Text (C) 2014 – Eric Reports
Suspiria – 1977
Italian giallo director Dario Argento’s masterpiece. Girl (Jessica Harper) enrolls in a school for dance, then slowly begins to discover that it’s a cult of witches. (Partially based on a true story.) Blood-red Technicolor rolls off the screen. The extreme style + beautiful camera work and direction – put current horror films to shame.
Magnum Force – 1973
Second of the “Dirty Harry” film series. Detective Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) uncovers a death squad of fanatical cops who execute criminals that slip through the justice system. The absolute flip-side of the first Dirty Harry movie and every bit as good.
Seconds – 1966
A middle-aged businessman finds a second chance for a new life. Sound too good to be true? Nightmarish black & white cinematography by James Wong Howe, bleak, hopeless story by David Ely and razor-sharp direction by John Frankenheimer. Intelligent sci-fi that was way ahead of its time.
Macbeth – 1971
Whoever said Shakespeare was boring, never saw this version of “Macbeth”. Directed by Roman Polanski, a few years after his wife and unborn son were murdered by the “Manson Family” and it shows. Bloody, bloody violence and a foreboding sense of disaster. Polanski said he was only giving the public what was expected of him. Rich, dynamic performance by star Jon Finch.
The Shootist – 1976
Last, best performance by John Wayne as an aging gunfighter dying of cancer. Great all-star cast, Richard Boone is especially good. Don Siegel directs; based on the novel by Glendon Swarthout. Despoite the sad theme, “The Shootist” remains upbeat. A fitting tribute to the Duke, who died from cancer three years later.
My Name is Nobody – 1974
Comedy-western starring Henry Fonda and Terrence Hill. Based on a idea by Sergio Leone. Memorable music composed by Ennio Morricone.
The Manchurian Candidate – 1962
Forget the lame 2004 remake. Returning Korean War POWs all have the same recurring nightmare. What’s the connection? Set against the Cold War-McCarthy Era, this fictional story proves more true every day: how a Communist agent could one day occupy the White House. Frank Sinatra-Lawrence Harvey-Angela Lansbury, all excellent. John Frankenheimer directs, based on Richard Condon’s novel.
Sisters – 1973
Director Brian de Palma’s first horror-suspense film. Story about separated Siamese twins (the Blanchion sisters) both played by Margot Kidder. Which one is the psychotic killer? Loud, pulsating score by the man who composed “Psycho” – Bernard Herrmann.