Film Review – IN THE LINE OF FIRE (1993)

Image result for in the line of fire 1993IN THE LINE OF FIRE (USA, 1993) *****
      Distributor: Columbia TriStar Films; Production Company: Columbia Pictures Corporation / Castle Rock Entertainment; Release Date: 8 July 1993 (USA), 27 August 1993 (UK); Filming Dates: 3 October 1992 – 11 January 1993; Running Time: 128m; Colour: Technicolor; Sound Mix: 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) | Dolby SR (35 mm prints) | SDDS (8 channels) (35 mm prints); Film Format: 35 mm, 70 mm (blow-up); Film Process: Panavision (anamorphic); Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1; BBFC Cert: 15.
      Director: Wolfgang Petersen; Writer: Jeff Maguire; Executive Producer: Gail Katz, Wolfgang Petersen, David Valdes; Producer: Jeff Apple; Director of Photography: John Bailey; Music Composer: Ennio Morricone; Film Editor: Anne V. Coates; Casting Director: Janet Hirshenson, Jane Jenkins; Production Designer: Lilly Kilvert; Art Director: John Warnke; Set Decorator: Kara Lindstrom; Costumes: Erica Edell Phillips; Make-up: Werner Keppler, Barbara Lacy, James Lee McCoy; Sound: Gregg Baxter, Wylie Stateman; Special Effects: Rocky Gehr; Visual Effects: Nancy Bernstein, Robert M. Greenberg, George Merkert.
      Cast: Clint Eastwood (Frank Horrigan), John Malkovich (Mitch Leary), Rene Russo (Lilly Raines), Dylan McDermott (Al D’Andrea), Gary Cole (Bill Watts), Fred Dalton Thompson (Harry Sargent), John Mahoney (Sam Campagna), Gregory Alan Williams (Matt Wilder), Jim Curley (President), Sally Hughes (First Lady), Clyde Kusatsu (Jack Okura), Steve Hytner (Tony Carducci), Tobin Bell (Mendoza), Bob Schott (Jimmy Hendrickson), Juan A. Riojas (Raul), Elsa Raven (Booth’s Landlady), Arthur Senzy (Paramedic), Patrika Darbo (Pam Magnus), Mary Van Arsdel (Sally), Ryan Cutrona (LAPD Brass), Lawrence Lowe (FBI Technician), Brian Libby (FBI Supervisor), Eric Bruskotter (Young Agent), Patrick Caddell (Political Speaker), John Heard (Professor Riger), Alan Toy (Walter Wickland), Carl Ciarfalio (CIA Agent Collins), Walt MacPherson (Hunter), Robert Peters (Hunter), Tyde Kierney (Police Captain Howard), Anthony Peck (FBI Official), Rick Hurst (Bartender), Doris E. McMillon (D.C. News Anchor), Robert Sandoval (Bellboy), Joshua Malina (Agent Chavez), William G. Schilling (Sanford Riggs), Michael Kirk (Computer Technician / Bates), Richard G. Camphuis (Party Fat Cat), Marlan Clarke (Marge), Robert Alan Beuth (Man at Bank), Susan Lee Hoffman (Woman at Bank), Donna Hamilton (Reporter at Dulles), Bob Jimenez (Reporter at Hotel), Cylk Cozart (Agent Cozart), Michael Zurich (Agent Zurich), Rich DiDonato (Undercover Agent), Jeffrey Kurt Miller (Undercover Agent), Kirk Jordan (Agent).
      Synopsis: Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan (Eastwood) couldn’t save Kennedy, but he’s determined not to let a clever assassin (Malkovich) take out this president.
      Comment: Eastwood is at his absolute best in this crackerjack thriller that is expertly and efficiently directed by Petersen. Malkovich makes for a creepy villain whose verbal sparring with Eastwood adds depth to his psychotic assassin. Russo sparks charmingly with Eastwood, who delivers one of his strongest and deepest performances. Morricone’s score is evocative and helps heighten the tension. Ultimately, this is text-book filmmaking of the highest order that perfectly marries script, direction, cast and editing.
      Notes: 3 Nominations for Oscar: Best Supporting Actor (John Malkovich), Editing, Screenplay.

Film Review – TWO MULES FOR SISTER SARA (1970)

Image result for two mules for sister sara 1970TWO MULES FOR SISTER SARA (USA, 1970) ***
      Distributor: Universal Pictures (USA), Rank Film Distributors (UK); Production Company: The Malpaso Company / Sanen Productions; Release Date: 28 May 1970 (USA), 19 July 1970 (UK); Filming Dates: 3 February 1969 – mid-May 1969; Running Time: 114m; Colour: Technicolor; Sound Mix: Mono; Film Format: 35mm; Film Process: Panavision (anamorphic); Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1; BBFC Cert: PG – contains strong violence and sexual threat.
      Director: Don Siegel; Writer: Albert Maltz (based on a story by  Budd Boetticher); Producer: Carroll Case, Martin Rackin; Director of Photography: Gabriel Figueroa; Music Composer: Ennio Morricone; Music Supervisor: Stanley Wilson; Film Editor: Robert F. Shugrue; Art Director: José Rodríguez Granada; Set Decorator: Pablo Galván; Costumes: Carlos Chávez, Helen Colvig; Make-up: Margarita Ortega, Frank Westmore; Sound: Jesús González Gancy, Ronald Pierce, Waldon O. Watson; Special Effects: Frank Brendel, León Ortega.
      Cast: Shirley MacLaine (Sara), Clint Eastwood (Hogan), Manolo Fábregas (Colonel Beltran), Alberto Morin (General LeClaire), Armando Silvestre (1st American), John Kelly (2nd American), David Povall (Juan), Ada Carrasco (Juan’s Mother), Pancho Córdova (Juan’s Father), José Chávez (Horacio), Pedro Galván, José Ángel Espinosa ‘Ferrusquilla’ (French Officer), Enrique Lucero (3rd American), Aurora Muñoz (Sara’s Friend), Xavier Marc (Yaqui Chief), Hortensia Santoveña (1st Woman in the Night), Rosa Furman (2nd Woman in the Night), José Torvay (Mexican Guerrilla), Margarito Luna (Mexican Guerrilla), Xavier Massé.
      Synopsis: A nun is rescued from three cowboys by a stranger who is on his way to do some reconnaissance, for a future mission to capture a French fort. Inevitably the two become good friends but the nun has a secret.
      Comment: A handsome low-key Western that coasts on the interactions between the two stars in a riff on THE AFRICAN QUEEN. MacLaine is sassy and funny as the nun and Eastwood adds a level of humour to his stranger persona carried forward from the Sergio Leone Spaghetti Westerns of the mid-1960s. Don Siegel directs the story efficiently and the film is colourfully photographed on location in Mexico. Ennio Morricone’s score is witty and recalls his scores for Leone. Ultimately, this is a character-led story and as such the minimal plot does little to engage. There is a memorable sequence where MacLaine has to help remove an Indian arrow from Eastwood’s shoulder and another involving the blowing-up of a railway bridge. The result, however, is a diverting entertainment that coasts on the charisma of its two stars and also feels a little disposable.
      Notes: The second film collaboration between director Don Siegel and star Clint Eastwood.

Film Review – FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE (1965)

Image result for for a few dollars more 1965For a Few Dollars More (1965; Italy/Spain/West Germany; Technicolor; 132m) **** d. Sergio Leone; w. Sergio Leone, Fulvio Morsella, Luciano Vincenzoni; ph. Massimo Dallamano; m. Ennio Morricone.  Cast: Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Gian Maria Volonte, Joseph Egger, Benito Stefanelli, Mara Krup, Klaus Kinski, Mario Brega, Aldo Sambrell, Luigi Pistilli, Panos Papadopulos, Roberto Camardiel, Luis Rodriguez, Tomas Blanco, Lorenzo Robledo. Two bounty hunters with completely different intentions team up to track down a Western outlaw. Follow-up to FISTFUL OF DOLLARS is more expansive and adds a subtle layer of black humour. Eastwood and Van Cleef make for a formidable pairing and their verbal jousting is enjoyable. Memorable scenes include Van Cleef’s humiliation of Kinski and the protracted shootout finale. Morricone contributes another top-class score. Not released in the U.S. until 1967. Followed by THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY (1966). [15]