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.
Valentine "Snakeskin" Xavier, a trouble-prone drifter trying to go straight, wanders into a small Mississippi town looking for a simple and honest life but finds himself embroiled with problem-filled women.
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 »
World War II, 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 »
[Jacko has defiantly ripped off his uniform]
Sergeant Charlie Harris:
You're going into the Commandant's office dressed like this, lad?
Unless you've got a top-hat, and a bone to put through me nose. That's the way you white folks think we done dress at home.
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Gritty emotional story of men being subjected to ill treatment at a British Army disciplinary camp in the desert. Human drama is of interest to anyone who has been a cog in a corporate machine, not just a veteran. Symbolic of human defiance in the face of rigid rules and inconsiderate authority.
Excellent cast takes every opportunity of limited time frame to give their characters amazing depth. Every character is fully realized and recognizable by anyone who has a few tough life experiences.
Naturally as good as the other actors are, the focus will always be on Connery's screen presence. Here he seems to be portraying his true personality, his face never suited Bond as much. Tough, self respecting and self disciplined sergeant who resolves not to lose his dignity in the face of harsh cruelty. This is an amazing performance, and it's too bad we don't use men like this as role models in modern American society.
As good as the performances are, the best thing about this film is the photography---check out the 360 degree camera movement during the opening sequence. It's a masterpiece which is rare to see even today.
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