|Movie Title/Year and Brief Description, Including Great Quotes and Scenes|
Death Wish (1974)
And all of the sequels: Death Wish II (1982), Death Wish 3 (1985), Death Wish 4: The Crackdown (1987), and Death Wish V: The Face of Death (1994)
In director Michael Winner's exploitative, urban crime and vigilante revenge thriller, after the brutal lethal attack on his wife Joanna (Hope Lange) and adult married daughter Carol Toby (Kathleen Tolan) in their NY apartment, soft-spoken and liberal architect-husband Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson) was determined to seek revenge for his wife's death, without hesitation, upon various thugs and muggers that preyed upon him and other city-dwellers. Kersey was judge, jury, and executioner in each instance of carnage and assassination - cooly and wordlessly dispatching his attackers with a .32 caliber revolver, and becoming a folk hero as a result when the NYPD appeared ineffectual.
"Goddamn rich c--t, I kill rich c--ts!"
"Nothing to do but cut and run, huh? What else? What about the old American social custom of self-defense? If the police don't defend us, maybe we ought to do it ourselves."
The Longest Yard (1974) (aka The Mean Machine)
Robert Aldrich's crude, macho and tough football-in-prison film, one of the best sports films ever made, told about how former NFL MVP pro football quarterback Paul Crewe (Burt Reynolds) aka ‘Wrecking Crewe,’ jailed for two to five years (for assault, theft, drinking while driving, and resisting arrest), was recruited by the hypocritical, iron-fisted, and sadistic prison warden Hazen (Eddie Albert) to assemble a group of prisoners into a football team (dubbed the "Mean Machine") to play an exhibition game against a team of brutal prison guards. It was revealed that anti-hero Crewe had been disgraced seven years earlier in a point-shaving scandal. The film's final game was a classic "losers-become-winners" (or misfit inmates vs. the system) battle. Its gritty realism was aided by its on-location shooting at Georgia State Penitentiary, with extras provided by actual guards and inmates, and actual former NFL pro players.
"All I'm saying is that you could've robbed banks, sold dope, or stole your grandmother's pension checks, and none of us would have minded. But shaving points off of a football game? Man, that's un-American."
"I think I broke his f--kin' neck."
"...you spend fourteen years in this tank, and you begin to understand that you've only got two things left they can't sweat out of you or beat out of you - your balls - and you better hang onto them because they're about the only thing you're gonna have when you get out of here."
The 45-minute long football game in the third-act finale.
Hard Times (1975) (aka The Streetfighter)
Machismo, weather-beaten-faced, stoic tough-guy Charles Bronson starred as broke drifter and bare-knuckle streetfighter Chaney with an unknown past in writer/director Walter Hill's brutal action drama (his directorial debut film). Set in Depression-era New Orleans, he partnered with gambling-addicted, fast-talking and ever-smiling boxing promoter and con-man Spencer 'Speed' Weed (James Coburn) and opium-addicted 'doctor' Poe (Strother Martin) in order to make a living by fighting in back-alleys. The only female character in the film was hard-hearted, part-time hooker Lucy Simpson (Jill Ireland, Bronson's real-life wife), hard-edged Chaney's long-suffering girlfriend.
"There's no reason about it. Just money."
- "I suppose you've been down the long, hard road?"
The well-choreographed gritty bouts between formidable fighter Chaney and Jim "Skinhead" Henry (Robert Tessier), fought in a multi-storied metal-caged bullpen, and later, between Chaney and the gangsters' 'champion' from Chicago named Street (Nick Dimitri) in a warehouse.
Also Rollerball (2002)
Director Norman Jewison's film's title referred to an ultra-violent, extreme sports game in the dystopic year 2018 - a gladitorial competition staged in a circular arena for blood-lusting mass audiences that was similar to rugby, basketball, wrestling, a gigantic pinball machine, roller-derby and motocross. The nasty brutality of the game was highlighted in many of the film's scenes, including its opening. James Caan starred as popular star Houston player Jonathan E., who rebelled against repressive elite corporate forces (led by sinister Energy Corporation executive Bartholomew (John Houseman)) when pressured to retire, and as rewarding compensation given beautiful Ella (Maud Adams). Although there was a individual vs. corporate rule parable in the sci-fi film, its emphasis was upon the aggressive competition found in the games.
"It's not a game a man is supposed to grow strong in, Jonathan."
"They're afraid of you, Jonathan. All the way to the top, they are."
"Corporate society takes care of everything. And all it asks of anyone, all it's ever asked of anyone ever, is not to interfere with management decisions."
"No substitutions, no penalties, and no time limit."
The final World Championship game pitting Houston against New York, played to the death, with the crowd chanting for the last man standing: "Jonathan!" as he circled through the carnage in the arena. The film ended with a distorted freeze-frame shot of him skating toward the camera.
And all of the Rocky series sequels: Rocky II (1979), Rocky III (1982), Rocky IV (1985), Rocky V (1990), and Rocky Balboa (2006)
Screenwriter and major star Sylvester Stallone's phenomenally successful, uplifting, "sleeper" film told about a lowly, simple-minded, Philadelphia working-class Italian hero named Rocky Balboa, who was a good-natured individual that lacked basic intelligence, but displayed gutsy, optimistic perseverance while fighting for his dignity: "His whole life was a million-to-one shot." He boxed the heavyweight champion of the world Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) and unbelievably went the distance under the direction of wily fight manager Mickey (Burgess Meredith).
This most accessible, popular and identifiable of the many Rocky films was enhanced by Bill Conti's memorable, dynamically-triumphant fanfare (Rocky's Theme song: "Gonna Fly"). It told about the rise of a small-time, has-been, underdog Philadelphia boxer against insurmountable odds in a big-time bout, with the emotional support of a shy, hesitant, loving girlfriend named Adrian (Talia Shire).
"All I wanna do is go the distance."
The film's montage of Rocky's grueling early morning workout and training accompanied by the rousing song "Gonna Fly" Rocky - at dawn, he sprinted beneath an overhead train, made another run through the City of Brotherly Love's streets and marketplaces, punched a bag, did one-armed pushups, took punches to his mid-section, executed endless situps, pounded more slabs of beef, and sprinted along the city's waterway. He dashed (and flew) up the endless steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, taking many steps with each leap. He turned and faced the panorama of the city, with his hands triumphantly raised in the air.
Slap Shot (1977)
Director George Roy Hill's irreverently funny and bloody sports film (with a screenplay by Nancy Dowd), one of the best ever made, starred Paul Newman as aging, hockey star Reggie Dunlop, who was appointed player/coach of The Charlestown Chiefs of the Federal Hockey League, a failing minor league team in a failing Pennsylvania steel-mill town. The film was noted for its rampant profanity, adolescent behavior, nudity, and on-ice rough-house violence in order to save the franchise, mostly delivered up by The Hanson Brothers trio (Jeff, Steve, and Jack, played by Jeff & Steve Carlson and David Hanson) who wore black-framed coke-bottle glasses. The film reflected the late 70s era of diminishing masculinity.
"I may be bald, but at least I'm not chickens--t."
"The fans are standing up to them. The security guards are standing up to them. The peanut vendors are standing up to them. And by golly, if I could be down there, I'd be standing up to them, too."
Ned Braden's (Michael Ontkean) on-ice strip tease, and the hockey action with the Hansons beating up on their opponents.
Animal House (1978) (aka National Lampoon's Animal House)
Outrageousness prevailed in the Delta fraternity house (at Faber College) in director John Landis' classic frat-house, gross-out comedy starring Saturday Night Live TV comedian John Belushi in his film debut as animalistic "Bluto" Blutarsky (memorable for the comic, factually-inaccurate line: "Did you say over? Nothing is over until we decide it is. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!... It ain't over now. Cause when the goin' gets tough, the tough get goin'. Who's with me? Let's go. Come on!"). His character exhibited numerous belches and slobbish behavior (such as crushing beer cans on his head) - and he exhibited further grossness in his progress through the cafeteria lunch room counter, piling up food on his tray and sucking down a plate of Jell-O in one gulp - followed by his guess-what-I-am-impersonation of a zit when he punched his cheeks to send food in all directions ("I'm a zit. Geddit?") - and his instigation of a food fight. He also enjoyed a voyeuristic Peeping Tom scene outside the window of self-pleasuring Mandy Pepperidge's (Mary Louise Weller) sorority house causing his ladder to fall backwards.
"I'm a zit! Geddit?"
The peeping-tom striptease scene.
(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