Local Hero (1983) Bill Forsyth

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Local Hero (1983)
Written and directed by Bill Forsyth
Produced by David Putnam, Iain Smith
Music by Mark Knopfler
Cinematography by Chris Menges
Warner Bros. DVD (1:51)

“We’ve been invaded by America. We’re all gonna be rich!”

One of the best parts of starting another year of college was catching up with my roommate Mike, talking about the movies we’d seen over the summer. Mike had seen a little movie one summer called Local Hero that sounded interesting. I told him I’d try to track it down, but I never did. 35 years later, I finally saw the film. I suspect Mike’s life has been at least a little bit richer for having seen it; mine, a little poorer.

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The Swimmer (1968) Frank Perry

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The Swimmer (1968)
Directed by Frank Perry, Sydney Pollack (uncredited)
Produced by Roger Lewis, Frank Perry
Cinematography by David L. Quaid
Edited by Sidney Katz, Carl Lerner, Pat Somerset
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
Written by Eleanor Perry, based on a short story by John Cheever
Grindhouse Releasing Blu-ray (1:35)

The Swimmer is in many ways a product of the 60s, yet with the exception of a few techniques (and a few swimsuits) that link it to its era, the film transcends its time, making it as relevant in 2017 as it was nearly 50 years ago. (Speaking of 50, let’s just get this out of the way right now. Burt Lancaster was 53 when the film was made. Remember that when you see him diving into swimming pools wearing swimming trunks and moving around like he’s in his 30s. He looks amazing.)

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Brute Force (1947) Noirvember 2015: Episode 10

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Brute Force (1947) Jules Dassin
(1:38)
Arrow Blu-ray (UK)
(Also available as a Criterion Collection DVD)

The plot of Jules Dassin’s Brute Force is about as simple as it gets: Joe Collins (Burt Lancaster, above right) and a group of his fellow prisoners seek to escape from Westgate Prison, and especially from the sadistic head of security Captain Munsey (Hume Cronyn, above left), who uses inmates as stool pigeons, enabling him to have eyes everywhere. Although a very effective prison story, Dassin swims in the noir pool by engaging us with flashbacks from several of the characters, showing us not only how they wound up in prison, but also the women they long to return to. And of course there’s revenge, deceit, a chance for redemption… all the things that make film noir film noir.

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Run Silent Run Deep (1958) Robert Wise

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Run Silent Run Deep (1958)
Hill-Hecht-Lancaster (United Artists)
Directed by Robert Wise
Produced by Harold Hecht, William Schorr, James Hill
Written by John Gay
Adapted from the novel by Edward L. Beach
Cinematography by Russell Harlan
Edited by George Boemier
Music by Franz Waxman
Kino Lorber Blu-ray
(black-and-white, 1:33)

I find it somewhat odd that I live near Annapolis, Maryland, a place where boats and boating constitute such a huge part of the culture, a strange place for someone who doesn’t like the water or boating. I simply cannot understand the excitement of getting on a boat, sailing, drifting, racing, fishing, etc. It’s just one of those things that’s not part of my DNA.

However, I am fascinated by submarines.

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