Saving Private Ryan (1998) – Steven Spielberg

I was stunned when I first saw Saving Private Ryan on opening day, 24 July, 1998. I had never seen war depicted so realistically, so heart-breaking, graphic, and impactful. I held onto the names of Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks like a mantra through the film, to guide me through it, to make everything be…

Taxi Driver (1976) – Martin Scorsese

Out of all of Scorsese’s work, I think Taxi Driver, the next stop on the Great Movies – 100 Years of Film book as I return to the Thriller genre, is my favourite. It also features one of my top performances by Robert De Niro. Much has been said and written about Taxi Driver since…

Quantum Leap (1993) – The Beast Within and The Leap Between the States

Sam (Scott Bakula) finds himself in rural Washington state on 6 November, 1972. Despite the fact that he is mistaken for bigfoot in the episode’s opener, we soon learn he’s a Vietnam vet, named Henry, who has been living in the woods. The Beast Within was written by John D’Aquino, who previously played Frank in…

Fort Apache (1948) – John Ford

The next recommendation from the Great Movies – 100 Years of Film for my screening of The Searchers is another Ford/Wayne classic, Fort Apache. A sprawling western, the film not only boasts the talents of John Wayne, but those of Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple and Pedro Armendariz (who I always enjoyed n From Russia With…