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

Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

Taglines: The greatest cast of suspicious characters ever involved in murder.

The film features the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. Albert Finney stars as Poirot, who is asked by his friend Bianchi (Martin Balsam), a train company director, to investigate the murder of an American business tycoon, Mr. Samuel Ratchett (Richard Widmark), when all are aboard the Orient Express train.

The suspects are portrayed by an all-star cast, including Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman (delivering an Oscar-winning performance), Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Vanessa Redgrave, Michael York, Jacqueline Bisset and Anthony Perkins. The screenplay is by Paul Dehn as well as an uncredited Anthony Shaffer.

Richard Rodney Bennett’s Orient Express theme has been reworked into an orchestral suite and performed and recorded several times. It was performed on the original soundtrack album by the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden under Marcus Dods. The piano soloist was the composer himself.

Murder on the Orient Express is a 1974 British mystery film in Panavision directed by Sidney Lumet, starring Albert Finney as Hercule Poirot, and based on the 1934 novel Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie.

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Poster (1974)

Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

Directed by: Sidney Lumet
Starring: Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Martin Balsam, Jacqueline Bisset, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Sean Connery, Wendy Hiller, Anthony Perkins, Vanessa Redgrave
Screenplay by: Paul Dehn
Production Design by: Tony Walton
Cinematography by: Geoffrey Unsworth
Film Editing by: Anne V. Coates
Costume Design by: Tony Walton
Art Direction by: Jack Stephens
Music by: Richard Rodney Bennett
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: November 24, 1974

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