Something s Gotta Give

  • Directors: Nancy Meyers
  • Producers: Nancy Meyers
  • Writers: Nancy Meyers
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance
  • Actors: Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Keanu Reeves, Amanda Peet

Harry Sanborn (Jack Nicholson) is a wealthy New York music mogul who has had a habit of dating women under 30 for 40 years. When he and his latest conquest, Marin Klein (Amanda Peet), drive to her mother’s Hamptons beach house on the coast, his life turns upside down.

Expecting to be alone, Harry and Marin are surprised by Marin’s mother, successful playwright Erica Barry (Diane Keaton), and her sister Zoe (Frances McDormand). After an awkward dinner, the night turns disastrous when — during foreplay with Marin — Harry has a heart attack and is rushed to a hospital. The handsome young doctor, Julian Mercer (Keanu Reeves), tells Harry to stay in the area for a few days, and so Harry ends up staying with Erica. Their differing personalities initially make for awkward living arrangements (seeing her naked), until the two begin to get to know each other.

Soon, the two have fallen in love, they live very different lifestyles — Erica’s determination to be single and independent, and Harry’s constant desire for new women and experiences — combined with the fact that Harry is dating Marin and Julian has fallen for Erica, leave the two struggling to deal with their current relationships with others, but also work on their own. Marin soon breaks up with Harry after she suspects that he’s in love with her mother. The break up is not out of anger, but rather she wants her mother to be able to have a relationship with him and for her own life to move on. Harry and Erica spend more time together and the relationship they have with each other gets even more serious. Harry’s improving health means that he no longer has to stay with Erica, and in a very awkward decision, he heads home.

While Harry is gazing over the river Seine in the Paris night saying “look who gets to be the girl” as it starts to snow, Erica pulls up in a taxi. She gets out and explains to Harry that Julian figured that they both still loved each other. Harry says “I’m 63 years old and for the first time in love”. Harry and Erica kiss; the movie resumes about one year and a half later at another restaurant in New York. Erica and Harry are eating out with Marin and her new husband with their year old child.

Easy Rider

  • Directors: Dennis Hopper
  • Producers: Peter Fonda, William Leland Hayward, Bert Schneider
  • Writers: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Terry Southern
  • Genres: Adventure, Crime, Drama
  • Actors: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson

The protagonists are two bikers: Wyatt, nicknamed ‘Captain America’ (Fonda), and Billy (Hopper). Fonda and Hopper have said that these characters’ names refer to Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kid. Wyatt dresses in American flag-adorned leather, while Billy dresses in Native American-style buckskin pants and shirts and a bushman hat.

After smuggling drugs from Mexico to Los Angeles, Wyatt and Billy sell their contraband to a man (played by Phil Spector) in a Rolls-Royce. With the money from the sale stuffed into the Stars&Stripes-adorned fuel tank of Wyatt’s California style chopper, they ride eastward in an attempt to reach New Orleans, Louisiana in time for Mardi Gras.

During their trip they pick up a hitch-hiker (Luke Askew) and agree to take him to his commune. An odd part to the commune scene is that here are studio sets of Native American tipis in the background as they go up the canyon for swimming, obviously a faux pas. They stay for a few days. Life in the commune appears to be hard, with hippies from the city finding it difficult to grow their own crops. One of the children seen in the commune is played by Fonda’s four-year-old daughter Bridget. At one point the bikers witness a prayer for blessing of the new crop, as put by a communard: A chance “to make a stand,” and to plant “simple food, for a simple taste.” The commune is also host to a traveling theater group that “sings for its supper” (performs for food). The notion of “free love” appears to be practiced, with two women seemingly sharing the affections of the hitch-hiking communard, and who then turn their attention to Wyatt and Billy. As Wyatt and Billy leave, the hitch-hiker (known only as “Stranger on highway” in the credits) gives Wyatt some LSD for him to share with “the right people.”

In the end, though Billy remains oblivious, Wyatt declares: “You know Billy, we blew it.” Wyatt realizes that their search for freedom, while financially successful, was a spiritual failure. The next morning, the two are continuing their trip to Florida (where they hope to retire wealthy) when two rednecks in a pickup truck spot them, and decide to “scare the hell out of them” with their shotgun. As they pull alongside Billy and insult him, Billy sticks his middle finger up at them. In response, one of the men fires the shotgun at Billy and seriously wounds him, perhaps by accident. Wyatt immediately turns around to see his friend crashed and bleeding on the side of the road. As Wyatt goes for help, one of the rednecks fires at him as he speeds by the pickup. The shot hits the gas tank of Wyatt’s bike, causing it to explode. The explosion not only kills Wyatt, but also destroys the money – which was what they had staked their life on. From the flaming bike on the side of the road, the camera ascends towards the sky, and the duo’s journey “looking for America” ends once and for all.

Terms of Endearment

  • Directors: James L Brooks
  • Producers: James L Brooks
  • Writers: James L Brooks, Larry McMurtry
  • Genres: Romance, Comedy, Drama
  • Actors: Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Jeff Daniels, John Lithgow

The film is about the thirty-year mother-daughter relationship between two women: stubborn brunette Emma (Debra Winger) and her devoted, possessive, blond, widowed mother Aurora Greenway (Shirley MacLaine).

Before the opening credits, the film portrays Aurora as a worried, new mother who checks on her baby every five minutes in the middle of the night and imagines the worst. In the baby’s bedroom, she stares at the crib of her infant daughter and imagines crib death: “Rudyard, she’s not breathing.” She shakes her baby out of its quiet and peaceful sleep, causing the infant to wail — and Aurora to claim: “That’s better.”

Later, as a young adult, Emma rebels against Aurora’s attentions, and against her advice marries literature student Flap Horton (Jeff Daniels). As the independent-minded, individualistic Emma is getting in the car with her family to move from Houston, Texas to Des Moines, Iowa, away from her managing mother, she tells her:

As they suffer from unpaid bills (in a wrenching supermarket scene, young Teddy (Huckleberry Fox) hands back a Clark candy bar to the checkout clerk with a simple: “I don’t need it”), young mother Emma also discovers that her feckless husband, a college literature professor, is unfaithful and sleeping with one of his graduate students, and she retaliates with her own brief affair with a timid Iowa bank officer Sam Burns (John Lithgow).

After the funeral, Garrett supportively pays special attention to Emma’s long-neglected son.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo s Nest

  • Directors:
  • Producers: Michael Douglas, Saul Zaentz
  • Writers: Novel, Ken Kesey, Screenplay, Lawrence Hauben, Bo Goldman
  • Genres: Drama
  • Actors: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, William Redfield, Brad Dourif, Will Sampson, Danny DeVito, Scatman Crothers, Christopher Lloyd

Randle Patrick McMurphy (Jack Nicholson), a recidivist criminal serving a short prison term on a work farm for statutory rape, is transferred to a mental institution due to his apparently deranged behavior. This is possibly a deliberate gambit by McMurphy in the belief that he’ll now be able to serve out the rest of his sentence in relative comfort and ease.

His ward in the mental institution is run by a calm but unyielding tyrant, Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher), who has cowed the patients — most of whom are there by choice, categorized as “voluntary” patients — into dejected submission. While he initially has little respect for his fellow patients, McMurphy’s anti-authoritarian nature is aroused. His needling of Nurse Ratched is initially just for kicks, but his sense of injustice at their treatment leads him into a battle for the hearts and minds of the patients. What he finds out only later is that Ratched has the power to keep him there indefinitely. Rather than simply bide her time with McMurphy and have him transferred, Ratched sees his behavior as a personal affront and challenge to her authority and becomes obsessed with winning this contest.

McMurphy gradually forms deep friendships in the ward with a group of men which includes Billy Bibbit (Brad Dourif), a suicidal, stuttering and helpless young man whom Ratched has humiliated and dominated, and “Chief” Bromden (Will Sampson), a 6′ 7″ (2 m) muscular Native American. Believed by the patients to be deaf and mute, Chief is mostly ignored but also respected for his enormous size. In Billy, McMurphy sees a younger brother figure whom he wants to teach to have fun, while the Chief ultimately becomes his only real confidant, as they both see their struggles against authority in similar terms.

Some time has passed and the patients are seen playing cards as usual. Nurse Ratched, her vocal cords damaged by McMurphy’s previous attack, is forced to speak through a microphone for the patients to hear her, and finds that she is now no longer able to intimidate them. Later that night, Chief Bromden sees McMurphy being returned to his bed. When the Chief approaches him, he finds to his horror that he has been given a lobotomy. Unwilling to leave McMurphy behind, the Chief suffocates his neurologically disabled friend with a pillow at night. He follows McMurphy’s plan for escape by heroically hoisting a heavy hydrotherapy control panel (which McMurphy failed to lift earlier) and hurling it through a barred window. He is last seen fleeing the institution to the roaring cheers from Taber.

Anger Management

  • Directors: Peter Segal
  • Producers: Adam Sandler, Allen Covert, Jack Giarraputo, Tim Herlihy
  • Writers: David S Dorfman
  • Genres: Comedy, Romance
  • Actors: Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson, Marisa Tomei, Luis Guzman, Allen Covert, Lynne Thigpen, With Woody Harrelson, And John Turturro

The film begins in 1978, where a young Dave Buznik sits on a street corner, looking at the girl of his dreams jumping rope. She comes over and wants to play truth or dare. He picks dare, and she says to kiss her. Right as he’s about to, the local school bully Arnie Shankman pulls down his pants, embarrassing him in front of everybody. Shankman’s antics have traumatized Dave from there on, kissing in public. In the present day, a grown up Dave Buznik works at a cat catalog company, but he still has problems with standing up for himself such as dealing with an abusive boss who frequently takes credit for his work, much to the concern of his girlfriend Linda.

On the plane, a person is in his assigned seat. Dave is invited to sit beside a person who introduces himself as Buddy Rydell. Buddy seems very annoying and laughs out loud at a movie. Not wanting Dave to miss out, he tells him to get a headset. Dave asks for one, but the flight attendant he asks just starts talking nonstop to another flight attendant, generally ignoring his request. Annoyed, Dave asks her again, tapping her on the arm, and she demands that he lower his voice and keep calm, although he is quite calm. The flight’s air marshal soon enters the conversation and ends up tasering Dave due to miscontrued words that he interprets as being racist.

The film ends where the majority of the film’s cast are celebrating Dave’s graduation in a park. Dave pulls a joke on Buddy, having a friend of his pose as the owner of the car Buddy ruined earlier in the movie. The friend pulls out a gun, and Dave stands up to him, citing what he learned from Buddy, it’s revealed the gun is a water gun, which Buddy used on the monks earlier. The group laugh and finish by singing “I Feel Pretty” from West Side Story.

A Few Good Men

  • Directors: Rob Reiner
  • Producers: David Brown, Rob Reiner, Andrew Scheinman
  • Writers: Aaron Sorkin
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Tom Cruise, Demi Moore, Jack Nicholson, Kevin Pollak, Kevin Bacon, J T Walsh, and, Kiefer Sutherland

LTJG Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise), son of the late Lionel Kaffee (who held the positions of Attorney General and Navy Judge Advocate General), is an inexperienced U.S. Navy lawyer who leads the defense in the court-martial of two Marines, PFC Louden Downey (James Marshall) and LCpl Harold Dawson (Wolfgang Bodison), who are accused of murdering a fellow Marine of their unit, PFC William T. Santiago (Michael DeLorenzo), at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba.

Santiago was not quite up to the task compared to his fellow Marines. He complained of health conditions that his superiors ignored and was generally disliked by everyone in his company. He had gone out of the chain of command to request a transfer off the base, even going so far as bargaining for one in exchange for blowing the whistle on Dawson for an “illegal fence-line shooting” when Dawson fired an unanswered shot toward the Cuban side.

In a flashback, Colonel Nathan Jessup (Jack Nicholson), the C.O. of the Marine detachment at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base is shown reading the letter detailing the incident to two subordinate officers: his executive officer LtCol Matthew Markinson (J.T. Walsh), and 1st LT. Jonathan Kendrick (Kiefer Sutherland), Santiago’s platoon commander. Jessup and Kendrick are incensed that Santiago would do this, and Markinson is the only one who wants to go ahead with transferring Santiago off the base. However, Jessup gives a speech about their duty as officers to train those who defend their nation, sarcastically suggesting the logical extension of “surrendering our position in Cuba” if just one Marine is sent packing. He thus makes the decision not to transfer Santiago. Markinson questions it and, after LT Kendrick is dismissed, is reprimanded for questioning Jessup’s authority in the presence of another officer. Jessup then calls Kendrick in order to discuss “young William’s training”.

As they leave, Kaffee tells Dawson that he doesn’t need to wear a badge on his arm to have honor. Dawson reacts by saluting Kaffee, displaying a new respect for the man, having purposely refused to do so earlier when he dismissed Kaffee’s plea-bargaining methods as cowardice. Ross then announces that Kendrick will also be arrested.

As Good as It Gets

  • Directors: James L Brooks
  • Producers: Laura Ziskin
  • Writers: Mark Andrus, Mark Andrus James L Brooks
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear, Cuba Gooding Jr, Shirley Knight, Skeet Ulrich

Melvin Udall is a successful novelist with a brash and abrasive personality who suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder. He insists on sitting at the same table at the same restaurant each day, much to the chagrin of Carol (Helen Hunt), the main waitress who waits on him.

Melvin works from home, and often uses homophobic remarks to berate his neighbor Simon Bishop (Greg Kinnear), a painter who is often seen with his little dog Verdell, which Melvin dislikes.

Simon is robbed and severely beaten in his apartment. He survives, but has no health insurance for his medical bills. Suddenly broke, he is forced to lay off his housekeeper and also faces the loss of his apartment. His agent Frank (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) pressures Melvin to look after Verdell. Melvin grows fond of the dog.

Melvin goes out to breakfast, finding out that Carol is not at work. He finds out that Carol needed to take her son to the hospital for treatment of an asthma attack. Because his disorder demands a structured routine in order for him to maintain his composure, Melvin arranges for a doctor to help Carol with her son Spencer’s asthma at no charge.

Carol is shocked, moved by the uncharacteristic kindness, but suspicious. She shows up at his doorstep in the rain and tells Melvin she will never have sex with him. Carol later apologizes, and a bond begins to form between her and Melvin.

The movie ends with Carol and Melvin walking into a bakery early in the morning, forming a bond and Melvin no longer compulsively avoiding sidewalk cracks.

Batman

  • Directors: Tim Burton
  • Producers: Peter Guber, Jon Peters, Michael Uslan, Benjamin Melniker
  • Writers: Screenplay, Sam Hamm, Warren Skaaren, Story, Sam Hamm, Comic Book, Bill Finger, Bob Kane
  • Genres: Action, Crime, Thriller
  • Actors: Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl

As a child, Bruce Wayne saw his parents killed by a young criminal. He grows up, avenging their death against the criminals in Gotham City. He takes a disguise as Batman, while keeping his public image as a billionaire heir to Wayne Enterprises. Years later, Gotham is under control by crime boss Carl Grissom. Despite the best efforts of newly-elected district attorney Harvey Dent and police commissioner James Gordon, the police department remains corrupted. Reporter Alexander Knox and photo-journalist Vicki Vale begin investigating the rumors of a shadowy vigilante figure dressed as a bat, who has been terrifying criminals throughout the city.

Vicki and Knox attend a benefit at the mansion of billionaire Bruce Wayne, who is taken by Vicki’s charms. Knox, however, appears somewhat jealous of the chemistry between Bruce and Vicki. That same night, Grissom’s second in command, Jack Napier, is sent to raid Axis Chemicals factory. After the police receive a tip-off and arrive to arrest him, Jack realizes he’s been set-up by his boss, angered by his affair with Grissom’s mistress. In the midst of the shoot-out, Batman arrives and takes out Jack’s henchmen.

In a bizarre accident caused by his own ricocheting bullet, deflected by Batman’s metal-reinforced gauntlet, Jack’s face is ripped open. Reeling from the pain, he topples over a platform rail but manages to grab a lower rail with one hand. Batman momentarily clutches Jack’s free hand, but the grip is soon broken, and he falls into a large vat containing an unknown chemical solution. Shortly thereafter, he emerges from an adjacent reservoir, his hair and skin permanently discolored. Following a botched surgical attempt to repair his face, Jack is left with a permanent grin, which becomes his most distinguishing feature as “The Joker”.

After killing Grissom, the Joker takes over his empire and holds the city at his mercy by chemically altering everyday hygiene products so that those using a certain combination of products die. Batman attempts to track down the Joker, who has become romantically interested in Vicki. It is revealed that Joker, as a young criminal, killed Bruce’s parents. He holds a parade through Gotham, luring its citizens on to its streets by dispensing money, intending to kill them with a lethal gas. Batman foils his plan, but the Joker kidnaps Vicki and takes her to the top of a cathedral church. After a fight with Batman, the Joker falls to his death from the bell tower. Commissioner Gordon unveils the Bat-Signal along with a note from Batman read by Harvey Dent, promising to defend Gotham whenever crime strikes again.

Chinatown

  • Directors: Roman Polanski
  • Producers: Robert Evans
  • Writers: Robert Towne
  • Genres: Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston

A Los Angeles private investigator named J.J. “Jake” Gittes (Jack Nicholson) is hired to spy on Hollis Mulwray, the chief engineer for the city’s water department. The woman hiring Gittes (Diane Ladd) claims to be Mulwray’s wife Evelyn, suspecting him of adultery. But Mulwray spends most of his time investigating dry riverbeds and drainage outlets. He also has a heated argument in public with an elderly man. Gittes finally catches Mulwray during an outing with a young blonde and photographs the pair, which becomes a scandal in the press. After the story is published, Gittes is confronted by the real Evelyn Mulwray (Faye Dunaway). She threatens to sue. Jake’s been duped by the phony. He needs to find out who did this and why.

Clues suggest a scandal in the city government: Despite a serious drought and an expensive proposal to build a new dam (a plan Mulwray vehemently opposes), the Water and Power department is dumping fresh water into the ocean at night.

On a tip, Gittes looks for Mulwray at a reservoir but finds the police there instead, investigating Mulwray’s death by drowning. When the police speak to Mrs. Mulwray about the death, she lets them assume that she hired Gittes, which he corroborates. At the county morgue, Gittes sees the body of a homeless man who allegedly drowned in the L.A. River, while it had been nearly dry during a drought. Gittes confronts Evelyn and tells her that his investigation so far suggests that her husband was murdered. She thanks him and hires him to investigate what happened to her husband.

When Cross approaches Katherine, demanding custody of her, Evelyn pushes him back, shoots him in the arm and starts her car. As Evelyn is driving away, the police open fire and Evelyn is shot and killed. Cross clutches Katherine, taking her out of the car, as a devastated Gittes is comforted by his associates, who urge him to walk away: “Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.”

The Shining

  • Directors: Stanley Kubrick
  • Producers: Stanley Kubrick, Jan Harlan, Martin Richards
  • Writers: Novel, Stephen King, Screenplay, Stanley Kubrick, Diane Johnson
  • Genres: Horror, Thriller
  • Actors: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers

Jack Torrance arrives at the Overlook Hotel for a job interview. Manager Stuart Ullman warns him that the previous caretaker got cabin fever and killed his family and himself during the long winter in which the hotel is entirely isolated. The hotel itself is built on the site of an Indian burial ground. Jack’s son Danny has had terrifying premonitions about the hotel. His mother, Wendy, tells a visiting doctor about Danny’s imaginary friend “Tony”, and that Jack, her husband, had given up drinking because he had physically abused Danny after a binge.

The family arrives at the hotel on closing day, and is given a tour. The elderly African-American chef, Dick Hallorann, surprises Danny by speaking to him telepathically and inviting him for an ice cream. He explains to Danny that he and his grandmother shared the gift; they called the communication “shining.” Danny asks if there is anything to be afraid of in the hotel, particularly Room 237. Dick tells Danny that the hotel has a certain “shine” to it and many memories, not all of them good, and advises him to stay out of room 237 under all circumstances.

A month goes by; Jack’s writing project is going nowhere, Wendy is concerned about the phone lines being out due to the snow storm, and Danny is having more frightening visions. Jack tells Danny that he genuinely loves and cares for him, and that he would like to stay in the hotel forever.

Danny has written “REDRUM” in lipstick on the door of Wendy’s bedroom. When she looks in the mirror, she sees that it is “Murder” spelled backwards. Jack picks up an axe and begins to chop through the door leading to his family’s living quarters. In a frantic maneuver, Wendy sends Danny out through the bathroom window but Wendy can’t escape the same way because the window sticks half-way. Jack then starts chopping the bathroom door down with the axe. When Jack has almost hacked his way through, he pushes his face into the splintered wood and calls “Here’s Johnny!” with homicidal intent. [2] As Jack attempts to unlock the door, Wendy swipes at his hand with a butcher knife; Jack backs off and starts prowling around the hotel. Hallorann enters, but is killed by Jack, by putting a axe through his chest, who then chases Danny into the hedge maze. Danny manages to evade his father by walking backwards in his own tracks. Wendy and Danny escape in Hallorann’s vehicle, while Jack freezes to death in the hedge maze. The final shot of the movie is of an old photograph taken at the hotel on July 4, 1921 in which Jack Torrance is clearly visible while Midnight, the Stars and You[3] is being played through the hallways.