Night Moves (1975) Blu-ray | DVD | Digital HD
Directed by Arthur Penn
Starring: Gene Hackman, Melanie Griffith, Janet Ward, James Woods, Harris Yulin, Anthony Costello, Susan Clark, Edward Binns, and Jennifer Warren
Theatrical Release Date: June 11, 1975
– Who’s winning?
– Nobody. One side is just losing slower than the other.
By the time this dialogue occurs you begin to wonder why it took so long for it to be uttered. In 1975 America was striving to overcome the Vietnam War and still reeling from the pungent behavior of those corrupt individuals involved in the deceitful doings of Watergate. The influence of these events were inescapable, thus creating turbulent times all around, especially in cinema.
Night Moves, where the aforementioned quote is from, in particular, directed by Arthur Penn and scripted by Alan Sharp, is a feverish noir that was fully aware of the incessant confusion and mournful distress swallowing up our world at that time, rendering the population hopeless. It’s this kind of cinema, so inextricably tied to its era, that still manages to achieve a sense of timelessness. That’s because of its inquisitive nature to discern truth even if it means losing every now and then.
12 Angry Men – **** (Classic Movie) Directed by Sidney Lumet
Starring Martin Balsam, John Fiedler, Lee J. Cobb, E. G. Marshall, Jack Klugman, Edward Binns, Jack Warden, Henry Fonda, Joseph Sweeney, Ed Begley, George Voskovec, Robert Webber
Twelve men walk into a smoldering, small, fan-less room. They are a jury and have to make their decision on whether or not an 18-year-old boy who stabbed his father to death is guilty or not guilty. We only see outside of the small room for 3 minutes (secondhand learning of the case, never any flashbacks) and in one of the scenes it shows the judge telling the jury to make their decision in a bored tone voice. He knows that the jury is going to vote “not-guilty,” but he’s wrong. Most of them are thinking that this is going to be a half-hour meeting. Some light up their cigarettes, open the windows to get a whiff of fresh air, and sit back ready to make their vote. The foreman of it all then lays down the rules that there has to be a unanimous decision and then asks to hear everyone’s verdict. Eleven hands go up for claiming the boy guilty, which would lead to the boy getting sentenced to the electric chair, but one lone hand is proudly raised for not guilty.