1776

  • Directors: Peter H Hunt
  • Producers: Jack L Warner
  • Writers: Peter Stone
  • Genres: Drama, Family, History, Musical
  • Actors: William Daniels, Howard Da Silva

The film focuses on the representatives of the thirteen original colonies who participated in the Second Continental Congress. 1776 depicts the three months of deliberation (and, oftentimes, acrimonious debate) that led up to the signing of one of the most important documents in the history of the United States, the Declaration of Independence.

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

  • Directors: Joseph Sargent
  • Producers: Edgar J Scherick
  • Writers: John Godey, Peter Stone
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Walter Matthau, Jerry Stiller, Martin Balsam, Robert Shaw

Lieutenant Zachary Garber (Walter Matthau) is a cynical and grumpy New York City Transit Authority policeman whose routine is interrupted by the hijacking of the 6 Manhattan-bound local train from Pelham Bay Park which occurred between the 28th Street and 23rd Street Stations. The ruthless hijackers kill two transit workers during the course of the hijacking, while demanding a ransom of one million dollars in unmarked bills within 60 minutes. The police rush to deliver the ransom money in a squad car for a frantic drive uptown from the financial district as Garber attempts to negotiate with the four hijackers by radio from transit police headquarters; the police car is involved in a collision, losing valuable time. Buying some time, Garber bluffs the hijackers in telling them that the money is delivered to the station meet point, but some time is needed to walk down the tunnel to the hijacked subway car. After picking up the money from the police car collision, another squad car arrives at the meet point to drop off the money.

Garber leaves headquarters to confront the hijackers directly. Unknown to the police, the four hijackers (led by British mercenary Bernard Ryder (Robert Shaw) and a disgruntled former motorman Harold Longman (Martin Balsam) have ingeniously defeated the subway car’s “dead-man” feature, which requires a live person at the controls at all times to keep the train running. Once they receive their ransom money, they surreptitiously exit, sending the car off at top speed toward the terminal station, distracting the police long enough to escape from the tunnel. The car is set to reach speeds of over 70 mph, which causes it to automatically trip a red light brake as it enters the South Ferry Loop, after which the passengers are all safe once the train stops.

In the final scene of the movie, the motorman is at home with his share of the ransom cash when Garber and another lieutenant (Jerry Stiller) come calling as they work through a list of suspected former motormen. Though his alibi is shaky, the officers are about to leave when the motorman inadvertently gives himself away by sneezing, the same way Garber had heard one of the hijackers sneeze over the radio during the incident.

Charade

  • Directors: Stanley Donen
  • Producers: Stanley Donen
  • Writers: Marc Behm, Peter Stone
  • Genres: Comedy, Mystery, Romance, Thriller
  • Actors: Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn

Regina “Reggie” Lampert (Audrey Hepburn) meets a charming stranger calling himself Peter Joshua (Cary Grant) on a skiing holiday in Megève. She returns to Paris, planning to ask husband Charles for a divorce, but finds all of their possessions gone. The police notify her that Charles has been murdered, thrown from a train. They give Regina her husband’s travel bag. At the funeral, Regina is struck by the odd characters who show up to view the body, including one who sticks the corpse with a pin to verify he is dead.

She is summoned to the U.S. Embassy, where she meets CIA agent Hamilton Bartholomew (Walter Matthau). He informs her Charles was involved in a theft during World War II. As part of the OSS (the predecessor of the CIA), he, “Tex” Panthollow (James Coburn), Herman Scobie (George Kennedy), Leopold W. Gideon (Ned Glass) and Carson Dyle were parachuted behind enemy lines to deliver $250,000 in gold to the French Resistance. Instead, they buried it, but were then ambushed by a German patrol. Dyle was badly wounded and left to die; the rest got away. Charles doublecrossed them, digging up the gold and selling it. He was killed but the money remained missing – and the U.S. government also wants the money back. Reggie recognizes the oddballs from the funeral in pictures shown to her by Bartholomew. He insists she has the money, even if she doesn’t know where it is.

Reggie insists on turning the stamps over to the proper authorities. Peter refuses to accompany her inside the office of the U.S. embassy official she is there to see, but when she goes to see the appropriate bureaucrat, Brian Cruikshank, she is shocked to find Peter sitting behind the desk. After convincing her that he is actually a government official (by buzzing his secretary), he dispels her irritation at being deceived by promising to marry her…after she gives him the stamps. The movie ends with a split-screen grid showing flashback shots of all his different identities (Peter Joshua, Alexander Dyle, Adam Canfield, and Brian Cruikshank), with Reggie hoping that they have lots of boys, so she can name them all after him.