Bertolucci tells the story of the first half of the 20th-century through the lives of a pair of friends born on the same day, one a peasant (Gerard Depardieu) and one an aristocrat (Robert De Niro). As the friends grow up and grow apart, their experiences encompass the changing political and economic climate of Italy, and of Europe as a whole. Donald Sutherland and Burt Lancaster also star in this stunning combination of the intimate and the epic.
Dir: Michael Cimino
From the opening scenes of hunter Robert De Niro and friends Christopher Walken, John Savage and John Cazale stalking deer in the mist-shrouded Pennsylvania hills, to the shattering prisoner-of-war games in the jungles of Vietnam, director Michael Cimino's masterwork is a sprawling, ambitious epic of men wounded by pride, country and friendship, struggling to drag each other back to a place of safety. Co-starring Meryl Streep. Winner of five Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor (Walken).
Dir: Ulu Grosbard
Circa 1948, Robert Duvall is a hard-nosed cop and Robert De Niro is his brother, an enterprising monsignor rising behind the scenes with high-powered Catholic members of Los Angeles’ political elite. When a young actress is gruesomely murdered (à la the Black Dahlia), Duvall believes one of De Niro’s high-profile parishioners, pimp-turned-building contractor Jack Amsterdam (Charles Durning), may be involved. Issues of family, guilt, moral responsibility and hypocrisy collide in screenwriter John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion’s screenplay from Dunne’s novel. Director Ulu Grosbard focuses on character and the personal terrain of missed emotional and spiritual opportunities, rather than making a standard whodunit, something that led critics to damn the movie with faint praise. One of the great lost films of the 1980s.