Don't expect a lot of twists and turns along the way: Often pegged as a thriller, Revenge is in actuality a straightforward story of obsession and, um, revenge. Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy finds girl again, with plenty of blood spilled along the way.
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Based on the autobiographical writing of British officer T.E. Lawrence during World War I, Lawrence of Arabia depicts Lawrence (played by then-unknown actor Peter O'Toole) as a lieutenant lacking any sort of military discipline whatsoever. Bored with his assignment of coloring maps for the British Army in a dimly lit headquarters building, Lawrence jumps at the opportunity to be re-assigned as an observer for an Arabian prince fighting against the Turkish army. Lawrence quickly sees just how caring and great these desert dwelling people can be and ends up rallying the various tribes together to fight the Turks and help the British turn the tide of World War I.
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The story is simple and devastatingly tragic: In an old west town, word spreads that a well-liked rancher has been murdered and his cattle stolen. Before you know it, a lynch mob is formed and the cowboys head into the night to find the killers.
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Gelsomina (Giulietta Masina, who was Fellini's wife) is walking along a bright and uninhabited beach. She's in the low corner of the frame, a diminutive figure with her back to us, facing an endless stretch of white sand going off to one side and the infinite vastness of sea and sky going the other. Tentatively, yet hopefully, she moves forward. In a few seconds we know this character.
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Errol Flynn takes one of his most curious roles ever in this big-budget western, playing the ill-fated general from West Point through the Civil War through his inglorious career killing off Indians before they got their payback at Little Big Horn. Custer is here portrayed as a hero but also an extremely impetuous one: Ranking at the bottom of his class in academics and willfully violating orders whenever they're given to him.
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Jud Taylor's rendition adds two new characters, an American writer (Gary Cole, with a moustache!) and his wife (Patricia Clarkson, without a moustache), who are lazing about in Cuba while our fisherman is out at sea. Cole is obviously a metaphor for Hemingway himself, and while it does serve to break the monotony of spending the entire movie out on the water, the addition is perplexing and a bit jarring.
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