#1 Dead Poets Society 1989 – the tragic story of a profeessor, ahead of his time, who tries and makes his students “suck the marrow out of life” by making them freethinkers.
“Truth, like a blanket that always leaves your feet cold.
You push it, stretch it, it will never be enough
Kick it beat it, it will never cover any of us.
From the moment we enter crying, to the moment we leave dying…”
Inherit the Wind is a dramatization of the famous Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925 when a biology teacher was arrested and challenged a law passed by the Tennessee State legislature making it a crime to teach anything other than the account of creation as set down in the Book of Genesis.
History repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.
This statement by Karl Marx admirably serves two functions: (1) It describes the difference between the two times the teaching of Darwin’s theories were put on trial in this country, in Tennessee in 1925 and in Pennsylvania in 2005; (2) Because it is from Karl Marx, it will automatically be rejected, along with the words to follow, by those who judge a statement not by its content but by its source. That is precisely the argument between Darwinism and creationism. Stanley Kramer’s “Inherit the Wind” (1960) is a movie about a courtroom battle between those who believe the Bible is literally true and those who believe, as the Spencer Tracy character puts it, that “an idea is a greater monument than a cathedral.”
Strange, that 46 years after it was made and 81 years after the Scopes trial, it is “Inherit the Wind” among all of Kramer’s films that seems most relevant and still generates controversy. – Roger Ebert
George Malley, a simple, small town, slow guy, sees a light the night of his 37th birthday and develops extreme intelligence and telekinesis. His projects and inventions highlight how creative man can be when he applies himself. This scene (see youtube link above) or quote below underscores why this movie’s message is so important – that we firmly grasp life and find our true potential. And the closing credits song (see link above) wonderfully accents the urgency with which this message is made – “That this love I have inside Is everything it seems But for now I find It’s only in my dreams That I can Change the world”. A powerful call to action, like Curious Lives and Jonathan Livingston Seagull.
George Malley: Look, Doctor, you know, I might just have something to say.. in my last few hours. I just might have something to say. What you’re saying is that I have something to teach. And yet you’re willing to end me to study my brain under a microscope. Now, is that all I’m here for?
Doctor: What else? You’re not a scholar or a..
I’ll tell you what I am, okay?
I’ll tell you what I think I am.
I think I’m what everybody can be.
Doctor: Everyone with a malignant, tentacled..
George Malley: No, no, no. No, no, it’s.. That just helped me get here, okay? I mean, anybody can get here. It’s.. I’m the possibility, all right? I mean, I think you’ve got this desperate grasp on technology.. and this grasp on science, and you don’t have a hand left to grasp what’s important.
Doctor: George. Now, George..
George Malley: If had to chose between a tumor.. that got me here and some flash
of light from an alien craft, I’d choose the tumor, I would, because it’s here within us.
What I’m talking about is the human spirit. That’s the challenge. That’s the voyage. That’s the expedition.
Actors: Robert Redford, James Gandolfini, Mark Ruffalo
When three star General Irwin is transferred to a maximum security military prison, its warden, Colonel Winter, can’t hide his admiration towards the highly decorated and experienced soldier. Irwin has been stripped of his rank for disobedience in a mission, but not of fame. Colonel Winter, who runs the prison with an iron fist, deeply admires the General, but works with completely different methods in order to keep up discipline. After a short while, Irwin can feel Winter’s unjust treatment of the inmates. He decides to teach Winter a lesson by taking over command of the facility and thus depriving him of his smug attitude. When Winter decides to participate in what he still thinks of as a game, it may already be too late to win.
Actors: Robert Redford, Susan Sarandon, Julie Christie
After years in hiding, ex-Weather Underground militant, Nick Sloan aka Jim Grant, learns about his old compatriot’s arrest for a bank robbery turned deadly in the 1970s, which he is wanted for as an accomplice. This puts the ambitious young local reporter, Ben Shepard, on the scent of a story that exposes Nick as well. As such, Nick goes on the run while taking his daughter to safety. With that accomplished, Nick stays one step ahead of the FBI while pursuing a faint hope to clear his name. Meanwhile, Shepard digs deeper into the case himself as he discovers the true complexities of another times’ determined ideals even as Nick faces their consequences with another.