The Count of Monte Cristo

  • Directors: Kevin Reynolds
  • Producers: Gary Barber, Roger Birbaum, Jonathan Glickman
  • Writers: Jay Wolpert
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, History, Romance, Thriller
  • Actors: James Caviezel, Guy Pearce, Dagmara Dominczyk, Richard Harris

Edmond Dantès (James Caviezel) and his friend Fernand Mondego (Guy Pearce), officers of a French trading ship, head to Elba seeking medical attention for their captain. Dantès and Mondego are chased by British Dragoons who believe they are spies for the exiled Napoleon Bonaparte (Alex Norton). The Emperor arrives and declares they are not his agents, and asks Dantes to give a letter to a friend in France. When the captain dies that night, they are sent on their way.

At Marseilles, Dantès is reprimanded by the ship’s first mate, Danglars (Albie Woodington) for disobeying orders. However, the shipping company’s boss, Morrell (Patrick Godfrey), commends Dantès’ bravery, promoting him over Danglars. Mondego intercepts Dantès’ fiancée Mercédès (Dagmara Dominczyk) and unsuccessfully tries to seduce her. When he hears of Dantès’ promotion, Mondego realizes that Dantès will be able to marry Mercedes sooner than expected.

Mondego gets drunk and tells Danglars about the letter Napoleon gave Dantès. Danglars has Dantès charged with treason and sent to magistrate, J.F. Villefort (James Frain). Villefort is sure of Dantès’ innocence, but discovers the addressee is Villefort’s father, Clarion, a Bonapartist. Villefort denounced his father, improving his relations with the government. Villefort burns the letter and fools Dantès into submitting to arrest, then sends him to an island prison, Château d’If. Dantès escapes and goes to Mondego for help, but Mondego turns on him and wounds him so he cannot escape. Dantès is re-arrested and returned to Château d’If.

Three months later, Dantès returns to Château d’If to pay homage to the priest and promises him that he has given up on revenge and will live a better life. He then leaves the island with Mercédès, Albert, and Jacopo.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

  • Directors: Chris Columbus
  • Producers: David Heyman
  • Writers: Screenplay, Steve Kloves, Novel, J K Rowling
  • Genres: Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Mystery
  • Actors: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Richard Harris, Kenneth Branagh, Jason Isaacs, Christian Coulson, Robbie Coltrane

The Dursleys are preparing for a visit from Uncle Vernon Dursley’s boss. When Harry is locked in his room during the visit, he first encounters Dobby the house elf. Dobby warns him not to go back to Hogwarts because there are rumors of dangerous things being plotted. When Harry refuses to not return to Hogwarts, the house elf, in a blackmail attempt, hovers a cake over the head of Uncle Vernon’s boss and drops it. Thinking that Harry did it, Vernon puts bars on Harry’s windows so he cannot make an escape to Hogwarts. All of Uncle Vernon’s efforts fail however, when Ron, Fred, and George Weasley arrive in their flying car to rescue Harry and flee the Dursley home.

The four arrive at The Burrow, the family home of the Weasleys. Mrs Weasley catches the four coming in, and while ensuring Harry that she is not blaming him, yells at her three sons for their carelessness. She tells the boys that they could have been seen by “Muggles” (non-magical people) as they flew through the air. As underage wizards are strictly forbidden to perform magic in the presence of unknowing Muggles, their stunt could have easily resulted in their expulsion from Hogwarts. Harry then meets Ginny, the youngest Weasley child and the only girl, and Ron’s father, Arthur Weasley, during a typical Weasley family breakfast. The five student-aged Weasleys — including Percy Weasley — receive letters from Hogwarts from their owls. Booklists in hand, the Weasleys soon leave for Diagon Alley. Harry has never used Floo Powder — the Weasleys’ chosen method of transportation — and is unsure of himself. In his nervousness, he accidentally pronounces “Diagon Alley” as “diagonally”, landing himself in Knockturn Alley. Fortunately, Hagrid happens upon him, leading him to Diagon Alley and reuniting him with the Weasleys and Hermione Granger.

Harry, who is dying from the fang’s poison, defeats Tom Riddle, by piercing the diary with the fang retrieved from his own arm. Ginny comes round and finds Harry hurt but Fawkes answers Harry’s loyalty to Dumbledore and heals Harry’s wound with his tears. Then Harry, Ron, Ginny and Lockhart leave the chamber pulled by Fawkes. Dumbledore gives Ron the task to send a letter to Azkaban to release Hagrid, and Harry discovers that Voldemort has transferred his parseltongue (snake language) powers by accident into his scar. In addition, the fact that Harry had used Godric Gryffindor’s sword means he must belong in Gryffindor House. Harry soon finds out that Dobby serves the Malfoys and tricks Lucius Malfoy into giving the house elf a sock, thereby freeing him from servitude. Everyone who is petrified is re-animated and before starting the end-of-year feast, Hagrid returns (late as is usual, due to some ‘ruddy owl called Errol’ getting lost while delivering his release papers), and everyone cheers his arrival. After school ends, Diagon Alley is shown. In the window of the bookshop is Lockhart’s new book, “Who Am I?”, with the cover image being Lockhart in a straitjacket.

This Sporting Life

  • Directors: Lindsay Anderson
  • Producers: Karel Reisz
  • Writers: David Storey
  • Genres: Drama, Sport
  • Actors: Richard Harris, Rachel Roberts, Alan Badel, William Hartnell

Filmed in Wakefield, the film is about a bitter young Yorkshire coal miner, Frank Machin (Harris). Following a nightclub altercation in which he takes on the captain of the local rugby club and smacks a couple of the others, he is recruited by the team’s manager, who sees profit in his aggressive streak.

Although somewhat initially uncoordinated at rugby, he impresses the team’s owner, Gerald Weaver (Badel), with his spirit and brutality of his playing style during the trial. He is signed up to the top team as a loose forward and impresses all with his aggressive forward play. He often punches or elbows the opposition players throughout the game.

Off the field, Frank is less successful. His recently widowed landlady, Margaret Hammond (Roberts), uses him for sex but in her grief she cannot give him love, and he leaves after a row. Weaver and his predatory wife treat him as a commodity, to be used and discarded. When he finds that Margaret is in hospital, he goes and tries to give her solace, but she dies. In the end he is seen as “just a great ape on a football field”, vulnerable to the ravages of time and injury.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer s Stone

  • Directors: Chris Columbus
  • Producers: David Heyman
  • Writers: Novel, J K Rowling, Screenplay, Steve Kloves
  • Genres: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
  • Actors: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Richard Harris, Robbie Coltrane, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Ian Hart

Harry Potter is a seemingly ordinary eleven-year-old boy, living with his negligent relatives, the Dursleys. On his eleventh birthday, Harry learns from a mysterious stranger, Hagrid, that he is actually a wizard, famous in the wizarding world for surviving an attack by the evil dark Lord Voldemort, when Harry was only a year old. Voldemort killed Harry’s parents, but his attack on Harry failed, leaving only a lightning-bolt scar on Harry’s forehead. Harry is invited to begin attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Harry defies his aunt and uncle, and attends Hogwarts where he begins to learn magic and make new friends, as well as enemies, among the Hogwarts students and staff. Voldemort has been near death, and in hiding, since the attack on Harry ten years earlier, but a plot is brewing for the dark lord to regain his power and strength through the acquisition of a philosopher’s stone, which grants immortality to its owner. Harry and his friends, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, discover the plot and seek to prevent the theft of the stone, which is hidden in a protected chamber at Hogwarts.

Gladiator

  • Directors: Ridley Scott
  • Producers: Douglas Wick, David Franzoni, Branko Lustig
  • Writers: David Franzoni, John Logan, William Nicholson
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, History
  • Actors: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed, Richard Harris, Derek Jacobi, Djimon Hounsou, Ralf Moeller

General Maximus Decimus Meridius leads the Roman Army to victory against Germanic barbarians in the year A.D. 180, ending a prolonged war and earning the esteem of elderly Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Although the dying Aurelius has a son, Commodus, he decides to appoint temporary leadership to the morally-upstanding Maximus, with a desire to eventually return power to the Roman Senate. Aurelius informs Maximus and offers him time to consider before informing Commodus, who, in a bout of jealousy, murders his father. Declaring himself the emperor, Commodus asks Maximus for his loyalty, which Maximus, realizing Commodus’ involvement in the Emperor’s death, refuses. Commodus orders Maximus’ execution and dispatches Praetorian Guards to murder his wife and son. Maximus narrowly escapes his execution, but is injured in the process. He races home only to discover his family’s charred and crucified bodies in the smoldering ruins of his villa. After burying his wife and son, a grieving Maximus succumbs to exhaustion and blood loss as a result of his injuries and collapses on their graves.

Slave traders find Maximus and take him to Zucchabar, a rugged province in North Africa, where he is purchased by Proximo, the head of a local gladiator school (and a freed gladiator himself). Distraught and nihilistic over the death of his family and betrayal by his empire, Maximus initially refuses to fight, but as he defends himself in the arena his formidable combat skills lead to a rise in popularity with the audience. As he trains and fights further, Maximus befriends Hagen, a Germanic barbarian, and Juba, a Numidian hunter, the latter becoming a close friend and confidant to the grieving Maximus, the two speaking frequently of the afterlife and Maximus’ eventual reunification with his family.

Concluding that legends born in the Colosseum must die there, Commodus challenges Maximus to a duel in front of a roaring audience. Acknowledging that Maximus’ skill exceeds his own, Commodus deliberately stabs Maximus with a stiletto, puncturing his lung, and has the wound concealed beneath the gladiator’s armor. In the arena, the two exchange blows before Maximus rips the sword from Commodus’s hands. Commodus requests a sword from his guards, but they betray him and refuse to lend him their weapons. Maximus drops his own sword, but Commodus pulls a hidden stiletto and renews his attack. Maximus then beats Commodus into submission and kills him with his own stilletto, plunging it into his neck. As Commodus collapses in the now-silent Colosseum, a dying Maximus begins seeing his wife and son in the afterlife. He reaches for them, but is pulled back to reality by the Praetorian prefect Quintus, who asks for instructions. Maximus orders the release of Proximo’s gladiators and Senator Gracchus, whom he reinstates and instructs to return Rome to a Senate-based government. Maximus collapses, and Lucilla rushes to his aid. After being reassured that her son is safe and Commodus is dead, Maximus dies and wanders into the afterlife to his family in the distance. Senator Gracchus, Quintus, and Proximo’s gladiators carry his body out of the Colosseum. That night, a newly freed Juba buries Maximus’ two small statues of his wife and son in the Colosseum, and says that he too will eventually join them, but not yet.

Unforgiven

  • Directors: Clint Eastwood
  • Producers: Clint Eastwood
  • Writers: David Webb Peoples
  • Genres: Drama, Western
  • Actors: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris

The film opens with an exposition: She was a comely young woman and not without prospects. Therefore it was heartbreaking to her mother that she would enter into marriage with William Munny, a known thief and murderer, a man of notoriously vicious and intemperate disposition. When she died, it was not at his hands as her mother might have expected, but of smallpox. That was 1878.

In 1880[3] Wyoming, in the town of Big Whiskey, cowboy Quick Mike (David Mucci), despite his friend and fellow cowboy Davey Bunting’s (Rob Campbell) attempts to stop him, slashes a prostitute’s (Delilah Fitzgerald) (Anna Levine) face for laughing at his small penis. The venomous local sheriff and former gunfighter, Little Bill Daggett (Gene Hackman), fines the cowboy and his friend seven ponies, payable to the prostitute’s pimp and saloon owner Skinny Dubois (Anthony James). The other prostitutes, led by their madam Strawberry Alice (Frances Fisher), are furious over the cowboys’ lax punishments and conspire with each other to offer a $1000. reward[4] to anyone who kills the two. The prostitutes are reproached by their pimp for offering a reward that could bring more trouble and the pimp goes to Sheriff Daggett to make him aware of the situation and to see if the Bar-T cowboys could be run out of the territory.

The film ends with an epilogue that echoes its introduction: Some years later, Mrs. Ansonia Feathers made the arduous journey to Hodgeman County, Kansas to visit the last resting place of her only daughter. William Munny had long since disappeared with the children… some said to San Francisco where it was rumored he prospered in dry goods. And there was nothing on the marker to explain to Mrs. Feathers why her only daughter had married a known thief and murderer, a man of notoriously vicious and intemperate disposition.