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DeNiro, Reno, 100mph cars down medieval streets!
I, too, saw this movie because of De Niro, and came away wanting to see more of Jean Reno. One of the best parts of the movie, for me, was the developing friendship and respect between their two characters. The car chase scenes are incredible - racing down impossibly narrow streets in Caanes, Arles, and finally in one of the same tunnels in Paris where Princess Diana was killed. Michael Lonsdale as Jean Reno's old friend was a scene-stealing part - remember him as Inspecteur Claude Lebel in the 1973 "Day of the Jackal"? Lonsdale's made over 100 films - mostly French with only a half-dozen English titles in the list. He explains the term "Ronin" in a wonderfully played scene with DeNiro. I was not at all put off by the infrequent four-letter word - seemed to lend verisimillitude. Look for Sean Bean as the mercenary with a problem. He along with everyone else never put a foot wrong. This is one of those Frankenheimer films that, like "Seven Days in May", would come across just as well in black and white. I bought the DVD, so should you.
The Man and the Challenge (1959)
Every week a new woman and new challenge...
I, too, watched this series as a pre-teen and loved it. What new jet would George Nader fly, what new car would he test - one week he learned "body surfing" from notes left by a researcher who had died in the attempt - thus proving the concept and reinstating the reputation of the dead man. I guess they hired Nader for the way he looked in a T-shirt - biceps and pecs galore. It certainly wasn't for his acting skills. Various biographers place him as one of Rock Hudson's early Hollywood boy friends. If he'd stayed with it, like Hudson, maybe he would've improved on his acting.
Antwone Fisher (2002)
Top notch acting, writing, and direction
Denzel Washington should get a directing nomination and Luke an acting nod. My favorite scene is at the end where his girl friend, with his aunt, must've burned up the phone lines getting together a house full of family members for the most tear-jerking scene in the film. Be ready for some earlier surprises. You won't soon forget "Antwone Fisher."
Independence Day (1983)
Diane Weist steals this movie...
...with her performance as Cliff De Young's battered wife. When I saw it in the Greenwood Theater in North Seattle the whole audience cheered and clapped when David Keith hauled De Young out of the bar and beat the crap out of him for hitting his sister (Weist) - Weist had grabbed the audience so effectively. The only "Independence Day" anybody remembers today is the flying saucer movie, so this film is nearly forgotten - a tragedy.
Distant Drums (1951)
I first saw this film while living in Port Huron, Mich. in the early '60s. What I remember most about it is Max Steiner's music. As overworked as Steiner was in those days he always turned out consistently beautiful, and in this film, thrilling scores.