Breakheart Pass (1975)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

 

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 


PROS –
1) A train is transporting a secret shipment of weapons stolen from U.S. arms manufacturers for sale to the Indians, in return of smuggling gold. The entire operation is concealed as a medical supply cargo for a diphtheria epidemic at the frontier outpost. What they don’t know is among the passenger is an undercover U.S. Secret Service agent.
2) The scenic snowy location with most of the action on the train makes it a unique western adventure. The fight scene on top of the train, while it’s on the high wooden bridge, is breathtaking.
3) For the first one hour, the mysterious death/disappearance of passengers one by one makes is a whodunit mystery.

 

 

CONS –
N/A

 

 

QUOTE –
Driver: I don’t know who you are, but the law says…
Deakin: The law’s who I am.

Stagecoach (1939)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

 

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 


PROS –
1) A group of strangers from different strata of society, traveling from Tonto to Lordsburg, fighting Indians led by Geronimo and also their prejudices.
2) Some groundbreaking cinematography and chase sequences for a 1939 movie.
3) John Ford gave John Wayne possibly one of the best entrance in cinematic history.
4) A pivotal movie in terms screenplay and character development. We can see it’s influence all over western movies.

 

 

CONS –
1) While the movie began as a moral story of social prejudice among strangers, it ended with a cliched shootout.

 

 


QUOTE –
Dallas: Doc, haven’t I any right to live? What have I done?
Dr. Boone: We’re the victims of a foul disease called social prejudice, my child.

Rebecca (1940)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 
PROS –
1) The story of a timid working-class young woman struggling to adjust to her new elite life as the wife of a rich widower, whose first wife (Rebecca) died under mysterious circumstances.
2) Judith Anderson’s intimidating presence as the despicable bitch of a housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers stands out. Audiences will loathe this character of an overly attached housekeeper to her dead employer.
3) While the first half appears as a generic family drama, multiple plot revelations in the third act of the movie will keep audiences at the edge of their seats.
4) Interestingly we never came to know the first or the maiden name of the 2nd Mrs. de Winter played by Joan Fontaine

 
CONS –
N/A

 

 
QUOTE –
Maxim: Either you go to America with Mrs. Van Hopper, or you come home to Manderley with me.
Woman: You mean you want a secretary or something?
Maxim: I’m asking you to marry me, you little fool.

The Night of the Hunter (1955)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 1

 

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 

 
PROS –
1) An ex-preacher & psychopathic serial killer marries a gullible widow to extract $10,000 of stolen money by her executed husband. The plot follows him trying to find the money’s location known only to her two young children.
2) Robert Mitchum as Rev. Harry Powell gave an unforgettable performance as the relentless murdering psychopath.
3) Walter Schumann’s hauntingly melodious songs : “Lullaby” sung by Kitty White. The preacher’s chilling signature theme Leaning on the Everlasting Armsis beautifully terrifying.
4) Excepional cinemaotgraphy using shadows, anthropomorphic and christian symbolisms. The scene where the audience see the dead body of Willa Harper underwater is another achievement.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

 
QUOTE –
Rachel Cooper: You know, when you’re little, you have more endurance than God is ever to grant you again. Children are man at his strongest. They abide.

A Shot in the Dark (1964)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 3/5

 

 

PROS –
1) A bumbling, clumsy, and nincompoop French police officer investigating a murder case leading to hilarious situations.
2) Peter Sellers as Jacques Clouseau gave an excellent performance as expected.

 

 

CONS –
1) The comedy is often slapstick in nature.

 

 
QUOTE –
Clouseau: The murderer was after me. Fortunately, he missed.
Dreyfus: ‘Fortunately’ is not the word!

The Apartment (1960)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 
PROS –
1) A lonely man sacrificing his personal life and comfort in order to climb the corporate ladder until he had enough of it.
2) A romantic story of two broken people.
3) Billy Wilder’s crisp writing and tight screenplay without any boring sub-plot.
4) All in all, it’s a Jack Lemmon’s show playing the lovable and pitiful character of C.C. Baxter.

 

 

CONS –
1) Ruined by unofficial Bollywood remakes like Raaste Kaa Patthar (1972) & Yes Boss (1997).

 

 

QUOTE –
C.C. Baxter: Ya know, I used to live like Robinson Crusoe; I mean, shipwrecked among 8 million people. And then one day I saw a footprint in the sand, and there you were.

Midnight Cowboy (1969)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 0

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 
PROS –
1) A movie documenting a dismaying experience of a naive gigolo from Texas in New York, who befriends a crippled bum.
2) This is possibly one of the most compelling performance from Dustin Hoffman as the penniless limping con-man “Ratso“.
3) ‘Everybody’s Talkinby Harry Nilsson.

 

 
CONS –
1) It’s an art-house drama about the cold-hearted city of New York without any entertainment value.

 

 
QUOTE –
Ratso Rizzo: I’m walking here! I’m walking here!

Carrie (1976)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 1
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 5/5

 

 
PROS –
1) A prank goes too far for a shy telekinetic teenage girl on prom night.
2) The pig-blood prank on clueless Carrie rejoicing her win is one of the most disturbing scenes in a horror movie. The prank itself is more shocking than the prom massacre.
3) Piper Laurie’s performance as Carrie’s abusive Bible-basher mother gives us a better perspective on the mental state of Carrie.
4) Contest Winners – Pino Donaggio.

 

 
CONS –
N/A

 

 

QUOTE –
Carrie: It was bad, Mama. They laughed at me. Hold me, Mama. Please hold me.

Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 
PROS –
1) Powerful acting, great monologues, and brilliant writing. This 3-hrs long black & white courtroom-drama is the epitome of good cinema.
2) The colossal presence of Burt Lancaster in the courthouse as the guilt-ridden Nazi judge. He was silent most of the time but the monologue he delivered in the 3rd act of the movie was impending from the very first minute.
3) The movie depicts post-war German people trying to exonerate their guilty conscience by gaslighting themselves about not knowing what was happening in the concentration camps during the Nazi regime.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

 

QUOTE –
Ernst Janning: My counsel says we were not aware of the extermination of the millions. He would give you the excuse: We were only aware of the extermination of the hundreds. Does that make us any less guilty? Maybe we didn’t know the details. But if we didn’t know, it was because we didn’t want to know.

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)

STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1

 

VERDICT – 4/5

 

 
PROS –
1) A gripping heist-thriller with superb writing. This shows no matter how tense the primary plot is, witty writing should never be compromised.
2) The codenames used by the perpetrators clearly a big influence on future directors in heist movies. e.g. Reservoir Dogs (1992) and most recently Money Heist (2017).
3) Peter Stone’s tight screenplay.

 

CONS –
N/A

 

QUOTE –
Garber: 26 minutes? Your instructions were complicated. The money has to be counted, stacked, tied, transported. It isn’t physically possible.
Mr. Blue: You’d be surprised what’s physically possible.