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The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

In the mid-1970s the James Bond series was in trouble. Harry Saltzman, one half of the original Bond producing partnership, was embroiled in financial difficulties with his outside business interests, and left the series following 1974's The Man with the Golden Gun. That film had been the least successful in the history of the Bond series, rushed into release the year after the more successful Live and Let Die. The first two Roger Moore films had latched onto popular trends in contemporary cinema, Blaxploitation in the case of Live and Let Die, and the kung fu craze in The Man with the Golden Gun, but the Bond series was looking increasingly like a 1960s hangover on its last legs.

The next Bond film then, the 10th in the "official" Eon Productions series, was something of a make or break effort for Bond. Albert R. Broccoli was now the sole remaining producer of the series, and he gambled that audiences were ready again for a dose of grand escapism. The next film would b…
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The Three Musketeers (1973)

Country boy d'Artagnan (Michael York) has left his home in rural Gascony, and is newly arrived in 17th century Paris, intent on joining the elite royal guards, the Musketeers. But the eager d'Artagnan soon finds himself in trouble, barging into three different Musketeers on his travels and agreeing to a separate duel with each one the same afternoon. The three men are, of course, the Three Musketeers, Athos (Oliver Reed), Porthos (Frank Finlay) and Aramis (Richard Chamberlain). The duelling is cancelled when the Musketeers' rivals, the guards of Cardinal Richelieu, arrive. After seeing off the Cardinal's men, the Musketeers take young d'Artagnan under their wing. He finds himself some decent clothes, a servant, Planchet (Roy Kinnear), and falls for Constance (Raquel Welch) the beautiful young wife of his eccentric new landlord (Spike Milligan).

But there's also intrigue afoot in the city. The Machiavellian Cardinal Richelieu (Charlton Heston) is plotting to ex…

Crocodile Dundee II (1988)

Crocodile Dundee II catches up with Mick Dundee (Paul Hogan) and his American girlfriend Sue Charlton (Linda Kozlowski) some time after the end of Crocodile Dundee. Mick Dundee is now living with Charlton in New York, but finding himself without much to do, except fish in the harbour with dynamite and watch the daytime soaps. So, at Charlton's suggestion, he gets a job delivering office supplies for his friend Leroy (Charles S. Dutton). Meanwhile, Charlton's ex-husband Bob (Dennis Boutsikaris) has fallen foul of South American drug lord Rico (Hechter Ubarry), who kills him for photographing a murder. But before his death, Bob had time to send the evidence that will convict Rico on to Charlton in New York. When Rico finds out, it makes Charlton his next target, and he and his henchmen head to New York where they kidnap her to force her to give up the evidence. Luckily, Dundee is on hand to rescue her, with the help of a street gang he recruits to provide a diversion. Discourage…

Attack (1956)

Morale in Fox Company is bad. The commanding officer, Captain Cooney (Eddie Albert), is widely considered to be incompetent. 14 men were killed in a recent engagement with the enemy, and Cooney is blamed, especially by Lieutenant Costa (Jack Palance). Morale is so poor that one of the officers, Lieutenant Woodruff (William Smithers), goes to see his superior Colonel Bartlett (Lee Marvin), asking him to pack Cooney off with a staff job to get him away from the front line. Bartlett understands the situation, but his hopes for a post-war political career rest on Cooney's, and especially his father's, patronage. Besides, he doesn't have any staff jobs, and he has it on good authority that they will see no more action anyway, for them the war is virtually over.

Villain (1971)

Vic Dakin (Richard Burton) is a doting son. He loves his dear old mother, brings her tea and tucks her up in bed every night. They live together in their cosy suburban house, and he takes her to Brighton every week for a day trip to the seaside. But Dakin has another side. He is also one of London's most notorious criminals, a vicious sadist who will bribe, blackmail and maim those who cross or threaten him.

The police are on Dakin's trail, led by Inspector Matthews (Nigel Davenport), who is looking for a way to bring him in. But Dakin seems untouchable, and in his world almost anyone can be bought. He even has a Member of Parliament, Gerald Draycott (Donald Sinden), in his pocket, who can support him and provide an unquestioned alibi if necessary. And he has his errant lover, Wolfe (Ian McShane), a small time hustler who supplies women, and occasionally men, for country house orgies to provide material for Dakin's blackmail efforts.

Dial M for Murder (1954)

Tony Wendice (Ray Milland) is a former tennis pro, living in London with his young wife Margot (Grace Kelly). Wendice doesn't earn very much in his current line selling sports equipment, but his wife is from a wealthy family and can keep him in the style to which he has become accustomed. But when he discovers that she has been having an affair with an American crime writer, Mark Halliday (Robert Cummings), he fears she will leave him and take her money with her.

So Wendice contacts a shady old friend from Oxford, Charles Swann (Anthony Dawson), on the pretext of buying a car he has for sale. Swann has a dubious background, a list of creditors and petty crimes, a previous spell in jail and a court martial from the army. Wendice uses the carrot and stick approach, offering Swann £1000 if he carries out Margot's murder, and exposure of his crimes if he doesn't.

The Final Programme (1973)

The Final Programme, released in the US as The Last Days of Man on Earth, is a defiantly strange film, a mixture of dystopian sci-fi, comedy, irony, thriller and satire. The plot defies most attempts at a coherent explanation, but a rough attempt at a simple outline is possible. At some time in the near future, a brilliant, Nobel Prize winning scientist, Jerry Cornelius (Jon Finch), his late father's rival (Patrick Magee), a bisexual femme fatale, Miss Brunner (Jenny Runacre), and a trio of long-suffering scientists (Graham Crowden, George Coulouris and Basil Henson) are among those involved in the search for a valuable microfilm and the creation of The Final Programme. The latter is a scientific experiment to create a new superhuman, an androgynous being merged from a male and a female subject. The two participants have already been chosen, with Miss Brunner as the female.

The African Queen (1951)

In German East Africa in 1914, Charlie Allnut (Humphrey Bogart) is a Canadian steamboat captain, who plies his trade along the river in his boat the “African Queen”, occasionally delivering mail and supplies to the village of Kungdu. There he meets, and occasionally awkwardly lunches with, the Reverend Sayer (Robert Morley) and his unmarried sister, Rose (Katharine Hepburn), who run a Methodist church in the village. When war breaks out, German colonial troops come to the village, burning it to the ground and hauling off the native inhabitants as labour. When Allnut returns to the mission post, he finds it deserted, save for Rose and the body of her brother, who died as a result of the German action.