Ruby Weaver has man trouble: she tries to fix them, so she's stuck herself with a string of losers. Her current lover, Sam Deed, seems different: he's sweet, tender, just in from Dubuque. ... See full summary »
19 year old Brooklyn boy Mike tries to balance a scholarship to NYU and his sophisticated Italian neighborhood roots, as well as a eager-to-marry girlfriend, a proud father and a less lawful transport job. After a Tim McLoughlin's novel.
Bob, a cab-driving serial killer who stalks his prey on the city streets alongside his reluctant protégé Tim, who must make a life or death choice between following in Bob's footsteps or breaking free from his captor.
In Texas in the 1930s, young schoolteacher Novalyne Price meets a handsome, eccentric, interesting young man named Robert Howard. He's a successful writer - of the pulp stories of 'Conan ... See full summary »
Arthur Kennedy had been retired and living in Savannah, Georgia. During a dinner with his daughter and her agent, he asked if there was anything out there for him and the result was his role in this film. See more »
In one sense, "Signs of Life" is a fantasy, full of vibrant photography and off-center characterizations. But it is also grounded in a dramatic sense, with a collection of fantastic actors all providing convincing performances. Aging shipbuilder Owen Coughlin (Arthur Kennedy) is the central focus of the ensemble cast. Every character, regardless of minimal screen-time, feels perfectly fleshed out. It was a real pleasure to watch Vincent D'Onofrio, Beau Bridges and Mary-Louise Parker especially.
"Signs of Life" is a collection of individual short stories, all weaving together to make a surprisingly coherent whole. Mark Malone's script is brilliant in how it manages this without losing interest. But it's entirely possible that an even better film could exist based solely around the Kennedy character. The dialogue really lets you get under the skin to the real human sides of these people. Two elements of the production stand out specifically well. The soundtrack by Howard Shore is understated and engaging. Elliot Davis photographs the film perfectly, using color and light in fascinating and revelatory ways scene after scene. And the direction by John David Coles is also good, giving the right balance to both fantasy and reality.
There's always more than enough to keep the viewer interested, fascinating, and entertained. Something about "Signs of Life" really moved me. I hope it will do the same for you.
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