Spellbound

  • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Producers: David O Selznick
  • Writers: Story, Hilary Saint George Saunders, John Palmer, Screenplay, Angus MacPhail, Ben Hecht
  • Genres: Mystery, Romance, Thriller
  • Actors: Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Chekhov, Leo G Carroll, Rhonda Fleming

But in Ourselves…

The film opens with Shakespeare’s proverb, and words on the screen announcing that its purpose is to highlight the virtues of psychoanalysis in banishing mental illness and restoring reason.

Dr. Constance Peterson (Ingrid Bergman) is a psychoanalyst at Green Manors, a mental hospital in Vermont, and is perceived by the other (male) doctors as detached and emotionless. The director of the hospital, Dr. Murchison (Leo G. Carroll), is being forced into retirement, shortly after returning from an absence due to nervous exhaustion. His replacement is the much younger Dr. Anthony Edwardes (Gregory Peck).

Dr. Peterson notices that there is something strange about Dr. Edwardes. He has a peculiar phobia about seeing sets of parallel lines against a white background, first displayed in an inappropriate reaction to seeing a diagram drawn with the tines of a fork on a tablecloth.

Dr. Peterson soon realizes, by comparing handwriting, that this man is an impostor and not the real Dr. Edwardes. He confides to her that he killed Dr. Edwardes and took his place. He suffers from massive amnesia and does not know who he is. Dr. Peterson believes that he is innocent and suffering from a guilt complex.

‘Dr. Edwardes’ disappears during the night, having left a note for Dr. Peterson that he is going to New York City.

A heartbroken Dr. Peterson returns to her position at the hospital, where Dr. Murchison is once again the director. After reconsidering her notes from the dream, she realizes that the ‘wheel’ was a revolver and that the man hiding behind the chimney and dropping the wheel was Dr. Murchison hiding behind a tree, shooting Dr. Edwardes and dropping the gun. She confronts Murchison with this and he confesses, but says that he didn’t drop the gun; he still has it. He pulls it out of his desk and threatens to shoot her. She walks away, the gun still pointed at her, and explains that while the first murder carried extenuating circumstances of his own mental state, murdering her as well surely would result in the electric chair. He allows her to leave and turns the gun on himself. Dr. Peterson is then reunited with Ballantyne.

The Guns of Navarone

  • Directors: J Lee Thompson
  • Producers: Carl Foreman
  • Writers: Alistair MacLean, Carl Foreman
  • Genres: Action, Drama, War, Adventure
  • Actors: Gregory Peck, David Niven, Anthony Quinn, Anthony Quayle, Stanley Baker

The film opens with an aerial view of the Greek Islands, and a narrator (James Robertson Justice), setting the scene. The year is 1943, and 2000 British soldiers are holed up on the island of Keros in the Aegean near Turkey. Rescue by the Royal Navy is impossible because of massive guns on the nearby island of Navarone. Time is short, because the Germans are expected to launch an assault on the British forces, to draw Turkey into the war on the Axis’ side.

Efforts to blast the guns by air have proven fruitless, so a team has been hastily assembled to sail to Navarone and blow up the guns. Led by Major Roy Franklin (Anthony Quayle), they are Capt. Keith Mallory (Gregory Peck); Andrea Stavros (Anthony Quinn), a Colonel in the defeated Greek army; Corporal Miller (David Niven), an explosives expert; Greek-American street tough Spyros Pappadimos (James Darren); and “Butcher” Brown (Stanley Baker), an engineer and expert knife fighter.

Disguised as Greek fishermen on a decrepit boat, they sail across the Aegean Sea. They are intercepted by a German boat and boarded. On Mallory’s signal, they attack and kill all the Germans and blow up the patrol boat. Afterwards, Mallory confides to Franklin that Stavros has sworn to kill him after the war, because he was inadvertently responsible for the deaths of Stavros’ wife and children.

Mallory and Miller are taken on board the destroyer, while Stavros, who has fallen in love with Maria, decides to return to Navarone with her and shakes hands with Mallory, having given up his planned vengeance when Mallory risked his life to save him.

The Big Country

  • Directors: William Wyler
  • Producers: Gregory Peck, William Wyler
  • Writers: Robert Wilder
  • Genres: Drama, Romance, Western
  • Actors: Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons

Wealthy, newly-retired sea captain and ship-owner James McKay (Gregory Peck) travels to the American west to rejoin his fiancée Patricia (Carroll Baker), whom he had met back East, at the enormous ranch of her father, Major Terrill (Charles Bickford). Terrill is a powerful rancher who is feuding with the equally tough patriarch of a poorer, uncouth, and less refined clan, Rufus Hannassey (Burl Ives). Patricia’s best friend, schoolteacher Julie Maragon (Jean Simmons), is caught between the two, as she is the owner of the “Big Muddy”, a (smaller) big ranch with a vital source of water desired by both men; Hannassey desperately needs it for his cattle, while Terrill wants to gain control of it to bring his rival down.

McKay is a puzzle to Major Terrill, his foreman Steve Leech (Charlton Heston) and even his fiancee; he refuses to be provoked into proving his manhood, even when harassed. We learn that McKay’s father died in a duel, and — as McKay explains to Terrill — no one could remember what the duel was about. One morning, McKay rides out alone, goes to the Big Muddy, and persuades Julie to sell him the ranch, promising her that both the Terrills and the Hannesseys will always have access to the river, hoping that this will defuse the conflict. She agrees to the sale.

Meantime, Terrill, Leech and their men have ridden into the ambush and are pinned down in the canyon. Although Leech realized that the risk was too great, he is unable to dissuade Terrill from going into the canyon, and ultimately Leech follows him in out of loyalty. Acknowledging the truth of McKay’s accusation, Hannassey orders his men to hold their fire. He then challenges Terrill to come out and face him man to man. The two men walk to a final showdown and kill each other. McKay and Julie ride out together.

Roman Holiday

  • Directors: William Wyler
  • Producers: William Wyler
  • Writers: Dalton Trumbo, Ian McLellan Hunter amp John Dighton
  • Genres: Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Eddie Albert

Ann (Hepburn) is a royal princess of an unspecified country. She is on a widely publicized tour of several European capitals, including Rome. One night, she rebels against the strenuous demands of her official duties, where her day is tightly scheduled. Her doctor gives her a sedative to calm her down and help her sleep, but she secretly leaves her country’s embassy to experience Rome by herself.

The injection eventually takes effect and she falls asleep on a bench, where Joe Bradley (Peck), an expatriate American reporter, meets her. Not recognizing her, he offers her money so that she can take a taxi home, but a very drowsy “Anya Smith” (as she calls herself) refuses to cooperate. Joe finally decides, for safety’s sake, to let her spend the night in his apartment. He is amused by her regal manner, but less so when she appropriates his bed. He transfers her to a couch without awakening her. The next morning, Joe wakes up late and, leaving the princess still asleep, hurries off to work.

When his editor, Mr. Hennessy (Hartley Power), asks why he is late, Joe lies to him; he claims to have attended a press conference for the princess. Joe makes up details of the alleged interview until Hennessy informs him that the princess had suddenly “fallen ill” and the conference had been canceled. Joe sees a picture of her and recognizes the young woman. Joe and Hennessy end up making a bet that Joe can get an exclusive on the princess.

The next day, Princess Ann appears at the delayed news conference, and is surprised to find Joe and Irving among the members of the press. Irving takes her picture with the same miniature cigarette lighter/camera he had used the previous day. He then presents her with the photographs he had taken that day, as a memento of her adventure. Joe lets her know, by allusion, that her secret is safe with them. She, in turn, works into her bland press conference statements a coded message of love and gratitude to Joe. She then departs, leaving Joe to linger for a while, contemplating what might have been.

To Kill a Mockingbird

  • Directors: Robert Mulligan
  • Producers: Alan J Pakula
  • Writers: Harper Lee, Horton Foote
  • Genres: Crime, Drama
  • Actors: Gregory Peck, Mary Badham, Phillip Alford, Robert Duvall

“Scout” Finch (Mary Badham) is a six-year-old tomboy growing up in Maycomb, Alabama in 1932, in the depths of the Great Depression. Along with her brother “Jem” (Phillip Alford), and their friend “Dill” (John Megna), she leads a carefree life. Their father is Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck), a widower, and an attorney with deeply-held principles. When young Tom Robinson (Brock Peters), a black man, is falsely accused of raping a white woman (Collin Wilcox) Atticus is appointed to defend him, although a guilty verdict from an all-white jury is expected by everyone – which is exactly what happens, even though Atticus shows that Tom is innocent. Atticus tries to have the verdict overturned, but Tom tries to escape from jail and is killed. To get back at Atticus, the father of the supposed rape victim (James Anderson) attacks Scout and Jem, but Boo Radley (Robert Duvall), a mentally challenged neighbor whom the children have built up in their minds into the local boogeyman, saves them by killing their attacker. The Sheriff decides to promulgate that the death was accidental, and Boo is not put on trial.[1][2]