The other DVD, the final of the 240 odd rented over the past two and a half years and was called the Pride and the Glory. This proved to another film of the well covered police going wrong in the N Y PD although this time the battle was fought within the system with the son of a much respected former cop under pressure to protect the career minded brother in law whose wife has cancer and turns a long blind eye to members of his team who move from taking protection and bribe money to dealing in drugs, committing murder and tipping off the drug dealers which leads to four police being slaughtered The film tries to make a grey entertainment out people who and are bad, weak and sometimes evil. The film is overlong and difficult to follow and is not rescued by some good acting especially and the most rotten of gang played by Colin Farrell of Ballykissangel fame. The experience was depressing.
It is just as well that I had still the memory of a wonderful film starring Joanne Woodward called Summer Wishes Winter Dreams. Joanne is a middle aged housewife with two children who have left home and has a sense of impending doom, a sense of failure and that her life is over. She has lunch once a week with her mother, an event which has become a duty and when her mother dies from a heart attack while watching together a film by Ingmar Bergman she is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. She inherits part of the family farm which she does not want to sell having a bitter argument with her sister and brother in law who want to make sue of the capital it could provide. Her husband understand the turmoil and emotional state she in and persuades her to accompany him on a trip to London when she gets into further difficult. He tries to express his love but the gulf between them has become wide. It is only when she accompanies him to Belgium to visit the reminders of the Second World War and the scene where he killed three German soldiers.
He explains that after this experience he vowed not to waste a moment of his life. I know that feeling so well although it remains a challenge to maintaining such an outlook year upon year and decade upon decade. She understands his experience and reaction and puts into perspective her own experience. She decides to sell the farm and also to accept that her gay son who is living in Paris and happy is unable to see them, although he maintain regular communication with their daughter. It is not surprising to learn that Joanne was nominated for a best actress Oscar for this 1973 performance or that she was given the Bafta.
Another unknown film to me which also included a brilliant performance from a female actress is Love Pain and the Whole Damn Thing. This was also a 1970‘s film (1973) and featured Maggie Smith taking a tour of Spain on her own and encountering a shy young Asthmatic also a loner who is sent on a biking holiday by his father. The film brilliant explores the developing relationship between the two and after a moment of passion the young man takes the initiative and hires a small touring caravan where after an small accident they find themselves taken up with by the local Duke of a Castle who takes a shine to Maggie which focuses the young man on what he wants from the relationship. At this point Maggie reveals she has an incurable illness and the film ends as the two go off to make the most of whatever time they can have together. When I saw that the young man is played by Timothy Bottoms it will be appreciated that the film is scripted as a comedy, but is redeemed by the performance of Maggie Smith.