Silver City (2004 film)
Silver City is a 2004 American political satire comedy-drama film written and directed by John Sayles. Chris Cooper portrays an inept Republican gubernatorial candidate, a character, noted for similarities to U. S. President George W. Bush; the film's ensemble cast includes Richard Dreyfuss, Danny Huston, Michael Murphy, Maria Bello, Kris Kristofferson, Mary Kay Place, Thora Birch, Tim Roth, Billy Zane and Daryl Hannah. The film is a "murder mystery to a political satire". Richard "Dicky" Pilager, the dim-witted scion of a powerful political dynasty, is running for Governor of Colorado. One day, while filming a campaign ad that shows him fishing at Arapahoe Lake, Pilager hooks a corpse on location. Chuck Raven, Pilager's campaign manager, hires Danny O'Brien, a former journalist who works as a private investigator, to examine the case. Raven urges O'Brien to find potential links between Pilager's political enemies. O'Brien's job is to intimidate Pilager's opponents, he has numerous revealing conversations with various people.
He learns. The interviews reveal further corruption: politicians, land developers, mining companies are conspiring to ignore certain environmental issues. O'Brien learns about illegal migrant workers, as well as a damaging love affair. Danny O'Brien. Played by Danny Huston. Danny is a private investigator, he was a reporter for the Mountain Monitor newspaper before getting fired for reporting a false story. Now working for Chuck Raven, he is to intimidate anyone who might be trying to sabotage the Pilager campaign. Richard "Dicky" Pilager. Played by Chris Cooper. Dicky Pilager is the son of an influential Colorado Senator, he was not successful in a mining enterprise, so he has decided to run for Governor of Colorado. His campaign is funded by family friend Wes Benteen. Chuck Raven. Played by Richard Dreyfuss. Raven is Campaign Manager of Pilager for Governor. A lifelong family friend, he is in charge of protecting the family name, he hires Danny O'Brien in a strategem to ensure. Wes Benteen. Played by Kris Kristofferson.
Benteen is the billionaire mogul, funding the campaign. His businesses benefit the Pilager family in return for political favors, his companies produce meat and agricultural products, provide medical services. He owns a major football team, the Prospectors, he finances half the campaign. Nora Allardyce. Played by Maria Bello, she is Danny O'Brien's ex-wife. Grace Seymour. Played by Mary Kay Place. Seymour runs a Private Investigation firm, is Danny O'Brien's boss, she is a longtime associate of Chuck Raven. Morton "Mort" Seymour. Played by David Clennon. Grace's a real estate developer, he is trying to gain influence with the Pilagers thru Chandler Tyson, in order to obtain approval of his Silver City project. Mitch Paine. Played by Tim Roth. Paine is Danny O'Brien's friend, a former reporter at the Mountain Monitor, fired for the same reason as O'Brien, he is a source of information. Senator Judson Pilager. Played by Michael Murphy. A powerful U. S. senator from Dicky Pilager's father. He bemoans his son's ineptness.
Madeline "Maddy" Pilager. Played by Daryl Hannah. Maddy is a black sheep daughter of the Pilager family, she is one of the people. Tony Guerra. Played by Sal Lopez. A Mexican-American chef whom Danny enlists in an effort to learn about the dead man. Vince Esparza. Played by Luis Saguar, he imports undocumented Mexicans for cheap labor tasks. He worked for Wes Benteen at one time. Cliff Castleton. Played by Miguel Ferrer. Ultra right-wing radio commentator, at odds with Chuck Raven and the Pilagers for thirty years, he is one of the people whom Danny is tasked to keep under control. Casey Lyle. Played by Ralph Waite. A former mining safety inspector, falsely caught up in a mining accident scandal, he is "warned" by Danny. Sheriff Joe Skaggs. Played by James Gammon. Investigates the dead body found in the lake, his brother was being investigated by Danny in the story. Chandler Tyson. Played by Billy Zane. A land developer and lobbyist in Wes Benteen's and the Pilagers' pocket. Tyson is dating Nora Allardyce. Karen Cross.
Played by Thora Birch. Mitch's assistant at the website, Cross provides Danny with information. Silver City had a limited release in the United States, where it was marketed as a comedy about an "intellectually challenged, poorly spoken politician." Sayles commented on that marketing approach in an entertainment interview for CNN: You give it to the company, they advertise it the way that gets the most people in the theater. Other countries, may emphasize the Chinatown aspects; the problem with all my movies, because they're complicated, is they don't boil down to two sentences, so you emphasize this part or that part of it. The film played in 162 theaters at its widest, earned US$1.4 million at the box office in Canada and the United States. It earned around $300,000 from both Ireland and the United Kingdom. Silver City had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Market during the Cannes Film Festival. Critics noted the similarities between the fictitious Dicky Pilager and the real George W. Bush, with some seeing parallels between the fictitious campaign manager and the real Karl Rove.
Roger Ebert praised the film but said it wouldn't change any votes in the 2004 election: "America is
University of Warwick
The University of Warwick is a public research university on the outskirts of Coventry, England. It was founded in 1965 as part of a government initiative to expand higher education. Within the University, Warwick Business School was established in 1967, Warwick Law School was established in 1968, Warwick Manufacturing Group was established in 1980 and Warwick Medical School was opened in 2000. Warwick merged with Coventry College of Education in 1979 and Horticulture Research International in 2004. Warwick is cited as amongst the world's most targeted university institutions by employers. Warwick is based on a 290 ha campus on the outskirts of Coventry, with a satellite campus in Wellesbourne and a central London base at the Shard, it is organised into three faculties — Arts, Science Technology Engineering and Medicine, Social Sciences — within which there are 32 departments. As of 2018, Warwick has 2,492 academic and research staff, it had a consolidated income of £631.5 million in 2017/18, of which £126.5 million was from research grants and contracts.
Warwick Arts Centre, a multi-venue arts complex in the university's main campus, is the largest venue of its kind in the UK outside London. Warwick ranks in the top ten of all major domestic rankings of British universities. Warwick is ranked 7th in the UK for its research, according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014 by GPA. A selective institution, Warwick has an average intake of 4,950 undergraduates out of 38,071 applicants yielding 7.6 applicants per place. In 2017, Warwick was named as the university with the joint second highest graduate employment rate of any UK university, with 97.7 per cent of its graduates in work or further study three and a half years after graduation. Warwick is a member of AACSB, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the Association of MBAs, EQUIS, the European University Association, the Midlands Innovation group, the Russell Group and Universities UK, it is the only European member of the Center for Urban Science and Progress, a collaboration with New York University.
The university has extensive commercial activities, including the University of Warwick Science Park and Warwick Manufacturing Group. The idea for a university in Warwickshire was first mooted shortly after World War II, although it was not founded for a further two decades. A partnership of the city and county councils provided the impetus for the university to be established on a 400-acre site jointly granted by the two authorities. There was some discussion between local sponsors from both the city and county over whether it should be named after Coventry or Warwickshire; the name "University of Warwick" was adopted though the County Town of Warwick itself lies some 8 miles to its southwest and Coventry's city centre is only 3.5 miles northeast of the campus. The establishment of the University of Warwick was given approval by the government in 1961 and received its Royal Charter of Incorporation in 1965. Since the university has incorporated the former Coventry College of Education in 1979 and has extended its land holdings by the continuing purchase of adjoining farm land.
The university benefited from a substantial donation from the family of Jack Martin, which enabled the construction of the Warwick Arts Centre. The university admitted a small intake of graduate students in 1964 and took its first 450 undergraduates in October 1965. Since its establishment Warwick has expanded its grounds to 721 acres with many modern buildings and academic facilities and woodlands. In the 1960s and 1970s, Warwick had a reputation as a politically radical institution. Under Vice-Chancellor, Lord Butterworth, Warwick was one of the first UK universities to adopt a business approach to higher education, develop close links with the business community and exploit the commercial value of its research; these tendencies were critiqued by British historian and then-Warwick lecturer, E. P. Thompson, in his 1970 edited book Warwick University Ltd.. More the university was seen as a favoured institution of the Labour government, it was academic partner for a number of flagship Government schemes including the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth and the NHS University.
Tony Blair described Warwick as "a beacon among British universities for its dynamism and entrepreneurial zeal". In a 2012 study by Virgin Media Business, Warwick was described as the most "digitally-savvy" UK university; the Leicester Warwick Medical School, a new medical school based jointly at Warwick and Leicester University, opened in September 2000. On the recommendation of Tony Blair, Bill Clinton chose Warwick as the venue for his last major foreign policy address as US President in December 2000. Sandy Berger, Clinton’s National Security Advisor, explaining the decision in his Press Briefing on 7 December 2000, said that: "Warwick is one of Britain's newest and finest research universities, singled out by Prime Minister Blair as a model both of academic excellence and independence from the government." In February 2001, IBM donated a new S/390 computer and software worth £2 million to Warwick, to form part of a "Grid" enabling users to remotely share computing power. In April 2004 Warwick merged with the Wellesbourne and Kirton sites of Horticulture Research International.
In July 2004 Warwick was the location for an important agreement between the Labour Party and the Trade Unions on Labour policy and trade union law, which has subsequently become known as the "Warwick Agreement". In June 2006 the new University Hospital Coventry opened, inc
John Thomas Sayles is an American independent film director, editor and novelist. He has twice been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, for Passion Fish and Lone Star, his film Men with Guns was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. His directorial debut, Return of the Secaucus 7, has been added to the National Film Registry. Sayles was born in Schenectady, New York, the son of Mary, a teacher, Donald John Sayles, a school administrator. Both of Sayles's parents were of Catholic, he attended Williams College with frequent collaborators Gordon David Strathairn. Like Martin Scorsese and James Cameron, Sayles began his career working with Roger Corman. In 1979, Sayles used $30,000 he earned writing scripts for Corman to fund his first film, Return of the Secaucus 7. To make the film on a limited budget, he set the film in a large house so that he did not have to travel to or get permits for different locations, set the story over a three-day weekend to limit costume changes, wrote about people his age so he could cast his friends in it.
The film has held its reputation. In November 1997, the National Film Preservation Board announced that Return of the Secaucus 7 would be one of the 25 films selected that year for preservation in the National Film Registry at the Library of Congress. In 1983, after the films Baby It's You and Lianna, Sayles received a MacArthur Fellowship, he put the money into the fantasy The Brother from Another Planet, a film about a black, three-toed slave who escapes from another planet and after crash-landing on Earth, finds himself at home among the people of Harlem, being pursued by white male agents from his home planet dressed as men in black. In 1989, Sayles created and wrote the pilot episode for the short-lived television show Shannon's Deal about a down-and-out Philadelphia lawyer played by Jamey Sheridan. Sayles received a 1990 Edgar Award for his teleplay for the pilot; the show ran for 16 episodes before being cancelled in 1991. Sayles has funded most of his films by writing genre scripts, such as Piranha, The Howling and The Challenge.
Having collaborated with Joe Dante on Piranha and The Howling, Sayles acted in Dante's movie, Matinee. In deciding whether to take a job, Sayles reports that he is interested in whether there is the germ of an idea for a movie which he would want to watch. Sayles gets the rest of his funding by working as a script doctor. A genre script, called Night Skies, inspired what would become the film E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial. That film's director, Steven Spielberg commissioned Sayles to write a script for the fourth Jurassic Park film, he has written and directed his own films, including Lone Star, Passion Fish, Eight Men Out, The Secret of Roan Inish, Matewan. He serves on the advisory board for the Austin Film Society. Maggie Renzi has been John Sayles' long-time companion. Renzi has produced most of his films since Lianna, they met as students at Williams College. Sayles works with a regular repertory of actors, most notably Chris Cooper, David Strathairn, Gordon Clapp, each of whom has appeared in at least four of his films.
In early 2003, Sayles signed the Not In Our Name "Statement of Conscience" which opposed the invasion of Iraq. In February 2009, Sayles was reported to be writing an HBO series based on the early life of Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers; the drama, tentatively titled Scar Tissue, centers on Kiedis's early years living in West Hollywood with his father. At that time, Kiedis's father, known as Spider, sold drugs and mingled with rock stars on the Sunset Strip, all while aspiring to get into show business. In February 2010, Sayles began shooting his 17th feature film, the historical war drama Amigo, in the Philippines; the film is a fictional account of events during the Philippine–American War, with a cast that includes Joel Torre, Chris Cooper, Garret Dillahunt. His novel A Moment in the Sun, set during the same period as Amigo, in the Philippines and the US, was released in 2011 by McSweeney's, it includes an account of the Wilmington Insurrection of 1898 in North Carolina, the only coup d'état in United States history in which a duly elected government was overthrown.
1983 MacArthur Fellowship 1990 Edgar Award, for teleplay for pilot of Shannon's Deal In June 2014 Sayles donated his film archive to the University of Michigan. It will be accessible at the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library. Return of the Secaucus 7 Lianna Baby It's You The Brother from Another Planet Matewan Eight Men Out City of Hope Passion Fish The Secret of Roan Inish Lone Star Men with Guns Limbo Sunshine State Casa de los Babys Silver City Honeydripper Amigo Go for Sisters Piranha The Lady in Red Alligator Battle Beyond the Stars The Howling The Challenge E. T. the Extra Terrestrial Enormous Changes at the Last Minute The Clan of the Cave Bear Wild Thing Breaking In Men of War (as A Safe P
Return of the Secaucus 7
Return of the Secaucus 7 is a 1980 drama film written and directed by John Sayles and starring Bruce MacDonald, Maggie Renzi, Adam LeFevre, Maggie Cousineau, Gordon Clapp, Jean Passanante, others. The film tells the story of seven friends; the weekend is marred by the break-up of a relationship between two of the friends. This brings up old desires and problems; the picture was thought to have inspired The Big Chill, a more known film with a similar storyline. However, writer/director Lawrence Kasdan has denied having seen Return of the Secaucus 7 before working on The Big Chill. Film critic Emanuel Levy liked the film and wrote, "The movie became influential, launching a cycle of "reunion" films, which included The Big Chill and the TV series Thirtysomething; as a portrait of disenchantment, Return was more authentic and honest than Lawrence Kasdan's star-studded Big Chill... A rueful movie about unexceptional lives that have prematurely grown stale, Secaucus is a bit commonplace, lacking genuine drama.
But Sayles uses a discursive, episodic format. The characters are complex and individually distinguished by speech and manner."Critic Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat wrote, "Here's a nice little movie about the baby boom generation... Novelist John Sayles wrote and edited this movie, it is a labor of love. We watch these laidback individuals share their stories and reminisce about the past... But these baby boomers can't handle tension, and although they put up a front of having a good time, one senses that things haven't turned out well for them — either in terms of meaningful relationships or in terms of personal fulfillment. Return of the Secaucus Seven leaves one with a rueful feeling about this generation."The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 80% of critics gave the film a positive review, based on eleven reviews. Film critic Aljean Harmetz of The New York Times wrote in her review: "For a movie that cost $60,000, The Return of the Secaucus Seven is traveling in heady company.
Most $60,000 movies play at two film festivals end up on a 16-millimeter projector in their director's living room. The Return of the Secaucus Seven, about seven antiwar activists who spend a weekend together 10 years was the surprise hit of last spring's Los Angeles Filmex festival; the movie was selected as one of the 10 best films of 1980 by The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times and Time magazine, last week it was nominated by the Writers Guild as best comedy written directly for the screen. When it opened an unsuccessful commercial run in New York last September, Vincent Canby, although expressing some reservations, praised the film as sweet and engaging and an honest realized movie. Today it will try again, opening at the Quad in Greenwich Village this time." Return of the Secaucus 7 was released in United States theatres on September 5, 1980. The film was released on DVD by MGM Home Entertainment on September 16, 2003. Wins Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards: LAFCA Award. Boston Society of Film Critics Awards: BSFC Award.
Nominations Writers Guild of America, East: WGA Award. Other distinctions In 1997, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally or aesthetically significant". Return of the Secaucus 7 at the American Film Institute Catalog Return of the Secaucus 7 on IMDb Return of the Secaucus 7 at AllMovie Return of the Secaucus 7 film scene on YouTube
Eight Men Out
Eight Men Out is a 1988 sports drama film based on Eliot Asinof's 1963 book Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series. It was directed by John Sayles; the film is a dramatization of Major League Baseball's Black Sox scandal, in which eight members of the Chicago White Sox conspired with gamblers to intentionally lose the 1919 World Series. Much of the movie was filmed at the old Bush Stadium in Indiana. In 1919, the Chicago White Sox are considered one of the greatest baseball teams assembled. Gamblers "Sleepy" Bill Burns and Billy Maharg get wind of the players' discontent, asking shady player Chick Gandil to convince a select group of Sox—including star knuckleball pitcher Eddie Cicotte, who led the majors with a 29–7 win–loss record and an earned run average of 1.82—that they could earn more money by playing badly and throwing the series than they could earn by winning the World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. Cicotte was motivated because Comiskey refused him a promised $10,000 should he win 30 games for the season.
Cicotte was nearing the milestone until Comiskey ordered team manager Kid Gleason to bench him for 2 weeks with the excuse that the 35-year-old veteran's arm needed a rest before the series. A number of players, including Gandil, Swede Risberg, Lefty Williams, go along with the scheme. Shoeless Joe Jackson, an illiterate and the team hitting star is invited, but is depicted as being not bright and not sure of what is going on. Buck Weaver, insists that he is a winner and wants nothing to do with the fix; when the best-of-nine series begins, Cicotte deliberately hits Reds leadoff hitter Morrie Rath in the back with his second pitch in a prearranged signal to gangster Arnold Rothstein that the fix was on. Cicotte pitches poorly and gives up 5 runs in four innings—four of them in the 4th, highlighted by a triple from Reds pitcher Walter "Dutch" Ruether, he is relieved by Gleason, though the Sox lose the first game, 9–1. Williams pitched poorly in Game 2, while Gandil and Hap Felsch made glaring mistakes on the field.
Several of the players become upset, when the various gamblers involved fail to pay their promised money up front. Chicago journalists Ring Lardner and Hugh Fullerton grow suspicious. Meanwhile Gleason continues to hear rumors of a fix, but he remains confident that his boys will come through in the end. A third pitcher not in on the scam, rookie Dickie Kerr, wins Game 3 for the Sox, making both gamblers and teammates uncomfortable. Other teammates such as catcher Ray Schalk continue to play hard, while Weaver and Jackson show no visible signs of taking a dive with Weaver continuing to deny being in on the fix. Cicotte loses again in Game 4 and the Sox lose Game 5 as well putting them 1 loss away from losing the series. With the championship now in jeopardy, the Sox manage to win Game 6 in extra innings. Gleason intends to bench Cicotte from his next start, but Cicotte, feeling guilty over throwing his previous games, begs for another chance; the manager reluctantly is given an easy Game 7 win.
Unpaid by the gamblers, Williams intends to win, but when his wife's life is threatened, he purposely pitches so badly, he was relieved with "Big" Bill James in the 1st inning. Jackson hits a home run off Reds pitcher Hod Eller in the 3rd inning, but the Sox lose the final game. Cincinnati wins the Series. Fullerton writes an article condemning the White Sox. An investigation begins into the possible fixing of the Series. In 1920, Cicotte and Jackson admit; as a result of the revelations, Williams, Felsch, Risberg, McMullin and Weaver are tried. The eight men are acquitted of any wrongdoing. However, newly appointed commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis bans the seven men for life because they either intentionally lost games or knew about the fix and didn't report it to team officials. In 1922, during spring training, Schalk says that if pitcher Red Faber, out during the series because of an illness, was available, there would not have been a fix; because he would have gotten the starts that were given to Williams.
In a 2013 interview, Sayles told MLB Network's Bob Costas, "People said,'Oh, you’ll never get this made. There’s a curse on it. People have been trying to make it for years.'" Talking about his thoughts for the cast when he first wrote the script, Sayles said "my original dream team had Martin Sheen at third base, I ended up with Charlie in center field." During the late summer and early fall of 1987, news media in Indianapolis reported sightings of the film's actors, including Sheen and Cusack. Sayles told the Chicago Tribune that he hired them not because they were rising stars, but because of their ball-playing talent. Sweeney remarked on the chilly Indiana temperatures in an interview with Elle. "It got down to 30, 40 degrees, but John would stand there in running shorts, tank tops, sneakers—sometimes without socks—and never look cold." The young actor said Sayles appeared to be focused on an "agenda, that's all he cared about. Looking at him we thought,'Well, if he's not cold we shouldn't be.'"Reports from the set location at Bush Stadium indicated that cast members were letting off steam between scenes.
"Actors kidded around, rubbing dirt on each other", the Tribune reported. "... Actors trade jokes and candy" in the dugout. "'Some of them chewed tobacco at first, but,' noted Bill Irwin,'Even the guys
Amigo is a 2010 American-Filipino drama film written and directed by John Sayles. The film takes place in the Philippines in 1900 during the Philippine–American War, it is one of only a small handful of films directed by an American to address the war. The only other notable example is The Real Glory. Amigo centers on Rafael Dacanay, kapitan of the fictional barrio of San Isidro in a rice-growing area of Luzon, his brother Simón, head of the local guerrilla band, has forced the surrender of the Spanish guardia civil outpost and charged Rafael with the task of imprisoning the guardia Captain and the barrio’s Spanish friar, Padre Hidalgo, in the name of the revolutionary government. But when the American troops chasing General Emilio Aguinaldo arrive, the Spanish officer and Padre Hidalgo are freed, a garrison under the command of Lieutenant Ike Compton is left to ‘protect’ the barrio; the American occupation policy now changes from ‘hearts and minds’ to ‘concentration’ and Rafael has to answer to both the Americans and the Filipino patriots, with deadly consequences.
Cinematical reports that the film was once titled Baryo, that the idea for it came from a yet-to-be-published novel Some Time in the Sun, detailing U. S. imperialism in the Philippines. The book will be called A Moment in the Sun, though the unrealized screenplay which inspired it was called Some Time in the Sun; the screenplay was written in two weeks and it was filmed over eight months on the island province of Bohol. Sayles said the "amigo" of the title was the mayor: The American soldiers were always asked, “Is he a good amigo or a bad amigo?” There was some irony to him being called an amigo. However, the complication in that movie that the usual war movie, you follow the guys on one side and the other side is the enemy. You root for the guys on the other side is shooting at them; this is a movie where it’s evenly divided. Forty-eight percent is in English, 48 percent is in Tagalog, there’s a little Cantonese and Spanish thrown in. So the audience is asked to do something they’re not asked in a chronological war movie, to spend time with all the combatants and the noncombatants.
They, know more than any, one character does. That affects the structure as well, but how you feel about those events is different because you get to be on both sides and care about people on both sides. In a way, what I hope is that by the end of the movie, you’re hoping that they won’t have a confrontation, but that confrontation is inevitable; the cast includes the "crème de la crème" of Philippine actors. It was screened on September 14 at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. At the San Sebastián International Film Festival and the Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival. Amigo had its New York premiere at the 2011 Asian American International Film Festival on August 10. In the Philippines, the film was released on July 2011 by Star Cinema and Origin8Media; the film was released in North America on August 2011 by Variance Films. The film was met with positive reviews; the film received a score of 62% with a certified "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 45 reviews. James Rocchi of MSN Movies said the film "feels more passionate and provocative than 99% of everything else out there."Connie Ogle from the Miami Herald in her review said "A reflection on power and betrayal, on the thin line between acting as your conscience demands and protecting obligations close to your heart."Peter Travers of Rolling Stone awarded the film 3 out of 4 stars wrote "John Sayles, a filmmaker by trade, a provocateur by nature, means to stir things up with Amigo.
That he does, more power to him."Stephen Whitty of the Newark Star-Ledger wrote "By choosing Rafael as its hero, "Amigo" looks not only at a little-known part of American history, but at a examined type of movie character."David Fear of Time Out New York wrote in his "Few filmmakers are ambitious enough these days to try addressing our present world-policing endeavors through the prism of past ones, so it seems churlish to take Sayles to task for relying on overly dogmatic storytelling."Mark Neumaier of the New York Daily News wrote "An engrossing, supremely humane drama about imperialism and loyalty." Heneral Luna Amigo on IMDb Amigo official web site John Sayles' web blog Amigo film trailer on YouTube
Swiss Family Robinson (1960 film)
Swiss Family Robinson is a 1960 American adventure film starring John Mills, Dorothy McGuire, James MacArthur, Janet Munro, Tommy Kirk and Kevin Corcoran in a tale of a shipwrecked family building an island home, loosely based on the 1812 novel Der Schweizerische Robinson by Johann David Wyss. The film was shot in Tobago and Pinewood Studios outside London, it was a commercial success. Swiss Family Robinson was the first widescreen Disney film shot with Panavision lenses; when shooting in widescreen, Disney had always used a matted wide screen or filmed the movie in CinemaScope. A family on their way to New Guinea is chased by pirates into a hurricane; the captain and crew abandon the ship leaving the family shipwrecked off an uninhabited island. William and his two eldest sons Fritz and Ernst salvage as much as they can from the wreck including livestock, an organ; as they gather what can be removed from the ship, the pirates begin shooting at the ship. Fritz and Ernst begin readying the ship's cannon.
The pirates turn around. The three men construct a tree house home on the island while the youngest boy Francis investigates the wildlife and starts an impressive collection of animals including a young elephant, a capuchin monkey and two Great Danes rescued from the ship which they name Duke and Turk. Elizabeth prays to be rescued; the boys Ernst build inventions to provide modern amenities to the family such as drawing water and preserving food. Fritz and Ernst head off to explore the island to see if anyone else lives on it or if it is connected to any other lands. While at a distant corner of the island, they again spot the pirates who drove them into the storm; the pirates have captured another ship and have the ship's captain and cabin boy "Bertie" captives for ransom. Fritz and Ernst rescue Bertie but Moreland, Bertie's grandfather, stays behind; the three head back to the family's tree house. En route, they discover that Bertie is Roberta and not a boy at all; the three fend off snakes and hyenas as they head home and rescue a zebra foal lead it home.
They arrive back at the treehouse at Christmas. William decides to make a stand against them. Defenses are prepared by fortifying a rocky outcropping, they blow up the ship's wreckage in an attempt to make it difficult for the pirates to remember where the family went aground. While prepping for the pirate attack and Ernst vie for the affections of Roberta. Ernst is more studious and attempts to impress her with his knowledge and intelligence while Fritz and more experienced, uses his charm and physical attributes to attract her. Fritz and Ernst come to blows over her and are stopped only by the intervention of William, he declares the next day. While prepping for the race Elizabeth fires the gun to signal the start of the race. Led by their captain the pirates storm the island, the family manages a brave defense but are sorely pressed, their defenses include pits with a tiger in one pit, rock piles, a log pile and coconut bombs all of which cause problems for the attacking pirates. When the pirate leader waves a white flag the family imagines they have routed the pirates, but the pirates instead are sneaking around the back of the fort.
Francis' much-maligned. They are soon down to only a few shots with their muskets. At this critical moment, a ship appears on the horizon captained by Roberta's grandfather captain Moreland and fires its cannons while the retreating pirates are trying to make a desperate escape; the cannon fire hits the pirate ship. William and Francis choose to remain on the island with Duke and Francis' collection of animals while Moreland notes that William will be recommended as governor of the new colony; as for the rest of the family, Ernst chooses to return to Europe with the rescuers in order to enroll in a university to continue his studies while Fritz and Roberta plan to marry and make New Switzerland their home. John Mills as William Robinson Dorothy McGuire as Elizabeth Robinson James MacArthur as Fritz Robinson Janet Munro as Roberta "Bertie" Sessue Hayakawa as Kuala, the Pirate Captain Tommy Kirk as Ernst Robinson Kevin Corcoran as Francis Robinson Cecil Parker as Captain Moreland Andy Ho as Auban Milton Reid as the Big Pirate Larry Taylor as another Pirate The film is based upon Der Schweizerische Robinson, a book written by Johann David Wyss.
RKO Pictures had made an adaptation in 1940, directed by Edward Ludwig. After watching that movie, Walt Disney and Bill Anderson decided to produce their own version of the story. Anderson talked with director Ken Annakin during filming