Films featuring
Donald Moffat

Clear and Present Danger

The course of action I’d suggest is a course of action I can’t suggest.

The Hunt for Red October is still the gold standard for film adaptations of Tom Clancy novels, but this third installment, the second with Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan, is only second by a narrow margin and widely superior to the previous Patriot Games and the subsequent Sum of All Fears.

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being

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Philip Kaufman‘s adaptation of Milan Kudera‘s novel is a long, erotic rumination on the nature of freedom, personal, political and sexual. It follows an informal triangle involving a womanizing surgeon named Tomas (Daniel Day Lewis), his shy, sensitive wife, Tereza (Juliette Binoche), and his free-spirited lover, Sabina (Lena Olin), through the Prague Spring of 1968, the brutal Soviet crackdown and its aftermath.

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The Right Stuff

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If nothing else, The Right Stuff could go down in history as the movie that could have elected a President. At a time when the Democratic party was looking for a viable candidate to challenge Ronald Reagan in 1984, the image of Ed Harris as John Glenn, the squeaky clean All-American with the can-do attitude filled them with hope that the real former astronaut turned senator could help them re-capture the White House. I think the film may have actually hurt Glenn in the long run. While he was an American hero, a capable senator and probably would have made an able president, to paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen, he’s no Ed Harris, at least not in the charisma department.

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Unfortunately, all the focus on political ramifications had nothing to do with the actual film, which seemed to get lost in the shuffle. Too bad, because it’s one of the best films of the 1980s, taking real life personalities and molding them into something like a modern American myth.

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