Sands of Iwo Jima

  • Directors: Allan Dwan
  • Producers: Edmund Grainger
  • Writers: Harry Brown, James Edward Grant
  • Genres: Action, Drama, War, Romance
  • Actors: John Wayne, John Agar, Forrest Tucker, Adele Mara

Tough-as-nails career Marine Sergeant John Stryker (John Wayne) is greatly disliked by the men of his squad, particularly the combat replacements, for the rigorous training he puts them through. He is especially despised by Private Peter Conway (John Agar), the arrogant, college-educated son of an officer Stryker served under and admired, and Private Al Thomas (Forrest Tucker), who blames him for his demotion.

When Stryker leads his squad in the invasion of Tarawa, the men begin to appreciate his methods, except Conway, who considers him brutal and unfeeling when he apparently abandons a wounded comrade to the enemy. During the battle, Thomas goofs off when he goes to get ammunition for two comrades, stopping to savor a cup of coffee. As a result, he returns too late – the two Marines, now out of ammunition, are overrun; Hellenpolis is killed, Bass badly wounded. When Stryker discovers the truth, he forces Thomas into a fistfight. This is seen by a passing officer, but Thomas unexpectedly gets Stryker out of trouble for hitting a subordinate by claiming that he was being taught judo. His conscience ravaging him, Thomas breaks down and abjectly apologizes for his dereliction.

Stryker shows his soft side while on leave in Honolulu. He picks up a bargirl and goes to her apartment. He becomes suspicious when he hears somebody in the next room, but when he investigates, all he finds is a hungry baby boy she is supporting the best way she can. He gives the girl (the widow of a marine) all his money and leaves.

Stryker’s squad fights in the battle for Iwo Jima, witnessing the iconic flag raising on Mount Suribachi. (The flag used was the actual one raised on Mount Suribachi after the battle. It was loaned by the US Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, Virginia.) Afterwards, while the men are resting during a lull in the fighting, Stryker is killed by a sniper. His men find a letter on him, addressed to his son, saying all the things he wanted to say, but never got around to.

A Place in the Sun

  • Directors: George Stevens
  • Producers: George Stevens
  • Writers: Screenplay, Michael Wilson, Harry Brown, Novel, Theodore Dreiser, Play, Patrick Kearney
  • Genres: Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Shelley Winters, Anne Revere

George Eastman (Montgomery Clift), the nephew of industrialist Charles Eastman (Herbert Heyes), takes a job in his factory to learn the business. While working there, he starts dating factory worker Alice “Al” Tripp (Shelley Winters), who becomes pregnant.

At the same time, he meets society girl Angela Vickers (Elizabeth Taylor), and loses interest in Al. Shortly after Al tries to blackmail George into marrying her by threatening to expose their relationship to Angela, she is killed in a boating accident, while out on the lake with George. The film ends when George is convicted of her murder.

El Dorado

  • Directors: Howard Hawks
  • Producers: Howard Hawks
  • Writers: Harry Brown, Leigh Brackett
  • Genres: Western, Action, Adventure
  • Actors: John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, James Caan, Charlene Holt, Paul Fix

Cole Thornton (John Wayne), an infamous gunslinger, is hired by wealthy rancher Bart Jason (Ed Asner) to help him in a ranch war with the McDonald family. While making a stop at the town of El Dorado, the local sheriff and an old friend, J.P. Harrah (Robert Mitchum), approaches him and gives him more sensitive details about the mission of his which Jason had deliberately left out, including the possibility of having to face Harrah in combat. Unwilling to do this, Thornton agrees to quit, though the possibility of a clash between the two is briefly hinted at with the arrival of saloon owner Maudie (Charlene Holt), who is in love with Thornton (and was for a time also the romantic interest of Harrah’s).

In the meantime, however, the McDonalds learn of Thornton’s presence in town. Fearing that he might come for them, Kevin McDonald (R. G. Armstrong) puts his youngest son, Luke, on guard. When Thornton passes by on his way back from visiting Jason to tell him that he is not going to work for him, Luke (Johnny Crawford), who has fallen asleep, wakes and fires a wild warning shot, whereupon Thornton reflexively shoots him. Luke is still alive when Thornton comes to him, but he refuses treatment upon the belief that a gut-shot man wouldn’t have a chance anyway, and commits suicide when Thornton is not looking. Thornton brings Luke’s body to the McDonald farm and offers an explanation, but the only McDonald daughter, Joey (Michele Carey), impulsively rides off before Thornton can finish and subsequently ambushes him. Her shot is not fatal, but the bullet lodges next to Thornton’s spine and in time begins to trouble him by occasionally pressing against the spinal cord, causing temporary paralysis of his right side each time. The local doctor (Paul Fix) is unable to remove the bullet and, after healing up, Thornton departs El Dorado for a new job.

About half a year later, Thornton runs into another gunslinger for hire named Nelse McLeod (Christopher George) and a young greenhorn nicknamed Mississippi (James Caan), who has come for revenge against one of McLeod’s men. Thornton learns that McLeod has been hired by Jason for the very same job Thornton had turned down months ago, and Harrah has turned into a drunk after an unhappy love affair. Thornton returns to El Dorado, where he, Mississippi, and deputy sheriff Bull (Arthur Hunnicutt) try their best both to protect the McDonalds from Jason’s scheming and restore the drunken Harrah to his old self.

Ocean s Eleven

  • Directors: Steven Soderbergh
  • Producers: Jerry Weintraub
  • Writers: George C Johnson, Jack G Russell, Harry Brown, Charles Lederer, Scott Corwon, Ted Griffin
  • Genres: Comedy, Crime, Thriller
  • Actors: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Julia Roberts, Bernie Mac, Don Cheadle, Casey Affleck, Scott Caan, Elliott Gould, Eddie Jemison, with Shaobo Qin, and Carl Reiner

Shortly after being paroled from prison in New Jersey, Danny Ocean (George Clooney) breaks parole to visit Los Angeles, meeting up with Rusty (Brad Pitt), a former partner in his criminal schemes, to inform him that he has a new scheme in mind. The two head to Las Vegas to approach wealthy former casino owner and friend Reuben Tishkoff (Elliott Gould), with a plan to rob the vaults of the Bellagio, The Mirage and the MGM Grand casinos. At first Reuben is very reluctant, knowing himself how much security there is in every casino, but Reuben, seeing this as a way to get back at his rival, Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), owner of the 3 casinos , finances the option and suggests the plan be executed on the night of the highly-anticipated Lennox Lewis/Wladimir Klitschko boxing match. By Nevada Gaming Commission rules, the casinos must maintain adequate funds in their vaults to cover all bets, and during the busy casino night coinciding with the match, more than $150 million is expected to be stored in the Bellagio vault. Danny and Rusty begin to recruit former colleagues and other criminal masterminds into their group. The team plans and carries out a series of reconnaissance missions at the Bellagio to learn as much as possible about the security, the lie of the land and the routines and behaviours of the casino staff. At the same time, they set up a re-creation of the Bellagio vault, in which to practice evasion of the vault’s formidable security systems. During this planning phase, the team discovers that Danny’s ex-wife, Tess Ocean (Julia Roberts), is currently Terry’s lover, and Rusty urges Danny to drop the plan saying that “Tess does not split eleven ways”, aware that Tess may warn Terry that something is afoot if she sees Danny, but Danny figures this into the plan.

Terry quickly realises that the televised images of the vault he is looking at are faked, and that the team had created the images inside a replication of the vault at some earlier time. Specifically, he notices that the video feed did not show the new Bellagio logo that was installed only a few days earlier. His men following the van find that it is being driven remotely, and is only filled with “fliers for hookers”. Terry comes to the realization that Danny’s men must have posed as the S.W.A.T. team and faked the fighting while they cleared out the vault, taking all of the money with them as they left unchecked. Terry returns to the room where he left Danny, finding that Danny is still there, leaving Terry no way to connect him to the theft. Danny offers to assist Terry in finding the money on condition that he give up Tess, to which Terry agrees. However, the team recorded this conversation and shows it to Tess. Angry at being used by Terry, she leaves him and returns to Danny. Danny is still arrested for violating parole and spends some months in prison, after Terry arranges for the police to be tipped off about Danny’s parole violation. When Danny is released, he is met by Rusty and Tess, and the three drive off, closely followed by Terry’s bodyguards.