A delightful comedy that features child star Tatum O’Neal and her father Ryan O’Neal, the film is set during the Great Depression and narrates the journey of the little orphan Addie and Moses Pray, an endearing conman. Addie believes Moses could be her father but he denies it. Addie soon outsmarts Moses at what he does and the two join up to do hilarious tricks. The film ends happily. Great performances and black-and-white cinematography make the film a gem.
Directed by M.S. Sathyu and adapted from a short story by Ismat Chughtai, the story narrates the travails of a Muslim family after Partition. Balraj Sahni plays an elderly patriarch who opts to stay back and face prejudice even as his relatives leave for Pakistan. The cast, mostly notable stage artistes, is brilliant. The locations in Agra’s havelis, alleys and bazaars beside the Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri add authenticity to the film.
Hamsageethe or ‘swan song’ is a captivating film in Kannada and a National Award winner in 1975. Anant Nag plays the lead of a talented singer who outshines his own guru to become the official court singer. Directed by G.V. Iyer, the film has melodious classical music sung by a young Balamuralikrishna and others. Set three centuries ago, the costumes, acting, dialogues, photography and settings make it among the most credible period films made in India.
Set in Ireland during World War I, this epic portrays the bored wife of a village schoolmaster having a secret affair with a British army officer, when trouble is brewing between the locals and the English. The secret affair is revealed and the villagers attack the schoolmaster’s wife, accusing her of being a traitor. The schoolmaster leaves town with his disgraced wife. The impressive cast has Sarah Miles, Robert Mitchum, Trevor Howard and John Mills.
Alan J. Pakula
The film is a tragic story narrated by a young writer who befriends Sophie, a Polish immigrant in an unstable relationship with her lover. Flashbacks reveal Sophie’s past as a survivor of a Nazi concentration camp. The protagonist is drawn to her but Sophie returns to her jealous lover and they commit suicide together, each tormented by their past. In an Oscar-winning role, Meryl Streep plays her best in a moving scene where she is asked to choose between her two children to send to the gas chamber.
Those that almost made it
Shane: George Stevens
Lord Jim: Richard Brooks
Bhumika: Shyam Benegal
The Kite Runner: Marc Forster
Amarcord: Federico Fellini
Two Women: Vittorio De Sica
R. Nand Kumar works in corporate communications. He enjoys watching world cinema and listening to world music.