Enemy at the Gates

  • Directors: Jean Jacques Annaud
  • Producers: Jean Jacques Annaud, John D Schofield
  • Writers: William Craig, Jean Jacques Annaud, Alain Godard
  • Genres: Drama, History, Thriller, War
  • Actors: Jude Law, Ed Harris, Rachel Weisz, Joseph Fiennes, Bob Hoskins, Gabriel Thompson

The story focuses on the exploits of Vassili Zaitsev (a character based on the real-life Vasily Zaytsev and played by Jude Law), a Ural peasant who was taught how to hunt and shoot by his grandfather, now fighting on the Eastern Front of World War II. A Red Army soldier, he is traveling in a train’s cattle truck along with other soldiers and civilians, where he notices a young woman (Rachel Weisz) before the train is converted into a military convoy headed for Stalingrad, a city that is now under attack by the German Army. Upon arriving on the city’s outskirts, the soldiers attempt to cross the Volga on unprotected river barges, bombarded by German Stuka dive bombers and artillery, resulting in many casualties. When the survivors disembark on the other side, only half of them are given Mosin-Nagant rifles; while the rest, among them Vassili, are given only a five round clip of ammunition. As their comrades are shot down, the men with the clips are to use the dead men’s rifles. In a hopeless charge against the well-armed Germans, the Red Army soldiers are massacred both by the enemy, and by several Soviet NKVD machine gunners who cut down anyone who attempts to retreat.

Two months later, it is revealed that Stalingrad is liberated and Zaitsev finds Tania in a field hospital, safely evacuated and recovering.

The Right Stuff

  • Directors: Philip Kaufman
  • Producers: Irwin Winkler
  • Writers: Philip Kaufman, Tom Wolfe
  • Genres: Adventure, Drama, History
  • Actors: Fred Ward, Dennis Quaid, Ed Harris, Scott Glenn, Sam Shepard, Barbara Hershey, Lance Henriksen, Veronica Cartwright, Jane Dornacker

Muroc Army Air Field in 1947 sets the scene for the start of the movie. This dusty, arid air force base is where high-speed aircraft are being tested in secret including the rocket-powered X-1, poised to fly at supersonic speeds. When a number of test pilots have died in the attempt to break the so-called “sound barrier,” the base liaison officer, war hero Chuck Yeager (Sam Shepard) is offered the chance to fly the X-1. While on a horseback romp with his wife Glennis (Barbara Hershey) through the underbrush surrounding the base, Yeager collides with a tree branch and suffers a couple of broken ribs. Refusing to admit defeat, he triumphs (with the aid of a sawed-off broom handle) in flying the X-1 faster than the speed of sound, beating the “demon in the sky.”

The film travels forward to 1953, where Edwards Air Force Base (renamed for one of the test pilots killed at the base) remains the place to be for the “prime” pilots with Yeager engaged in a contest with test pilot Scott Crossfield (Scott Wilson).[1] Crossfield and Yeager were fierce but friendly rivals for speed and altitude records. Edwards is both a very different place and yet remains the same with the celebrated Happy Bottom Riding Club run by Pancho Barnes (Kim Stanley) still the gathering place for those with the “right stuff.” New pilots such as Gordon “Gordo” Cooper (Dennis Quaid) and Virgil “Gus” Grissom (Fred Ward) are part of a constant stream of “pudknockers” as Barnes characterizes them. Cooper’s wife, Trudy (Pamela Reed) questions the need for pushing dangerous boundaries to the limit, but is resigned to the fact that her husband like all the others, is driven by ambition as well as chasing fame. Other wives that share similar feelings have to learn to suppress their fears. By that time, the press are a familiar part of the background, recognized as the key to ensuring that essential funding never dries up.

The films concludes with Cooper’s successful launch in May 1963 – the last in which an American flew alone into space.

Creepshow

  • Directors: George A Romero
  • Producers: Salah M Hassnein, Richard P Rubinstein
  • Writers: Short Stories Screenplay, Stephen King
  • Genres: Animation, Comedy, Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, Leslie Nielsen, Ted Danson, E G Marshall, Stephen King, Joe King, Viveca Lindfors, Fritz Weaver, Carrie Nye, Ed Harris, Jon Lormer, Tom Atkins, Don Keefer, Robert Harper

(First story, written by King expressly for the film)

(Second story, originally titled “Weeds”, adapted from a previously published short story written by King)

(Third story, written by King expressly for the film)

(Fourth story, adapted from a previously published short story)

(Fifth and final story, written by King expressly for the film)

Appaloosa

  • Directors: Ed Harris
  • Producers: Ed Harris, Robert Knott
  • Writers: Ed Harris, Robert Knott
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Western
  • Actors: Ed Harris, Viggo Mortensen, Jeremy Irons, Lance Henriksen

Appaloosa is centered around lawman Virgil Cole (Ed Harris) and his deputy Everett Hitch (Viggo Mortensen), two friends who are hired to defend a lawless 1880s town from Randall Bragg, a murderous rancher (Jeremy Irons). Their efforts are disrupted and friendship tested by the arrival of a woman (Renée Zellweger).

Upon drifting into a troubled Western outpost and discovering that the helpless locals are being terrorized by a ruthless rancher and his brutish hired hands, two rugged, straight-shooting peacemakers decide to stick around and put things right.

Bragg believes himself to be above the law, a stance that’s forever cemented when he guns down the town marshal and two deputies in cold blood. Soon thereafter, Virgil and Everett, two roaming mercenaries arrive, declaring that they’ll resolve the issues with Bragg if the locals will only grant Virgil the complete power. After becoming marshal, Virgil appoints Everett his deputy and ushers in an era of uneasy peace, arresting Braggs thugs and killing several when they attempt to resist. Later, when the local stagecoach arrives in town, a woman named Allie (Zellweger) catches Virgil’s eye, and he uses his position to convince the tavern owner to hire her as a piano player. Meanwhile, a temporarily subdued Bragg begins to display signs that he may not be finished with this town just yet.

The movie shares many narrative similarities with the 1959 Western Warlock, directed by Edward Dmytryk and starring Henry Fonda, Anthony Quinn and Richard Widmark. There is also another Western named The Appaloosa with Marlon Brando, but it is unrelated to Harris’s film.

The Truman Show

  • Directors: Peter Weir
  • Producers: Scott Rudin, Andrew Niccol, Adam Schroeder
  • Writers: Andrew Niccol
  • Genres: Drama, Sci-Fi
  • Actors: Jim Carrey, Laura Linney, Ed Harris, Noah Emmerich, Natascha McElhone

The film is set mostly in a town wholly dedicated to a continually running television show. All of the people present in the town are actors or film crew except protagonist Truman Burbank, who is unaware that he lives in a constructed reality filmed for the entertainment of those outside. Central characters simulate friendship or familial relations to Truman.

Truman was chosen out of six unwanted babies to be a TV star, whereupon film producer Christof built a gigantic studio to encapsulate Seahaven, the artificial town in which Truman lives. The enclosed studio allowed the producers, directors and crew to control every aspect of Truman’s environment, including the weather.

To prevent Truman from trying to escape and discover the truth underlying his artificial world, his father is “killed” in a staged boating incident so as to make Truman afraid of water. Because Seahaven appears to be an island, this fear removes Truman’s every chance of escape. Despite Truman’s staged relationship with his wife Meryl, he has fallen in love with the scene-extra called Sylvia, who was removed from the cast by the producers while trying to explain to Truman the true nature of his life. In the thirtieth year of his life, Truman begins to realize the unrealistic routine of his world when he accidentally stumbles upon studio equipment and instructions, and tries to escape Seahaven.

Along his path to truth and escape, Truman encounters obstacles placed in his way, including choreographed traffic jams, the inability to arrange any trips, sudden breakdowns of transport, a non-existent nuclear meltdown, and the re-introduction of his ‘dead’ father. In his desperate bid for freedom, Truman finally overcomes his fear of water, and despite an artificially created hurricane on the “ocean”, he finally, although accidentally, finds the edge of the constructed reality when his sail boat pierces the painted sky on the inner dome wall. Walking along the edge of the ocean, he discovers an exit door and opens it. This prompts Christof to finally talk to Truman from the clouds, revealing the truth of Truman’s existence. He tries to convince Truman to stay, arguing that there is no more truth in the real world then there is in his own, artificial world. Truman, however, delivers his catchphrase, “In case I don’t see you… good afternoon, good evening, and good night.” He bows to his audience and steps into the real world through the door as he is cheered on by an audience of millions, including Sylvia, who excitedly leaves her apartment to finally reunite with Truman at the studio.

The Rock

  • Directors: Michael Bay
  • Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer, Don Simpson, Louis A Stroller, Sean Connery, William Stuart
  • Writers: Story Screenplay, David Weisberg, Douglas S Cook, Screenplay, Mark Rosner, Uncredited, Quentin Tarantino 1
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Thriller
  • Actors: Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris

A group of rogue Marines from Force Recon, led by disenchanted Brigadier General Francis X. Hummel (Ed Harris), seize a stockpile of rockets armed with VX nerve agent, a modern chemical weapon of nightmarish virulence, to which they accidently lose one of their men to in the process. They then seize Alcatraz Island during a guided tour and take 81 tourists hostage in the prison cells. Hummel threatens the Pentagon with launching VX gas rockets against the population of the San Francisco Bay Area unless the government pays reparations, including compensation to the families of Marines who died on illegal, clandestine missions.

The Pentagon and Federal Bureau of Investigation decide to deploy a Navy SEAL team to retake the island and free Hummel’s hostages by stealth. In need of first-hand knowledge of the underground tunnels of Alcatraz, they are forced to release the imprisoned John Patrick Mason (Sean Connery): the only inmate of Alcatraz who ever successfully escaped (which was covered up). FBI chemical weapons expert Dr. Stanley Goodspeed (Nicolas Cage) — socially nerdy and bumbling — is also recruited to neutralize the VX gas threat. The two men and the SEAL team commence their raid on Alcatraz. Meanwhile, the Pentagon prepares a secondary countermeasure to Hummel’s VX gas rockets: readying prototype “thermite plasma” bombs capable of incinerating the poison gas, but which will also kill any person left on the island.

While Mason battles the traitorous marines, Goodspeed rushes to locate and disarm the last rocket. After extracting the VX from the rocket, Goodspeed is attacked by the last remaining Marine. Outmatched, Goodspeed uses a VX pearl that fell loose to kill the Marine by forcing it into his mouth, thus causing him to die horrifically as well as exposing Goodspeed to the toxin (at a lower concentration). Goodspeed then forcefully injects an antidote (atropine) into his own heart to save himself. Weakened, he desperately scrambles to the open ground to signal the command center to abort the airstrike, which would needlessly kill many hostages. However, the abort command is received too late by the pilots, and one accidentally drops the first of its thermite-plasma payload onto the island. Fortunately, the bomb misses the hostages’ cell block, and only throws Goodspeed into the water, where he is promptly rescued by Mason. When the FBI arrives to secure Alcatraz, Goodspeed informs them that escaping Mason was actually “vaporized,” hence releasing him to freedom, anonymity, and his estranged daughter. Before his departure, however, Mason tells Goodspeed the location of the secret microfilm he’d stolen, and the movie closes with Goodspeed and his pregnant bride Carla recovering the microfilm, along with half a century of state secrets. The film ends with Goodspeed and Carla discovering the true person who shot JFK.

The Firm

  • Directors: Sydney Pollack
  • Producers: John Davis, Sydney Pollack, Scott Rudin
  • Writers: John Grisham, David Rabe, Robert Towne, David Rayfiel
  • Genres: Thriller, Drama
  • Actors: Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Gene Hackman, Ed Harris, Holly Hunter, Hal Holbrook, David Strathairn

A new attorney, Mitch McDeere, is drawn into a seductive law firm that seems to have many secrets. When he finds out who they are representing and what price has been paid by others who have come across the truth, he risks it all to escape with his law license and his life.

A Beautiful Mind

  • Directors: Ron Howard
  • Producers: Brian Grazer, Ron Howard
  • Writers: Book, Sylvia Nasar, Screenplay, Akiva Goldsman
  • Genres: Biography, Drama
  • Actors: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Paul Bettany

John Nash (Russell Crowe) arrives at Princeton University as a new graduate student. He is a recipient of the prestigious Carnegie Prize for mathematics; although he was promised a single room, his roommate Charles (Paul Bettany), a literature student, greets him as he moves in and soon becomes his best friend. Nash also meets a group of other promising math and science graduate students, Martin Hansen (Josh Lucas), Sol (Adam Goldberg), Ainsley, and Bender (Anthony Rapp), with whom he strikes up an awkward friendship. Nash admits to Charles that he is better with numbers than people, which comes as no surprise to them after watching his largely unsuccessful attempts at conversation with the women at the local bar.

The headmaster of Princeton informs Nash, who has missed many of his classes, that he cannot begin work until he finishes a thesis paper, prompting him to seek a truly original idea for the paper. A woman at the bar is what ultimately inspires his fruitful work in the concept of governing dynamics, a theory in mathematical economics.

After the conclusion of Nash’s studies as a student at Princeton, he accepts a prestigious appointment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), along with his friends Sol and Bender.

Nash eventually earns the privilege of teaching again. He is honored by his fellow professors for his achievement in mathematics, and goes on to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for his revolutionary work on game theory. Nash and Alicia are about to leave the auditorium in Stockholm, when Nash sees Charles, Marcee and Parcher standing and watching him with blank expressions on their faces. Alicia asks Nash, “What’s wrong?” Nash replies, “Nothing. Nothing at all.” With that, they both leave the auditorium.

Apollo 13

  • Directors: Ron Howard
  • Producers: Brian Grazer
  • Writers: Book, Jim Lovell, Jeffrey Kluger, Screenplay, William Broyles Jr, Al Reinert
  • Genres: Adventure, Drama, History
  • Actors: Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris

Apollo 13 opens with a flashback of the Apollo 1 fire incident, accompanied by narration by Walter Cronkite. As Cronkite’s monologue ends, the film moves on to July 20, 1969 where veteran astronaut Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks) is on his way home to a party for the Apollo 11 moon landing. After witnessing Neil Armstrong’s historic first steps on the moon, an inebriated Lovell stares up at the moon and tells his wife, Marilyn (Kathleen Quinlan), of his wish for a moon landing of his own.

A few months later, Jim, who’s expecting to fly Apollo 14, is giving a VIP tour of NASA’s towering Vehicle Assembly Building while Apollo 13’s massive Saturn V rocket is being assembled. As the U.S. representatives among the VIPs question the possibility of any further moon landings after beating the Soviet Union to the moon, he is informed by Deke Slayton (Chris Ellis) that he and his crew have been bumped up to be prime crew of Apollo 13. After informing his family of his new flight assignment, Lovell and his crew, Fred Haise (Bill Paxton) and Ken Mattingly (Gary Sinise) begin training for Apollo 13 instead of Apollo 14. As the launch date approaches, Marilyn’s fears for her husband’s fourth space mission manifest in her unwillingness to go to the launch.

After witnessing the damage suffered by the scarred Service Module, the crew strap in for their descent into atmosphere. With one final goodbye to Aquarius, the lunar module that saved their lives is jettisoned. Then, Odyssey re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere, and after over four minutes of radio ionization blackout – three minutes is normal for re-entry – the crew reports that they have made it alive and well. Celebration rushes through Mission Control and in the homes of the astronauts’ families. In an emotional scene, Kranz simply sits down as everyone applauds around him, looking overwhelmed and fighting back tears. After splashing down, the crew is plucked out of the water and taken to the USS Iwo Jima for a heroes welcome. The film then concludes with a slow-motion sequence with monologue by Hanks (as Lovell) about the events that would follow their return from space. Lovell shakes hands with the captain of Iwo Jima while narrating as the sequence ends with “I look up at the moon and wonder: ‘When will we be going back, and who will that be?'”

National Treasure Book of Secrets

  • Directors: Jon Turteltaub
  • Producers: Jon Turteltaub, Jerry Bruckheimer
  • Writers: Story, Gregory Poirier, Terry Rossio, Ted Elliott, Screenplay, Marianne Wibberley Cormac Wibberley
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Nicolas Cage, Justin Bartha, Diane Kruger, Jon Voight, Helen Mirren, Ed Harris

Five days after the end of the Civil War, John Wilkes Booth and Michael O’Laughlen, both members of the KGC, enter a tavern and approach Thomas Gates (Ben Gates’ great-great-grandfather), a well-known puzzle solver, to decode a coded message written in Booth’s diary. Thomas recognizes the message as using the Playfair cipher and begins to translate it. While he does so, Booth leaves for Ford’s Theatre to assassinate President Lincoln. Thomas solves the puzzle, a clue to a treasure map, and realizes the men are still loyal to the Confederate cause and have a sinister motive for finding the treasure. Unfortunately, he realizes this too late. O’Laughlen pulls a gun on him, threatening to shoot him if he does not hand over the diary, however he is distracted from Thomas when chaos erupts in the bar over news of Lincoln’s assassination. Thomas rips several pages from the diary and throws them in the fireplace. The gunman shoots him and attempts to retrieve the pages, only succeeding in saving a fragment of a page. The dying Thomas gasps, “The war is over,” but the man disagrees, stating, “You’re wrong about that. The war has only just begun!” and rushes from the bar. As he lies dying, Thomas tells his distraught son, Charles Gates, “The debt that all men pay…”

Several days later, a team of archaeologists, historians, and scientists begin exploring Cibola, along with Mr. Gates and Ms. Appleton. Later on, at a celebration for the Gates family for the discovery of the lost city of gold at Mount Rushmore, Abigail asks Ben if he would like to move back in to their house with her, although he (at first) bluntly refuses because of her habit of using the word “so…” she manages to convince him otherwise and they share a passionate kiss. Meanwhile Riley finaly gets noted for being the writer of his book and does not need to lie about being Ben to get fame. He gets fame from a girl, he also gets a new Ferrari after his frist one got towed in the beggining. The car was tax free, having the president suppoesedly pay for it.