Tuesday, February 20, 2018

OCTOBER (1927, SOVIET UNION)


                                                                             
   Lenin leads the charge in October

"It is clever, but a bore. It is kaleidoscopic, so much so that when months seem to have passed since one saw a man with a flag of truce, you find he is still sitting there in the same position awaiting an answer...There is crammed into this film enough for a half dozen productions, but most of the episodes are unfinished...Some of the action is a little muddled, but where Eisenstein does masterful work is in those scenes with hundreds and hundreds of people. It really seems as if they were part of the revolution, as if the scenes belonged in a newsreel."-Mordaunt Hall, New York Times, November 3, 1928.

I largely agree with many of the points of the above review comrades. I didn't like this film as much as Potemkin or Strike, as I began to shake me head after awhile trying to keep up with the mass of characters in this epic production. But Eisenstein's big scenes are still something to behold and were understandably influential to the ever growing cinematic language.-Comrade Cox, 1001: A Film Odyssey

Thursday, February 15, 2018

STRIKE (1924, SOVIET UNION)

Scene from Sergei Eisenstein's Strike

"His (Director Sergei Eisenstein) first film, Strike (1924), revealed the bold, broad strokes of a new film master. From the film's opening montage sequence-of whirring machines, spinning gears, factory whistles, of traveling shots along the length of the factory complex, of dynamic, dizzying movement-the film proclaimed that a brilliant cinematic imagination was at work."-Gerald Mass, A Short History of the Movies, p. 57.

Eisenstein's most famous film is probably always going to remain Potemkin, but the earlier Strike is a memorable film in it's own right. The montage and editing that he would use so famously in Potemkin is in evidence here as well. And the story about the fat cats doing everything they can to squash the will of their workers certainly has more than a ring of truth to it.-Comrade Cox, 1001: A Film Odyssey

Thursday, February 8, 2018

THE LONG GOODBYE (1973), PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID (1973)


FILMS OF 1973

Elliot Gould as Marlowe and Arnold as Arnold in The Last Goodbye

Robert Altman's take on Phillip Marlowe with Elliot Gould as the detective I think may appeal more to Robert Altman devotees more than Raymond Chandler fans. I think Gould does a pretty good job as the grouchy detective who never seems to let anything ruffle his feathers too much. One Altman touch in The Long Goodbye is that he really lets his actors go on with their dialogue longer than anyone this side of John Casavettes. One oration by Sterling Hayden did make me ask if this scene would ever end! Hey, but got to appreciate any movie with a supporting part from Ball Four author Jim Bouton and an early role for Arnold Schwarzenegger as a hood!

Bob Dylan shows his angry side in Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid

Probably the most prominent role in a feature film for Bob Dylan is the part of Alias in Sam Peckinpah's Western, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. In the screen shot above, we have Dylan performing perhaps the only action scene of this movie career, knocking out a bad guy in front of Sheriff Pat Garrett… (His major action scene only if you don't count his rage over who broke the glass in Don't Look Back). And what Dylan fan can ever forget the scene when Alias is forced to name all the cans on the general store shelf?

I think the film looks good overall, as most Peckinpah films seem to date well to me. They were often criticized for their violence during their initial release, but do they even come close to the violence in a Tarnatino movie? I think his violence is well played and the way he handles it is effective. James Coburn and Kris Kristofferson star in the title roles to good effect. Thanks 1001 book for including this one and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia!

The Long Goodbye and Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid made the 1001 list. Here are some other movies from 1973 that I've seen in the past that did not make the 1001 cut.

1.Godspell
Hippie Jesus musical, Part 1…This sort of retelling of the Christ story in a contemporary early 70’s setting may seem a little dated today, but I still think the last supper with Dixie cups is kinda groovy. I haven't seen it since it premiered on television in the 70's..and it may be one to see again. I did watch the video for the signature song of the film, Day by Day this morning and currently have an earworm because of it.


Godspell: Follow Thee More Nearly

2. Jesus Christ, Superstar
Hippie Jesus Musical, Part II…Norman Jewison's take on Andrew Lloyd Webber is high on the hippie factor, but misses the boat on most of the music. I wasn't a fan of the musical until I saw it on stage in the late 90's (With original movie Jesus Ted Neely still playing the role!). I also like the 2000 theater adaptation available on a youtube screen near you.

Ted Neely as Jesus in Jesus Christ, Superstar-
He resurrected (sorry) the role for the stage
in a 1997 stage adaptation I went to.

3. Bang the Drum Slowly-Pretty cool to see Robert De Niro as a young, hick baseball player. Also, pretty depressing to see Robert De Niro as a young, hick, terminally ill baseball player. It's sad, but has something to say about unlikely friendships and coming through for your mates. (Sorry if that sounds cornball, as Michael Moriarty's character from the movie says about the song The Streets of Laredo). And don't call it a baseball version of Brian's Song or I'll have to throw you one high and inside.

Now catching 
for the New York Mammoths...Bobby De Niro!
in Bang the Drum Slowly
4. Scarecrow
Probably the prototype of a low-budget, early seventies, indie-type, character study picture with big stars in humble roles (Gene Hackman and Al Pacino in this case). I’ve seen this again recently and it wasn’t bad, but honestly didn’t blow my away, but I think it's still worth a watch.


Hackman! Pacino! Scarecrow!

5. O, Lucky Man!
When I think of the offbeat Lindsay Anderson film O, Lucky Man! starring Malcolm McDowll, I think of my friend who took a date to this movie only to have her begin punching him in outrage over a lost two hours after they left the theater. I guess she wasn’t looking for something quite that different. The highlight for me are the collection of fine songs by the film's musical troubadour, Alan Price..


If you have a friend of whom you think you can rely
you are a lucky man...Alan Price in O, Lucky Man


6.Cinderella Liberty
One of those that been so long since I've seen it that I don't remember that much about it other than I really liked Marsha Mason in it.
James Caan and Marsha Mason
in Cinderella Liberty



7. Battle for the Planet of the Apes
The fifth and final leg of the original Planet of the Apes film series brings back memories of diminutive singer Paul Williams singing a romantic ballad on The Tonight Show decked out in full ape makeup.

Not the best of the series, but it does at least tie things together fairly satisfactorily.

Roddy McDowell, Austin Stoker and Paul Williams
in Battle for the Planet of the Apes



All the ape movies were satirized in Mad
in the March '73 issue.
8. Ssssss
And NOW…(imagine this followed by a hissing sound)…That's what I remember about the introduction to the network premiere of this film about a guy that turns into a snake...I think. I don't remember too much about this, but I have seen the 50's B-film  Alligator People fairly recently and it seems like roughly the same plot.


Ssssss...reminding me a bit of Tod Browning's
Freaks in this still.

9. Class of '44
The largely forgotten sequel to Summer of '42, features the boys from the original film (Gary Grimes, Jerry Houser, and Oliver Conant) making their way to college this time out. This sequel has seemed to largely be forgotten, though the fact that it was parodied in MAD magazine in 1973 as Clods of '44 is worthy of note.

Life after Jennifer O'Neill...Gary Grimes looks for love
in Class of '44
9. Magnum Force
Clint Eastwood's second go round as Dirty Harry about Callahan dealing with renegade cops may be the best written (John Milius and Michael Cimino) of all the films in this series. "Man's gotta know his limitations.”


Clint Eastwood and friend in
Magnum Force

10. Manson
Insightful documentary on the Charles Manson murders that really couldn't have been made the way it was if it had come out later than 1973, as it still had a certain “hippie” vibe to it. Former Manson follower Paul Watkins embodies this in his admission that he followed Manson because he thought Charlie was Jesus Christ! But Paul turned  against Manson and even performed a folk song in the documentary. We also get to see several at large Manson girls interviewed, including the pretty darned frightening Squeaky Fromme, a couple of years before she attempted to shoot Gerald Ford.


Manson: Squeaky Fromme and friend during her post Manson family,
pre-assassination period

11. Theatre of Blood
Vincent as a high strung actor seeking revenge on his critics makes for very creepy fun. I'm hopeful no dogs were harmed when Vinnie makes one of the critics eat his own....well, never mind


I don't remember the context of this scene with
Vincent Price from Theatre of Blood,
but it definitely makes me
want to revisit.


12. The Paper Chase
Drama about one student's (Mr. Hart) rigorous first year of Harvard law school and his dealing with larger than life legal professor, Kingsfield. One of my favorite films of the seventies and I also watched the series of the same name which began on network TV in the late 70's and finally got Hart graduated on Showtime during the late 80's. Also, check out Scott Turow's book, One L, for a real life version of The Paper Chase.


Kingsfield gives Hart a dime to call his mother
in one of my favorite moments from The Paper Chase




13. Sisters
Hey! This Brian De Palma movie had me at Margot Kidder as Siamese Twins!


Margot Kidder and friend
in Sisters

14. The Neptune Factor
Don't honestly remember much about this film about an underwater rescue mission. I so associate Ben Gazzara for John Cassavetes movies that I might have trouble accepting him in a more commercial type movie if I watched it now. Having Yvette Mimieux is along for the ride is always a plus..


Ernest Borgnie, Yvette Mimieux and Ben Gazzara discuss
different acting techniques in The Neptune Factor



15. Soylent Green
Futuristic tale based on Harry Harrison's Make Room, Make Room depicts a future where there are immense shortages of food…But everybody sure seems to like these Soylent Green bars! Charlton Heston stars in one of several Sci-Fi films he made during this period. Edward G. Robinson (in his last film) has a death scene that I found quite moving and is probably the best scene in the whole movie.


Edward G. Robinson and Charlton Heston
discuss the limited dinner options in Soylent Green


16. Westworld
Michael Crichton's original "amusement park gone horribly wrong" movie was a film that I was very excited about seeing at the time. After my most recent viewing, it didn’t quite hold up as well as I would have liked, but how can you beat Yul Brynner as the robotic gunslinger? It's definitely better than the sequel, Futureworld.


"Draw!" Yul Brynner is Westworld


17. Walking Tall
Joe Don Baker as the ass-kicking sheriff Buford Pusser was definitely a movie to go to at the time. Joe Don magically disappeared from the sequels (I guess to make Mitchell?) and Bo Svenson took over the ass-kicking sheriff role.

For lack of a more acceptable term, I called the 70’s movie genre of Walking Tall…redneck movies. Maybe they were a counterweight to blaxpotation movies of the same era. Burt Reynolds was in most of them, but a few of them, like Dixie Dynamite, Sixpack Annie and High-Ballin’ were Reynoldsless.



Joe Don! Walking Tall! Any Questions?


18. White Lightning
...and speaking of rural heroes...You can't list movies from 1973 without having at least one Burt Reynolds movie. Burt is Gator McKlusky in White Lightning and is an ex-con moonshiner going after redneck sheriff Ned Beatty (Burt and Ned have a different interaction dynamic here than in Deliverance, of course). Gator survives  his ordeals in this film and returns in a 1976 sequel just called Gator.

Note on Bo Hopkins: It really seemed liked actor Bo Hopkins popped up with great frequency in many a movie and TV show during the seventies. He almost always seemed to play a ne'er do well with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth (Like below). Bo's most memorable role to me is as the leader of the gang that harasses Richard Dreyfuss in American Graffiti. Also look for Bo in The Wild Bunch, Midnight Express and a slew of TV shows.

Burt and Bo in White Lightning

Bo Hopkins doesn't like that Richard Dreyfuss was
sitting on the hood of his car in American Graffiti.


19. Paper Moon
I'm a bit surprised Peter Bogdanavich's nostalgic black and white ode to a father and daughter con team didn't make the 1001 movie book.

Tatum O'Neal and Ryan O'Neal in Paper Moon
Tatum picked up an Academy Award for this at age 10

The 1974 TV show version of Paper Moon
starring Christopher Connelly and Jodie Foster
lasted 13 episodes. Foster's Academy Awards
would have to wait for a few years.

Like Class of '44, Paper Moon made the cut for being satirized by MAD magazine.

 The cover of my January 1974
issue of Mad magazine

 which featured a classic
Siegel/Drucker satire
of Paper Moon.

This issue also features a
Torres/De Bartolo satire
of Kung Fu...but I digress


 20. The Last Detail
Speaking of movies that should have made the 1001 movie cut...How about this Hal Ashby comedy with Jack Nicholson as a foul-mouthed sailor on leave film for inclusion next time?

Introspective Jack Nicholson in 
The Last Detail

21. Charlotte’s Web
The beloved E. B. White classic found an animated home in this film which featured Debbie Reynolds as Charlotte, Henry Gibson as Wilbur the pig, Paul Lynde as Templeton the mouse and Agnes Moorehead as The Goose. Waltons creator Earl Hamner Jr. is listed in the screenplay credits. For extra credit read the book. For extra EXTRA credit read The Elements of Style by E. B. White and William Skrunk Jr.!...Or at least watch Babe again.


Animal Farm...I mean Charlotte's Web

22. The World’s Greatest Athlete
This had to be about the only Disney movie from the era that didn't have either Kurt Russell or Dean Jones in it. It did have John Amos and Tim Conway as a couple of coaches who discover Jan-Michael Vincent in Africa who they recruit to become the titular character. He comes equipped with a pet tiger and develops a romantic interest (Dayle Haddon, who of course is named Jane). When I first saw it, I still remember the biggest laugh of the movie comes when Howard Cosell has a basket of trash dumped on his head.

This might not be one to rewatch...I don't know if the positive memories will hold up.



White men can run.,.
Jan Michael-Vincent in The World's Greatest Athlete


23. Robin Hood
Disney's animated take on Robin Hood was one I missed the first time out, but I saw it plenty of times years later with my son when he was little (Ah, the magic of VHS). It's fun, highlighted by Phil Harris bascially resurrecting his Balou the Bear role from The Jungle Book as Little John.


Robin Hood and Little John appear to be about
to sing The Bear Necessities in Robin Hood...but
I'm pretty sure they aren't

24. Live and Let Die
My first theatrical James Bond experience was a double feature of Live and Let Die and The Man With the Golden Gun...Roger Moore's first two go rounds as 007. I still like Moore in the role, though he certainly has his detractors. (Yes, you can like Roger Moore AND Sean Connery. You can even like Timothy Dalton if it pleases you to do so!) I did think it interesting for the time that the heavies in Live and Let Die were black. 


Roger as 007 and Jane Seymour as the Bond Girl
in Live and Let Die

As a Beatle fan, I did get own the McCartney/Wings
45 of course!


25. Lost Horizon
I'm sure doing a musical adaptation of Lost Horizon seemed like a good idea at the time.

I'm sure having Michael York, George Kennedy, Peter Finch and Sally Kellerman (pictured below) in a musical seemed like a good idea at the time. I'm sure having award winning composers Burt Bachrach and Hal David doing the music seemed like a good idea at the time. I'm sure having successful producer Ross Hunter at the helm seemed like a good idea at the time....But they were wrong...I do want to see it again just to see if it somehow looks better after all this time.


Lost Horizon: Bobby Van (far right) at least had some musical background

Lost Horizon did get the Mad Magazine (Least Horizon) in the December 1973 issue.


This MAD issue featured a spoof
on Lost Horizon AND Class of '44!
Wish I still had my copy.



26. My Name is Nobody
After listing this...I realized I might be thinking of another Terrence Hill spaghetti Western call They Call Me Trinity or Trinity Is Still My Name starring Hill and his longtime screen partner Bud Spencer. My Name is Nobody co-starred Henry Fonda...just a couple of years removed from this great villainous performance in Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West. Bottom line is I need to see My Name is Nobody soon and remove all doubt!


Terence Hill's name is nobody...or is it Trinity?


27. Scenes From a Marriage
Ingmar Bergman's Scenes From a Marriage came out as a multi-part television show in 1973 and was edited down for theatrical release the following year. The DVD I had had both versions, but I found the full TV version pretty dramatically and emotionally riveting. I'd like to get my wife to watch it with me soon. I may need a better way to sell watching it to her than a five hour Swedish television series about a dissolving marriage. We'll see


Liv Ullman and Erland Josephson
in one of the more somber moments from
Scenes From a Marriage



28. The Devil in Miss Jones
The infamous X-rated movie from this era not titled Deep Throat. I saw it in the late 80's on the Playboy channel which basically meant it was an R-rated version of an X-rated movie. It didn't really make a lasting impression on me, to be honest.


Like, Ssssss before it,
The Devil in Miss Jones does involve a prominent scene
with a snake.

29. The Three Musketeers
Richard Lester actually made a pair of musketeer films together, the latter being The Four Musketeers which was released the year after The Three Musketeers. I made the mistake of going to see The Four Musketeers at the theater before I ever saw The Three Musketeers and quickly realized I should have watched them in order.

The Three Musketeers had a very interesting cast: Oliver Reed, Richard Chamberlain, Michael York and Frank Finlay as the musketeers, as well as, Raquel Welch, Faye Dunaway and Charlton Heston, Simon Ward and Geraldine Chaplin in supporting roles


Richard Lester's fab four of 
Reed, Chamberlain, York and Finlay

30. The Day of the Jackal
Frederick Forsyth's top-notch spy thriller about a lethal killer hired to assassinate Charles De Gaulle is adapted very well in this Fred Zinneman action piece. Part of the fun (if fun is the right word) is piecing together the clues to hunt down the assassin and Edward Fox is well-suited as the cold blooded killer.

Edward Fox about to fire in The Day of the Jackal




Goodbye, 1973. There were some happy moments
to be had here.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

FRENZY (1972, GREAT BRITAIN), SUPER FLY (1972)

FILMS OF 1972 


The 1001 Book lists 18 (19 with the later addition of The Lady Vanishes) Alfred Hitchcock movies on the essential viewing list-by far the most of any director. The first is Blackmail (1929) and the last is Frenzy (1972). Quite a time span of influence! I’m pretty sure I first saw Frenzy on TV during the 70's. Watching it now, I do like the film, though I wouldn't put it in the top echelon of Hitchcock films on the list. It feels like a good BBC procedural, with little extra twists of violence thrown in.

Here is the 1001 Hitchcock list:
Blackmail (1929)
The 39 Steps (1935)
Sabatoge (1936)
The Lady Vanishes (1937)
Rebecca (1940)
Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
Spellbound (1945)
Notorious (1946)
Rope (1948)
Strangers on a Train (1951)
Rear Window (1954)
The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
The Wrong Man (1957)
Vertigo (1958)
North by Northwest (1959)
Psycho (1960)
The Birds (1963)
Marnie (1964)
Frenzy (1972)


After you've gone through the 19 films on the 1001 list, there are plenty of others left (To Catch a Thief, Lifeboat, I Confess etc.), and try to catch a couple of episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents while you're at it!

A crowd of people stood and stared...
Mr. Hitchcock (with the bowler hat) 
looks over the crime scene in Frenzy


Gordon Parks Jr.'s Super Fly is about as far away from Frenzy as you can get, other than the fact they came out the same year. Though Super Fly  is part of the culture of the 70's cinema, (Blaxplotation cinema specifically), I had never actually seen it before! The plot involves Youngblood Priest (Ron O'Neal), a drug dealer trying to get out of the business and go legit. It is essential seventies viewing, enhanced by Curtis Mayfield's score and ongoing chorus-like descriptions of the actions. Maybe the first movie use of the phrase “pops a cap on your ass," but I have no historical documentation of this. My favorite quote from the film, "Eight-track stereo, color TV in every room and can snort half a piece of dope every day! The American dream!"..."Cadillac, El Dorado...You always got some super fly shit!"

Ron O' Neal and Sheila Frazier discuss the American Dream
in Super Fly


Here are 25 movies released in 1972 not on the 1001 movie list that I have seen at some point. I've listed where or when I first saw them as far as I can recollect.

1. 1776
Where or when did I first see it? At an Atlanta theater during the 1976 school year.
Our middle school had a field trip during the bicentennial year to see the then four-year old musical film adaptation of the Broadway musical 1776. Our class really did get into it applauding and cheering at the appropriate times (I remember special applause for the home state Georgia boy Lyman Hall!).


Since that time, I've seen the film many times and it is one of my favorite musicals. Who wouldn't love a musical about the founding fathers, eh? Well, I've always loved the songs. The picture below is my own poster of 1776. You have one too, don't you? Well, don't you?




2. Blacula
Where or when did I first see it? I'm hazy on the facts on this one.
I'm sure I've seen this 70's black version of Dracula…I think I have anyway. Or maybe I'm thinking about the David Niven movie Old Dracula, where Niven becomes black at the end. to mate with his mate Teresa Graves? But I digress.


3. Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask
Where or when did I first see it? Midnight movie at Perimeter Mall theater.
Woody Allen comedy of vignettes has many highlights: Gene Wilder falling in love with a sheep, a mad scientist movie re-imagined with the mad scientist (John Carradine) as a sex researcher and the inner workings of what goes on in your body while you are in the state of arousal.





4. Play it Again, Sam
Where or when did I first see it? Network TV premiere.
Based on Woody Allen's play and starring Allen, but directed by Herbert Ross. Lonely schlep Allen is haunted by the ghost of Humphrey Bogart to show him how to deal with women in a more effective way. Another Allen favorite from the 70’s. First teaming of Allen and Diane Keaton.



5. Man of La Mancha
Where or when did I first see it? TV in the 70's.
There are some great songs in Man of La Mancha, with The Impossible Dream being the signature song. A local production I saw actually made a greater impression on me than this film did.
 
6. Now You See Him, Now You Don't
Where or when did I first see it? Atlanta's Plaza Theater, 1972
Another one of those Disney/Kurt Russell movies from the early 70's. The real story of this movie for me was the trip back home from the theater on the bus. I was riding home with my brother when I noticed a woman a couple of seats ahead of me who seemed to be very upset. She left her seat and went to complain to the bus driver (a big fellow from what I remember) about a man that was harassing her. The bus driver pulled the bus over and confronted the man. The driver called the police in and locked the doors so the man couldn't escape. The man tried to kick his way out of the door to no avail. The police came quickly and took the man away. This event obviously made a strong impression on a nine-year-old for me to remember it so vividly so many years later.


7. Kansas City Bomber
Where or when did I first see it? TV in the 70's
A growing boy in the 70's is going to take notice of sex symbol superstar Raquel Welch. And I suppose Raquel as a roller derby queen was probably as good a vehicle as she ever had (Other than the cavewoman in One Million Years B. C.). 




8. Private Parts
Where or when did I first see it? Silver Screen Theater in 1980.
I can't remember what was on the second part of this double feature, but Private Parts is a weird, campy and strange movie. Since I was seventeen when I saw it, it would be interesting to see it again through a slightly older lens.


9. Snoopy, Come Home
Where or when did I first see it? Pretty sure on CBS television.
I watched an awful lot of Peanuts during the 70's. It does seem the seasonal Peanuts specials have had more staying power than the feature films.





10. What's Up, Doc?
Where or when did I first see it? TV during the 80's.

It seems like an updated screwball comedy from devoted movie lover Peter Bogdanavich would have resonated with me more, but I remember being a bit disappointed in it. It may be one to see again.




11. Canterbury Tales
Where or when did I first see it? The Silver Screen Theater in 1980.
Pier Pasolini's Canterbury Tales  is a movie I went to see during the period I was reading it in school, which was interesting. My teacher found the bawdy tale offensive, but I found it rather ribald and funny.





12. Butterflies Are Free
Where or when did I first see it? Televison during the 70's.
I wish I had more memories of this cute Goldie Hawn falling for the blind Edward Albert vehicle other than it's about the cute Goldie Hawn falling for the blind Edward Albert, but so it goes.




13. The Candidate
Where or when did I first see it? TV during the 80's.
I believe I watched this “How to market a political candidate” movie while I was taking similar classes in college. Jerry Larner won a Best Screenplay Academy Award for his insightful screenplay.



14. Conquest of the Planet of the Apes
Where or when did I first see it? TV during the 70's.
I went to a panel at last year's Dragon Con that celebrated the 45th anniversary of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. The Panel made some good observations about the film. It really does come across in retrospect being about revolution with revolutionary ape Roddy McDowell leading the way


There are actually books in the series based on Conquest of the Planet of the Apes that sound interesting.



15. The Cowboys
Where or when did I first see it? Ed Howell’s Halloween party
What better movie to dress up for Halloween and go to than a John Wayne Western! I guess it's okay
if you happened to be dressed like a cowboy (I wasn’t. I was dressed as a little league baseball player). Enjoyed The Cowboys at the time. Basically known as John Wayne trying
teach a bunch of kids to be grown up cowpokes. Movie also featured Roscoe Lee Browne playing a character with the wonderful name of Jebediah Nightlinger…And Bruce Dern taking an interesting turn as a particularly slimy villain who
SPOILER...shoots John Wayne in the back.

I also remember the short-lived television series based on the film which didn't have Wayne, Dern or Browne return. It did have a lot of the kids...and was short lived…so it goes.



16. Deep Throat
Where or when did I first see it? The Playboy Channel in the late 80's
Oh, those innocent days of The Playboy Channel where you got to see R-rated versions of X-rated films if you set your antennae just right! I knew about Deep Throat (Not the Watergate informer) long before I was old enough to see it. I remember looking at the Atlanta Constitution movie page and seeing the same add for Deep Throat playing at the New Glenn Art Cinema for the 50th...100th...200th...week! Though I've only seen the R-rated version (which must have been a really short feature now that I think about it.) I don't have any desire to see the unedited and (ahem) uncut version.



Not the exact Deep Throat ad 
I'm referring to-but pretty close



17. Frogs
Where or when did I first see it? Orlando, Florida, 1976.
Went to Disney World with a church youth group  and what did we do after visiting The Hall of Presidents and riding on The Dumbo ride during the day? Why spending that night watching a campy horror film about killer frogs! I can't remember much of the plot...but it certainly was no Night of the Lepus!


Note to film buffs: Disney had a great attraction in those days where you could go in and watch silent films. It was replaced I'm guessing by something a little more commercial. Damn society.


18. The Getaway
Where or when did I first see it? Pretty sure it was on Network TV sometime in the 80's.
Sam Peckinpah and Steve McQueen in an action thriller seems like a great combination, though memory on this is a bit hazy. I feel this is one I need to revisit.







19. The King of Marvin Gardens
Where or when did I first see it? Part of a film class at West Georgia College, 1981.
Presented in that class as typical of 70's loner type films, I really thought this was an excellent and underrated film. Definitely need to revisit this one because some films you should watch at LEAST once every 35 years!



20. Night of the Lepus
Where or when did I first see it? TV during the 70's, also saw the version on Rifftrax.
The best way to catch giant killer bunnies is to build a giant Elmer Fudd...I think this was one of the lines on this movie from Rifftrax. The film was also featured in an influential movie book (At least for me) The Golden Turkey Awards. It's pretty silly stuff and if you’re looking for weightier rabbit fare, I'd recommend Harvey or Watership Down instead.


Star Trek alert: Night of the Lepus features Dr. McCoy (DeForrest Kelley) and Paul Fix who played the ship's doctor in the pilot of that series.



21. The Poseidon Adventure
Where or when did I first see it? Network TV premiere.
By the time I got into going to see disaster movies at the theater, The Poseidon Adventure had already passed its theatrical run. But I was ready for the TV premiere!I hear the song "The Morning After" being triggered in my brain as I type! I know with these disaster films it was often a sort of scorecard game keeping track of which celebrities will live and who will die, but the concept of a ship turning upside down and people trying to make their way to the bottom is still a pretty cool concept to me. I still don't understand the thinking behind Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979), but that's another story.




21. Silent Running
Where or when did I first see it? At the Silver Screen Theater in the early 80's, might have been on a double feature with Slaughterhouse Five.
The ecologically friendly outer space botany epic Silent Running, has more in common with the cerebral 2001: A Space Odyssey than future adventuresome space epics like Star Wars, but I'm pretty sure George Lucas got his cute droid idea from Silent Running.

Note: A nice trio of 1972 film roles for Bruce Dern: the villain in The Cowboys, a fine acting turn in The King of Marvin Gardens and the botanist hero in Silent Running.




22. Slaughterhouse Five
Where or when did I first see it? At the Silver Screen Theater in the early 80's, might have been on a double feature with Silent Running.
Kurt Vonnegut's off-beat time travel Tralfamodore/ World War II cerebral book seems unlikely to spawn a successful feature but George Roy Hill manages to pull it off quite well in my estimation. This is still one of my favorite films. So it goes.




23. Marjoe
Where or when did I first see it? Library DVD recently.
The first time I remember seeing former child TV evangelist turned actor in was as a closeted homosexual in Earthquake. Or maybe it was as one of the macho motorcycle gang in the campy but fun macho TV movie, Pray for the Wildcats?  He later starred in such 70's "classics" as Viva Knievel!, Sidewinder One and Food of the Gods.

But you can't join the Marjoe appreciation society unless you watch the Academy Award winning documentary about his rise as a boy televangelist simply titled Marjoe. It's a fascinating look at his life in front of the audience as a kid and later as someone just trying to manipulate the masses for a buck as a young adult before he got the call to Hollywood. I know he has plenty of detractors, but I can't help but like the guy. So it goes.





And Marjoe's record album
Bad, but Not Evil
(How he defines himself in the documentary)
has got to be a collector's item.


24. The Legend of Boggy Creek
Where or when did I first see it? Recently on YouTube
There have been several Boggy Creek movies about the Fouke monster or a Bigfoot type creature throughout the years, but only one original Legend of Boggy Creek. It was certainly a buzzworthy movie from my elementary school class, thought I don't think many of of us actually ever saw it at the time! I'm surprised it took me this long to see it and in a way I have to admit I kind of like it. It has an I can't decide if it's a documentary or a feature film feel to it and it often veers way off the subject to just show some of the locals talking..but this does provide some interesting context and atmosphere. We also get to here "The Ballad of Travis Cunningham," though young Travis doesn't seem to have a lot to do with the overall plot. Charles B. Pierce is the auteur behind this odd franchise which includes Charles and his often shirtless son Chuck starring in Boggy Creek II: The Legend Continues (1985) which was riffed on MST3K and the awful but not in a good way Return to Boggy Creek (1977), which is colossally boring despite a rare starring role for Dawn (Mary Ann) Wells.



25. Jeremiah Johnson
Where or when did I first see it? Recently on DVD
One of the most popular movies of 1972 and one that I never got around to seeing before, I finally popped it in the DVD player and thought it was a pretty good starring role for Robert Redford and another in a series of films of the era about a guy just wanting to get away from it all. He meets good injuns, bad injuns, falls for native American girl (eventually) and adopts a son, meets a wise mountain man, an eccentric mountain man, seeks revenge on those that harmed his family...a lot of the usual tropes. I thought it was well done, though. 




Oh, those long ago days of 1972
when a game of Chess could make
the cover of TIME magazine

Until next time!