Bullitt

Johnny Ross (Felice Orlandi) is due to be the surprise witness at a mob trial in San Francisco, and needs protective custody to keep him safe over the weekend leading up to the trial. Politician Walter Chalmers (Robert Vaughn) is behind Ross’ appearance, and enlists the high profile Police Lieutenant Frank Bullitt (Steve McQueen) to run the operation, but as can be expected, not everything goes to plan.
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The Godfather Part II

In 1900’s Corleone, Sicily, a young Vito Andolini is left the only surviving member of his family after his father, brother and mother are all killed by the local mafia head, Don Ciccio. Vito flees to New York and adopts the new surname Corleone, and eventually finds that perhaps the best way of life for him is similar to the one that led to his family’s demise. Inter-cut with this story and following on from the events of The Godfather, a now in-charge Michael (Al Pacino), Vito’s youngest son, struggles to maintain his power with threats on many sides, including possibly one from within the family.
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The Godfather

Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) is the head, or Godfather, of his family and crime syndicate in 1940s New York. He receives a request to move into narcotics by up-and-comer Sollozzo (Al Lettieri), but when Vito declines, the Tattaglia family, with whom Sollozzo is in business, attempt to kill Vito and break the Corleone family apart. With Vito in hospital, it is up to his children – headstrong firebrand Sonny (James Caan), simple Fredo (John Cazale), newly married Connie (Talia Shire), war veteran Michael (Al Pacino) and adopted Tom (Robert Duvall) to resolve matters.
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Network

The life and career of long-serving news anchor Howard Beale (Peter Finch) has taken a downward slide recently after his wife left him and he sank into drink, and his once high ratings have fallen to the point where his network, UBS, is forced to let him go. After being told he has just 2 weeks left on the air Howard broadcasts that in a week he will kill himself, live and during his show. Understandably he is immediately taken off the air by Frank Hackett (Robert Duvall), a rising executive surreptitiously taking over UBS from the inside, however Howard’s best friend and manager Max Schumacher (William Holden) is able to allow Howard one last show, for a chance at a dignified farewell, which Howard takes and runs with, instead offering up some frank and hard truths the general public eats up. Diana Christensen (Faye Dunaway), UBS’ new head of programming, sees potential in Howard’s popularity, and adapts his news show to suit, but what is more the important, the ratings or their host’s sanity?
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The Conversation

In San Francisco, profession surveillance expert Harry Caul (Gene Hackman) is working on his latest assignment, recording a discussion between a man and a woman in a busy courtyard. Having successfully recorded their conversation, Harry begins to grow suspicious that passing on the recordings to his employer may result in some dire consequences for those involved, as happened to Harry on another job sometime ago, which directly caused the murders of three people.
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Sling Blade

This review was originally written as part of my USA Road Trip series for French Toast Sunday.

Karl Childers (Billy Bob Thornton) was sent to a correctional facility at the age of twelve. He grew up living in a shed out the back of his parents’ property, sleeping in a hole in the ground he’d dug himself and being picked on by pretty much everyone, especially his father and a local boy named Jesse Dixon. One day, Karl saw Dixon apparently trying to rape his mother, and killed Dixon with a sling blade but, when his mother seems distressed and angry, Karl kills her too, and is thus locked up. Some years later, Karl has grown up and served his time, and is due for release into the world. The only problem is, he doesn’t know anyone willing to take him in. His doctor sets him up with a minimum wage job and limited accommodation, but can Karl make it on the outside, and does he even want to?2
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M*A*S*H

In Korea, 1951, the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital receives two new surgeons in the forms of Captain Hawkeye Pierce (Donald Sutherland) and Capatin Duke Forrest (Tom Skerritt). They aren’t what you’d typically expect from army surgeons, preferring to put a large portion of their efforts into relaxing and goofing off instead of actually getting down to work, which doesn’t sit well with the current head surgeon, Major Frank Burns (Robert Duvall). Burns, who also shares a tent with the new recruits, is a religious man who abstains from alcohol, so is essentially the polar opposite of the newcomers, so they set about having him removed from the hospital, and he is replaced by the much more fun-loving Captain Trapper McIntyre (Elliott Gould), with whom the guys have many adventures.      still-of-tom-skerritt,-donald-sutherland-and-elliott-gould-in-mash-(1970)-large-picture
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