"Out of the Past" (1947), directed by Jacques Tourneur. 97 minutes. Robert Mitchum, surly and laconic, hits just the right chord as an apathetic private detective hired by a sleazy gangland hood (Kirk Douglas) to track down his girlfriend (Jane Greer) and the $40,000 she took with her to Mexico. It's a tough-talking, gin-soaked excursion through the seedy side of the 1940s where every love is doomed and every lover has an angle.
"Bobby Deerfield" (1977), directed by Sydney Pollack. 124 minutes. Rated PG. Al Pacino is a shallow race car driver who eventually comes to make choices based more on his own personal values than on society's expectations or preconceptions. Although the film does have a few problems, it is also filled with memorable scenes.
"Yanks" (1979), directed by John Schlesinger. 139 minutes. Rated R. Lisa Eichhorn is a young Englishwoman who must choose between her new love--an American soldier (Richard Gere)--and her boyfriend, who is away fighting the Germans. This old-fashioned movie captures with glowing warmth the rapture felt during the initial phases of romance but manages to avoid idealizing the relationship.
"The Molly Maguires" (1970), directed by Martin Ritt. 123 minutes. Rated PG. Unflinching honesty lends power to this story of exploited miners in 19th-Century Pennsylvania who turn to terrorism. Sean Connery is the Maguires' hard-bitten leader, and Richard Harris is outstanding as the undercover officer sent to infiltrate the group.
"The Hit" (1984), directed by Stephen Frears. 98 minutes. Rated R. Terence Stamp is a hit man in hiding who's kidnaped by mobsters. Although he's on the road to his death, he seems to be having a great time. Or is it just an act to put the mobsters off guard while he plots his escape? This standard mob-vengeance plot is combined with the offbeat world of road movies and a heavy dose of Sergio Leone's existential Westerns.