Movies – S

Savage Innocents, The (1961)

Visually stunning – colour and Cinemascope allow director Nicholas Ray to dwell to his heart’s content on endless expanses of snow, looming white icebergs and the blue Arctic Ocean – The Savage Innocents features Anthony Quinn as an Eskimo who may or may not have provided the inspiration for the Bob Dylan song Quinn The Eskimo. Inuk (Quinn)(…)

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

American soldiers land on Omaha Beach during the D-Day landings in World War II, with multiple deaths from German fire. An army captain (Tom Hanks) has been assigned to take his squad of seven men into France to find Private Ryan (Matt Damon), whose three brothers have been killed in combat, and get him home(…)

Say Anything (1989)

Not deemed worthy of a UK cinema release, this intelligent little gem stems from the pen of the author of Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) and is a cleverly formatted teenage romance in which nothing is quite as it seems. John Cusack stars as Lloyd Dobler (and his sister Joan guests, playing his character’s sister), an(…)

Scandal (1989)

Back in 1963, the British public was stunned to learn that War Minister John Profumo had been sharing the sexual favours of model-showgirl Christine Keeler with Soviet naval attache (and suspected Russian spy) Eugene Ivanov. The three had been brought together by Stephen Ward, a social-climbing London osteopath who had also coaxed Keeler’s blonde friend Mandy Rice-Davies into(…)

Scanners (1981)

Evil Michael Ironside and derelict Stephen Lack are the leaders of two rival groups of telepaths – or “scanners” – in this modern horror classic from David Cronenberg, in which he seamlessly blends the genres of science fiction and conspiracy thriller into an exhilarating ride. While the stunning (and occasionally stomach-churning) set pieces, such as(…)

Scarecrow (1973)

Gruff ex-con Max (Gene Hackman) and a drifter called Lion (Al Pacino) hook up on a deserted, wind-swept California highway, become friends and travel east together, with the former dreaming of opening a car wash and the latter hoping to reconcile with the wife and child he abandoned in Detroit five years ago. Together they learn(…)

Scarface (1983)

“He loved the American Dream. With a vengeance”. Brian DePalma’s gut-busting remake of Howard Hawks’ 1932 gangster melodrama, Scarface sets out to disgust, sicken and horrify the audience with a rampage of violence, bloodshed and carnage. It accomplishes this beyond debate. Chicago is now Miami, beer is now cocaine, and Tony Camonte, the Italian hood, is now(…)

Scarlet Blade, The (1963)

During the English Civil War in 1648, King Charles I is captured by Roundhead forces led by the tyrant Colonel Judd (Lionel Jeffries) and his right-hand man Captain Sylvester (Oliver Reed). A band of Royalists – led by Edward Beverley (Jack Hedley), whose exploits earn him the title of ‘The Scarlet Blade’ – plot to rescue the(…)

Scars of Dracula, The (1970)

Christopher Lee thinks this is his weakest Dracula sequel, but Hammer horror fans like it because the Count has more screen time here than in any other episode. There’s also a palpable dark fairy-tale atmosphere achieved by director Roy Ward Baker as Dracula tries sinking his fangs into naive Transylvanian travellers Dennis Waterman and Jenny(…)

Scent Of A Woman (1992)

A blind, hard-drinking war veteran (Al Pacino) pays a timid college student (Chris O’Donnell) to accompany him on a weekend break in New York, where he plans to sample life’s luxuries over the Thanksgiving weekend. However, the unworldly teenage escort is shocked to learn that at the end of their trip, his new friend plans(…)

Schindler’s List (1993)

It took Steven Spielberg ten years and $23 million to get the 1983 book by Thomas Keneally – about a Nazi who saved 1100 Jews from the gas chambers and furnaces of the Holocaust – onto the screen. In the interim, he gave us flying saucers, dinosaurs and Peter Pan – but there is nothing(…)

School For Scoundrels (1960)

Based on Stephen Potter’s popular books, this hit-and-miss comedy just about passes muster thanks to the willing performances of Ian Carmichael and Terry-Thomas. Henry Palfrey (Carmichael), one of life’s losers, decides to take lessons in one-upmanship when the girl he loves is won over by the caddish Raymond Delauney (Thomas). There are some amusing moments(…)

Scobie Malone (1975)

Jack Thompson stars as Detective Sergeant Scobie Malone, who is investigating the death of high-class prostitute Helga Brand in a story based on a novel called Helga’s Web by Australian author Jon Cleary. The body is found in the basement of the Sydney Opera House and Helga turns out to have had a sideline in blackmail –(…)

Scorpio Rising (1964)

Chromed, customised motorcycles are the raidon d’etre of biker Scorpio and his true-to-life technicolor gang of greaser dandies, whose posturing and partying are masterfully cut with images both iconic and iconoclastic (Marlon Brando, Bela Lugosi, comic books, cigarettes, skulls, saints and Jesus Christ) over an uninterrupted half-hour loop of 1963 pop hits from Elvis Presley‘s (You’re The) Devil(…)

Scream (1996)

Director Wes Craven’s intelligent reinvention of the slasher genre sees a sick maniac on the loose in a small suburban town, murdering anyone who gets horror trivia questions wrong. Gleefully exploring the relationship between gore movies and their core audience, this terrific shocker exposes the genre’s knee-jerk devices, while still offering gasps galore – and(…)