Paul Newman, all Texan swagger and mesmerising Marlboro sneers, completely redefines the concept of 'iconic' as the eponymous heavy-drinking, skirt-chasing, joy-riding cattleman and self-declared "cold-blooded bastard" in Martin Ritt's 1962 classic. Able support comes from sultry Patricia Neal, suitably green Brandon DeWilde (Shane) and James Wong Howe's perfect black-and-white cinematography.
IN 1966, ROGER CORMAN MADE an offer to young assistant Peter Bogdanovich that the wannabe director couldn't refuse. Corman had two days left to run on a contract with Boris Karloff, and the challenge was this: use that time to film 20 minutes of new material with the veteran actor, edit in another 20 minutes of Karloff footage from Corman's The Terror, shoot another 40 minutes with other actors, then stitch the lot together. The result was Bogdanovich's first and, arguably, greatest movie.
Filmed in '76, the conclusion to Roman Polanski's evil-rooms trilogy returns to the urban paranoia and fracturing psyches of Repulsion and Rosemary's Baby. Polanski—who'd just taken up residence in France—himself plays the vulnerable, mouse-like new occupant of a forlorn Paris apartment, whose creeping schizophrenia grows as he feels himself falling under the influence of the previous resident, a female suicide victim. A perverse slow-dazzle.
One of the turkeys which derailed Peter Bogdanovich's career. Hubris-fuelled on the back of runaway success, he cast other half Cybill Shepherd as the Henry James heroine who flits around 19th-century Europe falling in love and dying. The costumes are fine, but there's no feel for what was anyway a mediocre James story, and no momentum. Cybill's a fish out of water. A pretty folly.
First sequel to The Ipcress File, with Michael Caine as blockbuster spy author Len Deighton's bespectacled kitchen-sink Bond, Harry Palmer. Made in 1966, it doesn't have that first film's grubby chic, and the convoluted double-crossing gets almost impossible to follow, but there's much to enjoy, not least Berlin in all its drab Cold War glory, and Caine's sullen, funny, unblinking cool as he travels there to unravel the story surrounding a Soviet officer wishing to defect.
Written by Coppola but directed painfully slowly by Jack Clayton, this expensive adaptation of Fitzgerald's novel looks lovely but doesn't understand real tragedy (quite important re: Fitzgerald). Robert Redford fails to suggest any depth of broodiness, while Mia Farrow is almost laughably dotty, and the passion is limp. Still, a Nelson Riddle score, some nice shirts, and top vintage cars.
READ OUR REVIEW OF THE 2013 FILM ADAPTATION OF THE GREAT GATSBY HERE.
Dennis Hopper is Huey Walker, a '60s radical who's been wanted by the Feds for decades. When he's captured in the late '80s, repressed, clean-cut young FBI man Kiefer Sutherland lands the job of escorting him to trial through Reagan-era America, but Hopper turns the tables, and teaches him how to drop out. Your average, idealistic, pan-generational odd-couple road movie, but Hopper, spoofing his Easy Rider persona, is a howl.
The wildly erratic Fred Schepisi (Fierce Creatures, Last Orders) here hits sludgy middle-ground with the outré screwball story of goofy garage mechanic Tim Robbins, who falls in love with quantum physicist, er, Meg Ryan and, with the aid of kindly Uncle Albert Einstein (Walter Matthau), manages to snare her away from her bloodless sociologist fiancé Stephen Fry. Tired and uninspired.
From 1992, good guy Brad Pitt and bad guy Gabriel Byrne are transported to another dimension (which just happens to be a Ralph Bakshi cartoon) where they vie for the affections of an animated version of Kim Basinger. It's Roger Rabbit without the jokes: dumb, dull, dire, and a criminal waste of money.
Gung-ho navy flyboys Willem Dafoe and Brad Johnson, disillusioned with America's half-hearted prosecution of the war in Vietnam, attempt to hurry the conflict to a conclusion by taking it upon themselves to bomb Hanoi. Hilarious macho nonsense from John Milius at his most demented, in other words.