Midnight Express

  • Directors: Alan Parker
  • Producers: Alan Marshall, David Puttnam
  • Writers: Billy Hayes, William Hoffer, Oliver Stone
  • Genres: Biography, Crime, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Brad Davis, Randy Quaid, John Hurt, Paul L Smith, Irene Miracle

On October 6, 1970, after a stay in Istanbul, a US citizen named Billy Hayes is arrested by Turkish police, on high alert due to fear of terrorist attacks, as he is about to fly out of the country with his girlfriend. After being found with several bricks of hashish taped to his body – about two kilograms in total – he is arrested. After a while, a shadowy American arrives. He translates for Billy. The police ask where Billy bought the hash. Billy tells them that he bought it from a cab driver and offers to help the police track him down in exchange for his release. He goes with the police to a local market and points the cab driver out but while the police go to arrest the cabbie, Billy makes a run for it. He gets cornered in a building and is recaptured by the mysterious American. Billy is sentenced to four years and two months’ imprisonment on the charge of drug possession. He is sent to SaÄŸmalcılar prison (closed in 2008) to serve out his sentence. In the remand centre, he meets and befriends other Western prisoners. In 1974, after a prosecution appeal (who originally wished to have Hayes found guilty of smuggling and not possession), his original sentence is overturned by the Turkish High Court in Ankara and he is ordered to serve a 30-year term for his crime. His stay becomes a living hell: terrifying and unbearable scenes of physical and mental torture follow one another, where bribery, violence and insanity rule the prison.

In 1975, Susan comes to see Billy and is devastated at what the guards have done to him. After being committed to the prison’s insane asylum, Billy again tries to escape, this time by attempting to bribe the head guard, who then takes him to the sanitarium, intending to rape him. Billy ends up killing the guard. He then puts on an officer’s uniform and manages his escape by walking out of the front door. From the epilogue, it is explained that on the night of October 4, 1975 he successfully crossed the border to Greece, and arrived home three weeks later.

A Man for All Seasons

  • Directors: Fred Zinnemann
  • Producers: Fred Zinnemann
  • Writers: Robert Bolt
  • Genres: Biography, Drama
  • Actors: Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller, Leo McKern, Orson Welles, Robert Shaw, Susannah York, John Hurt, Nigel Davenport

Sir Thomas More was the 16th-century Lord Chancellor of England who refused to sign a letter asking the Pope to annul the King’s marriage and resigned rather than take an Oath of Supremacy declaring the King the Supreme Head of the Church of England. The King is Henry VIII of England and his wife is Catherine of Aragon, the first of an eventual six wives. Both the play and the film portray More as a man of principle, motivated by his devout Roman Catholic faith and envied by rivals such as Thomas Cromwell. He is also deeply loved by the common people and by his family.

Hellboy

  • Directors: Guillermo del Toro
  • Producers: Lawrence Gordon, Lloyd Levin, Mike Richardson
  • Writers: Screenplay, Guillermo del Toro, Story, Guillermo del Toro, Peter Briggs, Comic Book, Mike Mignola
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
  • Actors: Ron Perlman, Rupert Evans, Doug Jones, Selma Blair, Ladislav Beran, John Hurt, Jeffrey Tambor

In 1944, the Nazis work with the undead Russian mystic Grigori Rasputin on an isolated island off the coast of Scotland to build a dimensional portal. They intend to use it, with Rasputin’s help, to awaken the Ogdru Jahad, monstrous entities that have been imprisoned and asleep since an undisclosed time, to destroy their enemies. But Rasputin secretly intends to use the entities to bring about the destruction of the entire Earth. He is aided by his servant, Ilsa von Haupstein, to whom he has granted eternal life, and Nazi Lieutenant Colonel Karl Ruprecht Kroenen, Hitler’s top assassin and head of the Thule Occult Society. The United States sends a small Army team to destroy the portal, guided by a young doctor, Professor Trevor Broom (professor Bruttenholm in the comics)[3], who is well-versed in the occult. In the ensuing battle, the German scientists and soldiers are killed and the portal is destroyed, in the process absorbing and apparently killing Rasputin. Ilsa and Kroenen escape capture. As the Army team surveys the ruins for anything that may have sneaked into their dimension through the portal, they discover an infant demon with a stone right hand. Broom coaxes it into his arms with a Baby Ruth candy bar. The soldiers affectionately name the little creature “Hellboy.”

Finally, the film ends with a humorous mid-credits scene, where a forgotten and frightened Manning is lost several levels down in the dank and dim halls of the mausoleum, listening to maybe the rustle of footsteps, and looking to see if there’s anyone around.

The Elephant Man

  • Directors: David Lynch
  • Producers: Jonathan Sanger, Stuart Cornfeld, Mel Brooks
  • Writers: Screenplay, Christopher De Vore, Eric Bergren, David Lynch, Books, Sir Frederick Treves, Ashley Montagu
  • Genres: Biography, Drama, History
  • Actors: Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller

Frederick Treves (Anthony Hopkins), a surgeon at the London Hospital, discovers John Merrick (John Hurt) in a Victorian freak show in London’s East End, where he is managed by the brutish Bytes (Freddie Jones). Merrick is so deformed that he must wear a hood and cape when in public. Bytes further claims that his “exhibit” is an imbecile. Treves is professionally intrigued by Merrick’s condition and pays Bytes to bring him to the London Hospital so that he can examine him. He then presents a lecture to his colleagues on Merrick’s disability, dispassionately displaying him as a prize physiological curiosity. Treves draws attention to the oversized deformities of Merrick’s skull; it is his most obvious disability and (as he was so informed by Bytes) also the most life-threatening, as he is compelled to sleep sitting with his head resting upon his knees, as the weight of his skull would asphyxiate him if he were to ever lie down. On Merrick’s return, Bytes beats him so severely that a sympathetic apprentice (Dexter Fletcher) alerts Treves, who attempts to take him back to the hospital. Bytes confronts Treves, accusing him of likewise exploiting Merrick for his own ends, which leads the surgeon to resolve to do what he can to help the unfortunate man.

As the shocked mob backs away, he collapses from illness and exhaustion. Treves, consumed with guilt over Merrick’s plight, takes action against the night porter with the help of Mrs. Mothershead. When the police return Merrick to the hospital, he is reinstated to his rooms. He recovers a little but it is soon clear he is dying from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. As a treat, Mrs. Kemble arranges an evening at the musical theatre, where Merrick is accompanied by his beloved friends: Treves, Mrs Mothershead, Nurse Nora, and HRH The Princess Of Wales. Resplendent in white tie, he rises in the Royal Box to an ovation, having had the performance dedicated to him from Mrs Kemble. That night, back at the hospital, Merrick thanks Treves for all he has done and finishes his model of the nearby church. Imitating one of his sketches on the wall — a sleeping child — he removes the pillows that have allowed him to sleep in an upright position, lies down on his bed and dies, consoled by a vision of his mother.

Merlin

  • Directors:
  • Producers:
  • Writers:
  • Genres: Drama, Family, Fantasy
  • Actors: Colin Morgan, Angel Coulby, Bradley James, Katie McGrath, John Hurt, with Anthony Head, and Richard Wilson

Merlin arrives at the city of Camelot, where the king, Uther Pendragon, has outlawed magic and imprisoned the last dragon. Merlin, who was born with extraordinary magical powers, is taken as the apprentice of Gaius. Merlin later discovers, after being informed by the last dragon, who is held as a prisoner deep under the city, that he has an important destiny in protecting Uther’s arrogant son, Arthur, so that he may grow up to find a great kingdom.

The era in which the series is set is ambiguous; traditionally the Arthurian legends are set in the dark ages, and the idea of King Uther reigning over a small kingdom (which is present in both traditional legend and the television series) sets it before the union of England in 927. Despite this, the castle interiors are 15th century, making the series’ setting inconsistent with English history. Britain is never mentioned, although the dragon has used the name Albion, which is the oldest known name for Great Britain.

The television series deviates significantly from more traditional versions of the legend (i.e., canon), such as those written by Geoffrey of Monmouth and Thomas Malory. For instance, in the original myth, it is Arthur who builds Camelot, whereas in this series it pre-dates Arthur’s father Uther. Another key difference is that in the television series, Arthur and Merlin are of approximately the same age, whereas in traditional myth, Merlin is much older, and acts as Arthur’s tutor. This kind of relationship is played out between Gaius and Merlin. Morgana, normally shown as an evil sorceress, is here a kind and caring woman.

Other characters from Arthurian legend have appeared. Lancelot was portrayed as a commoner who longed to become a knight. Mordred has been shown as a young Druid boy who formed a bond with Morgana (in some legends Mordred’s mother) and who was prophesied by the Great Dragon to be the cause of death of Arthur (in the legend this occurred at the Battle of Camlann). Mordred and the Great Dragon referred to Merlin by his Druidic name, Emrys (the Welsh form of Ambrosius; Ambrosius Aurelianus was a historical figure whom Geoffrey of Monmouth partially merged with Merlin[citation needed]). Geoffrey of Monmouth himself has appeared as the court genealogist.

Contact

  • Directors: Robert Zemeckis
  • Producers: Robert Zemeckis, Steve Starkey
  • Writers: Novel, Carl Sagan, Screen story, Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan, Screenplay, James V Hart, Michael Goldenberg
  • Genres: Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey, James Woods, Tom Skerritt, William Fichtner, John Hurt, Angela Bassett, David Morse

Dr. Arroway is a scientist for the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. She and her colleagues listen to radio transmissions in hopes of finding signals sent by extraterrestrial life. Government scientist David Drumlin eventually pulls the funding from SETI. After eighteen months of searching, Ellie is able to gain funding from reclusive billionaire industrialist S.R. Hadden, which allows her to continue her studies at the Very Large Array in New Mexico.

Four years later, with Drumlin applying pressure to close SETI, Arroway finds a strong signal repeating a sequence of prime numbers, apparently emitting from the Vega star. This announcement causes both Drumlin and the National Security Council, led by National Security Advisor Michael Kitz, to attempt to take control of the facility. As Arroway, Drumlin and Kitz argue, the team at the VLA discover a video source buried in the signal: Adolf Hitler’s welcoming address at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. Arroway and her team postulate that this would have been the first significantly-strong television signal to leave Earth’s atmosphere, which was then transmitted back from Vega 26 light years away.

The project is brought under tight security and its progress is followed fervently worldwide. President Bill Clinton and Drumlin give a television address to downplay the impact of the Hitler image, while Arroway learns that a third set of data was found in the signal; over 60,000 “pages” of what appear to be technical drawings. Government specialists are unsuccessful in attempting to decode the drawings, which is eventually decoded by Hadden. He explains that the pages are meant to be interpreted in three dimensions, which reveals a complex machine that which allows for one human occupant inside a pod to be dropped into three rapidly spinning rings.

Ellie considers these answers and falls unconscious, finding herself on the floor of the pod where she is being repeatedly called by the machine’s control team. She learns that from all external vantage points, she and the pod merely dropped straight through the Machine. Ellie insists that she was gone for approximately 18 hours, but her recording devices only show static. Kitz resigns as National Security Advisor to lead a Congressional committee to determine if the Machine was a fraud by Hadden, who had the resources to set up an elaborate hoax, but has since died. Ellie is accused of collaborating with Hadden; she asks them to accept her testimony on faith. Kitz and White House Chief of Staff Rachel Constantine together reflect on the fact that Ellie’s recording devices contained 18 hours of static. Ellie is given continued grant money for the SETI program at the Very Large Array.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

  • Directors: Steven Spielberg
  • Producers: Frank Marshall, George Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy
  • Writers: Screenplay, David Koepp, Story, George Lucas, Jeff Nathanson
  • Genres: Action, Adventure
  • Actors: Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Ray Winstone, John Hurt, Jim Broadbent, Shia LaBeouf

In 1957, Colonel-Doctor Irina Spalko and a convoy of Soviet agents posing as U.S. soldiers infiltrate a military base in the Nevada desert. They force Indiana Jones to lead them to a crate in “Hangar 51”, which holds the remains of an extraterrestrial creature that crashed ten years before in Roswell, New Mexico. Indiana attempts to escape but is foiled by his partner George ‘Mac’ McHale, who reveals that he is working with the Soviets. After a fight and an elaborate vehicle chase through the warehouse, Indiana escapes on a rocket sled into the desert, where he stumbles upon a nuclear test town and survives a nuclear explosion by hiding in a lead-lined refrigerator. While being debriefed, Indiana discovers he is under FBI investigation because of Mac’s Soviet ties. Indiana returns to Marshall College, where he is offered an indefinite leave of absence to avoid being fired because of the investigation. At a train station, Indiana is stopped by greaser Mutt Williams and told that his old colleague, Harold Oxley, disappeared after discovering a crystal skull near the Nazca lines in Peru. Indiana and Mutt go to a local diner, where they discuss the legend of the skull and the mythical city of Akator. Mutt passes Indiana a letter from Oxley, which contains a riddle written in an ancient Latin American language. Soviet agents approach them, and a chase commences on the college grounds. Indiana realizes that the Soviets were trailing Mutt to get him to decode Oxley’s letter.

After surviving an attack by Ugha warriors defending the temple, Indiana, Mutt, Marion, Oxley, and Mac arrive at the Temple of Akator, a Mayan-style pyramid in the Amazon rainforest. Claiming that he is a CIA double agent working against the Soviets, Mac enters the temple with Indiana and the group, but he is actually leaving a trail of homing devices for Spalko to follow. The group enters the temple and Indiana uses the skull to open the door to a chamber tomb, where thirteen crystal skeletons, one missing a skull, are seated on thrones. After the Soviets arrive and again reveal Mac’s complicity, Spalko places the skull onto a headless skeleton. It begins communicating to the group through Oxley using an ancient Mayan dialect. Indiana translates this to mean that the aliens want to reward them with a “big gift”. Spalko approaches and demands to “know everything”. The beings grant her request and begin to transfer their collective knowledge into her mind. As a portal to another dimension appears over the room, Oxley regains his sanity and explains that the aliens are interdimensional beings who taught the Ugha tribe their advanced technology, such as agriculture and irrigation. Indiana, Mutt, Marion, and Oxley escape from the temple, but Mac and the soldiers are sucked into the portal. The skeletons form into a single alien which continues to feed Spalko with knowledge; however, the collective knowledge of the thirteen beings is too much for Spalko. Her brain and body ignite and disintegrate â€“ her scattered essence absorbed into the portal as well. The temple crumbles, and a flying saucer rises from the debris and disappears as the Amazon river floods the valley. After they return home, Indiana is reinstated and made an associate dean at Marshall College, and he and Marion are married.

V for Vendetta

  • Directors: James McTeigue
  • Producers: Joel Silver, Larry Wachowski, Andy Wachowski, Grant Hill
  • Writers: Screenplay, Larry Wachowski, Andy Wachowski, Comic Book, Alan Moore, David Lloyd
  • Genres: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry, John Hurt

In the year 2038, Britain has become totalitarian and is ruled by the Far-Right Norsefire regime. The story follows Evey Hammond, a young woman who is rescued from state police by a masked vigilante known as “V”. After rescuing her, they witness V’s destruction of the Old Bailey. The regime explains the incident to the public as an emergency demolition, but this is shown to be a lie when V takes over the state-run British Television Network (BTN) the same day. He broadcasts a message urging the people of Britain to rise up against the oppressive government on the fifth of November; one year from that day, when V will destroy the Houses of Parliament. Evey helps V escape, but is put in danger. V saves Evey from being captured and interrogated by officials and does this by bringing her to his lair, where she is told that she must stay in hiding with him. Upon learning that V is killing government officials, she escapes to the home of one of her superiors at the BTN, television personality Gordon Deitrich. However, after he broadcasts a comedic show about the country’s current regime, the state police raid Gordon’s home, capturing Evey. She is incarcerated and tortured for days, which includes the length of her hair being shorn, leaving her with short hair. Finding solace only in notes left by another prisoner, Valerie, Evey is told that she will be executed unless she reveals V’s whereabouts. Evey says she would rather die. She is then released. Evey discovers that her imprisonment was staged by V, to free her from fear of the fascist government-“Only when you accept death are you free”, V tells her. Later that day Evey leaves V, promising to return before the fifth of November.

Evey is about to send the train down the track, when she is discovered by Inspector Finch. However, Finch, having learned much about the corruption of the Norsefire regime, allows Evey to proceed. Meanwhile, thousands of Londoners, all wearing Guy Fawkes masks, march on Parliament to watch the event. Among these Londoners, we see the faces of those who have died, including a little girl shot by the police for wearing the mask; Evey’s parents; Valerie, the lesbian prisoner in the cell next to V’s whose words had given him his drive; Ruth, Valerie’s partner; and Gordon Dietrich. Because Creedy and the Chancellor are dead, the British Army stands down in the face of a civil rebellion. Parliament is destroyed by the explosion. On a nearby rooftop, Evey and Finch watch the scene together.

Alien

  • Directors: Ridley Scott
  • Producers: Gordon Carroll, David Giler, Walter Hill
  • Writers: Story, Dan O Bannon, Ronald Shusset, Screenplay, Dan O Bannon, David Giler, Walter Hill
  • Genres: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto

The commercial towing spaceship Nostromo is on a return trip from Thedus to Earth, hauling a refinery and twenty million tons of mineral ore and carrying its seven-member crew in stasis. Upon receiving a transmission of unknown origin from a nearby planetoid, the ship’s computer awakens the crew.[11] Acting on orders from their corporate employers, the crew lands the Nostromo on the planetoid, resulting in some damage to the ship. Captain Dallas (Tom Skerritt), Executive Officer Kane (John Hurt), and Navigator Lambert (Veronica Cartwright) set out to investigate the signal’s source while Warrant Officer Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), Science Officer Ash (Ian Holm), and Engineers Brett (Harry Dean Stanton) and Parker (Yaphet Kotto) stay behind to monitor their progress and make repairs.

Dallas, Kane, and Lambert discover that the signal is coming from a derelict alien spacecraft. Inside it they find the remains of a large alien creature whose ribs appear to have been bent outward from the inside. Ripley, meanwhile, determines that the signal transmission is some type of warning. Kane discovers a chamber containing numerous eggs, one of which releases a creature that attaches itself to his face. Dallas and Lambert carry the unconscious Kane back to the Nostromo, where Ash allows them inside against Ripley’s orders to follow the ship’s quarantine protocol. They unsuccessfully attempt to remove the creature from Kane’s face, discovering that its blood is a potent acid. Eventually the creature detaches on its own and is found dead. With the ship repaired, the crew resume their trip back to Earth.

As she prepares to enter stasis Ripley discovers that the Alien is aboard the shuttle. She puts on a space suit and opens the hatch, causing explosive decompression which forces the Alien to the open doorway. She shoots it with a grappling gun which pushes it out, but the gun is caught in the closing door and the Alien is tethered to the shuttle. It attempts to crawl into one of the engines, but Ripley activates them and blasts the Alien into space. The film ends with Ripley and Jones entering stasis for the return trip to Earth.