The Longest Yard

  • Directors: Robert Aldrich
  • Producers: Albert S Ruddy
  • Writers: Albert S Ruddy, Tracy Keenan Wynn
  • Genres: Comedy, Crime, Drama, Sport
  • Actors: Burt Reynolds, And Eddie Albert, Ed Lauter, Michael Conrad, James Hampton, Harry Caesar, John Steadman, Charles Tyner, Mike Henry, Jim Nicholson, And Bernadette Peters, as The Warden s Secretary, With Pervis Atkins, Tony Cacciotti, Anitra Ford, Michael Fox, Joe Kapp, Richard Kiel, Pepper Martin, Mort Marshall, Ray Nitschke

The protagonist is Paul “Wrecking” Crewe (Burt Reynolds), former star pro football quarterback living with his wealthy girlfriend (Anitra Ford) in Palm Beach, Florida. After a fight with her, he gets drunk and “steals” her expensive Citroen SM automobile. He is surprised when a fleet of police cars follow him. Briefly evading them, he exits the vehicle and sends it over an open drawbridge into a canal; he is caught and sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Crewe has difficulty getting along with the guards as well as with his fellow inmates. The convicts despise him because he was dismissed from the National Football League for point shaving. As his only friend, an inmate nicknamed Caretaker (James Hampton) put it, “Most of these boys have nothin’, never had anything to start with. But you, you had it all. You could have robbed banks, sold dope or stole your grandma’s pension checks and none of us would have minded. But shaving points off of a football game, man, that’s un-American!” (a similar line in the 2005 remake is spoken by the same character, this time played by Chris Rock). Moreover, the sadistic, power-hungry warden Rudolph Hazen (Eddie Albert), a football fanatic who manages a semi-pro team made up of the prison’s guards (most of whom are big and fast enough to play professional football), wants Crewe to help coach the team. Responding to pressure from the guard’s leader and coach, Captain Wilhelm Knauer (Ed Lauter), Crewe refuses. He is harassed by the guards and given backbreaking work as punishment. Following a scuffle with the guards, Crewe’s sentence is increased to 2–5 years.

As the prisoners and the crowd celebrate, Warden Hazen is furious. Crewe walks across the field in what appears to be an attempt to mingle with the crowd and escape. Hazen sees this and orders Knauer to shoot Crewe. Knauer calls out to Crewe several times as Hazen barks for him to shoot. At the last moment, Crewe picks up the game ball and walks back towards Hazen. Crewe then hands the ball to Hazen, telling him, “Stick this in your trophy case.”

Deliverance

  • Directors: John Boorman
  • Producers: John Boorman
  • Writers: Novel, James Dickey, Screenplay, James Dickey, Uncredited, John Boorman
  • Genres: Adventure, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox, James Dickey

Four Atlanta businessmen â€“ Lewis (Reynolds), Ed (Voight), Bobby (Beatty), and Drew (Cox) â€“ decide to canoe down the fictional Cahulawassee River in the remote Georgia wilderness, expecting to have fun and see the glory of nature before the river valley is flooded over by the upcoming construction of a dam and lake. Lewis, an experienced outdoorsman, is the de facto leader. Ed is also a veteran of several trips but lacks Lewis’ machismo. Bobby and Drew are novices.

From the start, it is clear the four are far from what they know as civilization. The locals are crude and unimpressed with the presence of outsiders, and the film implies some of them are inbred. Drew briefly connects with a local banjo-playing boy by joining him in an impromptu bluegrass jam. But when the song ends, the boy turns away without saying anything, refusing Drew’s handshake. The four “city boys”, as they are called by one of the locals, exhibit a slightly condescending attitude towards the locals (Bobby in particular is patronizing).

Traveling in pairs on the river, the foursome’s two canoes are briefly separated. Pausing briefly to get their bearings, Bobby and Ed encounter a pair of unkempt hillbillies (Bill McKinney and Herbert ‘Cowboy’ Coward) emerging from the woods, one wielding a loaded shotgun. After a stray comment about a moonshine still offends the hillbillies, Bobby is forced at gunpoint to strip naked. McKinney’s character chases after and physically harasses Bobby as he tries to escape. His ear is twisted to bring him to his hands and knees, and he is then ordered to “squeal like a pig” as McKinney’s character proceeds to rape him. Ed is bound to a tree with his own belt, helpless as McKinney’s character violently sodomizes Bobby.

When they finally reach their destination, the town of Aintry (which will soon be submerged by the dammed river, and is being evacuated), they take the injured Lewis to the hospital while the Sheriff comes to investigate the incident. True to Lewis’s predictions, one of the deputies is related to the deceased hillbillies, and is highly suspicious. The three carefully concoct a cover story for the authorities about Drew’s death and disappearance being an accident, lying about their ordeal to Sheriff Bullard (played by author James Dickey) in order to escape a possible double murder charge. The sheriff clearly doesn’t believe them, but seems to have figured out what actually happened. After thinking it over, he simply tells the men: “I don’t ever wanna see you around here again… I’d kinda like to see this town die peaceful.” The three readily agree. The three vow to keep their story a secret for the rest of their lives, which proves to be psychologically burdensome for Ed: in the final scene, Ed awakes screaming from a nightmare in which a dead man’s hand rises from the lake.

Boogie Nights

  • Directors: Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Producers: Paul Thomas Anderson, Lawrence Gordon, Lloyd Levin
  • Writers: Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Genres: Drama
  • Actors: Mark Wahlberg, Burt Reynolds, Julianne Moore

Handsome but naïve high school dropout Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg), emotionally abused by his domineering, alcoholic mother, is discovered by porn director Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds) at a suburban club owned by Maurice Rodríguez (Luis Guzmán). He then gives himself the screen name of Dirk Diggler, whose extraordinary endowment and youthful charisma make him an instant award-winning star in the adult entertainment business. His success allows him to buy a new house, an extensive wardrobe, and his most prized possession: an orange Chevrolet Corvette. Aware of Jack’s goal of making films that draw audience members with their plots as much as their sex scenes, Dirk and his best friend/fellow porn star Reed Rothchild (John C. Reilly), who aspires to be a magician, suggest a series of action films starring themselves as Brock Landers and Chest Rockwell. The film series become a runaway success.

Assistant director Little Bill (William H. Macy) is married to a porn star (Nina Hartley) who constantly humiliates him by having sex, frequently in public, with other men. At a New Year’s Eve party marking the start of the 1980s, he shoots her and her lover and then turns the gun on himself in front of the guests. This marks a major turning point, as most of the characters’ lives take a turn for the worse as the new decade begins. The film moves from one character to another, showing their attempts to make lives for themselves in the adult film industry and their failures when they leave it. Jack’s porn empire flounders after his main source of funding, Colonel James (Robert Ridgely), is imprisoned for possession of child pornography. His new financier, Floyd Gondoli (Philip Baker Hall), insists on cutting costs by shooting on videotape, a format that Jack detests. He is also unhappy with the lack of scripts and character development in the projects Gondoli expects him to churn out as quickly as possible. He tries to revitalize his career by having Rollergirl (Heather Graham) ride with him in a limousine while they search for random strangers to have sex with her in the back seat while a crew tapes it. When the man they choose insults Rollergirl and rudely tells Jack his movies aren’t good anymore, Jack and Rollergirl severely beat him and leave him bleeding and half-conscious on the street.

Now addicted to cocaine and methamphetamine, Dirk finds it increasingly difficult to achieve an erection and frequently falls into violent mood swings. He has a falling out with Jack during a film shoot, and he and Reed decide to pursue their dream of rock and roll stardom, a move supported by Scotty (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a gay boom operator who adores and emulates Dirk. However, their addictions lead them to squander all their money and render them unable to pay the recording studio for the demo tapes. Desperate for money, Dirk tries to prostitute himself with a man, but he is assaulted and robbed by a gang of thugs in a homophobic assault. Dirk, Reed and their friend Todd (Thomas Jane) attempt to scam Rahad Jackson (Alfred Molina) by selling him a half-kilo of baking soda disguised as cocaine for $5,000, and Todd is killed in an ensuing gunfight. Frightened by his brush with death and weary of his wasteful existence, Dirk reconciles with Jack. The film ends with several characters living in Jack’s house as their own version of a family.

Bean

  • Directors: Mel Smith
  • Producers: Rowan Atkinson, Peter Bennet Jones, Tim Bevan, Richard Curtis, Eric Fellner, Rebecca O Brien
  • Writers: Richard Curtis, Robin Driscoll
  • Genres: Comedy
  • Actors: Rowan Atkinson, Peter MacNicol, Burt Reynolds, Pamela Reed, Richard Gant

Mr. Bean, a hopeless caretaker at the “Royal National Gallery”, London, is sent by his employers, who wish to get rid of him, to America under the pseudonym of “Dr. Bean” to oversee the transfer of Whistler’s Mother to a Los Angeles art gallery. Once at the airport, he is surprised to see policemen with guns and pretends to have one. He ends up being detained by Lieutenant Brutus, who is unsettled by his odd behaviour. Once released, he meets David Langley, an employee of the Grierson art gallery, and David’s family, with whom Bean is to stay for his visit. Despite winning the affection of David’s son (played by Andrew Lawrence), David’s wife is hostile about having to look after him, while David’s rebellious teenage daughter finds Bean “ugly as Meat Loaf’s butt”. His wife later leaves after Bean breaks a family heirloom while fiddling with a CD player. In his wife’s absence, David decides to take Bean on a tour of the Los Angeles art galleries. However, Bean decides that he would rather go to Pacific Park. The pair go on a motion simulator ride. Having modified the ride to be more exciting (to the expense and horror of other riders), Bean is swiftly detained by Brutus again. Back at home, Bean’s attempt to cook a turkey for David’s boss and his wife fails when the microwave explodes, spraying turkey flesh all over the kitchen. Afterwards, David asks Bean simple questions about art and finds that he is not a doctor after all.

After another week in Los Angeles with the Langleys, Bean goes home. At the end of the movie, Bean is back in his London flat, and is shown to have taken the original Whistler’s Mother home with him, still having the cartoon face he drew on it. The credits close with Mr. Bean walking into the viewing area and breaking the fourth wall: “Yes, I normally stay to the end as well…bye.”.

Smokey and the Bandit

  • Directors: Hal Needham
  • Producers: Mort Engelberg
  • Writers: Hal Needham, Robert L Levy, James Lee Barrett, Charles Shyer, Alan Mandel
  • Genres: Action, Comedy, Crime, Romance
  • Actors: Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jackie Gleason, Jerry Reed, Mike Henry

As the movie begins, rich Texan Big Enos Burdette (Pat McCormick) and his son, Little Enos (Paul Williams), are trying to find a truck driver willing to haul Coors beer to Georgia for their refreshment. Unfortunately, due to federal liquor laws and state liquor tax regulations of the time, selling and/or shipping Coors east of the Mississippi River was considered bootlegging, and the truck drivers who had taken the bet previously had been discovered and arrested by “Smokey” (truck driver and CB slang for highway patrolmen). At a local truck rodeo, the Texans locate legendary truck driver Bo “Bandit” Darville (Burt Reynolds) and offer him US$80,000 (US$270,000 in 2007 dollars), the price of a new truck, to haul 400 cases of Coors beer from Texarkana, Texas to the “Southern Classic” truck rodeo in Georgia – in 28 hours. Bandit accepts the bet and recruits fellow trucker Cletus “Snowman” Snow (Jerry Reed) to drive the truck (Snow brings along his dog, a Basset Hound named “Fred”, for company). Bandit purchases a black Pontiac Trans Am, which he will drive himself as a “blocker” car to deflect attention away from the truck and its cargo.

The duo reach Texas ahead of schedule, load their truck with Coors, and immediately head back towards Georgia. Shortly thereafter, Bandit picks up professional dancer and apparent runaway bride Carrie (Sally Field), whom he nicknames “Frog” because she was “always hopping around”. However, by picking up Carrie, Bo becomes the target of Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason), whose handsome yet very simple-minded son Junior (Mike Henry) was to have been Carrie’s groom.

Despite near-constant police pursuit and several roadblocks, Bandit, Snowman, Frog and Fred arrive at the Southern Classic with a full trailer of Coors and ten minutes to spare, underscored by “Marching Through Georgia” as their vehicles roar into the grounds. Instead of taking their payoff, they accept the Texans’ new offer to drive to Boston and bring back clam chowder in 18 hours, double or nothing. As they are leaving for Boston in one of Big Enos’ Cadillacs (leaving him an even dozen), they see Justice’s badly damaged car on the roadside. Bandit calls Justice over the radio and describes himself as Big Enos in order to put him on a false lead, but then decides that Justice is “too good a man” and tells him, “Look over your left shoulder.” As Bandit and his friends drive off, Justice shouts defiantly that he isn’t finished yet and resumes his pursuit as pieces drag from his battered patrol car, while his son runs behind him, begging his father not to leave him behind.