Top Ten Sydney Pollack Movies

Sydney Pollack has died recently after a life full of successes in the world of cinema. He's been a great actor, director and producer.

In the 60s he also worked on theater and television. He was the director of series like "The Fugitive" and "Alfred Hitchcock Presents". But with no doubts he harvested his highest successes as a director of movies.

Following, here you are a selection of his best movies as a director.

1- Tootsie

2- The Firm

3- Absence Of Malice

4- Jeremiah Johnson

5- Out Of Africa

6- They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

7- The Yakuza

8- The Way We Were

9- The Interpreter

10- Sabrina

Tootsie, Pollack directed this movie in 1982. It is starred by Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange (who won an Oscar for this movie), Geena Davis... Pollack himself had a part in this movie.
The plot is the following. A new yorker actor doesn't find good jobs in his profession. He has a strong personality, he's too much perfectionist and nobody wants to hire him. But dressing like a woman his luck changes. But this also has its disadvantages. A film full of funny gags.

The Firm, Directed by Pollack in 1993. Based on a novel by John Grisham. Starred by Tom Cruise, Gene Hackman, Holley Hunter, Ed Harris...
McDeere (Tom Cruise) is a lawyer that has just graduated. For his talent, a successful future awaits him. He arrives to a law firm, and they give him many honors, presents and promises.
But McDeere suspects that there's something strange.

Absence Of Malice, Directed by Pollack in 1981, and starred by Paul Newman, Sally Field, Melinda Dillon... An ambitious journalist accuses a gangster's son of the disappearance of a man. The gangster's son makes a plan for demonstrating that he's innocent and getting revenge on the journalist.

Jeremiah Johnson, Directed by Pollack in 1972. A brilliant performance by Robert Redford.
Jeremiah Johnson (Redford), tired of the violence of the Mexican war, decides to live in the mountains. There he will have to learn to hunt and fish, and survive in very hard situations.
The movie is based on a novel by Vardis Fisher.

Out Of Africa, Directed by Pollack in 1985. Starred by Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. The movie is based on the novel by Isak Dinesen, and won 7 Oscars.
A couple arrives to Africa to lead a coffee plantation. Africa changes the life of Karen Blixen (Meryl Streep) and his way of seeing life. She falls in love with an attractive adventurer.
There's a detail of the real life of Pollack that coincides with the movie. The main character dies in a plane accident like Pollack's son.

They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, Directed by Pollack in 1969. It is based on a novel by Horace McCoy. Starred by Jane Fonda, Michael Sarrazin, Sussannah York, Gig Young...
Gig Young won an Oscar for this movie.
The story goes around a dance marathon. It's the 30s and it's the Depression era. Many see the marathon as a way of finding a solution for their personal situation. But others, who are more lucky, just enjoy watching the spectacle.

The Yakuza, Directed by Pollack in 1975. It is considered as a classic of the cinema. Starred by Robert Mitchum and Ken Takakura.
Kilman (Robert Mitchum) returns to Japan to help a friend. The daughter of his friend has been kidnapped by a yakuza (a very dangerous Japanese mafia).

The Way We Were, Directed by Pollack in 1973. Starred by Robert Redford and Barbara Streisand. It won 2 Oscars.
Two college students with a very different personality meet each other and fall in love. They marry very soon, but things don't go right. Maybe their love is not enough.

The Interpreter, Directed by Pollack in 2005. It is starred by Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn. Pollack himself as a part in this movie.
Silvia Proome (Nicole Kidman) is an interpreter. By chance, she hears how some people threatened to kill the President of an African country. She will be in danger too, and will ask protection to a federal agent.

Sabrina, Directed by Pollack in 1995. The soundtrack is by John Williams (ET, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind...). It is starred by Julia Ormond and Harrison Ford.
Sabrina is the daughter of the chauffeur of a wealthy family. After a travel to Paris, Sabrina returns very different. His beauty causes conflicts between the two sons of the Larrabee family.
The movie is a version of a previous movie that was directed by Billy Wilder in 1954, that was starred by Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, and William Holden.

-Emma Alvarez-

© 2008 by Emma Alvarez. Link to this post without copying the text.

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José said...


Pollack was part of those great movie directors who realize - fortunately for the real cinema appreciators - that a good screenplay and good actors to count.
Out of Africa had indeed a great worldwide success.

Have a nice week,


Emma Alvarez said...

I agree Jose :)

Asami said...

i think you'll find it is 'Yakuza' not Jakuza.

Emma Alvarez said...

Oops Asami... I will change it now :) Thank you!

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