A New York City narcotics detective reluctantly agrees to cooperate with a special commission investigating police corruption. However, he soon discovers that he's in over his head, and nobody can be trusted.
It's 1933, and eight young women are friends and members of the upper- class group at a private girl's school, about to graduate and start their own lives. The film documents the years ... See full summary »
Life is rough in the coal mines of 1876 Pennsylvania. A secret group of Irish immigrant miners, known as the Molly Maguires, fights against the cruelty of the mining company with sabotage ... See full summary »
Film adaptation of Anton Chekhov's story of life in rural Russia during the latter part of the 19th century. An aging actress Arkidana pays summer visits to her brother Sorin and son ... See full summary »
Jessie is an ageing career criminal who has been in more jails, fights, schemes, and lineups than just about anyone else. His son Vito, while currently on the straight and narrow, has had a... See full summary »
Val Xavier, a drifter of obscure origins arrives at a small town and gets a job in a store run by Lady Torrence, a sex-starved woman whose husband Jabe M. Torrance is dying of cancer ... See full summary »
Eddie Carbone, a Brooklyn longshoreman is unhappily married to Beatrice and unconsciously in love with Catherine, the niece that they have raised from childhood. Into his house come two ... See full summary »
WWII, in a British disciplinary camp located in the Libyan desert. Prisoners are persecuted by Staff Sergeant Williams, who made them climb again and again, under the heavy sun, an artificial hill built right in the middle of the camp. Harris is a more human and compassionate guard, but the chief, S.M. Wilson, refuses to disown his subordinate Williams. One day, five new prisoners arrive. Each of them will deal in a different way with the authority and Williams' ferocity. Written by
Sidney Lumet used three wide-angle lenses: a 24mm, a 21mm, and an 18mm. He deliberately wanted distortion in the faces, even the close-ups. See more »
When Staff Sgt. Williams "introduces" the five prisoners to the hill, he refers to the "north face" but from the shadows, it's clear that it's really the south face. See more »
[Sgt. Wilson has tampered with a prisoner's death certificate]
Regimental Sergeant Major Bert Wilson:
Accidental death. But if there's another accidental death and you're in any way connected to it, staff...
[turns Williams' shot glass upside down]
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Breathtaking - no-nonsense Lumet goes to desert prison.
Stark images, powerful script and performances, and rapid, sharp editing make this film difficult to forget. Director Sidney Lumet stamps his authority on the movie with a style that is gritty, almost documentary -like. The quick cuts are precise, like the snap of the salutes and the bark of the NCO's. Beyond Lumet's towering presence, there is a likeable performance from a young Ossie Davis, an excellent early non-Bond performance from Sean Connery, and Harry Andrews' Sargeant-Major is a remarkable creation - a little man whose job is to destroy these misfits on behalf of a system that will not tolerate individuals.
This remarkable film stays in the mind long after viewing for me, mainly because it announces early on that it is not an easy picture, and like early Frankenheimer, it's aggressive style stands out from the norm. It is a quintessential sixties picture - a time when experiments in style could be taken seriously - not just a smirky in-jokes or cartoonish roller -coaster rides. Exhilarating nonetheless.
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