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

Chinatown (1974)

Chinatown (1974)

JJ ‘Jake’ Gittes is a private detective who seems to specialize in matrimonial cases. He is hired by Evelyn Mulwray when she suspects her husband Hollis, builder of the city’s water supply system, of having an affair. Gittes does what he does best and photographs him with a young girl but in the ensuing scandal, it seems he was hired by an impersonator and not the real Mrs. Mulwray. When Mr. Mulwray is found dead, Jake is plunged into a complex web of deceit involving murder, incest and municipal corruption all related to the city’s water supply.

Chinatown is a 1974 American neo-noir mystery film, directed by Roman Polanski from a screenplay by Robert Towne, starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway. The film was inspired by the California Water Wars, a series of disputes over southern California water at the beginning of the 20th century, by which Los Angeles interests secured water rights in the Owens Valley. The Robert Evans production, a Paramount Pictures release, was the director’s last film in the United States and features many elements of film noir, particularly a multi-layered story that is part mystery and part psychological drama.

In 1991, the film was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry for films that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” and it is frequently listed as among the best in world cinema.[4][5][6] The 1975 Academy Awards saw it nominated eleven times, with an Oscar going to Robert Towne for Best Original Screenplay. The Golden Globe Awards honored it for Best Drama, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Screenplay. The American Film Institute placed it second among mystery films in 2008.

About the Story

A woman identifying herself as Evelyn Mulwray hires private investigator J. J. “Jake” Gittes to surveil her husband, Hollis Mulwray, chief engineer for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Gittes tails him, hears him publicly oppose the creation of a new reservoir, and shoots photographs of him with a young woman, which are published on the front page of the following day’s paper. Back at his office, Gittes is confronted by a woman who informs him she is the real Evelyn Mulwray, and that he can expect a lawsuit.

Realizing he was set up, Gittes assumes that Mulwray’s husband is the real target. Before he can question him, Lieutenant Lou Escobar fishes Mulwray, drowned, from a freshwater reservoir. Under retainer to Mrs. Mulwray, Gittes investigates his suspicions of murder and notices that, although huge quantities of water are released from the reservoir every night, the land is almost dry. Gittes is warned off by Water Department Security Chief Claude Mulvihill and a henchman, who slashes Gittes’s nose. Back at his office, Gittes receives a call from Ida Sessions, who identifies herself as the imposter Mrs. Mulwray. She is afraid to identify her employer, but tells Gittes to check the day’s obituaries.

Gittes learns that Mulwray was once the business partner of his wife’s wealthy father, Noah Cross. Over lunch at his personal club, Cross warns Gittes that he does not understand the forces at work, and offers to double Gittes’s fee to search for Mulwray’s missing mistress. At the hall of records, Gittes discovers that much of the Northwest Valley has changed ownership. Investigating the valley, he is attacked by angry landowners, who believe he is an agent of the water department attempting to force them out by sabotaging their water supply.

Gittes deduces that the water department is drying the land so it can be bought at a reduced price, and that Mulwray was murdered when he discovered the plan. He discovers that a former retirement home resident is one of the valley’s new landowners, and seemingly purchased the property a week after his death. Evelyn and Gittes bluff their way into the home and confirm that the real estate deals are surreptitiously completed in the names of its residents.

After fleeing Mulvihill and his thugs, Gittes and Evelyn hide at Evelyn’s house and sleep together. Early in the morning, Evelyn has to leave suddenly; she warns Gittes that her father is dangerous. Gittes follows her car to a house, where he spies her through the windows comforting Mulwray’s mistress. He accuses Evelyn of holding the woman against her will, but she confesses that she is her sister.

The next day, an anonymous call draws Gittes to Ida Sessions’s apartment; he finds her murdered and Escobar waiting for his arrival. Escobar tells him the coroner’s report found salt water in Mulwray’s lungs, indicating that he did not drown in the freshwater reservoir. Escobar suspects Evelyn of the murder and tells Gittes to produce her quickly. At Evelyn’s mansion, Gittes finds her servants packing her things. He realizes her garden pond is salt water and discovers a pair of bifocals in it. He confronts Evelyn about her “sister”; after Gittes slaps her, she admits that the woman, Katherine, is her sister and her daughter: her father raped her when she was fifteen. She says that the eyeglasses are not Mulwray’s, as he did not wear bifocals.

Chinatown Movie Poster (1974)

Chinatown (1974)

Directed by: Roman Polanski
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston, Perry Lopez, John Hillerman, Diane Ladd, Richard Bakalyan, Roman Polanski
Screenplay by: Roman Polanski
Production Design by: Richard Sylbert
Cinematography by: John A. Alonzo, Stanley Cortez
Film Editing by: Sam O’Steen
Costume Design by: Anthea Sylbert
Set Decoration by: Ruby R. Levitt
Art Direction by: W. Stewart Campbell
Music by: Jerry Goldsmith
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release Date: June 20, 1974

Network (1976)

Network (1976)

Taglines: Television will never be the same!

In the 1970s, terrorist violence is the stuff of networks’ nightly news programming and the corporate structure of the UBS Television Network is changing. Meanwhile, Howard Beale, the aging UBS news anchor, has lost his once strong ratings share and so the network fires him. Beale reacts in an unexpected way. We then see how this affects the fortunes of Beale, his coworkers (Max Schumacher and Diana Christensen), and the network.

Network is a 1976 American satirical black comedy-drama film written by Paddy Chayefsky and directed by Sidney Lumet, about a fictional television network, UBS, and its struggle with poor ratings. The film stars Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, and Robert Duvall and features Wesley Addy, Ned Beatty, and Beatrice Straight.

The film won four Academy Awards, in the categories of Best Actor (Peter Finch), Best Actress (Faye Dunaway), Best Supporting Actress (Straight), and Best Original Screenplay (Paddy Chayefsky).

In 2000, 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”. In 2002, it was inducted into the Producers Guild of America Hall of Fame as a film that has “set an enduring standard for U.S. American entertainment”.

In 2006, the two Writers Guilds of America voted Chayefsky’s script one of the 10 greatest screenplays in the history of cinema. In 2007, the film was 64th among the 100 greatest American films as chosen by the American Film Institute, a ranking slightly higher than the one AFI had given it ten years earlier.

Network (1976)

About the Story

Howard Beale, the longtime anchor of the Union Broadcasting System’s UBS Evening News, learns from the news division president, Max Schumacher, that he has just two more weeks on the air because of declining ratings. The two old friends get drunk and lament the state of their industry. The following night, Beale announces on live television that he will commit suicide on next Tuesday’s broadcast. UBS fires him after this incident, but Schumacher intervenes so that Beale can have a dignified farewell.

Beale promises he will apologize for his outburst, but once on the air, he launches back into a rant claiming that life is “bullshit”. Beale’s outburst causes the newscast’s ratings to spike, and much to Schumacher’s dismay, the upper echelons of UBS decide to exploit Beale’s antics rather than pull him off the air. In one impassioned diatribe, Beale galvanizes the nation, persuading his viewers to shout out of their windows “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

Diana Christensen heads the network’s programming department; seeking just one hit show, she cuts a deal with a band of radical terrorists (a parody of the Symbionese Liberation Army called the “Ecumenical Liberation Army”[citation needed]) for a new docudrama series called The Mao Tse-Tung Hour for the upcoming fall season. When Beale’s ratings seem to have topped out, Christensen approaches Schumacher and offers to help him “develop” the news show. He says no to the professional offer, but not to the personal one, and the two begin an affair.

When Schumacher decides to end Beale as the “Angry Man” format, Christensen convinces her boss, Frank Hackett, to slot the evening news show under the entertainment division so she can develop it. Hackett agrees, bullying the UBS executives to consent and firing Schumacher. Soon afterward, Beale is hosting a new program called The Howard Beale Show, top-billed as “the mad prophet of the airwaves”. Ultimately, the show becomes the most highly rated program on television, and Beale finds new celebrity preaching his angry message in front of a live studio audience that, on cue, chants Beale’s signature catchphrase en masse: “We’re as mad as hell, and we’re not going to take this anymore.”

At first, Max and Diana’s romance withers as the show flourishes, but in the flush of high ratings, the two ultimately find their way back together, and Schumacher leaves his wife of over 25 years for Christensen. But Christensen’s fanatical devotion to her job and emotional emptiness ultimately drive Max back to try returning to his wife, even though he doesn’t think she’ll agree, and he warns his former lover that she will self-destruct at the pace she is running with her career. “You are television incarnate, Diana,” he tells her, “indifferent to suffering, insensitive to joy. All of life is reduced to the common rubble of banality.”

Network Movie Poster (1976)

Network

Directed by: Sidney Lumet
Starring: Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall, Ned Beatty, Wesley Addy, Kathy Cronkite, Conchata Ferrell, Cindy Grover
Screenplay by: Paddy Chayefsky
Production Design by: Philip Rosenberg
Cinematography by: Owen Roizman
Film Editing by: Alan Heim
Costume Design by: Theoni V. Aldredge
Set Decoration by: Edward Stewart
Music by: Elliot Lawrence
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release Date: November 27, 1976