Movies 4 You: Film Noir/Thriller [DVD]
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Overview

Synopsis

The Hot Spot
This hard-boiled throwback to the film noir dramas of the 1940s and '50s is directed by filmmaker and actor Dennis Hopper, based on the novel Hell Hath No Fury by Charles Williams. Don Johnson stars as Harry Madox, a drifter who settles in a small Texas town and begins secretly setting small fires, setting up his planned heist of the local bank run by eccentric Julian Ward (Jack Nance). To pay the bills while he puts his robbery scheme in motion, Harry gets a job working at a used car lot owned by the ailing George Harshaw (Jerry Hardin), whose promiscuous vamp of a wife, Dolly (Virginia Madsen), immediately begins a torrid affair with Harry. Harry's also powerfully attracted to the gorgeous Gloria Harper (Jennifer Connelly), an innocent, virginal secretary at the car dealership with a dark secret involving a creepy blackmailer, Frank Sutton (William Sadler). The Hot Spot also stars Charles Martin Smith, Barry Corbin, and Leon Rippy. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

Tough Guys Don't Dance
Norman Mailer wrote and directed this demented film noir, which takes place in a Provincetown of perpetual twilight. Most of the tale, based on his best-selling novel, is told in flashback as Dougy Madden (Lawrence Tierney) pays a visit to his son Tim (Ryan O'Neal). Dougy, a tough ex-bartender, is ravaged by cancer and decides to see Tim one last time in order. But Tim is suffering both from writer's block and from the effects of too many years of drink, drugs, and sex. His sexy wife Patty Lariene (Debra Sandlund) has recently left him and disappeared. Even worse, one morning he awakens from his stupor to find the front seat of his car covered with blood and a severed head inside his drug stash. He tries to rekindle a relationship with his ex-wife Madeleine (Isabella Rossellini), now married to the psychotic Provincetown police chief, Alvin Luther Regency (Wings Hauser), and he re-acquaints himself with old prep school friend Wardley Meeks III (John Bedford Lloyd), who was also married to the missing Patty Lareine. As the murders pile up and Tim's psyche takes a beating, Dougy decides to help Tim put an end to this chaotic mess of murders. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

Exposed
Exposed is the film in which concert violinist Rudolf Nureyev grabs his bow and "plays" the lissome body of Nastassja Kinski. This may well stand as the silliest bit of erotica in screen history, but in the context of the film it's a model of restraint. We're asked to believe that Kinski is Elizabeth Carlson, a Wisconsin girl who has come to the big city to make it as a pianist or model. We're also supposed to be convinced that Nureyev is part-time espionage agent Daniel Jelline, who is determined to bring terrorist Rivas (Harvey Keitel) to justice. Much of the film takes place in Paris, where at least the scenery is lovely. The various plotlines and characters never quite congeal. Despite the fact that director James Toback is given sole screenplay credit, the film seems more like a "committee" project. To its credit, Exposed is never dull; with that cast, how could anyone fall asleep? ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Visitors
This melodramatic thriller is not one of Elia Kazan's directorial shining moments. Kazan, who is better-known for such great films as On the Waterfront, made this film, with his friends, on a very low budget. It is probably most notable for featuring James Woods in an early role. Bill Schmidt (Woods) is a Vietnam veteran who has returned home and wants to take it easy. His father-in-law Harry Wayne (Patrick McVey), who hates his guts, takes exception to this. When two other veterans show up looking to harass Schmidt, Harry helps pave their way straight to his door. Bill prosecuted them in Vietnam for murder and rape, and they've just gotten out of prison. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Don Johnson
    Don Johnson - Harry Madox
  • Virginia Madsen
    Virginia Madsen - Dolly Harshaw
  • Jennifer Connelly
    Jennifer Connelly - Gloria Harper
  • Charles Martin Smith
    Charles Martin Smith - Lon Golick
  • William Sadler
    William Sadler - Frank Sutton
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