Documentary on Dennis Hopper (made as the film-maker was editing The Last Movie) in which Hopper reveals himself, at best, to be the Iggy Pop of American cinema and, at worst, a phoney with the demeanour and glare of Charles Manson.
Sam Peckinpah is the most Homeric of American filmmakers, as the clip above from Major Dundee shows. There’s a great line in the film when Dundee (Charlton Heston) says of ‘confederate renegade’ Captain Tyreen (Richard Harris): ‘He is corrupt; but I will save him.’
Rossellini’s film is great, but as in Rome, Open City, one can't help thinking if his tender portraits of the Italian war experience don’t conceal the fact that Italians were responsible with their several wars of aggression for their own suffering and downfall.
Joseph Losey’s noir with a lot of potential concerning a youth who seeks to revenge his own humiliation and that of his father only to discover things are not so black and white but which turns into a rather uninteresting fable about generational conflict.
Walter Hill’s hugely enjoyable film presents a disintegrating and depraved New York City and is inspired by Xenophon’s Anabasis, the attempt by 10,000 Greek mercenaries to return home to Greece after their failed mission to overthrow the Persian emperor.
Are we really supposed to buy the apotheosis of a heroin dealer, his elevation to the status of a black rebel and business pioneer? The worst type of Hollywood hokum. A pity, because there is an interesting story to tell here – about the proliferation of drug culture in American cities, its connection to the Vietnam war and so on. Podgy Russell Crowe, who plays the crusading cop in the film, looks remarkably like Ricky Gervais.
Don Siegel’s film is dedicated to the FBI and its crusade against ‘trigger-happy punks’, but you still end up finding the robbers more interesting and entertaining than the cops. Mickey Rooney is miscast as the eponymous Baby Face Nelson.
Robert Wise’s outrageously plotted film noir. Lawrence Tierney plays the psychotic killer, though more interesting are the mental foibles of the characters played by Claire Trevor, Elisha Cook Jr and Audrey Long.