Little Big Man (1970)

Little Big Man (1970)

In the present day (1970), 121-year-old Jack Crabb, the oldest living man in the world and residing in a hospice, recounts his plentiful life story to a curious historian. Among other things, Crabb claims to have had been a captive of the Cheyenne, a gunslinger, an associate of Wild Bill Hickok, a scout for General George Armstrong Custer, and the sole white survivor of the Battle of Little Bighorn.

Jack begins his story in a flashback to 1859 when he was 10 years old where he and his older sister Caroline (Carole Androsky) survive the massacre of their parents by the Pawnee, and are taken back to a Cheyenne village. Caroline escapes, but Jack is reared by the good-hearted tribal leader Old Lodge Skins. As Jack gets older, he unwittingly makes an enemy of another boy, Younger Bear; however, Younger Bear eventually owes his life to Jack since he saved his life from a Pawnee Indian. Jack is given the name “Little Big Man” because he is short but very brave. In 1865, when Jack is 16, he is captured by U.S. cavalry troopers during a skirmish and renounces his Native American upbringing in order to save himself. He is put in the care of Reverend Silas Pendrake and his sexually frustrated wife, Louise, who tries to seduce Jack. When he witnesses Mrs. Pendrake having sex with the soda shop owner, Jack leaves the Pendrake household, and religion.

The following year, Jack becomes the apprentice of the snake-oil salesman Merriweather. The two are tarred and feathered when their customers realize that Merriweather’s products are fraudulent. One of the angry customers is Jack’s now-grown sister, Caroline, with whom he reunites. She attempts to mold her brother into a gunslinger named the Soda Pop Kid. Jack meets Wild Bill Hickok at a saloon, and Hickok takes a liking to the young man. When Hickok is forced to kill a man in self-defense, Jack loses his taste for gunslinging and Caroline deserts him.

Another year or so later, Jack becomes a partner in a general store and marries a Swedish woman named Olga (Kelly Jean Peters). Unfortunately, Jack’s business partner turns out to be a thieving scoundrel. The famous cavalry officer George Armstrong Custer suggests the couple restart their lives further west and assures them they have nothing to fear of Indians. They set out, but their stagecoach is ambushed by Cheyenne warriors. Olga is abducted and Jack sets out in search for her. He is reunited with Old Lodge Skins. Younger Bear has become a contrary, a warrior who does everything in reverse. Jack makes friends with the hwame Little Horse, but continues on his search for Olga.

Jack eventually becomes a “muleskinner” in Custer’s 7th Cavalry, only because Custer incorrectly determines that was Jack’s past job. He takes part in a battle against the Cheyenne, but when the troopers begin killing women and children, Jack turns on them. Jack discovers a Cheyenne woman, Sunshine (Aimée Eccles), giving birth. He returns with her to Old Lodge Skins’s tribe.

Sunshine becomes his wife and bears him a child. Jack again encounters Younger Bear, not a Contrary anymore, who is now the henpecked husband of the long-lost Olga. Olga does not recognize Jack, who makes no attempt to make her remember him. Sunshine asks Jack to take in her three widowed sisters as wives and to father children with them. He is reluctant at first, but finally agrees.

In November 1868, Custer and the 7th Cavalry make a surprise attack on the Cheyenne camp at the Washita River. A now-blind and elderly Old Lodge Skins is saved by Jack, but Sunshine, their child, and her sisters are killed. Jack tries to infiltrate Custer’s camp to exact revenge, but loses his nerve to kill Custer.

Little Big Man is a 1970 American Western dramedy film directed by Arthur Penn and based on the novel Little Big Man by Thomas Berger. It is about a white male child raised by the Cheyenne nation during the 19th century. The film is largely concerned with contrasting the lives of American pioneers and Native Americans throughout the progression of the boy’s life.

The movie stars Dustin Hoffman, Chief Dan George, Faye Dunaway, Martin Balsam, Jeff Corey and Richard Mulligan. It is considered a Western, with Native Americans receiving a more sympathetic treatment and the United States Cavalry depicted as villains.

Despite its satirical approach, the film has tragic elements and a clear social conscience about prejudice and injustice. Little Big Man is considered an example of anti-establishment films of the period, protesting America’s involvement in the Vietnam War by portraying the U.S. military negatively.

Little Big Man (1970) Movie Poster

Little Big Man (1970)

Directed by: Arthur Penn
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Faye Dunaway, Chief Dan George, Martin Balsam, Richard Mulligan, Aimee Eccles, Kelly Jean Peters, Carole Androsky
Screenplay by: Calder Willingham
Production Design by: Dean Tavoularis
Cinematography by: Harry Stradling Jr.
Film Editing by: Dede Allen
Costume Design by: Dorothy Jeakins
Set Decoration by: George R. Nelson
Art Direction by: Angelo P. Graham
Music by: John Paul Hammond
Distributed by: National General Pictures
Release Date: December 23, 1970

All the President’s Men (1976)

All the President's Men (1976)

On June 17, 1972, a security guard (Frank Wills, playing himself) at the Watergate complex finds a door kept unlocked with tape. He calls the police, who find and arrest five burglars in the Democratic National Committee headquarters within the complex. The next morning, The Washington Post assigns new reporter Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) to the local courthouse to cover the story, which is thought to be of minor importance.

Woodward learns that the five men, four Cuban-Americans from Miami and James W. McCord, Jr., had bugging equipment and have their own “country club” attorney. At the arraignment, McCord identifies himself in court as having recently left the Central Intelligence Agency and the others also have CIA ties. Woodward connects the burglars to E. Howard Hunt, a former employee of the CIA, and President Richard Nixon’s Special Counsel Charles Colson.

Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman), another Post reporter, is assigned to cover the Watergate story with Woodward. The two are reluctant partners, but work well together. Executive editor Benjamin Bradlee (Jason Robards) believes their work is incomplete, however, and not worthy of the Post’s front page. He encourages them to continue to gather information.

Woodward contacts “Deep Throat” (Hal Holbrook), a senior government official, an anonymous source he has used in the past. Communicating through copies of The New York Times and a balcony flowerpot, they meet in a parking garage in the middle of the night. Deep Throat speaks in riddles and metaphors about the Watergate break-in, but advises Woodward to “follow the money.”

Over the next few weeks, Woodward and Bernstein connect the five burglars to thousands of dollars in diverted campaign contributions to Nixon’s Committee to Re-elect the President (CRP, or CREEP). Bradlee and others at the Post dislike the two young reporters’ reliance on unnamed sources like Deep Throat, and wonder why the Nixon administration would break the law when the President is likely to defeat Democratic nominee George McGovern.

Through former CREEP treasurer Hugh W. Sloan, Jr. (Stephen Collins), Woodward and Bernstein connect a slush fund of hundreds of thousands of dollars to White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman—”the second most important man in this country”—and former Nixon Attorney General John N. Mitchell, now head of CREEP. They learn that CREEP used the fund to begin a “ratfucking” campaign to sabotage Democratic presidential candidates a year before the Watergate burglary, when Nixon was behind Edmund Muskie in the polls.

Bradlee’s demand for thoroughness forces the reporters to obtain other sources to confirm the Haldeman connection. When the White House issues a non-denial denial of the Post’s above-the-fold story, the editor thus continues to support them.

At the subtle climax, Woodward again meets secretly with Deep Throat, who finally reveals that the Watergate break-in and cover-up was indeed masterminded by Haldeman. Deep Throat also claims that the cover-up was not to hide the other burglaries or of their involvement with CREEP, but to hide the “covert operations” involving “the entire U.S. intelligence community”, and warns that Woodward, Bernstein, and others’ lives are in danger. When Woodward and Bernstein relay this to Bradlee, he urges the reporters to continue despite the risk and Nixon’s re-election.

All the President’s Men is a 1976 American political thriller film directed by Alan J. Pakula. The screenplay by William Goldman is based on the 1974 non-fiction book of the same name by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, the two journalists investigating the Watergate scandal for The Washington Post. The film starred Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as Woodward and Bernstein, respectively; it was produced by Walter Coblenz for Redford’s Wildwood Enterprises.

All the President’s Men is the third installment of what informally came to be known as Pakula’s “paranoia trilogy”. The other two films in the trilogy are Klute (1971) and The Parallax View (1974).

In 2010, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

All the President's Men Movie Poster (1976)

All the President’s Men (1976)

Directed by: Alan J. Pakula
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam, Hal Holbrook, Jane Alexander, Meredith Baxter, Robert Walden
Screenplay by: William Goldman
Production Design by: George Jenkins
Cinematography by: Gordon Willis
Film Editing by: Robert L. Wolfe
Set Decoration by: George Gaines
Music by: David Shire
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: April 9, 1976

Straw Dogs (1971)

Straw Dogs (1971)

David Sumner, an American mathematician, comes to live with his glamorous young wife, Amy, in her hometown, a small village in a remote part of Cornwall, UK. Amy’s return is of particular interest to her ex-boyfriend, Charlie Venner, and his cronies, Norman Scutt, Chris Cawsey and Phil Riddaway, who are immediately resentful of the outsider who has married one of their own. David hires the men to carry out repairs to the isolated farmhouse he and Amy have rented, Trenchers Farm. Tensions in the Sumners’ marriage soon become apparent—explicitly so when Amy stands topless in a window in full view of the workmen.

When Amy discovers their dead cat hanging by a light chain in their bedroom closet, she claims the workmen are responsible. She presses David to confront them, but he refuses. Later, the men invite David to go hunting in the woods with them. During the hunting trip, the workmen take him to a remote forest meadow and leave him there with the promise of driving the birds towards him.

Having ditched David, Charlie Venner returns to the couple’s farmhouse, where he initiates sex with Amy. She at first resists but eventually appears to submit, repeatedly embracing and kissing him. As Amy and Charlie lie together, Norman Scutt enters silently and forces Venner at gunpoint to hold Amy down while he rapes her in a sequence far less ambiguous as Amy screams and struggles to break free, to no avail.

Straw Dogs (1971) - Susan George

The next day, David, who is seemingly unaware of his wife’s ordeal, fires the workmen. Later that week, the Sumners attend a church social where Amy becomes distraught after seeing the men who raped her. They leave the social early, and, while driving home through thick fog, accidentally hit the mentally handicapped Henry Niles, a local villager. They take Henry to their home. David phones the local pub to explain about the accident. However, earlier that evening Niles had accidentally strangled a flirtatious young girl from the village, Janice Hedden. Her father, the town drunkard, Tom, and the workmen looking for him, are alerted by the phone call to Niles’s whereabouts.

Soon the drunken locals, including Amy’s rapists, are pounding on the door of the Sumners’ home. The local magistrate, Major Scott, arrives to deal with the situation, but is accidentally shot dead by Tom. David realises that he, Amy and Niles are now in mortal danger, and prepares to defend his household.

Straw Dogs is a 1971 psychological thriller directed by Sam Peckinpah and starring Dustin Hoffman and Susan George. The screenplay, by Peckinpah and David Zelag Goodman, is based upon Gordon M. Williams’s 1969 novel, The Siege of Trencher’s Farm. The film’s title derives from a discussion in the Tao Te Ching that likens the ancient Chinese ceremonial straw dog to forms without substance.

The film is noted for its violent concluding sequences and a complicated rape scene. Released theatrically the same year as A Clockwork Orange, The French Connection, and Dirty Harry, the film sparked heated controversy over the perceived increase of violence in cinema. The film premiered in U.S. cinemas on December 29, 1971. Although controversial in 1971, Straw Dogs is considered by many to be one of Peckinpah’s greatest films. A remake directed by Rod Lurie was released on September 16, 2011.

Straw Dogs Movie Poster (1971)

Straw Dogs (1971)

Directed by: Sam Peckinpah
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Susan George, Peter Vaughan, T.P. McKenna, Del Henney, Jim Norton, Sally Thomsett, Cherina Schaer
Screenplay by: David Zelag Goodman, Sam Peckinpah
Production Design by: Ray Simm
Cinematography by: John Coquillon
Film Editing by: Paul Davies, Tony Lawson, Roger Spottiswoode
Art Direction by: Ken Bridgeman
Music by: Jerry Fielding
Distributed by: Cinerama Releasing Corporation
Release Date: December 29, 1971

Lenny (1974)

Lenny (1974)

Taglines: Lenny’s time has finally come.

The film jumps between various sections of Bruce’s life, including scenes of when he was in his prime and the burned-out, strung-out performer who, in the twilight of his life, used his nightclub act to pour out his personal frustrations. We watch as up-and-coming Bruce courts his “Shiksa goddess”, a stripper named Honey.

With family responsibilities, Lenny is encouraged to do a “safe” act, but he cannot do it. Constantly in trouble for flouting obscenity laws, Lenny develops a near-messianic complex which fuels both his comedy genius and his talent for self-destruction. Worn out by a lifetime of tilting at Establishment windmills, Lenny Bruce dies of a morphine overdose in 1966.

Lenny is a 1974 American biographical film about the comedian Lenny Bruce, starring Dustin Hoffman and directed by Bob Fosse. The screenplay by Julian Barry is based on his play of the same name.

Lenny Movie Poster (1974)

Lenny (1974)

Directed by: Bob Fosse
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Valerie Perrine, Jan Miner, Stanley Beck, Frankie Man, Rashel Novikoff, Gary Morton, Michele Yonge
Screenplay by: Julian Barry
Production Design by: Joel Schiller
Cinematography by: Bruce Surtees
Film Editing by: Alan Heim
Costume Design by: Albert Wolsky
Set Decoration by: Nicholas J. Romanac
Music by: Ralph Burns
Distributed by United Artists
Release Date: November 10, 1974

Kramer Vs. Kramer (1979)

Kramer Vs. Kramer (1979)

Taglines: There are three sides to this love story.

Ted Kramer is a career man for whom his work comes before his family. His wife Joanna cannot take this anymore, so she decides to leave him. Ted is now faced with the tasks of housekeeping and taking care of himself and their young son Billy. When he has learned to adjust his life to these new responsibilities, Joanna resurfaces and wants Billy back. Ted, however, refuses to give him up, so they go to court to fight for the custody of their son.

Kramer vs. Kramer is a 1979 American drama film adapted by Robert Benton from the novel by Avery Corman, and directed by Benton. The film tells the story of a married couple’s divorce and its impact on everyone involved, including the couple’s young son. It received five Academy Awards at the 52nd Academy Awards in 1980, in the categories of Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actress.

Kramer Vs. Kramer (1979)

About the Story

Ted Kramer (Dustin Hoffman) is a workaholic advertising executive who has just been assigned a new and very important account. Ted arrives home and shares the good news with his wife Joanna (Meryl Streep) only to find that she is leaving him. Saying that she needs to find herself, she leaves Ted to raise their son Billy (Justin Henry) by himself. Ted and Billy initially resent one another as Ted no longer has time to carry his increased workload and Billy misses his mother’s love and attention. After months of unrest, Ted and Billy learn to cope and gradually bond as father and son.

Ted befriends his neighbor Margaret (Jane Alexander), who had initially counseled Joanna to leave Ted if she was that unhappy. Margaret is a fellow single parent, and she and Ted become kindred spirits. One day, as the two sit in the park watching their children play, Billy falls off the jungle gym, severely cutting his face. Ted sprints several blocks through oncoming traffic carrying Billy to the hospital, where he comforts his son during treatment.

Fifteen months after she walked out, Joanna returns to New York to claim Billy, and a custody battle ensues. During the custody hearing, both Ted and Joanna are unprepared for the brutal character assassinations that their lawyers unleash on the other. Margaret is forced to testify that she had advised an unhappy Joanna to leave Ted, though she also attempts to tell Joanna on the stand that her husband has profoundly changed. Eventually, the damaging facts that Ted was fired because of his conflicting parental responsibilities which forced him to take a lower-paying job come out in court, as do the details of Billy’s accident.

Kramer Vs. Kramer Movie Poster (1979)

Kramer Vs. Kramer (1979)

Directed by: Robert Benton
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Jane Alexander, Justin Henry, Howard Duff, JoBeth Williams, George Coe, Nicholas Hormann
Screenplay by: Robert Benton
Production Design by: Paul Sylbert
Cinematography by: Néstor Almendros
Film Editing by: Gerald B. Greenberg
Costume Design by: Ruth Morley
Set Decoration by: Alan Hicks
Distributed by: Columbia Pictures
Release Date: December 19, 1979