Night Crossing (1982)

Director: Delbert Mann

Writer: John McGreevey (Screenplay)

Starring: John Hurt, Jane Alxeander, Doug McKeon, Keith McKeon, Beau Bridges, Glynnis O’Connor


Plot: Two men want to escape from East Germany, but they will only go if they can take their families with them.

Tagline – The East German border: 836 miles of barbed wire walls, automated machine guns, armed guards, and deadly land mines. On September 15, 1979 two families tried to cross it.

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Brave Story


Story: Night Crossing starts as we go to East Germany in 1979, The Strelzyk family, Peter (Hurt), Doris (Alexander), Frank (D.McKeon) and Fitscher (K.McKeon) who are getting tired of not being able to go to the west side of Germany, one they see as fairer. The friendship between this family and the Wetzel’s Gunter (Bridges) and Petra (O’Connor) keeps them strong, while they see the friends trying to escape getting killed.

When Peter comes up with up the idea to build a balloon with Gunter to escape, it will mean working in secret because getting caught will only see him killed. When Gunter leaves for family reasons, Peter must keep the idea within the family for the hope for their future.


Thoughts on Night Crossing


Characters – Peter is a father that has been living with his family in Eastern Germany, he is getting tired of the lack of change or unity with the Western side and decides he wants to risk his family’s life to escape, he plans to build a balloon which would fly over the borders in place. Doris is the wife of Peter, she is reluctant to help at first, but soon sees this being the only option. Gunter is the friend that wants to help build the balloon, only for his wife to push him into staying behind because of the young age of their children. Petra is Gunter’s wife that doesn’t want to risk their infant children with an escape plan so dangerous.

PerformancesJohn Hurt in the leading role is the strongest member of the cast, he shows that even a common man can have the hope required for his character. Jane Alexander and Glynnis O’Connor are both fitting the wife type of role which doesn’t get much else to do. Beau Bridges completes the cast with a performance that shows just how young men would have been affected in this world.

StoryThe story follows two families that work together to find a way to escape East Germany and get into West Germany in the late 70s, they must risk everything for this, which is failing would see them face certain death. this is a story of inspiration that showed us just how much people were willing to risk escaping a land they couldn’t live their natural life without being dictated too, it shows the patience to make it happen and how family can inspire you to risk everything.

Family/HistoryThis might be classed as a family film that is because of the families involved in trying to make this high risk situation happen, the history of their escape is one that could inspire many who were trapped in the land.

SettingsThe film is set in the harsh living conditions the families would have been living in and how secretive their plan would have been to make happen.

Scene of the Movie –
Are we in the West?

That Moment That Annoyed Me It could have been a lot darker.

Final ThoughtsThis is an inspiration story of two family’s determination to make it out of a life which didn’t offer them a true future.


Overall: True story that shows bravery and inspiration.




Diane (2018)

Director: Kent Jones

Writer: Kent Jones (Screenplay)

Starring: Mary Kay Place, Jake Lacy, Estelle Parsons, Andrea Martin, Deirdre O’Connell, Glynnis O’Connor


Plot: Diane fills her days helping others and desperately attempting to bond with her drug-addicted son. As these pieces of her existence begin to fade, she finds herself confronting memories she’d sooner forget than face.


Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Real, Tender & Eye Opening True


Story: Diane starts as we meet Diane (Place) a lady who is seeing her cousin Donna (O’Connell) suffering through cancer, her son Brian (Lacy) wasting his life with his drug abuse, trying to make him return to rehab. Diane spends her days helping people with her friend Bobbie (Martin), while dealing with her own personal problems.

As Diane’s struggle becomes more difficult, she remains calm, being forced into making the biggest decision about Brian, whether to continue to help him while suffering abuse from him and seeing life change around her at such a pace.


Thoughts on Diane


Characters – Diane is a middle-aged woman that keeps herself busy, by visiting sick relatives, helping the homeless or showing her love towards her drug abusive son. She sees her life going past fast, people leaving, changing, making her life harder to process, while still dealing with the mistakes from her past. Diane is a character that shows how difficult loneliness can be in a parent, you start to see friends passing on, feeling helpless and regretting their past. Brian is the son of Diane’s he is a drug abuser that can’t shake his addition and is getting tired of his mother trying to help him, causing him to be abusive toward her, he does need to sort his life out before it is too late. Bobbie is the best friend who helps Diane with the charity work, she gives her advice on Brian and tries to make her enjoy her own life, not to worry as much. We have lots of different characters that are part of Diane’s life, they have their own lives which makes hers harder to find time for them.

PerformancesMary Kay Place is fantastic, we follow her in every single scene, seeing how her character must react to everything going on in her life, we feel her struggles, understand her mistakes and just want to see her happy. The supporting cast includes Jake Lacy as the son, who pulls off both versions of him with ease, Estelle Parsons, Andrea Martin and Deirdre O’Connell who just shine when they get to share the spotlight with Mary.

StoryThe story follows the everyday life of Diane, a middle-aged woman that is seeing her friends getting ill, her son spiralling out of control and time being spent on helping the homeless. The story does show us how life can become more difficult at the middling to later ages in life, how you can start to become isolated, forcing you to reach out to everyone in your life. It shows the realism that can come from this situation and shows us just how difficult the life can be, you do see these situations being real and the struggles can be felt by many. The way this story is shot, makes us want to see the best for Diane, who has always tried to do the best for everyone in her life.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show the everyday life for Diane, ones you can see her using to make herself feel happy.

Scene of the Movie –
Reunited at the diner.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It was difficult to read the notes Diane was leaving.

Final ThoughtsThis is a tender look at life for a woman that has been seeing everything around her life changing, Mary Kay Place gives a brilliant performance that stands head and shoulders above the rest.


Overall: Brilliant look at life.