Monterey, California in the 1940's. Cannery Row - the section of town where the now closed fish canneries are located - is inhabited primarily by the down and out, although many would not ... See full summary »
The younger son of a working-class Jewish family in Montreal, Duddy Kravitz yearns to make a name for himself in society. This film chronicles his short and dubious rise to power, as well ... See full summary »
A well meaning but burned-out high school teacher tries to maintain order against the backdrop of a pending lawsuit against his school district when it comes to light they gave a diploma to an illiterate student.
A rootless young man's drawn into an unnamed religious cult by a beautiful girl. Every moment with the group causes him to become increasingly under the control of the cult's leader. After ... See full summary »
Phillip Elliot is a wide receiver for the North Dallas Bulls. He is approaching the end of his career and ravaged with injuries, which he needs medication to cover the pain enough to play. The coaches want 100% to win games and win the season, but do the owners see the people inside the uniforms?
Written by ex-player Peter Gent this film wanders between love for the game and admiration for the players and the flip side where the players are overpaid little boys in men's bodies who are seen as disposable by club owners. This wandering happens for most of the film, mostly due to the fact that the plot seems to be wandering all over the place with little to do. When it actually focuses on the dealings of the club owners and the sacrifices the players have to make, it is pretty interesting even if it does what many other sports films have done better.
The central point about owners seeing the players as just another piece of equipment owed by the club is pretty well made, but it is confused by the plot wandering a little bit. The ending is designed to back up this central point, but the circumstances come out of nowhere and the ending doesn't really ring true and isn't as strong a conclusion as it should have been. The film also struggles to condemn either the sport or the players, seeming to be annoyed with bosses more than anything else. The players are clearly childish and irresponsible, violent men but yet the film weakens on that point after hinting at it, likewise the film condemns part of the game but then happily indulges in big game action near the end of the film.
Nolte is pretty good, but he also seems a little unsure about whether his character loves the sport or hates everything about it except the game. Support players simply play victims or childish thugs. The reason for Haddon's love interest is beyond me but Durning and Spradlin give good support as coaches.
Overall this is an interesting film, which is strongest at the start and end, the middle section lacking structure and focus. The message it is trying to get across applies much more today than it did back then, but has been made better and in more enjoyable total films than this. Still an interesting watch for the most part though.
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