• Martin Sheen in 'Badlands'. (SBS Movies)Source: SBS Movies
Celebrate the best of American cinema with this collection, now streaming at SBS On Demand.
3 Jul 2017 - 2:51 PM  UPDATED 4 Jul 2017 - 10:48 AM



United States of America, 1973
Genre: Crime, Drama
Language: English, Spanish
Director: Terrence Malick
Starring: Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek, Ramon Bieri, Warren Oates, Alan Vint, Charles Fitzpatrick, Gary Littlejohn, John Carter, Bryan Montgomery, Terrence Malick, Charlie Sheen, Emilio Estevez
What's it about?
Terrence Malick's debut film is widely considered one of the best crime films of all time. It typifies the auteur spirit thriving in 1970s Hollywood, for its poetic take on a true crime killing spree by a '50s teen and her greaser boyfriend. 

Dog Day Afternoon

United States of America, 1975
Genre: LGBT, Crime, Drama, Thriller
Language: English
Director: Sidney Lumet
Starring: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Charles Durning 
What's it about?
Al Pacino is a desperate man resorting to desperate measures for love, in Sidney Lumet's gripping crime classic. An attempted bank robbery goes awry on a hot summer's day and a hostage situation escalates into a media circus. Lumet directs with a naturalistic style, and keeps his story of cops, robbers, gawkers and hostages, free of any bad guys. 

My Own Private idaho

Genre: Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Transgender, Queer
Language: English
Director: Gus Van Sant
Starring: Keanu Reeves, River Phoenix
What's it about?
A road movie like no other, and a testament to the talent of its late star, River Phoenix. Gus Van Sant pairs Phoenix with his spiritual soulmate Keanu Reeves in this loose adaptation of Henry IV, which ruminates on love, destiny, inheritance, hustling and narcolepsy. 

All the President's Men

United States of America, 1976
Genre: Drama, History, Mystery, Thriller
Language: Spanish, English
Director: Alan J. Pakula
Starring: Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam, Hal Holbrook, Jason Robards, Jane Alexander
What's it about?
The definitive story of how dogged investigative journalism pieced together the Watergate scandal that brought down a president. Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman play Washington Post reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, as they follow a lead about a minor break-in at the Democratic Party National headquarters. The film won Oscars in 1977 for its screenplay and for the supporting actor turn from Jason Robards (as the Post's editor Ben Bradlee). As relevant today as ever. 

Empire of the Sun

PG, 1988
Genre: Drama, War
Language: [language]
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Joe Pantoliano
What's it about?
The war in the Pacific becomes frighteningly personal in Steven Spielberg's adaptation of J.G. Ballard's semi-autobiographical novel. A young English ex-pat (Christian Bale) experiences a reversal of fortune as he is separated from his family under the Japanese occupation of Shanghai, and grows up fast as he sees out World War II in an internment camp.

From the archives: The Movie Show interviews 14 year-old Christian Bale 

The Searchers

United States of America, 1956
Genre: Western
Language: Spanish, English, Navajo
Director: John Ford
Starring: John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles, Natalie Wood, Ward Bond
What's it about?
A troubling masterpiece from America's King of the Western, John Ford.  John Wayne plays Civil War veteran Ethan Edwards, whose devotion to searching for his abducted niece is at first heroic, and finally, obsessive. His hatred of Native Americans is palpable, and neither Ford nor his star soften the edges of what amounts to a murderous fixation.   

Full Metal Jacket

MA15+, 1987
Genre: Drama, War
Language: English
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Starring: Matthew Modine, Vincent D'Onofrio, Adam Baldwin, R. Lee Ermey 
What's it about?
New York-born Stanley Kubrick turned his perfectionist's lens to the dehumanising effects of war. This provocative film about Vietnam-bound marines being turned into trained killers is just one of a number of Kubrick films you can stream at SBS On Demand. 

From the archives: The Movie Show reviews Full Metal Jacket


The Thin Blue Line

PG, 1988
Genre: Documentary
Director: Errol Morris
What's it about?
The original 'true crime' documentary picks apart the botched investigation surrounding the murder of a police officer, which left an innocent man languishing on death row. Morris blends candid first-person interviews and cinematic flourishes in repetitive re-enactments, to propose alternate scenarios and ultimately bring about real world change. 

The Thin Blue Line review: Story of wrongful conviction is meticulous, masterful


SBS VICELAND: American Indies season
Popular recent American independent films screening every Saturday on SBS Viceland throughout July.

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