|Movie Title/Year and Brief Description, Including Great Quotes and Scenes|
The Magnificent Seven (1960)
The film was one of the most popular, shoot-em-up westerns of all-time. The 'updated' remake from producer/director John Sturges was a adaptation of Akira Kurosawa's Japanese film epic The Seven Samurai (1954) about Samurai warrior-swordsmen that defended a 14th century village. In this film, the "Magnificent Seven" defended Mexican peasants against bandit leader Calvera (Eli Wallach).
The film made stars of many of its macho actors, notably Steve McQueen as Vin (and the other six gun-slinging American outlaws: Brad Dexter as Harry Luck, Horst Buchholz as Chico, James Coburn as knife-throwing Britt, Robert Vaughn as Lee, Charles Bronson as wood-cutting Bernardo, and Yul Brynner as Chris Adams). It was also noted for Elmer Bernstein's memorable, Oscar-nominated score.
"If he rides in with no idea of the reception we can prepare for him, I promise you we'll all teach him something about the price of corn."
The final stand-off to defend the village between the "Magnificent Seven" and Calvera's gang.
-- And almost all of the other Bond films to follow! See James Bond film Series-Franchise.
This was the first of the James Bond series of action-packed spy thrillers, and it played a key role in establishing the Bond character as a recognizable icon in popular American contemporary culture. All of the films feature clever opening title sequences and trademark theme music, sexy and beautiful women, great diabolical villains, exotic, international locales, the calm manner and witty, subtle humor and repartee of the mythic hero 007, violence, terrific action sequences, stunts and chase scenes, narrow escapes, gimmicks, and great cinematography.
Its predictable formula starred the debonair, dashing and charming British "Secret Agent 007," James Bond (portrayed over the years by numerous dashing actors), with great taste in clothes, wine, food, and exotic, sexy women.
"That's a Smith and Wesson. You've had your six."
The emergence Venus-like from the water of Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress), an innocent, voluptuous island girl/diver wearing a sexy, white bikini and hunting knife, and carrying giant seashells.
The Great Escape (1963)
This critically-acclaimed and box-office champ from director John Sturges was a classic WWII German POW camp (Stalag Luft North) escape tale (based on a true story). It told about an all-star group of Allied prisoners (American, Canadian, and British), starring Steve McQueen as Allied POW loner Captain Virgil "Cooler King" Hilts, and others including James Coburn, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasence and James Garner.
It was based on Paul Brickhill's 1950 factual account of the true story of 76 Allied servicemen POWs during World War II who escaped from Stalag Luft Nord III in Germany. This "great escape' was the largest mass escape during the war. The war film was enhanced by a stirring musical score by Elmer Bernstein.
"It is the sworn duty of all officers to try to escape. If they cannot escape, then it is their sworn duty to cause the enemy to use an inordinate number of troops to guard them, and their sworn duty to harass the enemy to the best of their ability."
The image of Hilts, in a prison cell, endlessly bouncing a baseball against a wall into his baseball mitt, and his exciting attempt (actually stuntman Bud Ekins) to escape from the Germans by vaulting a stolen German motorcycle over a six-foot barbed-wire/wooden prison fence at the Swiss border.
Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)
Sexploitation films always did well with male audiences in grindhouse theatres. 'King of the Nudies' director Russ Meyer's best and most popular work was this overly dramatic, trashy, semi-fantastical, and violent (but without nudity) film that originally failed at the box office. It was considered hard-core in its day. It starred three buxom go-go dancers by night who went on a murderous desert rampage by day on motorcycles: the blonde Billie (Lori Williams), the masochistic and lesbian-leaning Rosie (Haji), and the villainous, tough, and masculine dominatrix bad-girl Varla (Tura Satana) who wore black leather.
Although a flop and initially reviled by feminists as "juvenile sexism," this cult film has been reassessed as a pro-feminist "female empowerment" epic. In its gender reversal, the female characters were seen as cunning, powerful, supercharged, aggressive and sexually predatory, while the males were either weak, decrepit, sexually impotent or mindless brutes. A timid, bikini-clad woman named Linda (Sue Bernard, Playboy's December 1966 Playmate) was drugged, kidnapped and taken hostage-captive after witnessing the karate-chopping, back-crunching murder of her cleancut racer boyfriend Tommy (Ray Barlow) in the salt flats.
The scene at a gas station when Varla memorably growled at the dumb attendant when he said he wanted to 'see' America while looking at her chest: "You won't see much of it lookin' there, Columbus!"
The finale included the scene of Varla throwing Rosie's switchblade knife a long-distance into the back of mini-skirted Billie as she walked away and told them she was leaving the gang. Also, Linda ran over Varla with her sportscar.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966, It.) (aka Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo)
This western was the third and final installment (but actually a prequel) in under-rated Italian director Sergio Leone's The Man with No Name epic trilogy. It is perhaps the best-known "spaghetti western" of all-time. The film's opening title sequence included a 20 minute introduction to the three main characters: Tuco "the Ugly" (Eli Wallach), Setenza "the Bad" (Lee Van Cleef), and Joe "the Good" or "Blondie" (Clint Eastwood). 'The Man with No Name' was Eastwood's star-making role, after he made appearances in the previous A Fistful of Dollars (1964) and For a Few Dollars More (1965). Elements of his character could be found in his later anti-hero cop "Dirty" Harry Callahan character in Dirty Harry (1971).
As with Leone's other westerns, this film was viciously violent and machismo in tone, but buoyed by the classic, instantly-recognizable, twanging Ennio Morricone score. With very little dialogue, lots of closeups, and vast widescreen landscapes, the film's plot, set during the Civil War, concerned the acquisition of a treasure chest of $200,000 in stolen Confederate gold buried in a grave at a faraway location. All three of the main characters, basically amoral, anti-social bounty hunters, outlaws, and murderers, were forced to form an uneasy partnership or alliance, leading to the film's climactic graveyard shootout in which the opportunistic desperados found themselves facing off one last time for the fortune.
"When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk."
"You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend. Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig."
The opening credits sequence to introduce the main characters, and the final cemetery shoot-out scene.
The Professionals (1966)
Writer/director Richard Brooks' big-budget ensemble western was one of the most exciting action-adventure westerns of all time. It starred Lee Marvin as munitions expert Henry "Rico" Fardan - the leader of a four-man mercenary team (including Burt Lancaster as dynamiter Bill Dolworth, Robert Ryan as horse specialist Hans Enrengard, and Woody Strode as tracker/longbow expert Jake Sharp) into Mexico on a dangerous mission to rescue a wealthy industrialist's ransomed or 'kidnapped' wife (the beautiful Claudia Cardinale) from Mexican rebel kidnappers (headed by Jack Palance as guerrilla leader Jesus Raza, "the bloodiest cutthroat in Mexico"), for Texas railroad tycoon/millionaire Joe Grant (Ralph Bellamy).
At film's end, a character reversal was revealed - Maria actually loved the Mexican outlaw and the "professionals' abandoned their "bad deal" mission as Rico explained to Grant: "We made a contract to save a lady from a nasty old kidnapper. Who turns out to be you" - they allowed Maria to leave with Raza.
"So what else is on your mind besides hundred-proof women, 'n' ninety-proof whiskey, 'n' fourteen-carat gold?"
"The question is, Who are the good guys?"
- "We both made a bad deal, Mr. Grant. You lose a wife and we lose 10,000 dollars apiece."
The assault on Raza's compound.
(chronological, by film title)
Intro | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10
Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13 | Part 14 | Part 15