The Mask of Zorro

  • Directors: Martin Campbell
  • Producers: David Foster, Doug Claybourne, Executive Producers, Steven Spielberg, Walter F Parkes
  • Writers: Screenplay, John Eskow, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Story, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Randall Jahnson, Characters, Johnston McCulley
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Romance, Western
  • Actors: Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta Jones, Stuart Wilson, Matt Letscher

In 1821, the Mexican Army is on the verge of liberating its country from Spanish colonial rule. In Las Californias the ruthless Spanish Governor, Don Rafael Montero, is about to be overthrown. In a final effort to trap his nemesis, the masked swordsman Zorro (Anthony Hopkins), Montero prepares to execute three innocent townspeople. With assistance from two orphan brothers, Joaquin and Alejandro Murrieta, Zorro releases the prisoners. Zorro rewards the Murrieta brothers with a medallion he wears, and escapes on his horse, Toronado, after cutting a “Z” into Montero’s neck as a warning.

Montero deduces that Zorro is really Don Diego de la Vega, a Spanish nobleman married to Esperanza, the woman Montero loved. Attempting to arrest Diego, a fight ensues. Esperanza is killed while trying to protect Diego. Diego’s house is burned and his infant daughter, Eléna, is taken by Montero to be raised as his own. Diego is imprisoned.

Twenty years later Montero returns to California, looking for Diego in the old prison. Although de La Vega is there, Montero does not recognize him, while several prisoners claim to be Zorro. Diego escapes, intent on killing Montero at a public ceremony for Montero’s return. Diego restrains himself when he sees Eléna (Catherine Zeta-Jones), now a beautiful young lady. Eléna is presented with a bouquet of flowers – Romagnas, native to California – the scent of which she recognizes, although she believes she has never been to California.

The one moment that captured all the advertising and viewer’s attention: When Eléna (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is undressed by the slashing sword of Mexican thief Alejandro Murrieta/Zorro (Antonio Banderas); the view of her opened dress caused his sword blade to pop up, followed by his taking her for a sensuous kiss.[1][2] The scene has been called one of the most erotic film moments of the 1990s.[3][4] In fact, both Catherine Zeta-Jones and Antonio Banderas have admitted to sexual arousal during the filming of this scene,[5] Banderas being aroused by Zeta-Jones’s beauty,[5] and Zeta-Jones being aroused by the very fact that Banderas could strip her by using only his sword and not his hands.[5]

The Elephant Man

  • Directors: David Lynch
  • Producers: Jonathan Sanger, Stuart Cornfeld, Mel Brooks
  • Writers: Screenplay, Christopher De Vore, Eric Bergren, David Lynch, Books, Sir Frederick Treves, Ashley Montagu
  • Genres: Biography, Drama, History
  • Actors: Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller

Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins), a surgeon at the London Hospital, discovers John Merrick (John Hurt) in a Victorian freak show in London’s East End, where he is managed by the brutish Bytes (Freddie Jones). Merrick is so deformed that he must wear a hood and cape when in public. Bytes further claims that his “exhibit” is an imbecile. Treves is professionally intrigued by Merrick’s condition and pays Bytes to bring him to the London Hospital so that he can examine him. He then presents a lecture to his colleagues on Merrick’s disability, dispassionately displaying him as a prize physiological curiosity. Treves draws attention to the oversized deformities of Merrick’s skull; it is his most obvious disability and (as he was so informed by Bytes) also the most life-threatening, as he is compelled to sleep sitting with his head resting upon his knees, as the weight of his skull would asphyxiate him if he were to ever lie down. On Merrick’s return, Bytes beats him so severely that a sympathetic apprentice (Dexter Fletcher) alerts Treves, who attempts to take him back to the hospital. Bytes confronts Treves, accusing him of likewise exploiting Merrick for his own ends, which leads the surgeon to resolve to do what he can to help the unfortunate man.

As the shocked mob backs away, he collapses from illness and exhaustion. Treves, consumed with guilt over Merrick’s plight, takes action against the night porter with the help of Mrs. Mothershead. When the police return Merrick to the hospital, he is reinstated to his rooms. He recovers a little but it is soon clear he is dying from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. As a treat, Mrs. Kemble arranges an evening at the musical theatre, where Merrick is accompanied by his beloved friends: Treves, Mrs Mothershead, Nurse Nora, and HRH The Princess Of Wales. Resplendent in white tie, he rises in the Royal Box to an ovation, having had the performance dedicated to him from Mrs Kemble. That night, back at the hospital, Merrick thanks Treves for all he has done and finishes his model of the nearby church. Imitating one of his sketches on the wall — a sleeping child — he removes the pillows that have allowed him to sleep in an upright position, lies down on his bed and dies, consoled by a vision of his mother.

Legends of the Fall

  • Directors: Edward Zwick
  • Producers: Marshall Herskovitz, William D Wittliff, Edward Zwick
  • Writers: Jim Harrison, Susan Shilliday, William D Wittliff
  • Genres: Drama, Romance, War, Western
  • Actors: Brad Pitt, Anthony Hopkins, Aidan Quinn, Julia Ormond, Henry Thomas

Colonel William Ludlow, sick of the betrayals the United States government has perpetrated on the Native Americans, retires with One Stab, a Native American friend and narrator of the film, along with his hired hand Decker, Decker’s Cree wife, Pet, and their young daughter, Isabel Two, to a remote part of Montana, where he builds a ranch. His wife, Isabel, does not adapt well to the harsh winters and leaves for the East Coast. Colonel Ludlow has three sons: Alfred, the eldest, is responsible and cautious; Tristan is wild and well versed in American Indian traditions; Samuel, the youngest, is educated but naive and is constantly watched over by his brothers.

At age 12, Tristan tries to sneak up and touch a sleeping grizzly bear. The bear awakes and slashes at him, injuring him, but he stabs at the bear’s paw and manages to cut off a claw. The bear limps away.

As the boys grow up, Samuel returns from Harvard with his fiancée, Susannah Fincannon. She finds Tristan’s wild charisma captivating, and she is conflicted over this because she loves Samuel. Before the two can marry, Samuel abruptly tells his family he is leaving for Calgary to join the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and serve The British Empire in the fight against Imperial Germany. Much to their father’s displeasure, Alfred and Tristan go off to war with him.

Tristan finally returns from his world travels during Prohibition, bringing life back to the ranch and his father. He accepts Susannah’s marriage to Alfred, falls in love with and marries Isabel Two, and they have two children. Life seems to settle into an air of normality as Tristan finds solace in his young wife and children. During Prohibition, Tristan becomes involved in small-scale smuggling bootleg liquor and finds himself at odds with the O’Banion brothers, who are also bootleggers. Tristan’s wife is accidentally killed by a corrupt police officer working for the O’Banions and in a fit of agonized grief, Tristan beats the officer to near death and has to plead guilty and serve 30 days in jail. Susannah visits, but Tristan refuses her advances and insists she “go home to Alfred,” her rightful husband. After his release from jail, Tristan and his father-in-law Decker kill those responsible for Isabel Two’s death, including one of the O’Banion brothers. Susannah then commits suicide out of guilt and inner conflicts. When the remaining O’Banion brother comes for Tristan, he and the corrupt Sheriff are shot and killed by Colonel Ludlow and Alfred as Tristan attempts to protect his father. Alfred is finally forgiven by, and reunited with, his father and brother. Tristan, knowing he will be blamed for the men’s disappearance, leaves for the mountain country after asking Alfred to watch over his children. The film skips ahead, showing a rundown cemetery with the gravestones of everyone in Tristan’s life, all who died before him. The movie ends with Tristan as an old man fighting a grizzly bear which is missing a claw. As One Stab says, ‘It was a good death.”

Beowulf

  • Directors: Robert Zemeckis
  • Producers: Steve Bing, Jack Rapke, Steve Starkey, Robert Zemeckis
  • Writers: Neil Gaiman, Roger Avary
  • Genres: Animation, Action, Adventure, Fantasy
  • Actors: Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Angelina Jolie, Crispin Glover, Robin Wright Penn, John Malkovich, Brendan Gleeson, Alison Lohman

Set in Denmark, the film opens with King Hrothgar (Anthony Hopkins) celebrating the construction of his new mead hall, Heorot. The noise of the celebration echoes into Grendel’s (Crispin Glover) cave and torments him. In a mad fury, Grendel breaks into the hall and kills many people. After being challenged by Hrothgar, Grendel runs off into the night. Back at his lair, Grendel is admonished by his unseen mother for attacking the humans and possibly inviting retribution. She calms down after Grendel tells her that he did not harm Hrothgar.

Meanwhile, Hrothgar closes Heorot and proclaims that he will give half of his kingdom in gold to any man who can defeat Grendel. Beowulf (Ray Winstone) and his men arrive by ship from Geatland and convince Hrothgar to reopen Heorot. Beowulf’s credibility is challenged by Unferth (John Malkovich), the King’s most trusted advisor. Beowulf proceeds to tell a tall tale of how he slew several sea serpents in a past adventure to convince the people of Heorot that he is capable of killing Grendel. Hrothgar offers Beowulf his Golden drinking horn, a trophy taken after a battle with the dragon Fáfnir, in the event that Grendel is destroyed.

Beowulf and the dragon fall to the shores far below. The dragon reverts to the golden man of Beowulf’s dream, whom Beowulf realizes is his son. Beowulf then dies in Wiglaf’s arms. The latter, still refusing to believe his friend is anything but a hero, finally listens to Beowulf’s confession.

Dracula

  • Directors: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Producers: Francis Ford Coppola, Fred Fuchs, Charles Mulvehill
  • Writers: Novel, Bram Stoker, Screenplay, James V Hart
  • Genres: Horror, Romance
  • Actors: Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves, Richard E Grant, Cary Elwes, Billy Campbell, Sadie Frost, Tom Waits

The film begins in a prologue, where Vlad III the Impaler (Oldman) fights for Romania as a knight in the Order of the Dragon. He defeats an overwhelming Turkish invasion in 1462. Upon returning home, he finds his beloved wife Elisabeta (Ryder) dead, having committed suicide upon hearing the false reports of his death in battle. Enraged at the notion of his wife being eternally damned as a suicide, of which he is informed by a priest (Hopkins), Dracula desecrates his chapel and renounces God, declaring that he will rise from the grave to avenge Elisabeta with all the powers of darkness.

Over four centuries later in 1897, Jonathan Harker (Reeves), a law firm clerk, travels to Transylvania to arrange the transfer of Carfax Abbey in London, Count Dracula’s newest real estate acquisition. At the castle, full of bizarre, unnatural features and shadows that move by themselves, Harker meets Dracula, a wrinkled, pale old man in brilliant red robes. During the final signing of the real estate papers, the Count caresses a picture of Harker’s fiancée Mina Murray (Ryder), the reincarnation of his long dead wife, Elisabeta. Dracula then sets sail on the ship Demeter to England, leaving Harker captive by Dracula’s insatiable and bloodthirsty Brides (Monica Bellucci, Michaela Bercu and Florina Kendrick), who systematically drink his blood and have intercourse with him, leaving him too weak to escape.

In the castle, in the very chapel where he renounced God, Dracula lies dying. His body ravaged by age, he rebuffs Mina’s attempts to pull the knife from his heart. They share a last kiss, as the candles adorning the chapel miraculously light, and the desecrations he committed on the altar are repaired. As he asks Mina to give him peace, she shoves the knife through his heart and decapitates him. Mina then looks hopefully up at the vast ceiling, where a painting of Vlad and Elisabeta is shown of them rising, together, up to heaven.

Red Dragon

  • Directors: Brett Ratner
  • Producers: Dino De Laurentiis
  • Writers: Screenplay, Ted Tally, Novel, Thomas Harris
  • Genres: Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Edward Norton, Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes, Harvey Keitel, Emily Watson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Mary Louise Parker, Anthony Heald, Frankie Faison

In his Baltimore townhouse, famous local psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter hosts a dinner party. The main subject of conversation over dinner is the disappearance of a local musician who was criticized for playing several wrong notes at a concert that Lecter attended. He then serves what the guests see as a delicious meal.

After dinner, Lecter is visited by Will Graham, a young gifted FBI agent, with whom he has been working on a psychological profile of a local serial killer. Edible body parts of the victims, such as the kidneys and liver were removed from the bodies after being killed, and Graham is convinced that the killer is actually a cannibal. During the consultation and brainstorming session, Graham discovers evidence implicating Dr. Lecter in the murders, shortly before Lecter returns and attacks Graham, wounding and nearly killing him before Graham resists and subdues him.

Lecter is subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment in an institution for the criminally insane while Graham, severely traumatized by the experience, retires from the FBI.

Years later, another serial killer appears. Nicknamed the Tooth Fairy, he stalks and murders seemingly random families during sequential full moons. Hoping to speed things up and capture the killer before his next attack, Special Agent Jack Crawford seeks out Graham and pleads for his assistance. Graham, believing the death of another family to be an unbearable burden on his conscience, reluctantly agrees. After checking over the crime scenes, with only minimal insight, he comes to the realization that most of his previous successes were achieved due to the insightful collaborations of Dr. Lecter, and concludes that he must once again visit Lecter and seek his help in capturing the Tooth Fairy.

It is learned in Hannibal that Lecter chose his victims based on his belief that they were rude in some manner. In the film, it is mentioned that he had attended the concert in which the missing musician had played the wrong notes, ruining the piece. This falls directly into Lecter’s definition of someone being rude. Since Red Dragon was written before Hannibal, this was also not mentioned in the book.

Alexander

  • Directors: Oliver Stone
  • Producers: Moritz Borman, Jon Kilik, Iain Smith
  • Writers: Oliver Stone, Christopher Kyle, Laeta Kalogridis
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Biography, Drama, Romance, War
  • Actors: Colin Farrell, Angelina Jolie, Val Kilmer, Rosario Dawson, Jared Leto, Anthony Hopkins

The film is based on the biography of Alexander the Great, the Macedonian King who conquered Asia Minor, Persia and Ancient India. Shown in the movie are some of the key moments of Alexander’s youth, his invasion of the mighty Persian Empire and his death. It also outlines his early life, including his difficult relationship with his father, Philip II of Macedonia (Val Kilmer), the unification of the Greek city-states under the League of Corinth[3] and the conquest of the Persian Empire in 331 BC. It also details his plans to reform his empire and the attempts he made to reach the end of the world.

The storyline begins in 356 BC with Ptolemy I Soter (Anthony Hopkins), who narrates throughout the film. With a lavish budget, the film depicts Alexander’s daily life and the strained relationship between his parents. Alexander grows up with his mother Olympias (Angelina Jolie) and his tutor Aristotle, where he finds interest in love, honour, music, exploration, poetry and military combat. His relationship with his father is destroyed when Philip marries Attalus’s niece, Eurydice.

After Philip is assassinated, Alexander becomes king of Macedonia and the rest of Greece. Having briefly mentioned his punitive razing of Thebes and burning of Persepolis, Ptolemy gives an overview of Alexander’s west-Persian campaign, including his declaration as the son of Zeus by the Oracle of Amun at Siwa Oasis, his great battle against the Persian Emperor Darius III in the Battle of Gaugamela and his eight-year campaign at Hydaspes against Porus in India.

The film also focuses intensively on the close and warped relationship that Alexander shared with his mother Olympias, even though he never saw her after embarking on his long campaigns.

Hannibal

  • Directors: Ridley Scott
  • Producers: Ridley Scott, Dino De Laurentiis
  • Writers: Screenplay, David Mamet, Steven Zaillian, Novel, Thomas Harris
  • Genres: Crime, Thriller
  • Actors: Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, Ray Liotta, Giancarlo Giannini, Zeljko Ivanek, Frankie Faison, Francesca Neri

The film takes place 10 years after the events depicted in The Silence of the Lambs. FBI Agent Clarice Starling (Julianne Moore) is disgraced after a botched drug raid resulting in the deaths of five people, including HIV-positive drug dealer Evelda Drumgo (Hazelle Goodman), who was shot by Starling while holding a baby — and threatening Starling with a “whispering death” (MAC-10). Though Starling had tried to abort the raid before a violent situation developed, another officer charged ahead and precipitated the gun battle with Drumgo and her bodyguards, and Starling is unjustly blamed for the mess by Justice Department official Paul Krendler (Ray Liotta), whose romantic advances Starling had rejected years earlier.

As a result of the publicity surrounding the drug raid, Starling and her past connection to escaped serial killer Hannibal Lecter come to the attention of one of Lecter’s victims, Mason Verger (Gary Oldman), a wealthy, sadistic pedophile. Verger, who was left horrifically disfigured and paralyzed by his encounter with Lecter, still seeks revenge for what occurred. He uses his political influence to have Starling assigned to the Lecter case once again in the hope that this will draw Lecter out of hiding.

Verger claims to have new information about Lecter (an X-ray) which he is willing to disclose only to Starling, and she is sent to his estate to collect it and interview him. Upon her arrival, Verger tells Starling about his history with Lecter. They met when Lecter was assigned by a court as Verger’s therapist after Verger’s conviction on multiple counts of child molestation. Verger, the only one of Lecter’s victims to survive, is now bedridden and confined to his secluded mansion, but with the assistance of his personal physician Cordell (Zeljko Ivanek) and other minions he is pursuing an elaborate scheme to capture, torture and kill Lecter.

Next we see Starling outside the house, looking for Lecter, who escaped just before the police cars arrived. Both her hands are intact.

The Wolf Man

  • Directors: Joe Johnston
  • Producers: Scott Stuber, Rick Yorn, Mary Parent, Benicio del Toro
  • Writers: David Self, Andrew Kevin Walker
  • Genres: Horror, Thriller
  • Actors: Benicio del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Hugo Weaving, Geraldine Chaplin

Set in the late 1880s, the film keeps the plotline of the original, with Lawrence Talbot (Benicio del Toro) meeting his father (Anthony Hopkins) following the death (and in the remake, disappearance) of his brother. The film details events during Lawrence’s past that led to his estrangement from his father (which includes Gwen), and the setting is expanded from Blackmore (which was the mythical village of Llanwelly in the original) to London.[2] The official synopsis states Talbot was traumatized by his mother’s death as a child, while Gwen Conliffe is his brother’s fiancée. Following his brother’s disappearance, Talbot hunts a murderer, which turns out to be a werewolf, and the curse is passed on.[3]

The Silence of the Lambs

  • Directors: Jonathan Demme
  • Producers: Kenneth Utt, Edward Saxon, Ron Bozman
  • Writers: Ted Tally
  • Genres: Crime, Thriller
  • Actors: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Ted Levine, Anthony Heald, Brooke Smith, Frankie Faison, Harry Northup

Promising student Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is pulled from her training at the FBI Academy at Quantico, Virginia by Jack Crawford (Glenn) of the Bureau’s Behavioral Science Unit. Crawford tasks her with interviewing the notorious Hannibal Lecter (Hopkins), the brilliant psychiatrist and incarcerated cannibalistic serial killer, believing Lecter’s insight might be useful in the pursuit of vicious serial killer Buffalo Bill. Starling travels to the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, where she is led by Dr. Frederick Chilton (Heald) to Hannibal Lecter, the sophisticated, cultured man restrained behind thick glass panels and windowless stone walls.

Although initially pleasant and courteous, Lecter grows impatient with Starling’s attempts at “dissecting” him and viciously rebuffs her. As Starling departs, another patient flings fresh semen onto her face, enraging Lecter, who calls Starling back and suggests she consult one of his former patients. Starling interprets the patient’s name as a riddle. It leads her to a storage lot where she discovers a man’s severed head. She returns to Lecter, who tells her that the man is Benjamin Raspail, who is linked to Buffalo Bill. Though Lecter denies killing Raspail, he offers to profile Buffalo Bill if he is transferred away from the venomous, careerist Dr. Chilton.

Days later at the FBI Academy graduation party, Starling receives a phone call from Hannibal Lecter who is at an airport in Bimini. Lecter assures Starling he has no plans to pursue her and asks her to show him the same courtesy, which she says she will not do. He then excuses himself, remarking that he’s “having an old friend for dinner”. He hangs up the phone and casually follows Dr. Chilton through the village.