Biography

Machine Gun Kelly (1958) Roger Corman, Charles Bronson, Susan Cabot, Morey Amsterdam, Action, Biography, Crime

Machine Gun Kelly (1958)
The film starts by showing a bank robbery orchestrated by Kelly and other partners, including his love interest. It then examines Kelly’s personality and events that lead to discord among his group. A botched bank robbery causes one of his partners, Michael Fandango, portrayed by typical jokester Morey Amsterdam, to lose an arm. Kelly, perhaps goaded on by his girlfriend, kidnaps the daughter of a wealthy businessman for ransom, which leads to the climax of the film.

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Nijinsky (1980) Herbert Ross, Alan Bates, George De La Pena, Leslie Browne, Biography, Drama, Music

Nijinsky (1980)
Set in the early 1910s at a time of passionate artistic experimentalism, and based on biographical fact, this is the story of Vaslav Nijinsky, the young and brilliant but headstrong premier danseur and aspiring choreographer of the Ballets Russes. The company is managed by the famous Sergei Diaghilev, himself a controlling and fiercely possessive impresario. The increasing tension between these powerful egos, exacerbated by homosexual desire and jealousy, becomes triangular when the young ballerina Romola de Pulsky determinedly attempts to draw the increasingly mentally unstable Nijinsky away from Diaghilev…

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Muhammad ALI – Through the Eyes of the World (2001) Phil Grabsky, Billy Crystal, Richard Harris, James Earl Jones, Documentary, Biography

Muhammad ALI - Through the Eyes of the World (2001)
Muhammad Ali’s grace, charisma, and remarkable bravado shine through in this affectionate look at his life and career. Muhammad Ali († 03 Jun 2016): Through the Eyes of the World takes a fairly straightforward documentary approach, chronicling Ali’s life and career through film footage and interviews with journalists, loved ones, and a few bizarre commentators, like Scottish comedian Billy Connolly. The film does an excellent job of conveying both Ali’s genuine importance as a historical figure and his incredible personal magnetism. Though the documentary doesn’t shy away from his faults, Ali is simply impossible to dislike. Most importantly, the film’s commentary and carefully selected fight footage make it clear even to those who don’t follow the sport what a remarkable boxer Ali was. At one point, Lennox Lewis refers to the “sweet science” of not getting hit, and watching Ali dodge a barrage of punches, we understand exactly what he means. Muhammad Ali: Through the Eyes of the World doesn’t pack quite the dramatic wallop of When We Were Kings, but it is a compelling look at one of history’s greatest athletes.

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Birdman of Alcatraz (1962) John Frankenheimer, Charles Crichton, Burt Lancaster, Karl Malden, Thelma Ritter, Biography, Drama

Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)
As an inmate at Leavenworth prison, Robert Stroud has a series of confrontations with the guards and with the other convicts. When Stroud kills a guard, he is sentenced to be executed, and only his mother’s impassioned intervention gets his sentence commuted to life imprisonment, which he must serve in solitary confinement. As he serves out his sentence in boredom and despair, one day he finds a helpless baby sparrow in the exercise yard. Stroud soon takes a deep interest in caring for birds, which gives him a new purpose in life, but which also brings new conflicts with prison authorities.

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Lisztomania (1975) Ken Russell, Roger Daltrey, Sara Kestelman, Paul Nicholas, Biography, Comedy, Music

Lisztomania (1975)
This audacious, vulgar, freewheeling fantasia on the life of pianist Franz Liszt ranks among director Ken Russell’s most outrageous efforts. Roger Daltrey, lead singer for The Who, is awkward yet likeable as the flamboyant piano performer with a bevy of fetching mistresses and groupies, while Paul Nicholas is completely outlandish as the scheming opera composer Richard Wagner. There’s no nod to reality here: Liszt and Wagner were in fact friends, and Liszt, who became Wagner’s father-in-law, actually assisted in the production of Wagner’s opulent productions. Russell, on the other hand, presents Wagner as Liszt’s jealous rival ready to wreak havoc on the world by unleashing a cryogenic Viking (Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman) and a horde of machine-gun wielding robot Nazis. In a finale out of Flash Gordon serials, Liszt saves the day after surviving a guillotine designed for phallic dismemberment. The film is fast and loud and wildly undisciplined, much like one of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies. Look fast and you’ll see Ringo Starr as the pope.

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King of Kings (1961) Nicholas Ray, Jeffrey Hunter, Siobhan McKenna, Hurd Hatfield, Biography, Drama, History

King of Kings (1961)
The story of the life of Jesus Christ from his birth in Bethlehem to his crucifixion and subsequent resurrection. Filmed on a relatively grand scale, the film includes all of the major events referred to in the New Testament; his baptism by John the Baptist; the miracles – cripples walking, blind men seeing; the fishes and the loaves; and so on. The film actually begins with the Roman invasion by Pompey in 65 B.C., the appointment of King Herod the Great by the Romans and finally the crowning of Herod Antipas after he murders his father. The revolt led by Barrabas is also included and John the Baptist’s beheading as Salome’s price for dancing for Herod.

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Wyatt Earp (1994) Lawrence Kasdan, Kevin Costner, Dennis Quaid, Gene Hackman, Adventure, Crime, Western

Wyatt Earp (1994)
Wyatt Earp doesn’t get to go to war with his brothers, but when the rest of his family relocates to California, he begins a career in the Wild West. After a tragic first marriage, he has a rough time as a drunk and a thief, but in Dodge City becomes a ruthless marshall. Gathering his brothers around him, he moves on to Tombstone Arizona in hopes of making his fortune, but run square into the political power machine of the local ranchers.

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The Runaways (2010) Floria Sigismondi, Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Michael Shannon, Biography, Drama, Music

The Runaways (2010)
The Runaways were the ground-breaking, all girl, teenage rock band of the 1970s. Friends, Joan Jett and Cherie Currie went from rebellious Southern California kids to rock stars of the now legendary group that paved the way for future generations of girl bands. Under the Svengali-like influence of rock impresario Kim Fowley the group became an outrageous success and a family of misfits. With its tough-chick image and raw talent, the band quickly earned a name for itself-and so did its two leads.

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