Posts

Showing posts from September, 2014

Taxi Driver

Image
I - A young man with a sleep disorder

Robert de Niro is a Vietnam veteran with a sleep disorder called Travis Bickle. After he has entered an office to apply for a job the following conversation ensues:

"Education?" "Some. Here and there."
And:

"How's your driving record. Clean?" "It's clean, real clean. Like my conscience."
Travis Bickle's conscience is clean. The problem is that in his opinion Travis Bickle is virtually the only one in town with a clear conscience. Look at his description of nightlife:

"All the animals come out at night - whores, skunk pussies, buggers, queens, fairies, dopers, junkies, sick, venal. Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets."
Today many people think Taxi Driver is one of the very best movies of the seventies - probably even the best - but when it was first released, it got mixed reviews. To some it was a masterpiece, others thought it was a cold-blooded, repuls…

The Last Sunset (1961)

Image
In spite of story elements such as a cattle trek and a marshal on the trail of a wanted man, this is not an ordinary western, not by any stretch of the imagination. It's a low-key study of sexual obsessions, with Kirk Douglas as the good-for-nothing, but sympathetic philanderer returning to the woman he once deserted, but falling for her daughter, the spitting image of the girl he once loved.

Kirk Douglas is the man on the run, Rock Hudson the lawman in possession of a warrant to arrest him. Douglas has crossed the Mexican border and turned up at the ranch of a drunken cattleman John Beckenridge (Joseph Cotton) and his wife Belle (Dorothy Malone), who happens to be his old flame. Beckenridge offers Douglas a job as a trail boss for a drive back to where he came from, and surprisingly he accepts, probably because Belle and her blossoming daughter Missy will accompany the men. Hudson has followed Douglas into Mexico, but having no authority to arrest him on foreign soil, he joins …