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Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

In the early 1930s, an assorted group of wealthy passengers are travelling west from Istanbul to Paris on the luxury train the Orient Express. A late addition to the passengers is the world-renowned detective Hercule Poirot (Albert Finney). Poirot is accompanied by his friend Bianchi (Martin Balsam), a director of Wagon Lits, the company that runs the Orient Express train. As the train travels through Yugoslavia it runs into heavy snow, and is eventually halted completely by a snow drift. More dramatically, at the same time a shocking murder takes place, of a mysterious American “businessman”, Mr Ratchett (Richard Widmark), who previously told Poirot that he had made enemies and was in fear of his life.
With the train halted by the snow, Bianchi asks Poirot to investigate the murder before the local police arrive. Poirot is furnished with a range of suspects, including Ratchett's nervy secretary (Anthony Perkins), an imperious Russian princess (Wendy Hiller), a simple Swedish nan…
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Bicycle Thieves (1948)

Times are hard, money in short supply, and jobs hard to come by in Italy in the years immediately after WWII. Antonio (Lamberto Maggiorani) struggles to feed himself, his wife (Lianella Carell) and his young son Bruno (Enzo Staiola), and leaves home every day looking for work. One day Antonio is lucky, finding a job putting up posters. But to do the job he needs his own bicycle, to enable him to travel around Rome putting the posters up in different locations. He had a bike already, but pawned it because he needed the money, so his wife encourages him to sell the family linen to raise the money to redeem it. With his bicycle reclaimed, Antonio is able to start work in his new job. But disaster strikes when the bicycle is stolen in a distraction robbery, and although Antonio gives chase to the thieves, he loses them in the crowded streets. He then conducts an increasingly desperate search around the city, together with his son Bruno, in the hope of finding the bike. Without it, Antoni…

Director Profile: David Lean

Although often associated in the public imagination with his later widescreen epics, the work of film director David Lean spanned numerous genres, from war films and domestic dramas to comedy, romance and literary adaptations. Despite the acclaim his films have received, and the multiple awards they won, Lean has not always been a critical favourite and his career was not without controversy.

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.