Get Low

  • Directors: Aaron Schneider
  • Producers: Richard D Zanuck, David Gundlach
  • Writers: Screenplay, Chris Provenzano, C Gaby Mitchell, Story, Chris Provenzano, Scott Seeke
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Romance, Thriller
  • Actors: Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Bill Murray, Lucas Black, Scott Cooper

No one really understands Felix Bush (Robert Duvall), who lives as a hermit deep in the woods. Rumors surround him, like how he might have killed in cold blood, and that he’s in league with the devil. So the town is surprised when Felix shows up in town, demanding a “living funeral” for himself. Frank Quinn (Bill Murray), the owner of the Funeral Parlor, sees an oppurtunity for some money, and agrees to let the townsfolk tell Felix Bush the stories they’ve heard about him. Things get messy when an old mystery is brought back by Quinn’s protege Buddy Robinson (Lucas Black), involving a local widow named Mattie Darrow (Sissy Spacek). When Felix’s funeral rolls around, however, he’ll tell the townsfolk exactly why he’s been alone in the woods for so many years.

Tender Mercies

  • Directors: Bruce Beresford
  • Producers: Philip Hobel
  • Writers: Horton Foote
  • Genres: Drama, Music
  • Actors: Robert Duvall, Tess Harper, Betty Buckley, Wilford Brimley, Ellen Barkin, Allan Hubbard

Mac Sledge (Robert Duvall), a washed up, alcoholic country singer, awakens at a run-down Texas roadside motel and gas station after a night of heavy drinking. He meets the owner, a young widow named Rosa Lee (Tess Harper), and offers to work in exchange for a room. Rosa Lee, whose husband was killed in the Vietnam War, is raising her young son, Sonny (Allan Hubbard), on her own. She agrees to let Mac stay under the condition that he doesn’t drink while working. The two begin to develop feelings for one another, mostly during quiet evenings sitting alone and sharing bits of their life stories.

Mac resolves to give up alcohol and start his life anew. After some time passes, he and Rosa Lee wed. They start attending a Protestant church on a regular basis. One day, a newspaper reporter visits the hotel and asks Mac whether he has stopped recording music and chosen an anonymous life. When Mac refuses to answer, the reporter explains he is writing a story about Mac and has interviewed his ex-wife, Dixie Scott (Betty Buckley), a country music star who is performing nearby.

After the story is printed, the neighborhood learns of Mac’s past, and members of a local country–western band visit him to show their respect. Although he greets them politely, Mac remains reluctant to open up about his past. Later, he secretly attends Dixie’s concert. She passionately sings several songs that Mac wrote years earlier, and he leaves in the middle of the performance. Backstage, he talks to Dixie’s manager, his old friend Harry (Wilford Brimley). Mac gives him a copy of a new song he has written and asks him to show it to Dixie. Mac tries to talk to Dixie, but she becomes angry upon seeing him and warns him to stay away from their 18-year-old daughter, Sue Anne (Ellen Barkin).

Back home, Mac keeps quiet about his emotional pain, although he wonders aloud to Rosa Lee why his once sorry existence has been given meaning and, on the other hand, his daughter died. Throughout his mourning, Mac continues his new life with Rosa Lee and Sonny. In the final scene, Sonny finds a football Mac has left him as a gift. Mac watches the hotel from a field across the road and sings “On the Wings of a Dove” to himself. Sonny thanks him for the football and the two play catch together in the field.

Four Christmases

  • Directors: Seth Gordon
  • Producers: Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, Jonathan Glickman, Vince Vaughn, Reese Witherspoon
  • Writers: Matt Allen, Caleb Wilson, Scott Moore, Jon Lucas
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Vince Vaughn, Reese Witherspoon, Sissy Spacek, Robert Duvall, Kristin Chenoweth

No one enjoys the holidays more than Orlando “Brad” McVie (Vince Vaughn) and Kate (Reese Witherspoon). Every December 25th, this happily unmarried, upscale San Francisco couple embark on a holiday tradition they have shared every year since they met – ditching their crazy families for a relaxing, fun-filled vacation in some sunny exotic locale. There, sipping margaritas by the pool, they toast the season, knowing they once again avoided the chaos and emotional fallout of their four respective households: divorced parents, squabbling siblings, out-of-control kids and all the simmering resentments and awkward moments that are the hallmarks of every family Christmas. But not in Christmas 2006. Shorts and sunglasses packed, Brad and Kate are trapped at the San Francisco airport by a fogbank that cancels every outbound flight. Worse yet, they are caught on camera by a local news crew, revealing their whereabouts to the whole city… and to their families.

With no escape and no excuses, they are now expected home by Brad’s father (Robert Duvall) and Kate’s mother (Mary Steenburgen), as well as Brad’s mother (Sissy Spacek) and Kate’s father (Jon Voight), thereby celebrating four Christmases in one day. As they brace themselves for a marathon of homecomings, Brad and Kate expect the worst-and that’s exactly what they get. But as Brad counts down the minutes to their freedom, Kate surprisingly finds herself tuned to the ticking of a different clock. At the end of the day, each will gain a new perspective on where they came from… and where they’re going. Getting to know themselves and each other as they really are could finally give them a chance at the kind of love they’ve only been playing at. Kate decides she would like to someday start a family, scaring Brad away. Brad eventually comes back to Kate, surprising her at her door with the line “If we’re going to have one, we must have two, so they can play together,” as he realises how empty his life is and how much he loves Kate.

A year later on New Year’s Day 2008, the couple welcomes their first born child in a hospital: a baby girl. They attempted to keep the child’s birth a secret from their families, but once again they were caught on camera by a local news crew who was covering the first birth of the new year thereby revealing the arrival of the child to the city…and to their families.

The Natural

  • Directors: Barry Levinson
  • Producers: Mark Johnson
  • Writers: Roger Towne and Phil Dusenberry
  • Genres: Drama, Sport
  • Actors: Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, Kim Basinger, Barbara Hershey, Darren McGavin, Wilford Brimley, Richard Farnsworth

The beginning of the movie introduces Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) as a child, playing baseball with his father. Mr. Hobbs dies suddenly while Roy is still young, collapsing under a tree. That tree is split in half by lightning, and young Roy carves a baseball bat from it, on which he burns the image of a lightning bolt and the label ‘Wonderboy’.

At age 19, Hobbs is recruited by the Chicago Cubs in 1923. On the train to the tryouts, he wins a wager to strike out “The Whammer” (Joe Don Baker), the top hitter in the major leagues. Back on the train, the naive Hobbs is seduced by Harriet Bird (Barbara Hershey), an alluring but sinister woman, who gravitates to him after judging that he, rather than The Whammer, is now the best baseball player in the world. Bird lures young Hobbs to a hotel room and shoots him.

The story skips forward 16 years, to 1939. A fictitious team called the New York Knights has signed the now 35-year-old Hobbs to a contract, to the ire of the team’s gruff manager and co-owner, Pop Fisher (Wilford Brimley). For a time Pop does not allow him to play, but after impressing in batting practice, Hobbs literally knocks the cover off the ball in his first major league game. Hobbs rises to stardom and reverses the Knights’ fortunes.

Roy comes to bat in the bottom of the ninth with, a chance to win the game. Lightning flashes as Hobbs hits a long drive that twists foul, and sees that Wonderboy, his “magical” bat, has shattered. The young bat boy brings Hobbs a bat that they made together. Hobbs hits a towering shot, a pennant-winning home run, which soars into the stadium’s lights and starts a chain reaction of sparks that rain down onto the field. The Knights won the pennant. The final scene shows Hobbs playing catch with his son in a sun-dappled wheat field, with Iris proudly standing by.

Deep Impact

  • Directors: Mimi Leder
  • Producers: David Brown, Richard D Zanuck
  • Writers: Bruce Joel Rubin, Michael Tolkin
  • Genres: Sci-Fi, Thriller
  • Actors: Robert Duvall, Elijah Wood, Morgan Freeman, Vanessa Redgrave, Blair Underwood

At a star party, Amateur astronomer Leo Biederman (Wood) stumbles upon unusual object near the stars Mizar and Alcor, and alerts professional astronomer Dr. Marcus Wolf (Charles Martin Smith) at a local observatory. After discovering the object is a comet and working out its orbit, Wolf realizes that the comet will impact Earth, but dies in a car accident on his way down from the observatory before he can alert the world.

A year later, MSNBC reporter Jenny Lerner (Leoni) researches the resignation of the United States Secretary of the Treasury and his connection to an “Ellie.” She soon discovers that Ellie is not a mistress but “E.L.E.”, an acronym for “extinction-level event”. Because of Lerner’s investigation, President of the United States Tom Beck (Freeman) announces the grim facts: The comet—named Wolf-Biederman—is 7 miles (11 km) wide, large enough to destroy civilization if it strikes Earth. He also reveals that The United States and Russia have been secretely constructing the largest spacecraft ever in orbit: The Messiah. They plan to send the Messiah to destroy the comet, using nuclear weapons. Life changes drastically worldwide, and Leo and Lerner both become celebrities.

After intercepting and landing on the comet, The Messiah’s crew (Duvall and others) plants the bombs into the comet’s surface, but one crew member dies and another is seriously injured. When the bombs are detonated Messiah is damaged and contact with Earth is lost. The comet is not destroyed; instead, it splits into two chunks, one a mile and a half wide (named “Biederman”) and the other six miles wide (“Wolf”), but both still world-threatening.

The film closes with Beck speaking to a large crowd in front of the under-reconstruction United States Capitol, in which he urges the nation to continue its recovery and efforts to rebuild.

Gone in Sixty Seconds

  • Directors: Dominic Sena
  • Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer
  • Writers: 1974 motion picture, H B Halicki, Screenplay, Scott Rosenberg
  • Genres: Action, Crime, Thriller
  • Actors: Nicolas Cage, Giovanni Ribisi, Christopher Eccleston, Robert Duvall, Will Patton

The film concerns “Memphis” Raines (Nicolas Cage), a former master car thief forced to return to his former trade and steal fifty specified cars for crime boss Raymond Vincent Calitri (Christopher Eccleston), who is threatening to kill Memphis’ brother, Kip (Giovanni Ribisi), because Kip had taken a contract but failed to fulfill it (a stolen Porsche Carrera was chased to Kip’s warehouse and the collected cars were impounded).

Memphis now has to fulfill the contract and so reassembles his old crew, also joined by Kip’s crew.

With Detective Castlebeck (Delroy Lindo) and his partner, Det. Drycoff (Timothy Olyphant) breathing down their necks, they decide to steal all the cars in one night, to reduce the chances of being caught.

But, the police already know about the boost and, after cracking an employee at the Mercedes dealership, who had earlier supplied Kip’s crew with the special laser cut keys for a Mercedes, set a trap to catch them in action. It thus turns out to be a high action drama of a very long night.

Also featured are Angelina Jolie as “Sway”, Robert Duvall as “Otto”, and former professional soccer player Vinnie Jones as “Sphinx”.

Network

  • Directors: Sidney Lumet
  • Producers: Howard Gottfried
  • Writers: Paddy Chayefsky
  • Genres: Drama
  • Actors: Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall, Ned Beatty, Beatrice Straight

The story opens with long-time “UBS Evening News” anchor Howard Beale (Peter Finch) being fired because of the show’s low ratings. He has two more weeks on the air, but the following night, Beale announces on live television that he will commit suicide by shooting himself in the head during an upcoming live broadcast.[2]

UBS immediately fires him after this incident, but they let him back on the air, ostensibly for a dignified farewell, with persuasion from Beale’s best friend and president of the News division, Max Schumacher (William Holden), the network’s old guard news editor. Beale promises that he will apologize for his outburst, but instead rants about how life is “bullshit,” which he utters repeatedly. While there are serious repercussions, the program’s ratings soar and, much to Schumacher’s dismay, the upper echelons of UBS decide to exploit Beale’s antics rather than pulling him off the air.

In one impassioned diatribe, Beale galvanizes the nation with his rant, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” and persuades Americans to shout out their windows during a spectacular lightning storm. Soon Beale is hosting a new program called The Howard Beale Show, top-billed as a “mad prophet of the airways.” Ultimately, the show becomes the highest rated (Duvall’s character calls it “a big, fat-assed, big-titted hit!”) program on television, and Beale finds new celebrity preaching his angry message in front of a live audience that, on cue, repeats the Beale’s marketed catchphrase en masse. His new set is lit by blue spotlights and an enormous stained-glass window, supplemented with segments featuring astrology, gossip, opinion polls, and yellow journalism.

The movie ends with Beale being shot to death on live television. As the narrator states that Beale was the first man ever murdered because of bad ratings, an array of televisions play newscasts reporting the incident matter-of-factly, intermixed with the noise of commercials.

To Kill a Mockingbird

  • Directors: Robert Mulligan
  • Producers: Alan J Pakula
  • Writers: Harper Lee, Horton Foote
  • Genres: Crime, Drama
  • Actors: Gregory Peck, Mary Badham, Phillip Alford, Robert Duvall

“Scout” Finch (Mary Badham) is a six-year-old tomboy growing up in Maycomb, Alabama in 1932, in the depths of the Great Depression. Along with her brother “Jem” (Phillip Alford), and their friend “Dill” (John Megna), she leads a carefree life. Their father is Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck), a widower, and an attorney with deeply-held principles. When young Tom Robinson (Brock Peters), a black man, is falsely accused of raping a white woman (Collin Wilcox) Atticus is appointed to defend him, although a guilty verdict from an all-white jury is expected by everyone – which is exactly what happens, even though Atticus shows that Tom is innocent. Atticus tries to have the verdict overturned, but Tom tries to escape from jail and is killed. To get back at Atticus, the father of the supposed rape victim (James Anderson) attacks Scout and Jem, but Boo Radley (Robert Duvall), a mentally challenged neighbor whom the children have built up in their minds into the local boogeyman, saves them by killing their attacker. The Sheriff decides to promulgate that the death was accidental, and Boo is not put on trial.[1][2]

Apocalypse Now

  • Directors: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Producers: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Writers: Novel, Joseph Conrad, Screenplay, John Milius, Francis Ford Coppola
  • Genres: Action, Drama, War
  • Actors: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest, Sam Bottoms, Laurence Fishburne, Albert Hall, Harrison Ford

It is 1969 and the war is at its height. CPT Benjamin L. Willard (Martin Sheen) has returned to Saigon; a seasoned veteran, he is deeply troubled and apparently no longer adjusted to civilian life. Two intelligence officers, LTG Corman (G. D. Spradlin) and COL Lucas (Harrison Ford), as well as a government man (Jerry Ziesmer), approach him with a special mission: journey up the fictional Nung River into the remote Cambodian jungle to find COL Walter E. Kurtz (Marlon Brando), a former member of the United States Army Special Forces.

They state that Kurtz, once considered a model officer and future general, has allegedly gone insane and is commanding a legion of his own Montagnard troops deep inside the forest in neutral Cambodia. Their claims are supported by very disturbing radio broadcasts and/or recordings made by Kurtz himself. Willard is ordered to undertake a mission to find Kurtz and terminate the Colonel’s command “with extreme prejudice.”

Willard studies the intelligence files during the boat ride to the river entrance and learns that Kurtz, isolated in his compound, has assumed the role of a warlord and is worshipped by the natives and his own loyal men. Willard learns much later that another officer, Colby (Scott Glenn), sent earlier to kill Kurtz, may have become one of his lieutenants.

While bound outside in the pouring rain, Willard is approached by Kurtz, who places the severed head of Chef in his lap. Coppola makes little explicit, but we come to believe that Willard and Kurtz develop an understanding nonetheless; Kurtz wishes to die at Willard’s hands, and Willard, having subsequently granted Kurtz his wish, is offered the chance to succeed him in his warlord-demigod role. Juxtaposed with a ceremonial slaughtering of a Water Buffalo, Willard enters Kurtz’s chamber during one of his message recordings, and kills him with a machete. This entire sequence is set to “The End” by The Doors, as is the sequence at the very beginning of the film. Lying bloody and dying on the ground, Kurtz whispers “The horror… the horror,” a line taken directly from Conrad’s novella. Willard drops his weapon as in turn the natives do in a symbolic act of laying down of arms,he walks through the now-silent crowd of natives and takes Johnson (who is now fully integrated into the native society) by the hand. He leads Johnson to the PBR, and floats away as Kurtz’s final words echo in the wind as the screen fades to black.

The Godfather: Part II

  • Directors: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Producers: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Writers: Novel, Mario Puzo, Screenplay, Mario Puzo, Francis Ford Coppola
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, John Cazale, Talia Shire, Lee Strasberg

The Godfather Part II presents two parallel storylines. One involves Mafia chief Michael Corleone following the events of the first movie from 1958 to 1963; the other is a series of flashbacks following his father, Vito Corleone, from his childhood in Sicily (1901) to his founding of the criminal Corleone Family in New York City while still a young man (1917–1925).

In 1958, Michael Corleone, Godfather of the Corleone Family, deals with various business and family problems at his Lake Tahoe, Nevada compound during an elaborate party celebrating his son’s First Communion. He meets with Nevada Senator Pat Geary, who despises the Corleones, but has shown up with his wife to accept a large endowment to the state university. Senator Geary demands a grossly exaggerated price for a new gaming license and a monthly payment of 5% of the gross profits from all of the Corleone Family’s Nevada gaming interests, to which Michael responds with a counter-offer of “nothing … not even the fee for the gaming license, which I would appreciate if you would put up personally.”

Michael also deals with his sister Connie, who, although recently divorced, is planning to marry a man with no obvious means of support, and of whom Michael disapproves. He also talks with Johnny Ola, the right hand man of Jewish gangster Hyman Roth, who is supporting Michael’s move into the gambling industry. Finally, Michael meets with Frank “Five Angels” Pentangeli, who took over Corleone caporegime Peter Clemenza’s territory after his death, and now has problems with the Rosato Brothers, who are backed by Roth. Michael refuses to allow Pentangeli to kill the Rosatos, due to his desire to prevent interruption of his business with Roth. Pentangeli leaves abruptly, after telling Michael “your father did business with Hyman Roth, your father respected Hyman Roth, but your father never trusted Hyman Roth.”

The film ends with a final flashback depicting Vito and a young Michael leaving Corleone by train, and Michael sitting in the Lake Tahoe compound, alone in silence.