Animal House (1978)

JOHN LANDIS Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB.  USA, 1978.  Universal Pictures, Oregon Film Factory, Stage III Productions.  Screenplay by Harold Ramis, Douglas Kenney, Chris Miller.  Cinematography by Charles Correll.  Produced by Ivan Reitman, Matty Simmons.  Music by Elmer Bernstein.  Production Design by John J. Lloyd.  Costume Design by Deborah Nadoolman.  Film Editing by George Folsey Jr. The campus comedy that launched decades of…

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Thoroughly Modern Millie

BBB (out of 5) Julie Andrews is a jazz baby who is determined to be the very definition of “modern”: it’s the roaring twenties and women have a freedom and equality to men that she plans to use to her best advantage, flattening her chest, bobbing her hair, getting a job (as a secretary) and hoping…

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Saturn 3

B (out of 5) Earth is overcrowded and harvesting food has been outsourced to other celestial bodies manned by small crews, including a moon of Saturn where Kirk Douglas and Farrah Fawcett live completely alone while growing hydroponic plants (how that food stays fresh on its way to Earth is anyone’s guess). Harvey Keitel (with a speaking voice dubbed…

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A Rage In Harlem

BBBB.5 (out of 5) A magnificent shoot-out in mid-fifties Mississippi ends with dead bodies everywhere, the one survivor a gorgeous femme fatale (Robin Givens) who makes away with the loot, a trunk full of gold ore.  She heads to Manhattan where she shacks up with a shy, awkward undertaker (Forest Whitaker) and tries to lay low until…

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The Great Santini

BBBB (out of 5) Robert Duvall is a tough Air Force pilot who is brought home from Spain and stationed with his family and four kids in a small town in South Carolina. Frustrated by being overlooked for the promotion he so deserves, Duvall is awkward and harsh with his children, unable to be a…

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Genocide

BBBB (out of 5) An unflinching record of the Holocaust that immediately became the standard upon which the remaining years of films on the same subject would be marked against, and the first film on the subject to win an Oscar.  Arnold Schwartzman takes footage already familiar to those who had their eyes blazed wide…

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The Man With The Golden Arm

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Outstanding look at drug addiction by filmmaker Otto Preminger that is surprisingly not as dated as could be expected. Frank Sinatra is excellent as a recovering junkie who gets out of rehab and goes back to his crummy Chicago neighbourhood, immediately thrust back into the provocations that landed him in trouble the…

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Stripes

BBBB (out of 5) Bill Murray has a hell of a day when he loses his job and girlfriend at once, finding himself without a hope in the world of living a decent, adult life. Thankfully there’s an army recruitment commercial on TV and he realizes it’s his only chance to move in a healthy direction,…

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The Magnificent Seven (1960)

JOHN STURGES Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.  USA, 1960.  The Mirisch Company, Alpha Productions, Alpha.  Screenplay by William Roberts, based on the screenplay Shichinin No Samurai by Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto, Hideo Oguni.  Cinematography by Charles Lang.  Produced by John Sturges.  Music by Elmer Bernstein.  Production Design by Edward Fitzgerald.  Film Editing by Ferris Webster.  Academy Awards 1960.   Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai is remade for the…

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The Great Escape

BBB.5 (out of 5) A huge cast of actors is assembled for this exciting wartime adventure. Steve McQueen heads the group as an American soldier in a Nazi Prisoner-Of-War camp who decides to join in the fun when his fellow inmates, mostly British with some Americans, engineer the perfect escape. Tunnel digging, guard bribing and much…

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Buddy

BBBB (out of 5) Gertrude Davies Lintz (Rene Russo), upon whose autobiography Animals Are My Hobby this beautiful family film is based, is a rich east coast socialite who has populated her mansion and its extensive grounds with animals of all kinds. Inside her home she, along with her warmhearted husband (Robbie Coltrane), raises chimpanzees….

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Wild Wild West

B (out of 5) Flat adventure that never goes anywhere for an interminably long 100 minutes. Will Smith and Kevin Kline play the lead roles originated in the 1960s spy show of the same name, working for President Ulysses S. Grant as Secret Service prototypes to help keep the country safe from threats of upheaval. Danger comes…

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