The Replacements

  • Directors: Howard Deutch
  • Producers: Dylan Sellers, Jeffrey Chernov, Steven Reuther
  • Writers: Vince McKewin
  • Genres: Comedy, Sport
  • Actors: Keanu Reeves, Gene Hackman, Brooke Langton, Jon Favreau, Orlando Jones, Brett Cullen

The film opens with Shane Falco, a former star quarterback at Ohio State University who choked in his final college game and failed to succeed in his only pro season, doing his job cleaning the bottoms of peoples’ boats. While underwater, he finds a football labeled “Shane Falco: All American” and pretends he is playing football again. Meanwhile, the fictional Washington Sentinels[1][2] are shown playing a game in which commentators John Madden and Pat Summerall mention a players’ strike taking place over salary disputes. As the game winds down, Sentinels quarterback Eddie Martel chooses to slide to the ground instead of scoring the game winning touchdown to avoid getting injured.

Later that day, the owner of the Sentinels decides to hire Jimmy McGinty, the Sentinels’ former coach who was fired after getting into a fight with the team’s star quarterback, to recruit replacement players during the strike and coach the team for the rest of the season. He tells McGinty that all they need is three wins out of their final four games to advance to the playoffs. McGinty tells the owner he’ll only do it if he promises not to interfere with his coaching style. McGinty recruits many different ragtag players, and eventually convinces Falco to come off his boat and play quarterback again. Falco soon becomes attracted to the team’s head cheerleader, Annabelle Farrell, who likes him as well, but doesn’t want to date him because of her stereotype that all pro athletes are prima donnas.

In the final game of the season, Martel has trouble connecting with the rest of the team and scolds the rest of them when he makes a mistake. At halftime, the Sentinels trail 17-0, and reporter asks McGinty what they’ll need to win the game, to which he replies “miles and miles of heart” meant as a message to Falco. Falco hears him say this and comes to the game during halftime, and the rest of the team kicks Martel out of the locker room. Falco runs onto the field at the start of the half and draws loud and thunderous applause from the fans. He apologizes to Annabelle and kisses her on national TV. Cochran is able to run for a touchdown at the beginning of the half before injuring his leg. The Sentinels then score again to cut the lead to 17-14. With only a few seconds left in the game, Falco tells McGinty he wants the ball, implying that he has gotten over his fear of choking with the game on the line. Falco throws a pass to tight end Brian Murphy for a touchdown, and the Sentinels win 20-17, advancing to the playoffs. The film ends with a voiceover from McGinty saying that when the players left the game that night, there were no endorsement deals or victory parades waiting for them, just a locker waiting to be cleaned out, but it didn’t matter, because they each got a second chance at glory, which lasts forever.

Wyatt Earp

  • Directors: Lawrence Kasdan
  • Producers: Kevin Costner, Jim Wilson, Lawrence Kasdan
  • Writers: Dan Gordon, Lawrence Kasdan
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Biography, Romance, Western
  • Actors: Kevin Costner, Dennis Quaid, Gene Hackman, David Andrews, Linden Ashby, Jeff Fahey, Joanna Going

The film opens with Wyatt Earp as a teenager living on the family farm. His older brothers, Virgil and James, are away at war serving with the Union Army. Wyatt dreams of war, and packs some belongings, bids his younger siblings goodbye, and attempts to run away, intending to lie about his age and join the Union Army. He doesn’t make it off the farm before his father catches him and forces him to return home. A short while later, both brothers return home at the war’s end, with James gravely wounded. Shortly afterwards, the family moves west. It is during this move that Wyatt first sees a man killed, shot during a gunfight. He gets sick at the sight, and vomits.

Years pass, finding him working out west as a wagon driver. During his time there, he works also as a referee for fights, and finds himself at odds with a bully. Wyatt and the bully eventually come to the point of fighting, with the bully intending to shoot Wyatt. Wyatt disarms him and defeats him, taking his gun as a trophy.

Returning home to Missouri, Wyatt marries a childhood sweetheart, Urilla Sutherland. The two move into their own house, and he begins working as a policeman. Months later, while pregnant, his wife dies from typhus. He stays by her side throughout the illness, becoming deeply depressed afterward. He burns their home and all they own, begins drinking, and drifting from town to town, eventually landing in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He robs a man for money and steals his horse, but is captured only a short time later. Facing certain hanging, his father bails him out of jail, telling him to leave and never return to Arkansas.

Wyatt and his brothers Morgan and Virgil arrest several Cowboys, and Virgil takes over as marshal following the murder of town marshal Fred White. The brothers find themselves at odds with the “Cowboys” often, and tension builds. Wyatt breaks up several altercations involving the “Cowboys”, particularly Ike Clanton, and Doc Holliday swears his loyalty to Wyatt, whom he considers his only real friend. Eventually the Gunfight at the OK Corral occurs, with the brothers being looked upon by much of the population as villains, and the rest as heroes. Virgil is ambushed and wounded, then his brother Morgan is killed. The film then shows only a glimpse of the Vendetta Ride with Wyatt and his friends taking out revenge on the remaining “Cowboys”, then skips to many years later with he and Josie mining for gold in Alaska. While enroute by boat, a young man on the same boat recognizes Wyatt, and recounts a story in which Wyatt had saved the life of the boy’s uncle, “Tommy behind the deuce”. The film ends with Wyatt saying to Josie “A lot of people say it didn’t happen that way”, to which she responds “Never mind them Wyatt. It happened that way”.

The French Connection

  • Directors: William Friedkin
  • Producers: Philip D Antoni
  • Writers: Novel, Robin Moore, Screenplay, Ernest Tidyman
  • Genres: Action, Crime, Thriller
  • Actors: Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, Roy Scheider, Tony Lo Bianco

The film revolves around the smuggling of narcotics between Marseilles, France and New York City. The film opens in Marseilles with a policeman staking out Alain Charnier, a French criminal who ostensibly works as a former stevedore-turned-shipping executive but is in fact involved in smuggling heroin from France to the United States. The French policeman is eventually killed by Charnier’s henchman, Pierre Nicoli.

In the US, detectives James “Popeye” Doyle and Buddy “Cloudy” Russo are also performing an undercover stakeout out of their precinct in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, with Doyle dressed as Santa Claus and Russo pretending to be a hot dog stand vendor. After seeing a drug transaction take place in the bar, Russo goes in to make an arrest and the suspect they are waiting for makes a break for it with the detectives pursuing him on foot. After catching up with their suspect and delivering a severe beating after the suspect cuts Russo on the arm with a knife, the detectives aggressively interrogate the man and eventually force him to reveal where his “connection” is based.

After Russo’s arm injury is treated, Doyle convinces him to go out for a drink. At the nightclub they go to, Doyle becomes interested in two people: Salvatore “Sal” Boca and his beautiful young wife, Angie, who are lavishly entertaining several known Mob members involved in narcotics. Doyle persuades his partner to come along as they tail the couple; several scenes are shown establishing the fact that although the Bocas run a modest newsstand diner, their extravagant lifestyle includes nearly nightly trips to several nightclubs, as well as driving several different new cars, which indicates they may be involved in some sort of criminal activity. Eventually there is a link established between the Bocas and well-to-do lawyer Joel Weinstock, who is rumored to have extensive connections in the narcotics underworld (in a voice over exchange Popeye and Cloudy allude to a drug shipment from Mexico bankrolled by Weinstock).

Title cards before the closing credits note that of the people arrested and tried, only Joel Weinstock and Angie Boca got away without any prison time while the case against Weinstock was dismissed, and Angie received a suspended sentence. Alain Charnier was never found or tried in America. It also states that both Doyle and Russo were transferred out of the narcotics division.

Superman II

  • Directors: Richard Lester, Richard Donner
  • Producers: Pierre Spengler
  • Writers: Screenplay, Mario Puzo, David Newman, Leslie Newman, Creative Consultant, Tom Mankiewicz, Story, Mario Puzo, Comic Book, Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster
  • Genres: Adventure, Romance, Sci-Fi
  • Actors: Gene Hackman, Christopher Reeve, Ned Beatty, Jackie Cooper, Sarah Douglas, Margot Kidder, Jack O Halloran, Valerie Perrine, Susannah York, Clifton James, E G Marshall, Marc McClure, Terence Stamp

Prior to the destruction of Krypton, the criminals General Zod, Ursa and Non are banished into the Phantom Zone. The Zone travels through the galaxy and nears Earth, where it is caught in the explosion of a hydrogen bomb that Superman threw into space in order to save the Eiffel Tower and Paris; the explosion causes the Zone to shatter and free the three Kryptonians, who find they have super powers due to the yellow light of Earth’s sun. They discover human astronauts on the moon, and mistakenly believe that the center of Earth’s power is in Houston, Texas, traveling there to claim the planet for themselves. After destroying much of the town of East Houston, Idaho and defacing the presidential faces on Mount Rushmore, they travel to the White House and force the United States President to surrender to General Zod; though the President does so, he also warns Zod that Superman will defeat them, causing Zod to demand via national broadcast that Superman kneel before him.

Meanwhile, Clark Kent and Lois Lane are sent on assignment for the Daily Planet to Niagara Falls. After Superman saves a boy carelessly playing on the rails, Lois decides that Clark is Superman and intentionally puts herself in danger by going into the water. Clark does not become Superman, but cuts a log secretly with his heat vision, and helps her escape that way. She feels disgusted. As they return to the hotel, she insists on cleaning up and requests something to restore her hair. Clark picks it up, trips, and burns his hands in the fireplace before her very eyes. At least, he should have. Scrambling to help him, she notices no damage and realizes she was right all along. With his secret revealed, Superman decides to take Lois to his Fortress of Solitude. There, he shows her the traces of his past stored in energy crystals, one of which Lois misplaces under her purse. Superman decides to undergo the irreversible process of becoming a human to be able to love Lois. After his transformation, the two spend the night together and then return to Metropolis. They discover what Zod and his companions have done, including Zod’s demand to Superman, and Clark realizes he must return to the Fortress to try to restore his powers, and begins the long trip alone. Once there, he discovers the crystal that Lois had misplaced, and uses its power to restore his abilities.

In the Fortress, Superman attempts to subdue Zod and the others, but is unable to. Under the threat of harming Lois, Zod forces Superman to become human again. Superman appears to undergo the transformation process, but when he emerges, Zod, Ursa, and Non realize they have been the ones transformed into humans, as Superman was able to reconfigure the process before they arrived. Lois is able to break free, and she and Superman quickly cause the three to fall into the depths of the Fortress to their doom. Lex tries to assure Superman that he was in on this plan, but Superman returns him to the authorities. After Superman helps to restore the damage Zod wrought, he still finds that Lois knows his secret. It’s also tearing her up inside. Superman kisses Lois, using his telepathic abilities to erase her memory of the past few days to keep his secret safe, and take her grief away. Superman restores the American flag atop the White House, assuring the President that he will never again abandon his duty.

Enemy of the State

  • Directors: Tony Scott
  • Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer
  • Writers: David Marconi
  • Genres: Action, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Will Smith, Gene Hackman, Jon Voight, Lisa Bonet, Regina King, Jack Black

As the movie opens, the legislature is close to passing legislation to expand surveillance powers of law enforcement agencies. Republican Congressman Phil Hammersly (Jason Robards, uncredited) is trying to stop the bill because he believes it is an invasion of privacy, while Thomas Reynolds (Jon Voight) is trying to push the bill through to confront growing terrorist threats against the U.S.–and advance his own career. Hammersly, on making it clear he won’t reconsider, is then killed with a syringe to the neck near a lake by David Pratt (Barry Pepper), one of two rogue NSA agents loyal to Reynolds, who plant a bottle of heart medication near the body to make the death seem like a heart attack. However, a video camera set up by wildlife researcher Daniel Zavitz (Jason Lee) to monitor geese migration caught the entire incident.

When Zavitz views Hammersley’s murder, he realizes that the news reports of a sudden heart attack are false and sends word to a friend of his, an anti-war activist. Zavitz is unaware that another of Reynolds’ agents saw him retrieve the tape from the video camera, alerting them that Zavitz could have possibly videotaped the murder. He copies the tape onto a computer cartridge, and when NSA agents arrive, he hides the tape in a TurboExpress and escapes. Tracked by satellite and pursued by NSA agents, Zavitz bumps into an old friend from Georgetown University, labor lawyer Robert Clayton Dean (Will Smith) who is in a ladies undergarment store shopping for a gift for his wife.

Dean and Brill are among the few survivors. Reynolds, Pratt, nearly all of the rogue agents involved in the conspiracy, and most of the mobsters – including Pintero – are killed. The FBI sweeps in and the plot behind the legislation is soon exposed. The only two surviving conspirators, NSA technicians Fiedler (Jack Black) and Jamie (Jamie Kennedy) are taken into custody by the FBI, and the NSA’s involvement is covered up by the FBI, by implicating the late Pintero as the one who killed Rachel Banks. Sam Albert informs the media in an interview that the bill did not pass the legislature, and Dean is cleared of all charges and returns home with his wife, while Brill, who escapes to exile in a tropical location, sends a friendly message to Dean via his television set.

Superman

  • Directors: Richard Donner
  • Producers: Alexander Salkind, Ilya Salkind, Pierre Spengler, Richard Lester, Michael Thau
  • Writers: Screenplay, Mario Puzo, David Newman, Leslie Newman, Robert Benton, Creative Consultant, Tom Mankiewicz, Story, Mario Puzo, Comic Book, Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster
  • Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Romance, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, Margot Kidder, Marlon Brando

On the planet Krypton, using evidence provided by scientist Jor-El, the Ruling Council sentences three insurrectionists, General Zod, Ursa and Non, to “eternal living death” in the Phantom Zone for attempting a totalitarian rebellion. Although the Council widely respects him, Jor-El is unable to convince them of his belief that the Kryptonian sun will shortly explode and destroy their planet. As a result, Jor-El launches a spacecraft containing his infant son, Kal-El, towards Earth, a distant planet with a suitable atmosphere, and where Kal-El’s dense molecular structure will give him superhuman powers (since all Kryptonian life-forms gain superpowers from exposure to a yellow sun, such as Earth’s sun). Shortly after the ship launches, Krypton is destroyed.

Three years later, the ship reaches Earth, crashing near an American farming town, Smallville, Kansas, where Kal-El is found by Jonathan and Martha Kent and raised as their own son, Clark. Eighteen years later, after the death of Jonathan, Clark hears a psychic “call”, discovering a glowing green crystal in the ship. Compelled to travel north, Clark heads to the Arctic Circle, where the crystal builds the Fortress of Solitude, resembling the architecture of Krypton. Activating a control panel inside the fortress, a vision of Jor-El explains Clark’s origins, educating him in his powers and responsibilities. After twelve years, with his powers fully developed, Clark leaves the Fortress and finds a job at The Daily Planet in Metropolis. He meets and develops a romantic attraction to reporter Lois Lane, but the feelings are not returned: she regards him as merely a friend. Lois becomes involved in a helicopter accident where conventional means of rescue are impossible, requiring Clark to use his powers in public for the first time in order to save her.

Teschmacher is horrified because her mother lives in Hackensack, but Luthor does not care and leaves Superman to a slow death. Teschmacher rescues Superman on the condition that he will deal with the New Jersey missile first. He is consequently too late to stop the second impact, causing a massive earthquake which he battles to correct. While he is busy saving others, Lois’ car falls into the ground as a result of an aftershock, and quickly begins to fill with dirt and debris, which suffocates her to death. Distraught at being unable to save Lois, Superman ignores Jor-El’s warning not to interfere with human history, preferring to remember Jonathan Kent’s advice that he must be here for “a reason”, and travels back in time in order to save Lois, altering the historical timeline so that her car is never caught in the aftershock. Superman then delivers Luthor and Otis to prison, where he knows they will be secure until they receive a fair trial.

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.

The Conversation

  • Directors: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Producers: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Writers: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Allen Garfield, Cindy Williams, Frederic Forrest

Harry Caul (Gene Hackman) is a paranoid surveillance expert running his own company in San Francisco, and is highly respected by others in the profession. Caul is obsessed with his own privacy; his apartment is almost bare behind its triple-locked door, he uses pay phones to make calls and claims to have no home telephone, and his office is enclosed in wire mesh in a corner of a much larger warehouse. Caul is utterly professional at work, but he finds personal contact difficult. He is exquisitely uncomfortable in dense crowds and withdrawn and taciturn in more intimate situations; he is also reticent and secretive with work colleagues. He is nondescript in appearance, except for his habit of wearing a translucent plastic raincoat virtually everywhere he goes, even when it is not raining.

Despite his insistence that his professional code means that he is not responsible for worrying about the actual content of the conversations he records or the uses to which his clients put his surveillance activities, he is, in fact, wracked by guilt over a past wiretap job that left three persons dead. His sense of guilt is sharpened by his devout Catholicism. His one hobby is playing along with his favourite jazz records on a tenor saxophone in the privacy of his apartment.

Caul’s appalled efforts to forestall tragedy ultimately fail — and, it turns out, the conversation might not mean what he thought it did, and the tragedy he anticipated isn’t the one that eventually happens. In the final scene, he discovers that his own apartment is bugged and goes on a frantic search for the listening device, tearing up the floorboards and destroying his apartment. He fails to find it. At the film’s end he is left sitting amidst the wreckage, calmly playing his saxophone.

Unforgiven

  • Directors: Clint Eastwood
  • Producers: Clint Eastwood
  • Writers: David Webb Peoples
  • Genres: Drama, Western
  • Actors: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris

The film opens with an exposition: She was a comely young woman and not without prospects. Therefore it was heartbreaking to her mother that she would enter into marriage with William Munny, a known thief and murderer, a man of notoriously vicious and intemperate disposition. When she died, it was not at his hands as her mother might have expected, but of smallpox. That was 1878.

In 1880[3] Wyoming, in the town of Big Whiskey, cowboy Quick Mike (David Mucci), despite his friend and fellow cowboy Davey Bunting’s (Rob Campbell) attempts to stop him, slashes a prostitute’s (Delilah Fitzgerald) (Anna Levine) face for laughing at his small penis. The venomous local sheriff and former gunfighter, Little Bill Daggett (Gene Hackman), fines the cowboy and his friend seven ponies, payable to the prostitute’s pimp and saloon owner Skinny Dubois (Anthony James). The other prostitutes, led by their madam Strawberry Alice (Frances Fisher), are furious over the cowboys’ lax punishments and conspire with each other to offer a $1000. reward[4] to anyone who kills the two. The prostitutes are reproached by their pimp for offering a reward that could bring more trouble and the pimp goes to Sheriff Daggett to make him aware of the situation and to see if the Bar-T cowboys could be run out of the territory.

The film ends with an epilogue that echoes its introduction: Some years later, Mrs. Ansonia Feathers made the arduous journey to Hodgeman County, Kansas to visit the last resting place of her only daughter. William Munny had long since disappeared with the children… some said to San Francisco where it was rumored he prospered in dry goods. And there was nothing on the marker to explain to Mrs. Feathers why her only daughter had married a known thief and murderer, a man of notoriously vicious and intemperate disposition.