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Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Successfully communicates a story you'll remember.
Paul Newman is Cool Hand Luke in "Cool Hand Luke", the story of a rebel prisoner with "rabbit in his blood". This movie delivers excellent performances from Newman (always great) and many supporting players, notably George Kennedy's Oscar turn as Luke's comrade Dragline. Paul Newman's character Luke Jackson is someone that people feed off of. The prison guards feed off humiliating him. His fellow prisoners feed off his resolve and gameness for every challenge. And we see, as the movie progresses, how they will feed off his legend long after he is gone..."Cool Hand Luke" manages to be funny, touching, and shocking all at once, and boy, you will not forget those images in a hurry. There is no "failure to communicate" here.
The Candidate (1972)
Thought-provoking look at politics and media.
The Candidate, 1972, was a film that really made me think. It takes you through Bill McKay's campaign for California senator - and shows how an idealistic and inexperienced young man gets trapped by the media system. Most plot summaries will tell you that it is about how he gives the political system a kick - but I found that it was really more about how he became lost in it. It seemed that it was more of an 'outside' movie than an 'inside' one - there is always some mystery about what is going on inside everyone's heads. Robert Redford is really very good here as McKay - watch for a speech he makes to himself in the car. Peter Boyle also gave a thought-provoking performance, as Bill McKay's smooth-talking campaign manager. A sad commentary on the way things work. Very relevant. I recommend it for fans of Robert Redford or anybody interested in politics or media. 7 out of 10.
The Way We Were (1973)
A character study of romance and personality.
The Way We Were, a romance starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford, is a moving character study. Katie Morosky and Hubbell Gardiner are perfect opposites - and from their college days are intrigued with each other. What develops into a delightful romance proves to be the most difficult relationship either of them will ever have; they are just too different. Katie's personality refuses to let her stop fighting the world - Hubbell's will not allow him to fight. I thought Barbra Streisand was marvelous as the political firebrand Katie - Robert Redford's character, I think, forced his acting to be more reserved, but on the whole it was splendidly done. I left the movie feeling respect for the characters, and a numbing sadness at how things can sometimes refuse to work out - because for two people this intriguing, you want them to - oh, you want them to work out.
Out of Africa (1985)
A masterpiece of the love story, I loved Out of Africa.
I loved Out of Africa. It is a moving story with fascinating and haunting characters, a beautifully filmed movie, and I loved it. The plot revolves, really, around the love story - and a beautiful love story it is. I could feel myself falling in love with Denys as Karen does. I was thrilled by the way both of their characters developed. When they fought, I was torn between a desire to slap Karen, and an achingly sad knowledge that, in a way, she was right. The theme music is still running through my head...My mother was right. Meryl Streep is incredible. And I was right - Robert Redford is wonderful. Watch this movie and enjoy it: it is a mastery of the love story.
The Natural (1984)
A delightful fable pulled off believably and
I really enjoyed watching this movie. It seems like the very embodiment of the Hollywood cliche - a noble hero overcoming difficulty to achieve his dream...but somehow, The Natural manages to pull it off in a very un-glamorized way. Take the hero - he's 35 years old! It just seems refreshing not to always have a dashing young fellow of twenty as the main character. And then - an ulcerated stomach? What kind of an obstacle is that? Not a Hollywood one, I'll tell you that. This hero is actually believable - and Robert Redford plays him handsomely. He makes Roy Hobbs a real person, and a gentleman. I recommend The Natural for any Robert Redford fan, baseball fan - and anyone who just wants to see a neat, entertaining movie with a main character you can really root for.
A reminder of how film-making can be an art: acting, screenplay, score and filming all.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was, for Hollywood-skeptical me, a reminder of how film-making can be an art. It is just so beautifully crafted! Paul Newman and Robert Redford shine as the title characters - I could not take my eyes off of them on the screen. The supporting cast plays off them wonderfully, and the screenplay, full of wit and charisma, is the best I've ever seen. There are some wonderful filming sequences in this movie, used innovatively to compliment the scenes and plot. The score is memorable - not just sweeping soundtrack stuck into the frames of a western, it is really music, beautiful and creative in of itself. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a poignant classic - they don't make 'em like this anymore.
The Sting (1973)
The Sting takes its audience for a delightful ride.
What an exciting movie! It is a treat to see Paul Newman and Robert Redford act together in The Sting - their chemistry is really cool. When I see them together on the screen, it just looks right. They both give great performances, Redford as the young grifter Johnny Hooker and Newman as Henry Gondorff, the experienced con man he teams up with to execute 'The Sting': the big con of a lifetime. Newman, especially, has some very memorable scenes. The Joplin ragtime score and the 'chaptered' setup of the plot are both wonderful compliments, and, like the actors, they are just right for the film. If you watch this movie (I recommend it for almost anyone), make sure to pay close attention, because the intricate plot and the specialized vocabulary of the script may give you a run for your money. The Sting takes its audience on a delightful ride.