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Showing posts from June, 2021

Power Play (1978)

A military coup in an unnamed country is the basis for this 1970s political thriller starring David Hemmings, Peter O'Toole and Donald Pleasence.  David Hemmings plays Colonel Narriman, an apparently decent army officer on the verge of retirement. Narriman is looking forward to a quiet life on his farm in the country, when he is persuaded to take part in a coup against the government. The country's current regime is authoritarian and unpleasant and the country beset by terrorist violence. Narriman himself is finally convinced of the need for action when his friends' daughter is murdered by the country's secret police.  Narriman is recruited to the plot by Dr. Jean Rousseau (Barry Morse) and he is soon rounding up his army colleagues to join him. The most important target for recruitment is a maverick tank commander, Colonel Zeller (Peter O'Toole), who will be able to give the plotters the armoured support they need to take on the rest of the government forces. But Z

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

One of John Ford's last films, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is an exploration of some of the myths and mythologising of the old West and the relationship between historical fact and legend.  Ransom Stoddard (James Stewart) is a respected US Senator who arrives unexpectedly with his wife Hallie (Vera Miles) one day in the small western town of Shinbone, the place where Stoddard had first made his name. When the local newspaper editor learns he is there, he senses a story. Stoddard explains that he is in town for the funeral of an old friend, Tom Donophin (John Wayne). When pressed further, Stoddard reluctantly decides that it's time to finally tell the tale of his friendship with Donophin and the true story behind his famed shootout with outlaw Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin). When Stoddard first arrived in Shinbone as a young lawyer, the local area was being terrorised by Valance and his men. Stoddard himself was on a stagecoach held up by the gang on his first trip into Shin