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.

The Right Stuff

  • Directors: Philip Kaufman
  • Producers: Irwin Winkler
  • Writers: Philip Kaufman, Tom Wolfe
  • Genres: Adventure, Drama, History
  • Actors: Fred Ward, Dennis Quaid, Ed Harris, Scott Glenn, Sam Shepard, Barbara Hershey, Lance Henriksen, Veronica Cartwright, Jane Dornacker

Muroc Army Air Field in 1947 sets the scene for the start of the movie. This dusty, arid air force base is where high-speed aircraft are being tested in secret including the rocket-powered X-1, poised to fly at supersonic speeds. When a number of test pilots have died in the attempt to break the so-called “sound barrier,” the base liaison officer, war hero Chuck Yeager (Sam Shepard) is offered the chance to fly the X-1. While on a horseback romp with his wife Glennis (Barbara Hershey) through the underbrush surrounding the base, Yeager collides with a tree branch and suffers a couple of broken ribs. Refusing to admit defeat, he triumphs (with the aid of a sawed-off broom handle) in flying the X-1 faster than the speed of sound, beating the “demon in the sky.”

The film travels forward to 1953, where Edwards Air Force Base (renamed for one of the test pilots killed at the base) remains the place to be for the “prime” pilots with Yeager engaged in a contest with test pilot Scott Crossfield (Scott Wilson).[1] Crossfield and Yeager were fierce but friendly rivals for speed and altitude records. Edwards is both a very different place and yet remains the same with the celebrated Happy Bottom Riding Club run by Pancho Barnes (Kim Stanley) still the gathering place for those with the “right stuff.” New pilots such as Gordon “Gordo” Cooper (Dennis Quaid) and Virgil “Gus” Grissom (Fred Ward) are part of a constant stream of “pudknockers” as Barnes characterizes them. Cooper’s wife, Trudy (Pamela Reed) questions the need for pushing dangerous boundaries to the limit, but is resigned to the fact that her husband like all the others, is driven by ambition as well as chasing fame. Other wives that share similar feelings have to learn to suppress their fears. By that time, the press are a familiar part of the background, recognized as the key to ensuring that essential funding never dries up.

The films concludes with Cooper’s successful launch in May 1963 – the last in which an American flew alone into space.

W

  • Directors: Oliver Stone
  • Producers: Moritz Borman, Jon Kilik, Bill Block, Oliver Stone
  • Writers: Stanley Weiser
  • Genres: Biography, Drama
  • Actors: Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Banks, James Cromwell, Ellen Burstyn, Richard Dreyfuss, Toby Jones, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Scott Glenn, Bruce McGill, Jennifer Sipes, Noah Wyle, Ioan Gruffudd

George W. Bush (Josh Brolin) endures an alcohol-fueled initiation by fellow Yale students as a pledge for the fictional Delta Iota Kappa fraternity. During the hazing, Bush successfully recalls the names and nicknames of many of the fraternity members and states that his father’s political legacy is one he has no interest in. After the younger Bush is jailed for rowdiness after a baseball game, his father, Texas Congressman George H.W. Bush (James Cromwell), states that he will help his son, but only for the last time. Bush quits an oil patch job soon after and is accepted into Harvard Business School, and gets into a drunken fight with his father that night. Bush reveals his real aspirations in a father-son talk: being a baseball manager.

At a poker game Bush announces he will run for Congress in Texas. At a barbecue Bush meets Laura Welch (Elizabeth Banks), his future wife. Bush is criticized by his opponent, Democrat Kent Hance, who says that Bush is not a “real Texan” and has spent campaign contributions to throw an alcohol fueled party to underage Texas Tech University students. Bush does poorly in the debate and loses the election, but with the highest number of votes for a Republican candidate in the county’s history.

Bush has a nightmare in which his father accuses him of ruining the Bush legacy, which he claims was intended for Jeb. Later, he dreams of playing center field in a baseball game, in which he cannot find the ball.

Vertical Limit

  • Directors: Martin Campbell
  • Producers: Martin Campbell, Robert King, Marcia Nasatir, Lloyd Phillips
  • Writers: Robert King, Robert King Terry Hayes
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Thriller
  • Actors: Chris O Donnell, Robin Tunney, Scott Glenn, Izabella Scorupco, Bill Paxton

Peter Garrett (O’Donnell) is a retired climber who a few years earlier caused his father to fall off a cliff face and plummet to his death in order to save his sister and his own lives (following his Dad’s orders). The film starts with this scene in which father, son and daughter are climbing together. Peter hasn’t been able to move on and has subsequently retired from climbing and is doing documentary work instead. Peter’s sister Annie (Tunney) has become a renowned mountain climber. Peter happens to show up at base camp as Annie attempts to climb K2 in Pakistan, the world’s second highest mountain, which is very dangerous to climb because of the tough conditions which await at the summit. The expedition is funded by wealthy industrialist Elliot Vaughn (Paxton) who is also going to climb, with the help of his friend Tom McLaren (Lea). There is a huge party the night before the climbers begin the trek. Elliot is introduced to Peter, who he asks to accompany them on the trip, but Peter instantly refuses.

The climb turns out to be a disaster as the windy conditions begin to wreak havoc among the travelers. Annie, Elliot and Tom fall through a patch of ice and become trapped in a cavern. Annie radios back to base using morse code and Peter learns of Annie’s plight. He assembles together a rescue mission with the base’s best climbers including brothers Cyril and Malcolm (Le Marquand and Mendelsohn), Monique Aubertine (Scorupco), Kareem Nazir (Siddig) and Skip Taylor (Taylor). However, the day before the rescue mission goes underway. Skip and Peter go visit Montgomery Wick (Glenn), reported to be the world’s best climber, and who has climbed K2 before. After an awkward conversation with Wick, he agrees to go and Peter sees Wick’s bare feet without toes. Skip informs him Wick lost his wife on the mountain and lost his toes to frostbite, and that Wick has searched for her every day since the accident. Skip is unable to go as Wick says he needs him on the ground directing the mission, instead of being with it.

Peter and Monique continue and they soon find the place where Annie and Elliot are imprisoned. They effectively use the nitroglycerin to destroy a huge chunk of the ice and creating a hole, enabling access to the survivors below. Wick arrives at this point, and along with Peter (with Monique towing the rope) they manage to pull Annie out of the hole. Wick then manages to buckle Elliot onto the rope and all seems well. Suddenly a tremor occurs and the collective weight of the all three men is too heavy for the girls to pull out. With Elliot below him, Wick decides to sacrifice himself, despite Elliot shrieking at him not to. He cuts the rope with a knife and both are lost below. Peter is saved and he, Monique and Annie then embrace. The film ends with Annie safely at a camp and reconciled with her brother who she had never forgiven for “killing” their father.

The Hunt for Red October

  • Directors: John McTiernan
  • Producers: Mace Neufeld
  • Writers: Screenplay, Larry Ferguson, Donald Stewart, Novel, Tom Clancy
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Thriller
  • Actors: Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, Scott Glenn, Sam Neill, James Earl Jones

Marko Ramius (Sean Connery), a Lithuanian, is captain of the Soviet Navy’s newest Typhoon-class ballistic missile submarine, the Red October, equipped with a revolutionary silent propulsion system known as a caterpillar drive. A naval veteran with nearly 40 years of experience, he was considered the best officer in the Soviet Navy. He has taken out the lead boat for each new submarine class, trained most of the officer corps, and has good political connections via his late wife. At the start of the movie, he is shown taking the boat out to sea, ostensibly for its first exercise with other units of the Russian Fleet. The captain, however, has another plan—to navigate the submarine to the coast of America in order to defect, as he considers the Red October to be a first-strike weapon that cannot be left in the hands of the Soviets.

To achieve this, he must murder Ivan Putin (Peter Firth), his political officer, who alone amongst his officers was not hand-picked in support of this action. With the ship’s doctor, Yevgeniy Petrov (Tim Curry), and cook, Igor Loginov (Tomas Arana), as witnesses, Ramius takes the late political officer’s missile key, granting him sole control over the ship’s missile systems. After this is done, Ramius reads substitute orders to his crew to support the mission (stating they will conduct missile drills off the coast of New York City and then sail to Havana for shore leave), and begins his long journey. He is at first discovered and tracked by the USS Dallas, an American attack submarine, but upon activation of the caterpillar drive he is able to break away. Meanwhile, Soviet authorities read a letter posted by Ramius prior to his departure, announcing his intention to defect. The Soviet Navy immediately puts to sea to locate and sink the Red October. One of the ships that joins in the hunt is the Alfa-class attack submarine V.K. Konovalov, commanded by Captain Tupolev (Stellan SkarsgÃ¥rd), a former student of Ramius. This causes a stir in Washington, D.C. when the activity triggers a reciprocal deployment of U.S. assets, as Russian intentions are unclear.

Concurrently, the saboteur, revealed to be Loginov, shoots at the captain, missing and instead fatally wounding the executive officer, Vasily Borodin (Sam Neill), along with damaging the fire control panel (leaving Red October unable to return fire). An alarm reveals that Loginov has headed into the missile launch area, and Ramius realizes that Loginov intends to ignite a missile launch mechanism, which would destroy the Red October. Ryan and Ramius go after Loginov, while Mancuso takes command of the Red October to deal with the external threat. As Ramius predicted, the Konovalov fires another torpedo which arms at launch. While chasing Loginov, Ramius is shot and injured, leaving Ryan to search for him in the submarine’s missile bay. As Loginov attempts to (and nearly does) detonate the launch mechanism of one of the missiles, he is gunned down by Ryan. Meanwhile, USS Dallas and Red October make a series of evasive maneuvers, causing the torpedo to target the Konovalov instead and destroy it. The crew of the Red October who had evacuated and were on board a U.S. Navy rescue ship witnessed the explosion and believed it to be the Red October that had been destroyed. Ultimately the submarine finds haven in the Penobscot River in Maine, and Ryan flies home—too exhausted to consider his fear of flying as he had not had a decent night’s sleep since before the film begins—with a teddy bear that he had promised for his daughter.

The Bourne Ultimatum

  • Directors: Paul Greengrass
  • Producers: Patrick Crowley, Frank Marshall
  • Writers: Screenplay, Tony Gilroy, Scott Z Burns, George Nolfi, Tom Stoppard, Story, Tony Gilroy, Novel, Robert Ludlum
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, David Strathairn, Scott Glenn, Paddy Considine, Edgar Ramirez, with Albert Finney, and Joan Allen

The movie begins before the end of the events in The Bourne Supremacy, as Bourne, wounded by a gunshot from the Russian assassin Kirill, is still evading the Moscow police. Cornered by two officers while breaking into a medical clinic to treat his wounds, Bourne overpowers the officers, knocking one out, while holding the second at gunpoint. He leaves them alive as he escapes, saying, My argument is not with you.

Six weeks later, Simon Ross, a security correspondent for The Guardian, meets with someone in Turin, to discuss Treadstone. Bourne goes to Paris to tell Marie’s brother, Martin, of her death, then heads to London. Bourne then reads an article in The Guardian by Ross about Bourne, Treadstone, and “Operation Blackbriar.” He then arranges to meet Ross in London at the south entrance of Waterloo Station. Ross, however, is under surveillance because his use of the word “Blackbriar” in a phone call to his editor was tracked by ECHELON, alerting the CIA. CIA section chief Noah Vosen alerts his staff at the Anti-Terrorism Deep Cover in New York to find out any information on Ross, believing that Operation Blackbriar has been compromised.

After receiving a call from Bourne, Ross takes a taxi to Waterloo Station. At the station, Bourne sees CIA officers following Ross and places a prepaid mobile phone on him; through it, Bourne instructs him on how to dodge the station’s surveillance. However, Vosen orders an assassin, Paz, to kill Ross and his source. Vosen’s team identifies Bourne on a security camera and recognizes him as the original Treadstone assassin, and assumes he is Ross’s source. While Paz gets into position with a sniper rifle, Bourne tells Ross to remain hidden, but Ross panics and steps out into the open, allowing Paz to deliver a clear kill shot. In the chaos, Bourne grabs Ross’s notes, revealing his source as Neil Daniels, the Madrid CIA station chief.

Images of Bourne’s unmoving body floating in the river are interspersed with images of Nicky watching a news report, sometime later, noting the exposure of Blackbriar, the arrests of Hirsch and Vosen, that Ezra Kramer is the subject of a United States Senate hearing regarding his conduct, and that David Webb, alias Jason Bourne, was shot and fell into the East River but his body has not been recovered, even after a three-day search, at which point Nicky smiles. In the final moments of the film Bourne is shown swimming away in the East River.

The Silence of the Lambs

  • Directors: Jonathan Demme
  • Producers: Kenneth Utt, Edward Saxon, Ron Bozman
  • Writers: Ted Tally
  • Genres: Crime, Thriller
  • Actors: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Ted Levine, Anthony Heald, Brooke Smith, Frankie Faison, Harry Northup

Promising student Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is pulled from her training at the FBI Academy at Quantico, Virginia by Jack Crawford (Glenn) of the Bureau’s Behavioral Science Unit. Crawford tasks her with interviewing the notorious Hannibal Lecter (Hopkins), the brilliant psychiatrist and incarcerated cannibalistic serial killer, believing Lecter’s insight might be useful in the pursuit of vicious serial killer Buffalo Bill. Starling travels to the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, where she is led by Dr. Frederick Chilton (Heald) to Hannibal Lecter, the sophisticated, cultured man restrained behind thick glass panels and windowless stone walls.

Although initially pleasant and courteous, Lecter grows impatient with Starling’s attempts at “dissecting” him and viciously rebuffs her. As Starling departs, another patient flings fresh semen onto her face, enraging Lecter, who calls Starling back and suggests she consult one of his former patients. Starling interprets the patient’s name as a riddle. It leads her to a storage lot where she discovers a man’s severed head. She returns to Lecter, who tells her that the man is Benjamin Raspail, who is linked to Buffalo Bill. Though Lecter denies killing Raspail, he offers to profile Buffalo Bill if he is transferred away from the venomous, careerist Dr. Chilton.

Days later at the FBI Academy graduation party, Starling receives a phone call from Hannibal Lecter who is at an airport in Bimini. Lecter assures Starling he has no plans to pursue her and asks her to show him the same courtesy, which she says she will not do. He then excuses himself, remarking that he’s “having an old friend for dinner”. He hangs up the phone and casually follows Dr. Chilton through the village.