Million Dollar Mermaid tells the story of Australian swimming sensation Annette Kellerman, who overcame childhood polio to go on and achieve fame as a professional swimmer and film star in the early decades of the 20th century. At the same time, she scandalized the world by wearing a one-piece bathing suit on public beaches long before the style was accepted in polite company, and made waves in other ways as well. The story was a perfect vehicle decades later to showcase the star quality of Esther Williams in the 1950s, and Kellerman’s moniker was picked up by Life Magazine when it named Ms. Williams the “Million Dollar Mermaid” herself.
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985) Paul Schrader, Ken Ogata, Masayuki Shionoya, Hiroshi Mikami, Biography, Drama
A fictionalized account in four segments of the life of Japan’s celebrated twentieth-century author Yukio Mishima. Three of the segments parallel events in Mishima’s life with his novels (The Temple of the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji), Kyoko’s House, and Runaway Horses), while the fourth depicts 25 November 1970, “The Last Day”…
Murder, Inc. (1960) Burt Balaban, Stuart Rosenberg, Stuart Whitman, May Britt, Henry Morgan, Biography, Crime, Drama
Based on the true-life book of lawman Burton Turkus, this movie chronicles the rise and fall of the organized crime syndicate known as Murder, Incorporated. Focusing on powerful boss Lepke and violent hitman Reles.
Reach for the Sky (1956) Lewis Gilbert, Kenneth More, Muriel Pavlow, Lyndon Brook, Biography, Drama, War
Young Winston (1972) Richard Attenborough, Simon Ward, Robert Shaw, Peter Cellier, Biography, Drama, War
This historical drama is an account of the early life of British politician Winston Churchill (Simon Ward), including his childhood years, his time as a war correspondent in Africa, and culminating with his first election to Parliament.
Muhammad Ali stars as himself in this dramatised version of his life story up to the late 1970s. It includes his Olympic triumphs as Cassius Clay, his conversion to Islam, his refusal of the Army draft and the legal battle after being stripped of his World Title.
Artemisia (1997) Agnès Merlet, Valentina Cervi, Michel Serrault, Predrag Manojlovic, Biography, Drama, Romance
Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1653) was one of the first well-known female painters. The movie tells the story of her youth, when she was guided and protected by her father, the painter Orazio Gentileschi. Her professional curiosity about the male anatomy, forbidden for her eyes, led her to the knowledge of sexual pleasure. But she was also well known because in 1612 she had to appear in a courtroom because her teacher, Agostino Tassi, was suspected of raping her. She tried to protect him, but was put in the thumb screws…
The Actress (1953) George Cukor, Spencer Tracy, Jean Simmons, Teresa Wright, Biography, Comedy, Drama
Former seaman Clinton Jones now works at a lowly job. His daughter Ruth wants to become an actress. Clinton gets fired and Ruth rejects the advances of Fred Whitmarsh. Her father gives her his seaman’s spyglass to sell as she heads for New York City.
Anna and the King of Siam (1946) John Cromwell, Irene Dunne, Rex Harrison, Linda Darnell, Biography, Drama, Romance
In 1862, young English widow Anna Owens accepts the job of teaching the royal children of Siam. On her arrival in Bangkok, culture clash is immediate. The king respects Anna for standing up to him, though this appalls his courtiers. In due course, she becomes the king’s confidant and diplomatic advisor; their relationship endures through many trials.