal themselves and, in the process, the true identity of the English patient -- the unknown survivor of a plane shot down over the Sahara who lies dying in the monastery -- is made clear. Passion fires these stories, whether it is the raw passion between lovers, or the compulsive passion which drives men to explore remote and inhospitable regions, or to pursue across time and countries those they think have wronged them.