The Paper Chase

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Timothy Bottoms arrives for his first year of Harvard Law and is immediately made a target by a legendary professor (theatrical and film producer John Houseman in his first major film acting role), who treats him with both derision and admiration depending on what the day’s case studies bring. Bottoms makes friends and…

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Up The Sandbox

BBBB (out of 5) Barbra Streisand is great as a New York housewife who is constantly indulging in odd daydreams, some pleasant and some paranoid, about all aspects of her life. Is her husband faithful? What do people think about when they stare at her? Is there something about the crisis in Cuba that she…

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Pennies From Heaven

BBBB (out of 5) The dark days of the Depression are set against the bright lights of Hollywood musicals in this terrific film by Herbert Ross.   Steve Martin plays an unhappy travelling salesman who dreams of opening up his own record shop because he believes that no one knows music like he does. He proves…

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The Devil’s Own

BB (out of 5) Much publicity was given to this Irish-American drama upon its release because of production delays escalating the costs to unreasonable proportions ($90-odd million dollars, ridiculous at the time for a drama without any significant visual effects), including endless changes to the original shooting script and a constantly postponed release date. Unfortunately,…

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Presumed Innocent

BBB.5 (out of 5) Harrison Ford plays a well-respected prosecutor (with a geeky buzz cut) whose girlfriend (Greta Scacchi) is viciously murdered shortly after he has seen her. The fact that he already has a wife (Bonnie Bedelia) spells very bad trouble for him, and he immediately becomes the prime suspect in the case. Raul Julia is…

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The Parallax View

BBBB (out of 5) Terrific paranoid thriller in which Warren Beatty plays a reporter whose work is often looked down upon by his colleagues. After the assassination of a prominent American politician, he begins to notice that reporters present at the murder are also being bumped off one by one. This takes him on an…

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Klute

BBBBB (out of 5) The other fantastic thriller made in 1971 is the perfect feminine companion to The French Connection (and Roy Scheider is in both of them).  Jane Fonda gives the performance of anyone’s lifetime as a street-wise prostitute who hangs around agents’ offices during the day looking for work as a model and actress…

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All The President’s Men

BBBBB (out of 5) Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman are perfectly cast as Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the two reporters for the Washington Post who are both assigned to the break-in of Democratic headquarters at the Watergate hotel in preparation for the 1972 election.  At first the two men have a hard time working together, Bernstein…

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Visions Of Light

BBBB (out of 5) Movies about movies are always entertaining, and this beautiful film about the art of cinematography is no exception. The filmmakers have interviewed a group of cinematographers from recent decades as they talk about the films that have influenced their work and the experiences that they went through on the projects they…

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The Godfather Part II

BBBBB (out of 5) Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo followed the enormous success of The Godfather with this superb sequel, one that instead of cashing in on the success of its predecessor actually surpasses it and tells an even more impressive story. Now that young Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) has taken over the family,…

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The Godfather

BBBBB (out of 5) The masterpiece that started it all. At a level of popularity on par with such other classics like Gone With The Wind and The Sound Of Music, this phenomenally successful epic was responsible for changing the face of cinema in the seventies, plus boosted mafia films to a level of popularity…

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The Godfather Part III

BBBB (out of 5) Sixteen years after we last heard about the Corleone family, they’re back with more mafia drama. Al Pacino continues his role as Michael Corleone, now an aging businessman who has left the mob behind in order to go legitimate.  When he is required to go to Italy to put the vast…

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