Silverado

  • Directors: Lawrence Kasdan
  • Producers: Lawrence Kasdan
  • Writers: Lawrence Kasdan, Mark Kasdan
  • Genres: Action, Western
  • Actors: Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Kevin Costner, Danny Glover, Brian Dennehy

Four men—Paden (Kevin Kline), Emmett (Scott Glenn), Jake (Kevin Costner) and Mal (Danny Glover)—meet by chance and travel to the town of Silverado, where they thwart a corrupt rancher and the ruthless sheriff who is on the rancher’s payroll.

The film opens with a gunfight in which Emmett kills three men who ambush him at a deserted shack. Unbeknownst to him, these men worked for a man named Ethan McKendrick (Ray Baker) whose father Emmett had killed. Emmett had just been released from prison after serving five years for the killing. As he travels to the town of Silverado, he finds a man, Paden, lying near death in the desert. The men with whom Paden had been riding had robbed him and left him to die.

Emmett and Paden ride to the town of Turley to meet Emmett’s brother, Jake, who has been jailed, and is awaiting hanging, for killing a man in self-defense. Paden is also jailed when he finds one of the men who robbed him and kills him. Emmett breaks the two of them out of jail and the three escape with the help of Malachi Johnson, a black sharpshooter who was run out of town by Turley’s overzealous sheriff, expatriate Englishman Langston (John Cleese).

In the final scene Emmett and Jake leave for California, their long stated goal, Mal and his sister reunite and decide to rebuild their father’s homestead, and the audience learns that Paden is now the sheriff.

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 Bodyguard

  • Directors: Mick Jackson
  • Producers: Kevin Costner, Lawrence Kasdan, Jim Wilson
  • Writers: Lawrence Kasdan
  • Genres: Romance, Drama, Thriller, Music
  • Actors: Kevin Costner, Whitney Houston, Gary Kemp, Christopher Birt

In this film debut for Houston, she plays Rachel Marron, a music superstar who is being stalked. Frank Farmer (Kevin Costner), a professional bodyguard and former Secret Service agent, is hired to protect her.

The film then follows Rachel Marron’s life through her career and family. Performances include her singing hits such as I Will Always Love You and I Have Nothing. Frank Farmer successfully protects her from danger and as a result of his protection, Rachel falls in love with Frank. He initially tries to keep the relationship professional, but the two sleep together. However, recognizing that their relationship may compromise his protection of her, Frank breaks off their affair. Rachel must put her trust in Frank ahead of her own desire for success. In the end, Frank’s duty is fulfilled, having successfully protected Rachel, and they part with a kiss. Frank then moves on to his next assignment to protect an archbishop.

Raiders of the Lost Ark

  • Directors: Steven Spielberg
  • Producers: Frank Marshall, George Lucas, Howard Kazanjian
  • Writers: Story, George Lucas, Philip Kaufman, Screenplay, Lawrence Kasdan
  • Genres: Action, Adventure
  • Actors: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen

In 1936, in the Peruvian jungle, archaeologist/treasure hunter Indiana Jones braves several booby traps to retrieve the Golden Idol from an ancient temple. After escaping, he finds rival archaeologist RenГ© Belloq waiting outside with a group of Hovitos, the local indigenous people. Surrounded and outnumbered, Jones is forced to give up the artifact to Belloq. Jones escapes from Belloq and the Hovitos after a jungle pursuit, and flies away on a waiting seaplane.

At the American college where he teaches archaeology, Jones meets with two Army intelligence agents who reveal that the Nazis, in their quest for occult power, are searching for Abner Ravenwood, Jones’ former mentor. Ravenwood is the foremost expert on the ancient Egyptian city of Tanis, rediscovered by the Nazis and believed to be where the Pharaoh Shishaq brought the Ark of the Covenant, a chest the Israelites built to contain the fragments of the Ten Commandments. Jones deduces that the Nazis seek Ravenwood because he possesses the headpiece to the Staff of Ra, an artifact essential to pinpoint the Ark’s current location. According to legend, the headpiece would reveal the exact location of the Well of Souls, the chamber containing the Ark, by focusing daylight through a crystal in the center of the headpiece, which would project a beam of light onto a miniature of the city at a certain time of day. Jones’ colleague, Marcus Brody, further explains the legendary power of the Ark to render invincible any army it precedes, explaining the Nazis’ interest in it.

The next morning, a Nazi U-boat commanded by Belloq and Nazi officer Dietrich stops the ship. Marion and the Ark are removed, while Jones covertly boards the U-boat. He follows Belloq and the Ark to an isolated island, where they plan to test the power of the Ark before presenting it to Adolf Hitler. Threatening to destroy the Ark with a Panzerschreck, Jones demands that the Nazis free Marion. Belloq calls his bluff, claiming that Jones, as an archaeologist, wants to see it opened as badly as Belloq; Jones is forced to surrender. Marion and Jones are tied up while Belloq performs a ceremonial opening of the Ark. Spirits emerge from within; Jones, aware of the supernatural danger of looking at the opened Ark, warns Marion to close her eyes. The Nazis, Belloq, Toht, and Dietrich, who do not look away, are all killed by the Ark’s supernatural powers. The Ark closes itself once more, accompanied by a crack of thunder. Back in Washington, D.C., two Army intelligence men tell a suspicious Jones that “top men” are carefully studying the Ark. In reality, the Ark is sealed in a wooden crate and stored in a giant government warehouse filled with countless similar crates.

Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back

  • Directors: Irvin Kershner
  • Producers: Gary Kurtz, George Lucas, Rick McCallum
  • Writers: Screenplay, Leigh Brackett, Lawrence Kasdan, Story, George Lucas
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels

Despite their victory over the Galactic Empire with the destruction of the Death Star, the Rebel Alliance was driven out of their base and forced to establish a new base on the remote ice planet Hoth. Darth Vader, having become obsessed with finding Luke Skywalker, now a commanding officer within the Rebellion, has multiple probe droids dispatched throughout the galaxy, one of which lands on Hoth. While patrolling near the base, Luke is attacked and knocked unconscious by an indigenous predator. Back at the base, Han Solo announces his intentions to leave the Rebellion to pay off a debt to Jabba the Hutt (much to Princess Leia’s displeasure), but stalls to search for Luke when he doesn’t return. Escaping from the creature’s lair, Luke nearly succumbs to the cold and has a vision of his late mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, who instructs him to go to the planet Dagobah to train under Jedi Master Yoda.

Han finds Luke and provides shelter before they are rescued the following morning. Meanwhile, the Imperial probe droid locates the Rebel base on Hoth, and Vader orders an attack while the Rebels prepare to evacuate and disperse. The Imperial forces eventually overpower the Rebels and capture the base. Han and Leia escape on the Millennium Falcon, but are unable to enter hyperspace due to technical difficulties and evade pursuit in an asteroid field, where Han and Leia begin to grow closer to each other. Vader turns to several notorious bounty hunters, including Boba Fett, to assist in locating the Falcon. Meanwhile, Luke escapes from Hoth and crash lands on Dagobah, where he meets a wizened little green creature who reveals himself to be Yoda. While undergoing intensive training, Luke has a premonition of Han and Leia in danger and, against Yoda’s wishes, leaves to save his friends, promising to return to complete his training.

Meanwhile, Luke arrives in Cloud City and falls right into Vader’s trap. He and Vader engage in a lightsaber duel within the carbon-freezing facilities, eventually bringing them to the city’s central air shaft. Gaining an advantage, Vader cuts off Luke’s dueling hand along with his lightsaber. With Luke cornered and defenseless, Vader goads Luke to rule the galaxy alongside him, making the horrifying revelation that he is Luke’s father. Unwilling to join Vader, Luke casts himself into the air shaft and finds himself hanging on an antenna on the underbelly of the city. He makes a desperate call to Leia, who senses Luke’s distress aboard the Millennium Falcon and manages to get him to safety. Its hyperdrive finally functional, the Falcon escapes. Aboard a Rebel medical frigate, Luke is fitted with an artificial hand while Lando sets out on the Falcon to locate Han.

Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi

  • Directors: Richard Marquand
  • Producers: Howard Kazanjian, George Lucas, Robert Watts, Rick McCallum,
  • Writers: Screenplay, George Lucas, Lawrence Kasdan, Story, George Lucas
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels

Luke Skywalker, having fashioned himself as a Jedi Knight, initiates a plan to rescue the frozen Han Solo from the vile crime lord Jabba the Hutt. Princess Leia infiltrates Jabba’s palace on Tatooine disguised as a bounty hunter and releases Han from his carbonite prison, but is caught and forced to serve as Jabba’s slave girl. Luke arrives the next morning and allows himself to be captured. Jabba sentences Luke and Han to be fed to the monstrous Sarlacc. As he is about to be put to death, Luke breaks free and a large battle erupts; in the ensuing chaos, Leia strangles Jabba to death with her slave chains, Han inadvertently knocks Boba Fett, the bounty hunter who captured him, into the gaping maw of the Sarlacc, and Luke destroys Jabba’s sail barge, escaping with his allies. As Han and Leia rendezvous with the other Rebels, Luke returns to Dagobah where he finds that Yoda is dying. With his last breaths, Yoda confirms that the evil Darth Vader is Luke’s father, Anakin Skywalker, and that Luke must confront him again to become a true Jedi Knight. He and the spirit of Obi-Wan Kenobi also reveal that Luke has a twin sister, whom Luke deduces to be Leia.

Back on Endor, the strike team finally destroys the shield generator, and the Rebel fleet, after a fierce battle in which they manage to destroy the Imperial flagship the Executor, the Imperial fleet breaks up and an opportunity to launch a final assault on the Death Star finally arises. Lando leads the remaining ships into the station and fires at the main reactor, causing it to collapse. Luke escapes on an Imperial shuttle with his father’s body before the Death Star explodes, and Lando escapes in the Millennium Falcon. On Endor, Leia reveals to Han that Luke is her brother, and they share a kiss. That evening, Luke returns to Endor and cremates his father’s armor on a funeral pyre. The entire galaxy celebrates the fall of the Empire. During the Rebels’ own celebration on Endor, Luke catches sight of the spiritual figures of Obi-Wan, Yoda, and his redeemed father, who watch over them with pride.