Peter Yates

Peter Yates – The House on Carroll Street (1987)

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Emily Crane is fired after refusing to give names to a 1951 House Un-American Activities Committee, and takes a part-time job as companion to an old lady. One day her attention is drawn to a noisy argument being conducted largely in German in a neighbouring house, the more so since one of those involved is her main senator prosecutor. Starting to look into things, she gradually enlists the help of FBI officer Cochran who was initially detailed to check her out. Just as well when things turn nasty. Read More »

Peter Yates – The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973)

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Throughout Peter Yates’ masterful The Friends of Eddie Coyle, crooks, thieves and the occasional police officer use terms of complacent endearment — friend, nice guy, good man — but the words never seem to carry any meaning. All of them tend to agree that Eddie Coyle (Robert Mitchum), a career criminal at 51, is a nice guy, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t willing to put him in the dirt if it makes their lives easier. Coyle can’t really blame them for it; he knows the way of the world.

As its title points out, Friends has a very marginal interest in Eddie himself. In his first scene, Coyle goes about telling a gun dealer (Steven Keats) about how some associates of other associates slammed his fingers after a deal went sour. A low-level hood since God-knows-when, Eddie speaks about the situation congenially before telling the dealer that he needs 30 guns. Coyle has been supplying guns to a pack of bank robbers, the head of which is played by Alex Rocco. The money he’s making is to support his wife and kids before he reports for a two-year stint in a New Hampshire prison; he doesn’t feel his family should be scraping by on welfare. Read More »

Peter Yates – Krull (1983)

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In the face of total annihilation by the omnipotent Beast’s unstoppable hordes of Slayers, the young aristocrats of two hostile neighbouring nations–the brave Prince Colwyn and the fair Princess Lyssa–are about to come into union, and form an alliance against the common enemy. However, the otherworldly adversary is all-powerful, and before long, a fateful abduction will trigger a desperate quest to the evil entity’s grim Black Fortress, as Colwyn and a handful of mismatched defenders are willing to dice with death to ensure the land’s future. In this suicide mission, the magical, five-edged weapon known as the Glaive is their only chance of survival. Can Prince Colwyn slay the Beast, save Lyssa and Krull, the small planet in the middle of the vast galaxy? Read More »

Peter Yates – Breaking Away (1979)

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synopsis
Dennis Christopher stars as a recent high school graduate in Bloomington, Indiana, who is caught with his friends — Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern, Jackie Earle Haley — coasting between high school and deciding what to do with the rest of their lives. The four friends are snobbishly looked down upon by the college students of the town as “cutters,” since they were born in Bloomington and their parents worked in the local limestone quarries that built the university. Dennis Christopher’s character Dave wants to be a champion bicycle racer and he idolizes the Italian racing team — so much so that he speaks, thinks, and acts Italian, all to his father’s (Paul Dooley) forlorn exasperation. Dave falls for a college girl (Robyn Douglass), but is ashamed to admit he is a cutter and poses as an Italian exchange student to impress her. Dave is particularly excited when his heroes — the Italian racers — come to town for a race. But they are even more snobbish than the college students and rely on dirty tricks to keep Dave from winning a race against them. After that ordeal, Dave throws away his false identity and convinces his friends to enter the university’s “Little 500” bicycle race against the college students. This light-hearted and heartwarming tale was a surprising word-of-mouth success at the box-office and won several awards, including an Academy Award for “Best Screenplay.”
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