The Man Who Would Be King

  • Directors: John Huston
  • Producers: John Foreman
  • Writers: Rudyard Kipling, John Huston, Gladys Hill
  • Genres: Action, Adventure
  • Actors: Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer, Saeed Jaffrey

While working as a correspondent at the offices of the Northern Star newspaper, Kipling (Christopher Plummer) is approached by a ragged, seemingly crazed derelict, who reveals himself to be his old acquaintance Peachy Carnehan (Michael Caine). Peachy tells Kipling the story of how he and his comrade-in-arms Danny Dravot (Sean Connery) traveled to remote Kafiristan (in modern-day Afghanistan), became gods, and ultimately lost everything.

A few years earlier, the pair of rogues had met Kipling at his office. After signing a contract pledging mutual loyalty and forswearing drink and women until they achieved their grandiose aims, Peachy and Danny set off on an epic overland journey north beyond the Khyber Pass, “travelling by night and avoiding villages”, fighting off bandits, blizzards and avalanches, into the unknown land of Kafiristan (literally “Land of the (Non-Muslim) Infidels”).

They chance upon a Gurkha soldier who goes by the name Billy Fish (Saeed Jaffrey), the sole survivor of a mapping expedition several years before. Billy speaks English as well as the local tongue, and it is he, acting as translator and interpreter of the customs and manners, who smooths the path of Peachy and Danny as they begin their rise, first offering their services as military advisors, trainers, and war leaders to the chief of a much-raided village.

The angry natives pursue him and Peachy. Billy tries to buy time by courageously charging the mob singlehandedly, but the pair are soon captured. Danny is forced to walk to the middle of a rope bridge over a deep gorge; he apologises to Peachy before the ropes are cut. Peachy is crucified between two pine trees, but is cut down the next day when he miraculously survives the ordeal. Eventually, he escapes, though his mind has become unhinged by his sufferings. As Peachy finishes his story, he presents Kipling with Danny’s head, still wearing its crown, thereby proving the tale is true.


  • Directors: Joseph L Mankiewicz
  • Producers: Morton Gottlieb
  • Writers: Anthony Shaffer
  • Genres: Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Laurence Olivier, Michael Caine

Andrew Wyke is a wealthy, unhappily married country squire and writer of detective novels who delights in playing elaborate games. Aware that Milo Tindle, the struggling owner of two hair salons, is having an affair with his wife, Marguerite, Wyke invites him to his country manor house in Wiltshire. Wyke is also having an affair with a girl named Teija and is quite happy to divorce his wife. His main concern is that Tindle, a struggling businessman, will be unable to maintain Marguerite in the lifestyle to which she has become accustomed, and that she’ll leave him and return to Wyke.

Wyke suggests that Tindle steal some valuable jewelry and sell it in order to live happily with Marguerite, while Wyke will claim the insurance in order to live happily with Teija. When Tindle agrees, Wyke offers him a disguise in case of unexpected visitors and, dressed up as a clown and under Wyke’s supervision, Tindle breaks into Wyke’s manor house, blows open the safe and obtains the jewels.

Wyke then reveals that he has lured Tindle into a trap whereupon he can legally shoot him as an intruder. Wyke’s real grievance is that his wife has been having an affair with a working-class boy made good rather than a member of the upper classes like himself (Tindle’s Italian origins make him even worse in Wyke’s eyes). He looks upon Tindle as nothing more than a gigolo, “a jumped-up pantry boy who doesn’t know his place”. While Tindle begs for mercy, Wyke fires the gun and he falls to the floor.

Within a few moments, a police car, with lights flashing, reaches Wyke’s front door, and someone begins to knock. Wyke tries to retreat away from the window to avoid being seen, while Tindle, bleeding profusely and barely able to crawl, grabs the switch wired to the entirety of Wyke’s large collection of mechanical toys, which come violently to life and attract the attention of the police. As the screen fades out, Wyke realizes that he is ruined, and the dying Tindle laughs and says mockingly, “Andrew… be sure and tell them… it was only a bloody game.”


  • Directors: Christopher Nolan
  • Producers: Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas
  • Writers: Christopher Nolan
  • Genres: Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Michael Caine

A contemporary science fiction action thriller set within the architecture of the mind.

Harry Brown

  • Directors: Daniel Barber
  • Producers: Matthew Vaughn, Kris Thykier, Matthew Brown, Keith Bell
  • Writers: Gary Young
  • Genres: Thriller
  • Actors: Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, Ben Drew, Charlie Creed Miles, David Bradley, Jack O Connell, and Liam Cunningham

The film opens with the gang initiation of a boy on a council estate in South London, and in a scene apparently filmed on a mobile phone, three gang members harass and shoot dead a mother walking her child. While attempting to escape by motorcycle, they speed across a road in front of an oncoming truck and are also killed. The titular Harry Brown (Caine), an elderly former Royal Marine suffering from emphysema, wakes to news of these deaths over the radio. With his wife sick in hospital, in order to visit her Harry must cut through a public underpass which is a gathering spot at all hours by local chavs and gang members.

Though seeing the increasingly brutal facts of life on the estate (including a man beaten for attempting to intervene when his car is broken into by a gang of youths) Harry is unwilling to get involved. In fact, it seems Harry’s only real friend is Leonard (Bradley), another pensioner who complains that hooligans put dog faeces through his letterbox and spit on him. The pair play chess at a pub run by Sid (Cunningham), who takes kickbacks from a pair of drug and arms dealers, something Leonard cannot forgive but which Harry is willing to ignore. That night Harry is informed that his wife is dying, and he attempts to get to the hospital before she expires; however, in order to do so he must go through the underpass, something he is unwilling to do. By the time he finds an alternative route to the hospital his wife is already dead. After the funeral, Leonard confides that he can no longer take the insults and indignities the youths foist upon him and he shows Harry a First World War bayonet he has taken to carrying in his jacket. When Harry tells him he should put the knife away and talk to the police, Leonard admits he has done so but they ignored him. That night Leonard wakes in his flat to find someone has put burning dog faeces through his letterbox.

At a conference held after the riot, SI Childs explains that DS Hicock would be given a posthumous commendation and that the actions of the police helped lower crime on the estate, refuting claims that a “vigilante” had anything to do with it. The final scene is of Harry Brown walking toward the underpass, which is now silent and safe compared to the beginning of the film.


  • Directors: Cy Endfield
  • Producers: Stanley Baker, Cy Endfield
  • Writers: John Prebble, Cy Endfield
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, History, War
  • Actors: Stanley Baker, Jack Hawkins, Ulla Jacobsson, James Booth, Michael Caine

In 1879, a communiqué from British South Africa to the government in London, narrated by Richard Burton, details the crushing defeat of a British force at the hands of the Zulus at the Battle of Isandhlwana. The first scene shows a grassy landscape with many dead British soldiers, while victorious Zulus gather their weapons.

A mass Zulu marriage ceremony witnessed by missionary Otto Witt (Jack Hawkins), his daughter (Ulla Jacobsson) and Zulu King Cetshwayo (Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi) is interrupted by a messenger who informs Cetshwayo of the great victory earlier in the day.

A company of the British Army’s 24th Regiment of Foot, depicted as a Welsh regiment, is using the missionary station of Rorke’s Drift in Natal as a supply depot and hospital for their invasion force across the border in Zululand. Upon receiving news of Isandhlwana from the Witts and that a large enemy force is advancing their way, Lieutenant John Chard (Stanley Baker) of the Royal Engineers assumes command of the small British detachment, being senior to Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead (Michael Caine). Realising that they cannot outrun the Zulu army, especially with wounded soldiers, Chard decides to fortify the station and make a stand, using wagons, sacks of mealie, and crates of ship’s biscuit. When Witt becomes drunk and starts demoralising the men with his dire predictions, causing the soldiers of the Natal Native Contingent to desert, Chard orders him and his daughter to leave in their carriage.

The next morning, at dawn, the Zulus withdraw several hundred yards and begin singing a war chant; the British respond by singing “Men of Harlech”. In the last assault, just as it seems the Zulus will finally overwhelm the tired defenders, a reserve of soldiers Chard had hidden behind a final redoubt emerge, form into three ranks, and pour volley after volley into the stunned natives. They withdraw after sustaining heavy casualties. Later, the Zulus sing a song to honour the bravery of the British defenders and leave. The film ends with a narration by Richard Burton, listing defenders who received the Victoria Cross, including Private Hook. Eleven were awarded for the actual fighting at Rorke’s Drift, the most ever for a regiment in a single battle in British military history.

The Prestige

  • Directors: Christopher Nolan
  • Producers: Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas
  • Writers: Novel, Christopher Priest, Screenplay, Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
  • Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson, David Bowie, Piper Perabo, Andy Serkis, Rebecca Hall

Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) and Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) are plants for Milton the Magician (Ricky Jay), with Cutter (Michael Caine) as his illusion engineer. Angier’s wife, Julia (Piper Perabo) drowns while performing a predicament escape from a Chinese water torture cell, and Angier suspects that Borden bound her wrists with a new knot that he had suggested to Cutter before—one harder for her to undo than his customary one. At the funeral, Borden enrages Angier by saying he does not know which knot he tied.

The two men begin separate careers as magicians; Borden becomes “The Professor” and hires an engineer named Fallon, while Angier performs as “The Great Danton” with Cutter and Olivia (Scarlett Johansson) as his assistants. During a parlor magic job, Borden meets Sarah (Rebecca Hall); they marry and have a daughter, Jess. Sarah feels uneasy about Borden and his apparent fickleness; she claims to know when he loves her and when he does not. During Borden’s performance of the bullet catch, a disguised Angier again demands to know which knot Borden used. Borden and Fallon quickly realize Angier is going to shoot at Borden with a loaded gun. At the last second, Fallon intervenes, and the bullet severs two of Borden’s fingers instead of killing him. A disguised Borden later sabotages Angier’s performance of the vanishing bird cage illusion, damaging Angier’s reputation.

Cutter accompanies Angier to the abandoned building where the water tanks are stored, and helps him store the teleportation machine. Cutter leaves in disgust, silently acknowledging the arrival of Borden, who shoots Angier. Borden reveals that he and “Fallon” were identical twins who lived as a single individual, alternating lives as needed: one twin loving Sarah and the other loving Olivia. For the original illusion, a twin acted as the double. They were so committed to the illusion that they amputated the other twin’s fingers to match his brother’s injury; they also suffered the loss of Sarah as a result of their dedication to the illusion. Similarly, flashbacks recount Angier’s method: that each time he disappeared during his illusion, the machine would create a duplicate, with one Angier falling through a trap door into a locked tank and drowning, and another Angier teleporting to the balcony. Each tank stores a drowned duplicate of Angier for each time that he has performed the trick. Before leaving, Borden looks back at the aisles of tanks containing the dead duplicates and then leaves the dead Angier as a fire begins to consume the building. Borden reunites with Jess.

Children of Men

  • Directors:
  • Producers: Marc Abraham, Eric Newman, Iain Smith, Hilary Shor, Tony Smith, Thomas Bliss, Armyan Bernstein
  • Writers: Novel, P D James, Screenplay, Timothy J Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Uncredited, Clive Owen 1
  • Genres: Adventure, Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Charlie Hunnam, Clare Hope Ashitey, Pam Ferris, Danny Huston, Peter Mullan, Michael Caine

The film is set in the year 2027. Due to an unexplained infertility pandemic, no human children have been born in any part of the world for more than eighteen years. The world has descended into chaos with most governments in the world collapsing, leaving the United Kingdom as one of the sole organised societies. At the beginning, it is said that Seattle is under a siege for its 1,000th day, and that there may have been a nuclear attack on New York. Consequently, millions of refugees (referred to as “fugees”) have flooded into the United Kingdom seeking asylum. As a result of the influx, Britain has become a militarised police state. The British Army occupies the streets and forcefully detains all ‘illegal immigrants’ and suspected sympathisers.

The film opens with Theo, an activist turned apathetic bureaucrat, buying coffee in a crowded coffee shop. There, he learns that the world’s youngest human, an eighteen-year-old known as “Baby Diego”, has been stabbed to death in Buenos Aires for refusing to sign an autograph. As Theo leaves the café on Fleet Street, he stops and adds some alcohol to his coffee and then a bomb explodes, destroying the coffee shop and killing numerous passers-by. The government attributes the attack to the Fishes, an underground resistance group advocating the rights of “every immigrant in Britain”. Shaken, Theo visits his friend, Jasper Palmer, a former editorial cartoonist and aging hippie. Jasper lives in a secluded hideaway in the countryside and spends his time growing cannabis and caring for his catatonic wife, a former photojournalist tortured by the government.

As the fighting resumes, they join Marichka and make their way to a small boat, and Theo rows Kee and her baby out to the buoy that marks the rendezvous point. As they depart from the coast, British fighter planes fly in and destroy Bexhill. Kee sees blood in the boat, and Theo admits that Luke shot him during their escape. Kee then says she will name her baby “Dylan,” after Theo’s deceased son. As Theo loses consciousness and slumps to the side of the boat, the Tomorrow emerges from the thick fog.

Hannah and Her Sisters

  • Directors: Woody Allen
  • Producers: Robert Greenhut
  • Writers: Woody Allen
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Maureen O Sullivan, Michael Caine, Barbara Hershey, Dianne Wiest, Lloyd Nolan, Max von Sydow, Daniel Stern

The story is told in three main arcs, with almost all of it occurring during a 12-month period beginning and ending at Thanksgiving parties hosted by Hannah (Farrow) and her husband, Elliot (Caine). Hannah serves as the stalwart hub of the narrative; her own story as a successful actress (a recent success as Nora in A Doll’s House) is somewhat secondary, but most of the events of the film connect to her.

An adulterous romance between Elliot and one of Hannah’s sisters, Lee (Hershey), provides the main romantic entanglement of the film. Elliot’s discontent with his wife’s self-sufficiency and resentment of her emotional strength causes him to look elsewhere. Lee has lived for five years with a reclusive artist, Frederick (von Sydow). She finds her relationship with Frederick no longer intellectually or sexually stimulating, in spite of Frederick’s professed interest in continuing to teach her. She leaves Frederick, much to his sorrow (for he has grown dependent upon her), and has a secret affair with Elliot lasting for several months.

Mickey, another of Allen’s neurotic characters, provides the comic relief. Parts of his story are scenes from his previous marriage to Hannah and his horrible date with the cocaine-addicted Holly (Hannah’s other sister, played by Wiest), shown in flashbacks. Mickey’s main story is one of a hypochondriac confronting the possibility of an actual serious disease. After a clean bill of health, it turns into a career-pausing existential crisis, and leads to unsatisfying experiments with religious conversion to Catholicism and Krishna Consciousness, before a long walk and the fortuitous opportunity to see again the Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup (part of the ‘joyous’ declaration of war sequence is featured) help to remind him why life is worth living. The revelation helps prepare him for a second date with Holly, which this time blossoms quickly (and mostly off-screen) into a relationship and marriage.

By the time of the film’s second Thanksgiving Lee has ended her affair with Elliot. In a final coda-like act, another year has elapsed and the film ends happily for the three sisters, now all married, and infertile Mickey has somehow impregnated his new wife Holly.

Miss Congeniality

  • Directors: Donald Petrie
  • Producers: Bruce Berman
  • Writers: Marc Lawrence, Katie Ford, Caryn Lucas
  • Genres: Comedy, Crime, Mystery
  • Actors: Sandra Bullock, Benjamin Bratt, Michael Caine, Candice Bergen

Gracie Hart (Sandra Bullock) is an FBI agent who goes undercover in the fictional Miss United States scholarship program/beauty pageant in San Antonio, Texas on the lookout for a terrorist. She, who is not traditionally attractive, is turned into a more attractive woman going by the name of Gracie Lou Freebush, with the same tomboyish habits (eg. snorting while laughing). She is seen overreacting to a gun-toting Texan, wearing a Tyrolean for her talent competition, much to the dismay of her mentor, Victor Melling (Michael Caine) and the director of the competition and former queen, Kathy Morningside (Candice Bergen), and using her on-stage talent to demonstrate self-defense techniques.

In the pageant itself, Hart, competing on behalf of the state of New Jersey was tabbed to advance to the top 10, but gets through on talent alone for the rest of the pageant. She was eventually placed as runner up (Cheryl Frasier/Miss Rhode Island won). It is revealed at the end of the movie that Morningside and her son, Frank Morningside (gone under the name Tobin to hide his many crimes) have plotted to sabotage the pageant. They are caught after the title crown (which is rigged with a bomb) detonates at conclusion of the pageant, and Gracie is awarded “Miss Congeniality” (although The Miss Congeniality award is usually given during the pageant itself, a custom in pageants such as Miss USA and Miss Universe) and starts a relationship with her partner Eric Matthews (Benjamin Bratt).

Austin Powers in Goldmember

  • Directors: Jay Roach
  • Producers: Toby Emmerich, Richard Brener, John S Lyons, Eric McLeod, Demi Moore, Mike Myers, Jennifer Todd, Suzanne Todd
  • Writers: Mike Myers, Michael McCullers
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Crime
  • Actors: Mike Myers, Seth Green, Michael York, Robert Wagner, Mindy Sterling, Verne Troyer, Michael Caine

The year is 2002. In his new underground lair behind the famous Hollywood sign, Dr. Evil outlines his latest evil plan. Using a time machine he will go back to 1975 and bring back a Dutchman, Johan van der Smut (alias Goldmember), who had developed a cold fusion unit for a tractor beam. He intends to use the tractor beam to pull a golden meteor into the Earth to strike and melt the polar ice caps and cause global flooding. However, the plot is discovered by the British Secret Service, and Austin leads a group of commandos to arrest Dr. Evil and place him in a maximum security prison.

Austin is knighted for his services but is disappointed when his father (the famous super-spy Nigel Powers) fails to attend the investiture. However, he later learns that his father was kidnapped from his yacht and that some of the crew have had their genitals painted with gold. It was immediately revealed to Austin that Nigel was kidnapped after he skipped out on the knighting ceremony. In search of answers, Austin visits the imprisoned Dr. Evil in Geneva, who tells him that the insane Goldmember is behind the abduction and, on the condition that he be transferred to a normal prison to be with his beloved Mini-Me, reveals that he is in 1975.

Meanwhile, alone in Dr. Evil’s now empty Hollywood lair, a completely bald, maniacal Scott has taken over Dr. Evil’s criminal empire and declares, like his father did in the last two films, that he will “get” Austin Powers; he then proceeds to inexplicably get out of his chair and dance like Michael Jackson.