|Movie Title/Year and Brief Description, Including Great Quotes and Scenes|
Storywriter/producer/director Michael Cimino's epic about war and friendship was a powerful, disturbing and compelling look at the Vietnam War through the lives of three blue-collar, Russian-American friends in a small steel-mill town before, during, and after their service in the war. The three close, hometown, "macho" working-class, male-bonded Russian-American buddies, who would test their masculinity in war in the airborne division, were leader and sportsman Michael Vronsky (Robert De Niro), gambler Nick (Christopher Walken), and soft-spoken and vulnerable Steven (John Savage).
The film displayed the aftermath of the war and its physical and psychological effects upon the three male participants in the war and those left at home (wives, families, and friends). Only one of the three survived physically intact, but all of them emerged irrevocably changed.
"One shot, one shot."
"You have to think about one shot. One shot is what it's all about. The deer has to be taken with one shot. I try to tell people that - they don't listen."
The contrived, theatrical, and fictional Russian Roulette torture scene, imposed on the American POW's during wartime and played as a game in a Vietnamese gambling den.
Producer/director Francis Ford Coppola's visually beautiful, ground-breaking masterpiece featured surrealistic and symbolic sequences detailing the confusion, violence, fear, and nightmarish madness of the Vietnam War. This war story's screenplay became a metaphorical backdrop for the corruptive, hallucinatory madness and folly of war itself for a generation of Americans. Although the film was flawed by its excesses, an ambiguous and incohesive script, and a baffling ending, it still remains a brilliant evocation of the madness and horrors of war.
The film told about US Army assassin Willard's (Martin Sheen) mission, both a mental and physical journey, to 'terminate' dangerously-lawless warlord and former Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando) who had gone AWOL, become a self-appointed god, and ruled a band of native warriors in the jungle.
The re-released version in 2001, titled Apocalypse Now Redux, added an expanded Playboy Playmates sequence (with nudity) in which protagonist Willard exchanged some of the boat's reserve fuel for several of his randy crew members to have sex with the female entertainers ("the Bunnies").
"You smell that? Do you smell that?...Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for twelve hours. When it was all over I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' dink body. The smell, you know, that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smells (or smelled) like - victory. (A bomb exploded behind him.) Some day, this war's gonna end."
The early morning helicopter raid, with Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries."
North Dallas Forty (1979)
Ted Kotcheff's un-nominated, uncompromising, cynical and brutal expose of NFL pro-football (loosely based on the championship Dallas Cowboys team of the 70s) was one of the most realistic sports films ever made. It starred Nick Nolte as jaded, rebellious North Dallas Bulls wide-receiver Phillip Elliott (based upon semi-autobiographical scripter and former Dallas Cowboys wide-receiver Peter Gent who also wrote the best-selling 1973 unflattering novel), Mac Davis as quarterback Seth Maxwell (paralleling real-life Cowboys quarterback "Dandy" Don Meredith), and G.D. Spradlin as ruthless team coach B. A. Strothers (based upon coach Tom Landry). The gridiron film also starred real-life players, such as John Matuszak. It showcased the dark side of professional football, involving drug use and alcohol (painkillers), racism, sexual perversity, and corporate labor abuses.
"I love your legs. They got your feet at one end and your pussy at the other, and I wanna f--k you."
"Ladies, ever had a quarterback sandwich?"
"Freud says that guns are an extension of your dick, Joe Bob."
The scene of two football players fist-fighting in the locker room to prepare for the game.
The Blues Brothers (1980)
In director John Landis' rock-filled, anarchic musical comedy and road film, John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd starred as recently-released Joliet prison inmates named Elwood and Joliet "Jake" Blues, two loser musicians who resurrected their old blues band. The ex-con renegades, wearing black suits, hats, and shades, were "on a mission" to go on tour to raise $5,000 to keep an orphanage open.
The crowd-pleasing farcical "guy" film told how the brothers were pursued in their Bluesmobile by state police squad cars as they sped 106 miles in their car toward downtown Chicago. There was an incredible jump over an open drawbridge and a spectacular chase through an entire indoor shopping mall in the Chicago area with dozens of crashes through store windows (J. C. Penney's, Toys R Us, etc.).
At the conclusion, the two - driving at 120 mph at times - plowed their vehicle through a flock of pigeons and a crowd of pedestrians and into the lobby of the Richard J. Daley Center municipal building at Daley Plaza. Once they reached their final destination, their car literally collapsed and completely fell apart after they stepped out of it.
"They're not gonna catch us. We're on a mission from God."
The tremendous number of noisy and wasteful multi-car crashes (the largest number in film history), pile-ups, carnage, destroyed buildings and malls.
Harold Ramis' directorial-debut fim was a classic, golf-related comedy (with a free-living slobs vs. uptight snobs theme), with lots of adolescent-style jokes - poop in the pool, drugs, drinking, sex, and nudity. Bill Murray starred as deranged and dim-witted golf-course groundskeeper Carl Spackler at the Bushwood Country Club, who tried to blow up a mischievous gopher enemy - an animatronic gopher named Chuck E. Rodent.
One of the country club's members was the loud-mouthed, uncouth, boorish, and wisecracking nouveau riche Al Czervik (comedian Rodney Dangerfield in his first major film) who continually insulted others with one-liners: "Oh, this your wife? Ooh, a lovely lady. Hey baby, you're all right. You must've been somethin' before electricity, huh?" and: "Hey, you wanna make fourteen dollars the hard way?" Ted Knight portrayed snobby big-shot Judge Smails with his attractive and sexy niece Lacey Underall (Cindy Morgan), and Chevy Chase took the role of insane mysterious playboy golf-pro Ty who made Zen-like pronouncements: ("A flute without holes is not a flute. And a donut without a hole is a Danish" or "You're rather attractive for a beautiful girl with a great body").
"Be the ball."
"Hey, everybody. We're all gonna get laid!"
"You'll get nothing and like it."
"Uh, hello Mr. Gopher. Yeah, it's me, Mr. Squirrel. Yeah, hi, just a harmless squirrel, not a plastic explosive or anything, nothing to be worried about."
The Baby-Ruth candy bar in the swimming pool scene.
The Exterminator (1980)
Writer/producer/director James Glickenhaus' violent action exploitation film was the ultimate followup to the series of Death Wish (1974 and after) films with Charles Bronson, and to Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver (1976). It was filled with non-stop graphic, gory violence and brutality, and had the tagline: "...The Man They Pushed Too Far." Critic Roger Ebert was disturbed by the film: "One of the most cold-blooded and controversial revenge films ever made, this is a sick example of the almost unbelievable descent into gruesome savagery in American movies."
The cult film told of "an exterminator" - a vigilante named John Eastland (Robert Ginty) who was a veteran of the Vietnam War. He and his black vet buddy Michael Jefferson (Steve James) both worked packing crates into trucks. Eastland became angered when Michael was permanently paralyzed (by a metal garden-claw plunged into his spine) by the group of local street muggers and robbers (the Ghetto Ghouls).
Thereafter, Eastland went on a vengeful anti-crime crusade in NYC to weed out all evidences of corruption and lawlessness. In particular, he attacked the Ghetto Ghouls with a flamethrower and an assortment of guns, including an M-16, and then tortured the remaining gang-members. He earned the nickname "The Exterminator" after writing a letter to the local papers. He took the law into his own hands, and often repeated his trademark line to lying criminals: "If you're lying, I'll be back." He also applied mercury to the tips of his bullets to make them more lethal. As a one-man crime squad, he retaliated against the Mafia, pimps, and other street criminals, including degenerate pedophiles. Witty Detective James Dalton (Christopher George) joined in the plot to defeat Eastland.
Examples of extreme gore (off-screen) in this grindhouse film included:
"If you're lying, I'll be back."
The prologue - in a Vietnamese POW camp, in which an American soldier was viciously beheaded (partially) with a machete (in slow-motion) - a tremendous Stan Winston special effect. US POW Michael Jefferson released himself, tore open the Vietcong's throat with a garrotte and helped the others break free.
The massacre of the Ghetto Ghouls, including having the faces of two of the gang-members eaten by rats.
An attack by the mobster's vicious Doberman, which Eastland killed with an electric carving knife.
The chase between gangbanging muggers (after assaulting an elderly woman) in a yellow-red sports-car and Eastland riding a stolen motorcycle.
Director Martin Scorsese's unrelenting, searing biopic and dramatic tragedy was based on the real-life story of an unlovable, stubborn middle-weight boxing champion Jake La Motta (Robert DeNiro) as he struggled to be champion. It chronicled the boxer's own rise and tragic, self-destructive, violent fall. The 1940s boxing champion/bum blindly, obtusely, and stupidly inflicted wounds upon himself (mostly outside the ring in his personal and marital life with sibling rivalry toward his brother/manager Joey (Joe Pesci), obsessive and irrational jealousy, and domestic abuse toward his wife Vickie (Cathy Moriarty)) while he also legally brutalized opponents in the ring.
The dramatic sports film was peppered with colloquial, blasphemous language, four letter words and cursing. Boxing ring scenes were some of the most realistic, visceral, bloody, and brutal yet stylized boxing scenes ever filmed - with sweat and blood spraying out of the ring, devastating blows, and flashing - actually exploding - camera bulbs. The sounds of squashing melons and tomatoes were used for landed punches, along with animal growling and bird shrieks during various violent scenes. Dark Hershey's chocolate was used for blood to heighten the effects.
"Did you f--k my wife?"
"You punch like you take it up the ass."
The visceral fight scenes, both in the ring and domestically.
(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