In 1745 a German princess, renamed Catherine, arrives to marry Grand Duke Peter of Russia, whom she initially likes. But his suspicious, unstable nature gradually estranges them, and Peter finds solace with pretty courtiers. Catherine invents her own (fictitious) lovers, temporarily improving matters. Alas, accession to the throne brings out the worst in Peter, and loyal Catherine is urged to assume power.
Hell to Eternity (1960) Phil Karlson, Jeffrey Hunter, David Janssen, Vic Damone, Biography, Drama, War
True life story of Guy Gabaldon, a Los Angeles Hispanic boy raised in the 1930s by a Japanese-American foster family. Later, during the war, as his foster parents are interned at a camp for Japanese Americans, Gabaldon’s ability to speak Japanese helps him become a lone-operating Marine hero. During the bloody capture of the island of Saipan, he convinces 800 Japanese to surrender after their general commits suicide.
I’ll See You in My Dreams (1951) Michael Curtiz, Doris Day, Danny Thomas, Frank Lovejoy, Biography, Comedy, Musical
Il Messia / The Messiah (1975) Roberto Rossellini, Pier Maria Rossi, Mita Ungaro, Carlos de Carvalho, Biography, History
I cento passi / One Hundred Steps (2000) Marco Tullio Giordana, Luigi Lo Cascio, Luigi Maria Burruano, Lucia Sardo, Biography, Crime, Drama
“I cento passi” (one hundred steps) was the distance between the Impastatos’ house and the house of Tano Badalamenti, an important Mafia boss, in the small Sicilian town of Cinisi. The movie is the story of Peppino Impastato, a young left-wing activist that in the late seventies (when almost nobody dared to speak about Mafia, and several politicians maintained that Mafia did not even exist) repeatedly denounced Badalamenti crimes and the whole Mafia system using a small local radio station, with the arm of irony. In 1978 Peppino (30 years old) was killed by an explosion. The police archived the case as an accident or a suicide, but his friends never accepted this thesis. Note: This is a true story. More than wenty years after Peppino’s death, the case has been re-opened. Tano Badalamenti, meanwhile, has been convicted in USA for drug traffic.
Custer of the West (1967) Robert Siodmak, Robert Shaw, Mary Ure, Ty Hardin, Biography, Drama, History
The story of U.S. Army commander George Armstrong Custer, a flamboyant hero of the Civil War who later fought and was exterminated with his entire command by warring Sioux and Cheyenne tribes at the battle of Little Big Horn in 1876.
Deep in My Heart (1954) Stanley Donen, José Ferrer, Merle Oberon, Helen Traubel, Biography, Comedy, Musical
Agostino d’Ippona / Augustine of Hippo (1972) Roberto Rossellini, Dary Berkani, Virgilio Gazzolo, Cesare Barbetti, Biography, History
This biography tells the life story of Augustine, the Bishop of Hippo, a North African region during the last years of the Roman Empire. The film details Augustine’s struggle to maintain religious decorum in a civilization on the verge of plunging into the Dark Ages.
Buffalo Bill (1944) William A. Wellman, Joel McCrea, Maureen O’Hara, Linda Darnell, Biography, Western
A fictionalized account of the life of William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody. A hunter and Army Scout in the early part of his life, he rescues a US Senator and his beautiful daughter, Louisa Frederici. Cody is portrayed as someone who admires and respects the Indians and is a good friend of Yellow Hand who will eventually become Chief of the Cheyenne. Everyone else, including the military, politicians and businessmen on the other hand hate the Indians and are perfectly prepared to trample on their lands and destroy their buffalo hunting grounds. He’s eventually forced to fight the Cheyenne however. He’s also met a writer, Ned Buntline, who writes about Cody’s exploits and he becomes a sensation when he travels East. His career is not assured however, particularly when he attacks those in positions of authority over their maltreatment of the Native American population. He eventually establishes his wild west show that becomes an international sensation.