Arthur Penn

  • Arthur Penn – Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

    1961-1970Arthur PennCrimeDramaUSA

    1934. Young adults Bonnie Parker, a waitress, and Clyde Barrow, a criminal just released from prison, are immediately attracted to what the other represents for their life when they meet by chance in West Dallas, Texas. Bonnie is fascinated with Clyde’s criminal past, and his matter-of-factness and bravado in talking about it. Clyde sees in Bonnie someone sympatico to his goals in life. Although attracted to each other physically, a sexual relationship between the two has a few obstacles to happen. Read More »

  • Arthur Penn – Four Friends (1981)

    Arthur Penn1981-1990DramaUSA

    Exerpts from the NY Times review December 11, 1981

    To get quickly to the point, Four Friends is the best film yet made about the sixties, that harrowed time of war, prosperity, and broken promises, of turning on and dropping out to colors described as psychedelic, when establishment came to be written with a capital “E.”
    Four Friends, directed by Arthur Penn and written by Steven Tesich, initially suggests a sort of big-budget The Return of the Secaucus Seven. It’s a film that embraces the looks, sounds, speech, and public events of the sixties, but not in the way of a documentary. It has the quality of legend, a fable remembered. Because Mr. Penn and Mr. Tesich see everything in terms of legend, even a tumultuously funny barroom brawl near the film’s end becomes not only a brawl but also a revivifying re-creation of all barroom brawls in all of the Western films the four friends grew up with.Read More »

  • Arthur Penn – The Missouri Breaks (1976)

    1971-1980Arthur PennDramaUSAWestern

    When vigilante land baron David Braxton (John McLiam) hangs one of the best friends of cattle rustler Tom Logan (Jack Nicholson), Logan’s gang decides to get even by purchasing a small farm next to Braxton’s ranch. From there the rustlers begin stealing horses, using the farm as a front for their operation. Determined to stop the thefts at any cost, Braxton retains the services of eccentric sharpshooter Robert E. Lee Clayton (Marlon Brando), who begins ruthlessly taking down Logan’s gang.Read More »

  • Arthur Penn – The Chase (1966)

    1961-1970Arthur PennCrimeDramaUSA

    Preceding Bonnie and Clyde by a year, Arthur Penn’s (Mickey One) acclaimed film boasts enviable pedigree – produced by the legendary Sam Spiegel, with a screenplay by Lillian Hellman from the novel by Horton Foote, a rousing score by John Barry, and a stellar cast of the hottest stars of the day (including Marlon Brando, Jane Fonda, Robert Redford, Angie Dickinson and James Fox). The story of an escaped con making his way back to the corrupt Texas town and the people who sent him to prison, The Chase is a telling indictment of violence in American society. A seminal work which is ripe for rediscovery.Read More »

  • Arthur Penn – The Miracle Worker (1962)

    1961-1970Arthur PennDramaUSA

    Young Helen Keller, blind, deaf, and mute since infancy, is in danger of being sent to an institution. Her inability to communicate has left her frustrated and violent. In desperation, her parents seek help from the Perkins Institute, which sends them a “half-blind Yankee schoolgirl” named Annie Sullivan to tutor their daughter. Through persistence and love, and sheer stubbornness, Annie breaks through Helen’s walls of silence and darkness and teaches her to communicate.Read More »

  • John Frankenheimer & Arthur Penn – The Train (1964)

    1961-1970ActionArthur PennFranceJohn FrankenheimerWar

    In 1944, a German colonel loads a train with French art treasures to send to Germany. The Resistance must stop it without damaging the cargo.Read More »

  • Arthur Penn – Alice’s Restaurant (1969)

    Drama1961-1970Arthur PennComedyUSA


    Arlo Guthrie’s song is converted into a motion picture.
    Arlo goes to see Alice for Thanksgivng and as a favor takes her trash to the dump. When the dump is closed, he drops it on top of another pile of garbage at the bottom of a ravine. When the local sheriff finds out a major manhunt begins. Arlo manages to survive the courtroom experience but it haunts him when he is to be inducted into the army via the draft. The movie follows the song with Arlo’s voice over as both music and narration.
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