Finnegan On Films: True Stories To Enthrall On Netflix

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Our movie guy, James Finnegan, has some fantastic films of true stories to recommend on Netflix…

AT this unique time, we can only imagine how current events will be depicted in years to come in films and books.

After all, there is a great tradition of true life stories being brought to the screen, where facts, people and events are changed, amalgamated and ignored to entertain us.

However in this week’s selection from Netflix, there is more that is accurate than invented.

For those of you who are feeling particularly stir-crazy, I offer you the World War Two film The Great Escape (1963).

We are now twice as far from its release as it was from the event itself, but this great ensemble of a film is as popular as ever, especially with its annual Christmas broadcast.

A uniformed cast of Richard Attenborough, James Garner, Donald Pleasance, James Coburn, David McCallum, Charles Bronson with Steven McQueen going around in a vest and chinos with his baseball mitt and riding a motorbike as the epitome of cool, bring this adventure story to dramatic life.  Just don’t be getting any ideas of digging tunnels out of the house!

By now you might have caught up with last week’s recommendation of The Irishman.  This week, I am recommending what I consider one of the best gangster films of all time, Goodfellas (1990).

Directed by Martin Scorsese, this is based on the Nicholas Pileggi book “Wiseguy”, and tells the story of Henry Hill, played by Ray Liotta.

Hill is impressed with the supposed glamorous life of the local gangsters, notably Jimmy ‘the Gent’ Conway (Robert de Niro) and Tommy de Vito (Joe Pesci).  However, everything comes at a price, especially if you break the loyalty to the family.

Erin Brockovich (2000) is the multi–award winning film starring Julia Roberts in the title role.

Erin is an unemployed single mother of three.  After an unsuccessful legal case, she demands a job from her lawyer Ed Masry, played by the late, great Albert Finney.

She is diligent, but unconventional, and while working on a real estate case discovers that Pacific Gas and Electric, a major US Corporation, is poisoning the environment around the local town of Hinkley, causing widespread cancers among the population.

On her own imitative, she investigates the various cases even though she has no formal legal qualifications.  Well worth a watch.

If you are missing the great outdoors, you might reconsider after watching Everest (2015). This follows the stories of two commercial expedition groups climbing Everest in 1996 for various personal reasons.

Unfortunately, circumstances and events begin to work against them, and it becomes a battle for survival in one of the most inhospitable places on the planet.

A fine cast including Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, Robin Wright and Emily Watson are excellent, and this makes the mountaineering experience very real.

You come away with an admiration and appreciation for those who dedicate themselves to this activity, if not necessarily a wish to join them. Enjoy and Stay safe.

One Comment

  1. Matty O'Leary says:

    Goodfellas is the best.
    Exclusive Henry Hill Interview: