Gregory Peck

Gregory Peck

Gregory Peck Quick Links

News Pictures Film Quotes RSS

Polly Bergen, US Actress Known For 'Cape Fear', Has Died Aged 84


Polly Bergen Chris Colfer Dana Delany Michael McKean Gregory Peck Jerry Lewis Dean Martin Doris Day John Stamos Glee Robert Mitchum

Polly Bergen, the US actress best known for her roles in such classic films as Cape Fear and for her television appearances on The Sopranos and Desperate Housewives, has died at the age of 84.

Polly Bergen
Polly Bergen has died at the age of 84.

Bergen was born in 1930 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Her career began in the late 1940s and she became a household name when she starred in The Helen Morgan Story, for which she won an Emmy award in 1958. 

Continue reading: Polly Bergen, US Actress Known For 'Cape Fear', Has Died Aged 84

Marooned Review


Good
Remarkably prescient, this 1969 drama about astronauts stuck in space, unable to return home due to a rocket malfunction preceded the real Apollo 13 drama by only one year. For its era, the special effects are impressive, though the plot -- which involves a massive rescue attempt that sees not one but two spacecraft attempting to rendezvous with our heros -- is on the far-fetched side. Kudos for impressive realism in its treatment of the effects of the lack of oxygen on the crew and its long periods of quiet frustration, a great respite from typical in-your-face adventure fare.

Pork Chop Hill Review


Good
Gregory Peck, along with a host of then-unknowns, star in this Korean War melodrama, about the taking of an unimportant hill on the eve of the end of the war. According to the production notes, this film is absolutely true, and it paints a disappointing picture of the bureaucracy of the U.S. Army and what it will do to "save face." Good film but not exceptionally memorable 40 years after the fact.

The Omen (1976) Review


OK
The Omen is not as serious a movie as it appears. Coming to the modern audience as the infant in a Holy trinity of satanic, apocalyptic horror films, including The Exorcist and Rosemary's Baby, The Omen arrives leaden with reputation and expectation. Its story is renowned, its sequences remembered, and its delicious score is an iconic pop-cultural phenomenon. On the surface of things, Richard Donner's film matches its Trinitarian peers shock for shock. However, as little Damian proves, not everything is as it seems. Though garbed in the accoutrements of its satanic predecessors, it is at its core a story of gross implausibility and squandered potential, a schlocky piece of fluff shot and cut with unwarranted earnestness. When poked and prodded, when the hair is cut away, the film is essentially a pretty good bad movie.

The story of the devil's son born to the American politician begins with a moment that only reveals its ridiculousness in retrospect: when Ambassador to Italy Robert Thorn's (Gregory Peck) first-born dies moments after birth, he is offered, and accepts, an abandoned child as replacement. He does this so that his wife Katherine (Lee Remick) is spared the torment of the death. I know politics is pragmatic, but really. With any moral quibbles twitched away by a few hard long stares, the Thorns take up shop in England when Robert receives a promotion. The years pass in dreary montage and Damian (a creepily cute Harvey Stephens) grows to age five in blissful British tranquility. Naturally, when his nanny (Holly Palance) hangs herself on his sixth birthday, announcing "It's all for you Damian," things change.

Continue reading: The Omen (1976) Review

On the Beach Review


Excellent
Never mind the unfortunate title, this ain't Frankie and Annette. On the Beach is a movie that begins with the apocalypse: Nuclear war has wiped out the entire world except for Australia. (They were making movies like this in 1959???) It's here we find a U.S. submarine hanging out amidst Aussies living their lives, pretty much as normal only with less booze. The catch: Everyone knows the end is coming, as nuclear fallout makes its way across the Oceans, due to arrive in a month or two. But what's this Morse code signal coming from San Diego? Could someone be alive and transmitting? The sub's off on a recon mission to the wasteland, and meanwhile the Australians come to grips with certain death in a matter of weeks. While heartbreaking and touching, it's hard to imagine that riots aren't rampant and that martial law isn't required, but hey, it's a movie, and quite a good -- if overlong -- one, at that.

Pork Chop Hill Review


Good
Gregory Peck, along with a host of then-unknowns, star in this Korean War melodrama, about the taking of an unimportant hill on the eve of the end of the war. According to the production notes, this film is absolutely true, and it paints a disappointing picture of the bureaucracy of the U.S. Army and what it will do to "save face." Good film but not exceptionally memorable 40 years after the fact.

To Kill a Mockingbird Review


Excellent
Smack dab in the middle of the Civil Rights Era came a pile of films that preached recognition of racial equality. Two of the favorites repeatedly viewed to this day are Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and To Kill a Mockingbird.

These films effectively argue for multi-ethnicity from different vantage points. The former is a daughter asking her parents to accept her black fiancé. The latter defends an obviously innocent African-American charged with raping a young white girl. Both feel more like plays than big screen cinema, with their tiny handful of locations, lack of visual effects, and explicitly heavy-handed dialogue. Though society has changed since their release, and "statement films" now rally for more current political causes, the strength of the issues relayed in these classics doesn't lose its appeal.

Continue reading: To Kill a Mockingbird Review

The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit Review


Good
You've heard of "the man in the gray flannel suit." He's the workaholic office drone who commutes into the city every day and struggles wearily to climb a daunting corporate ladder while dealing with petty office politics. In The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, Gregory Peck plays Tom Rath, that quintessential '50s organization man, an archetypal tormented post-war striver and father of the baby boom who wonders if he's making the right choices... or if he has the freedom to make any choices at all in his conformist world.

A Madison Avenue advertising executive, Rath lives in a comfortable Connecticut bedroom community and commutes in and out of the city, leaving him little time for his wife Betsy (Jennifer Jones) and his funny, television-addicted kids. Betsy, who in typical '50s suburban style is deeply concerned about keeping up with the Joneses, pushes Rath to find a better job, and he agrees even as he realizes that more work and stress is not what he wants. In fact, he's heading toward what we now call a mid-life crisis, although they didn't have a word for it back then.

Continue reading: The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit Review

Duel In The Sun Review


Good
Condemned as indecent after its release, Duel in the Sun is a rare western, in the vein of Unforgiven, that upsets the traditional white hat/black hat baloney common to its genre. The story of two wealthy Texas brothers (Joseph Cotten and Gregory Peck) who fall for dark beauty Pearl (Jennifer Jones), what may be film's first booty call (courtesy of Peck's scoundrel) is the real highlight here, as is the story of family infighting and Lionel Barrymore's deliciously evil patriarch.

Amazing Grace And Chuck Review


Good
Feel-good movies starring kids wiser than their parents were a staple of the 1980s, but Amazing Grace and Chuck is one of the most ambitious, with a single child leading the world all the way to total nuclear disarmament. Chuck is the kid, Amazing Grace is a Boston Celtic that helps him out in his quest. Gregory Peck is the president, and the saccharine threatens to choke you at times during the movie, but ultimately Mike Newell (director of Four Weddings and a Funeral) manages to make the film into something worthwhile.

The Guns of Navarone Review


Excellent
A former-day Saving Private Ryan, Gregory Peck and David Niven burn in this war epic, about a gang of neo-mercenaries sent to destroy the titular German guns. Will they save the day? Use your postwar patriotism of 1961 to make a guess.

The Boys from Brazil Review


Excellent
A fun curiosity of a movie, from the end of the career of both Peck and Olivier (and Mason, for that matter... okay, and Steve Guttenberg, too). Telling the mysterious tale of Josef Mengele (Peck), who is living in Paraguay in the late 1970s, trying to rebuild the Third Reich, The Boys from Brazil takes a long time to get to its big secret. When you do finally get there, it's a mixture of ahhhhh and huh? that makes the film mostly worthwhile. Have a bit of a laugh at the scientific silliness that the movie revolves around, too.

Spellbound (1945) Review


Good
Spellbound lands as one of Hitchcock's classics but it's far from his best work.

The entire plot is one of Hitch's more absurd (adapted from the novel The House of Dr. Edwardes). Back in 1945, the idea of psychoanalysis was just coming ito its own. Freud's ideas had really taken off, and wouldn't you know it, the time was right to make a movie based on the notion.

Continue reading: Spellbound (1945) Review

The Big Country Review


Good
The Big Country is a Big Movie, long, majestic, and filled with Shakespearean overtones. This William Wyler western has never found classic status, but it's a worthwhile and very well-made production. Charlton Heston steals the show as the ranch foreman to a wealthy landowner feuding with his neighbors; Gregory Peck makes a minimal impression as a sea captain who arrives on the scene to marry the ranch owner's daughter -- only to get caught up in the squabble. Burl Ives (yes, Burl Ives) won an Oscar for playing the neighbor, Rufus. This one's been lost to time for the most part, but Wyler fans will eat it up.
Gregory Peck

Gregory Peck Quick Links

News Pictures Film Quotes RSS