Splendor in the Grass

  • Directors: Elia Kazan
  • Producers: Elia Kazan
  • Writers: William Inge
  • Genres: Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty, Pat Hingle, Audrey Christie, Barbara Loden, Zohra Lampert

Deanie Loomis (played by Natalie Wood), a teen-aged girl living in a small town in Kansas in 1928, follows her mother’s advice to resist her desire for sex with her boyfriend, Bud Stamper (Warren Beatty), the scion of the most prosperous family in town. In his turn, Bud reluctantly follows the advice of his father (Pat Hingle), who suggests that he find another kind of girl with whom to satisfy his sexual desires.

Bud’s parents are disappointed by, and ashamed of, his older sister Ginny—she is sexually promiscuous, smokes, drinks, and has had an abortion—and accordingly “pin all their hopes” on Bud, pressuring him to attend Yale University.

Bud does find a girl who is willing to become sexually involved with him, and when Deanie finds out, she is driven close to madness and institutionalized. Bud’s family loses its fortune in the Great Depression, which leads to the father’s suicide; and Bud takes up ranching, which he had postponed because of his father’s aspirations for him.

In the final scene, Deanie, home from the asylum after two and a half years, goes to meet Bud. He is now married to Angelina, the daughter of Italian immigrants; he and his wife, whom he met while complying with his father’s desire that he attend Yale, have an infant child and are expecting another one. After their brief reunion, Deanie and Bud see that they must continue their lives separately.

Dick Tracy

  • Directors: Warren Beatty
  • Producers: Warren Beatty, Executive producers, Art Linson, Floyd Mutrux, Barrie M Osborne
  • Writers: Screenplay, Jim Cash, Jack Epps Jr, Uncredited, Warren Beatty, Bo Goldman, Max Allan Collins, Characters, Chester Gould
  • Genres: Action, Crime, Drama, Family, Thriller
  • Actors: Warren Beatty, Al Pacino, Madonna, Glenne Headly, Charlie Korsmo

At an illegal card game, a young street urchin witnesses the massacre of a group of mobsters (The Brow, Shoulders, Littleface and the Rodent) by Flattop, one of the hoods on the payroll of “Big Boy” Caprice, whose crime syndicate is aggressively taking over small businesses in the city. Detective Dick Tracy catches the urchin (who calls himself “Kid”) in an act of petty theft. After rescuing him from a ruthless guardian, Tracy temporarily adopts him with the help of his girlfriend, Tess Truehart.

Meanwhile, Big Boy coerces club owner Lips Manlis into signing over the deed to Club Ritz. He kills Lips and steals his girlfriend, the seductive and sultry singer, Breathless Mahoney. After police find the body, Tracy goes to the club to arrest Big Boy for Lips’ murder. Breathless is the only witness. Instead of providing testimony, she unsuccessfully attempts to seduce Tracy. Big Boy cannot be convicted and he is released from jail. Big Boy’s next move is to try to bring other criminals, including Spud Spaldoni, Pruneface, Ribs Mocca, Mumbles, Itchy, and Numbers, together under his leadership. Spaldoni refuses and meets an untimely demise that night. Tracy tries again to get the testimony from Breathless he needs to put Big Boy away.

Big Boy is back in business, but he, too, is framed, in this case for Tess’ kidnapping. Sprung from jail by his colleagues on New Year’s Eve, Tracy sets out to save his true love. He arrives at a shootout outside Big Boy’s club where all of Big Boy’s men are gunned down by the police and Tracy himself. Abandoning his crew, Big Boy ties Tess to the mechanism of a drawbridge, but he is confronted by both the Blank and Tracy. Desperate to escape, he shoots the Blank. Enraged, Tracy punches Caprice and sends him falling to his death in the bridge gears. Beneath the faceless figure’s mask, Tracy is shocked to find Breathless Mahoney, who kisses him and breathes her last breath. He then frees his girlfriend and his name is cleared from the murder of Fletcher. Later, in the middle of a marriage proposal to Tess, Tracy is interrupted by a robbery in progress, and takes off with the Kid, who now calls himself Dick Tracy, Jr.

McCabe Mrs Miller

  • Directors: Robert Altman
  • Producers: Mitchell Brower, David Foster
  • Writers: Edmund Naughton, Robert Altman, Brian McKay
  • Genres: Drama, Western
  • Actors: Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, Rene Auberjonois

Around the beginning of the twentieth century, a gambler named John McCabe (Beatty) arrives in the fictional town of Presbyterian Church Washington State to start a low-class brothel. McCabe quickly takes on a dominant position over the town’s simple-minded and lethargic miners, thanks to his aggressive personality and rumors that he is a gunfighter. The ‘legend’ of McCabe as a gunfighter is propagated largely through gossip on the part of Paddy Sheehan (Rene Auberjonois), a local saloon owner notorious for telling tales. The legend claims that McCabe shot a famous gunfighter named Bill Roundtree with a Derringer pistol during a card game. The legend is neither confirmed nor encouraged by McCabe; he is not seen with such a pistol until the film’s conclusion, and is not portrayed as a courageous type, leading the audience to believe that the legend is merely another of Sheehan’s fabrications.

Shortly after McCabe has established his make-shift brothel, consisting of three prostitutes purchased from a pimp in the nearby town of Bearpaw for $200, Constance Miller (Christie), an opium addicted professional ‘Madam’ arrives in Presbyterian Church. She convinces him that she can do a better job of managing the brothel than he can, as McCabe is clearly inept when dealing with women. The two become successful business partners, and a love-interest subplot is developed between these two frontier-hardened and cynical characters.

Just as McCabe is a classical example of the antihero, the final shootout between McCabe and the gunmen is antithetical to the western genre. It takes place, not at high noon on main street, but in a stifling snowstorm, as the killers stalk McCabe through the back alleys of the town like a hunted animal. The arch-villain gunslinger (played by British actor Hugh Millais) is a giant Englishman, who uses a single-shot elephant gun, rather than a revolver. As he stands gloating over the apparently slain McCabe, the latter produces the fabled deringer and shoots his assassin in the forehead. No music is used, and only deafening silence is present as the falling snow muffles all sounds. McCabe’s victory over his hunters is not celebrated by the townspeople, who are otherwise occupied putting out their burning church on the other side of town. Having triumphed over his enemies, McCabe does not get to ride off into the sunset with Mrs. Miller, but instead, slowly dies in a snowbank while Mrs. Miller drifts into an opium-induced trance, oblivious to his fate and indifferent to her own feelings. After McCabe and the bounty killers are all dead, the town’s people are seen rejoicing, not for the hero’s victory, but for the church fire that had finally been extinguished.

Bonnie and Clyde

  • Directors: Arthur Penn
  • Producers: Warren Beatty
  • Writers: David Newman, Robert Benton, Uncredited, Robert Towne, Warren Beatty
  • Genres: Action, Biography, Crime, Drama, Romance, Thriller
  • Actors: Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway

In the middle of the Great Depression, Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty) and Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway) meet when Clyde tries to steal Bonnie’s mother’s car. Bonnie, who is bored by her job as a waitress, is intrigued with Clyde, and decides to take up with him and become his partner in crime. They do some holdups, but their amateur efforts, while exciting, are not very lucrative.

The duo’s crime spree shifts into high gear once they hook up with a dim-witted gas station attendant, C.W. Moss (a composite of the real W. D. Jones and Henry Methvin played by Michael J. Pollard). The three are joined by Clyde’s brother, Buck (Gene Hackman), and his wife, Blanche (Estelle Parsons), a preacher’s daughter. Soon a long-simmering feud between Bonnie and Blanche begins; the once-prim Blanche views Bonnie as a harpy corrupting her husband and brother-in-law, while Bonnie sees Blanche as an incompetent, shrill shrew.

With their gang now assembled, Bonnie and Clyde turn from pulling small-time heists to robbing banks. Their exploits also become more violent. When C.W., the get-away driver, botches a bank robbery by parallel parking the car, Clyde shoots the bank manager in the face after he jumps onto the slow-moving car’s running board. The gang is pursued by law enforcement, including Frank Hamer (Denver Pyle), a Texas Ranger who is captured and humiliated by the outlaws, then set free. With a score to settle, the ranger leads a raid that kills Buck, injures Bonnie and Clyde, and leaves Blanche sightless and in police custody. Hamer tricks Blanche, whose eyes are bandaged, into revealing the name of C.W. Moss, known in the press only as an unnamed accomplice.

The Ranger locates Bonnie and Clyde and C.W. hiding at the house of C.W.’s father, Ivan Moss (Dub Taylor). Because Ivan thinks Bonnie and Clyde have corrupted his son, he strikes a bargain with Hamer: in exchange for a lenient jail sentence for C.W., he reveals Bonnie and Clyde’s location and helps set a trap for them. When Bonnie and Clyde are ambushed while stopped by the side of the road, the police riddle their bodies with bullets in a blood bath.