The Princess Bride

  • Directors: Rob Reiner
  • Producers: Rob Reiner, Andrew Scheinman, Norman Lear for Act III Communications
  • Writers: William Goldman
  • Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
  • Actors: Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, Christopher Guest, Peter Falk, Fred Savage, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Carol Kane

The narrative of the movie is framed by a scene featuring a boy sick in bed (Fred Savage) and his grandfather (Peter Falk). The plot of the movie is the enactment of the story as it is being read, which is occasionally interrupted by comments from the grandson and grandfather.

A beautiful young woman named Buttercup (Robin Wright) lives on a farm in the fictional country of Florin. She delights in ordering the farm hand Westley (Cary Elwes) to perform chores for her. Westley’s only answer is “As you wish.” Eventually Buttercup realizes he really means “I love you”, and she admits her love for him. Westley soon leaves to seek his fortune so that they can marry. She receives word that Westley’s ship was attacked by the Dread Pirate Roberts, who is notorious for leaving no victim alive. Five years later, believing Westley to be dead, Buttercup reluctantly gets engaged to Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon), heir to the throne of Florin.

Before the wedding, Buttercup is kidnapped by a trio of outlaws: a Sicilian criminal genius named Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), a Spanish fencing master named Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin), and a gigantic Turkish wrestler named Fezzik (André the Giant). They are pursued by two parties: one consists of Prince Humperdinck and a number of soldiers; the other, a single masked man in black. The man in black outpaces the royal rescue party and almost catches the outlaws at the Cliffs of Insanity.

Upon finishing the story, the grandfather gets up to leave. The grandson—having grown more interested throughout—asks his grandfather to read it to him again the following day. The grandfather replies, “As you wish.”

Maverick

  • Directors: Richard Donner
  • Producers: Bruce Davey, Richard Donner, Jim Van Wyck, Alexander B Collett
  • Writers: Roy Huggins, William Goldman
  • Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Western
  • Actors: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, James Garner

The story, set in the American Old West, is a first-person account by a wisecracking gambler Bret Maverick (Mel Gibson), of his misadventures on the way to a major five-card draw poker tournament. Besides wanting to win the poker championship for the money, he also wants to prove, once and for all, that he is “the best”. However, complications keep getting in the way.

Maverick rides into the fictional town of Crystal River intending to collect money owed to him, as he is $3,000 short of the poker tournament entry fee of $25,000. His efforts to make up this $3,000 provide some plot motivation, as well as diversions caused by, and in the company of, three people he encounters at Crystal River: an antagonist named Angel (Alfred Molina), a young con-artist calling herself Mrs Annabelle Bransford (Jodie Foster), and legendary lawman Marshal Zane Cooper (James Garner, who played Bret Maverick in the original TV series). The first two are also rival poker players.

Maverick, Bransford and Cooper share a stagecoach (the driver of which dies at the reins at full gallop), agree to help a wagon train of migrant evangelist settlers who have been waylaid by ruffians (for a fee which Maverick in the end is too big-hearted to accept) and are headed-off by a troop of Indians led by Joseph (Graham Greene). Unknown to his companions, Joseph and Maverick are good friends, and Maverick allows himself to be “captured.” Joseph is another one of his unreliable debtors, and in and around his tribal grounds they collaborate on a scheme to swindle a Russian Grand Duke.

Later, Maverick is relaxing in a bath-house when Cooper finds him, and drops the facade to reveal (to the audience) that he is in fact Maverick’s father and that the real conspiracy was between the two of them. However, Bransford enters the bath-house and robs Cooper and Maverick (whose relationship she had surmised from their similar mannerisms). However, she only gets away with half of the money, as Maverick had hidden the rest in his boots. Maverick smiles and comments that it will be a lot of fun getting the rest of the money back from her.

Misery

  • Directors: Rob Reiner
  • Producers: Rob Reiner, Andrew Scheinman, Jeffrey Stott, Steve Nicolaides
  • Writers: Novel, Stephen King, Screenplay, William Goldman
  • Genres: Horror, Thriller
  • Actors: James Caan, Kathy Bates, Richard Farnsworth, Frances Sternhagen, Lauren Bacall

Famed novelist, Paul Sheldon (James Caan) is the best selling author of a series of romance novels involving the character, Misery Chastaine. After finishing his latest novel, he departs from Silver Creek, Colorado to New York; he drives in the middle of a blizzard and his car goes off the road. He is rescued by former nurse Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) and brought back to her home where she tends to his injuries.

She claims she is his number one fan, and goes on and on about how she cherishes Paul and the novels. At first, Annie seems to be a very kind nurse with a very happy-go-lucky attitude, but it becomes clear to Paul that she is psychotic. He lets her read his novel and she says that she disagrees with profanity, while she is feeding him, she loses control, spilling some soup on him, but regains control and humbly apologizes for her actions.

She then gets a copy of Paul’s already published book entitled, Misery’s Child the latest Misery novel and the last, as Paul has decided to go on writing other stories, including the one he has already finished. After he has “killed” Misery (who suffered a maternal death) in this story, Annie goes into a rage, almost killing Paul, she claims that she never contacted the hospital, his agent or family, or anyone else Paul knows. Annie then leaves and Paul decides to escape his room but she has locked the door making it impossible for him to leave. Annie comes to him the following morning and makes him burn his latest novel. Paul initially refuses, but then Annie starts pouring lighting fluid onto the bedspread, making it clear that she will set the bed on fire if Paul refuses.

Eighteen months later, Paul (now able to walk again) meets with his publishing agent in New York, in a restaurant, discussing his first non-Misery novel called The Higher Education of J. Philip Stone, which has become a real success. His agent asks if he wants to write a non-fiction book about his time with Annie, but Paul claims it would not be good for him. He then sees a vision of Annie as a waitress but turns out to be someone else. The waitress claims that she is his number one fan, to which Paul responds, “That’s very sweet of you.”

All the President s Men

  • Directors: Alan J Pakula
  • Producers: Walter Coblenz
  • Writers: William Goldman, Based on book by, Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein
  • Genres: Drama, History, Thriller
  • Actors: Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Jason Robards, Jack Warden, Hal Holbrook, Jane Alexander, Martin Balsam

The book, also titled All the President’s Men, was adapted for the screen by William Goldman. The story chronicles the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporting of Woodward and Bernstein from their initial report on the Watergate break-in through to their revelation of the Nixon Administration’s corrupt campaign of sabotage against their political rivals. It relates the events behind the major stories the duo wrote for the Washington Post, naming some sources who had previously refused to be identified for their initial articles, notably Hugh Sloan. It also gives detailed accounts of Woodward’s secret meetings with his source ‘Deep Throat’ whose identity was kept secret for over 30 years. Only in 2005 was Deep Throat revealed to be former FBI Associate Director W. Mark Felt.

The General s Daughter

  • Directors: Simon West
  • Producers: Mace Neufeld
  • Writers: Christopher Bertolini, William Goldman, Nelson DeMille
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
  • Actors: John Travolta, Madeleine Stowe, James Cromwell, Timothy Hutton, James Woods, Leslie Stefanson

Chief Warrant Officer Four Paul Brenner (John Travolta) is in Georgia masquerading as First Sergeant Frank White at a local army base, to broker an illegal arms trade with a self-proclaimed freedom fighter. While on the base, his car gets a flat tire. Without a lug wrench, a pretty young officer arrives and helps him change the spare. The officer is Captain Elisabeth Campbell (Leslie Stefanson), the base commanding general’s daughter and army captain in psychological operations. The next evening, she is found murdered. Brenner and another warrant officer, Sara Sunhill (Madeleine Stowe) are brought in to investigate, as both are part of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command. They find Captain Campbell’s body staked down with tent poles, strangled, and presumably raped.

They search Elisabeth’s home off base and find it typical of a career Army officer, with one exception: through a false door in the basement, they find what appears to be a sexual dungeon of sorts, with handcuffs, harnesses, and a camera connected to a VCR. Sunhill goes to their car to make a call from her cell phone, and while Brenner gathers the tapes, he is attacked by a masked figure armed with a steel snow shovel. The culprit manages to disorient Brenner long enough to steal the videotapes. Brenner questions Elisabeth’s close confidante, Colonel Robert Moore (James Woods), who also works in psy ops. Though cordial and somewhat cooperative, Moore is evasive when questioned, and gives an alibi of being in bed asleep at the time of the murder. However, this proves false when Moore’s fingerprints are found on Elisabeth’s dog tags that were found in a plastic trash bag several yards from her body, along with her clothing. Brenner arrests Moore on charges of conduct unbecoming an officer and takes him to jail.

As the general steps toward the plane, one is given to see that it is his end, as well as his daughter’s, that he is approaching. The film ends with a montage of Elizabeth’s happy childhood and Brenner and Sunhill departing in opposite directions and an admiring glance by Sunhill at the departing Brenner.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

  • Directors: George Roy Hill
  • Producers: John Foreman
  • Writers: William Goldman
  • Genres: Adventure, Crime, Drama, Western
  • Actors: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross

Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman) and the Sundance Kid (Robert Redford), the leaders of the Hole in the Wall Gang, are planning another bank robbery. As they return to their hideout in Hole-in-the-Wall, they find out that the gang has selected a new leader, Harvey Logan (Ted Cassidy). He challenges Butch to a knife fight, which Butch wins, using a ruse. Although Logan is defeated, Butch quickly embraces Logan’s idea to rob the Union Pacific Flyer twice, agreeing with Logan that the second robbery would be unexpected and likely to involve even more money than the first.

The first robbery goes very well and the marshal of the next town (Kenneth Mars) can’t manage to raise a posse. Butch and Sundance listen to his attempts, enjoying themselves. Sundance’s lover, Etta Place (Katharine Ross), is introduced; both men vie for her attention as she also goes bike-riding with Butch during a dialogue-free musical interlude, accompanied by the Oscar-winning song “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head.”

The second robbery goes wrong. Not only does Butch use too much dynamite to blow the safe, but a second train arrives, which is carrying a posse that has been specially outfitted by E. H. Harriman to hunt Butch and Sundance. The gang flees in multiple directions, with the posse following Butch and Sundance. They try hiding in a brothel but are betrayed. They try riding double on a single horse in the hope that the posse will split up, but that fails. They then try to arrange an amnesty with the help of the friendly Sheriff Bledsoe (Jeff Corey). But he tells them they have no chance of getting one, and that they will be hunted down until they are killed by the posse.

The film ends with freeze frame sepia tone shot of the two of them exiting the house firing their guns, while a voice is heard ordering: “Fuego!” (“Fire!”) and the sound of dozens of rifles being fired in three consecutive volleys.