Friday, September 7, 2018


The year is 1975…and…

I hearken back to that time when I cut out and pasted movie advertisements in a spiral notebook during that transitional movie year all those many, many movie years ago...

Looking at my notebook now, much of the print from the faded pages has yellowed, but yes, I still have it! Not surprisingly, I was able to find several entries from these pages of movies from that 70's icon, Burt Reynolds.

1975 Movie Scrapbook (The Burt Reynolds Section)
Whether or not you were a fan of good ol' boy epics like White LightningHooper or Cannonball Run, you got to admit that there was no bigger star during the 70’s than Burt Reynolds. I found five ads for Reynolds movies in my scrapbook.

1. Man-Eater
All I can say about this one is…I was had! After Jaws came out in the summer of 1975, there were some copycat films, but the one called Man-Eater was just a renamed re-released version of the 1970 Burt Reynolds movie Shark! And yes, I did see go to see Man-Eater at the theater when it was re-released. The ad has a large picture of Reynolds superimposed over a picture of a shark. The caption reads, BURT REYNOLDS is the bait…and a killer shark is stalking the waters! Man-Eater-It will rip you apart! More BITE than JAWS.

I do give the ad some credit, as I have never forgotten the More BITE than JAWS tagline. (And for the record, it did NOT have more bite than Jaws.)

2. The Longest Yard
One of the best of the 70’s Reynolds flicks was certainly the prison football film The Longest Yard. The ad features Burt and his hairy chest (of course) and states, The audiences Don’t Just See It-They Cheer It! They Love It! An unnamed quote also states THE LONGEST YARD is a fierce, funny movie. For men, for women, for everyone. Still can’t believe they remade this with Adam Sandler, but that’s another story.

3. Hustle
In this ad, we have sleek and sexy Catherine Deneuve looking beautiful in a backless dress and has a hand on the hairy chest of our man Burt! The ad promises They’re hot. She’s the call girl. He’s a cop. They both take their jobs seriously!

I do have to admit that the combination of the star of Umbrellas of Chernbourg and the star of W. W. and the Dixie Dance Kings still feels a little strange, somehow.

4. Lucky Lady
This film probably looked good on paper. Recent Oscar winners Gene Hackman and Liza Minelli teamed up with Burt and Singin’ in the Rain director Stanley Donen. The ad has no blurbs and just relies on a big picture of the three stars in prohibition era garb with the promise of lots of thrills and action underneath it. However, this film didn't make much of a dent in 70's cinema. You win some, you lose some, I guess.

5. Clockwork Orange/Deliverance
“The two most controversial movies of our time! the ad in my scrapbook proclaims. I’m not sure about that, but this is a helluva a good double feature in my book, and it reminds us of those days of yesteryear when we actually had double features, kind of like major league baseball had scheduled double headers. (Waxing nostalgic about both) I will say the picture in the ad of Malcolm McDowell does not look like it is from A Clockwork Orange, though that is probably a small quibble for a double feature I’d like to see.

And today’s 70’s Burt Reynolds movie experience is...Deliverance

I wonder if Burt is going to hit his target?

Deliverance is a film I see every few years and is still one of my favorites. And, yes the sodomy “squeal like a pig” scene is usually the first thing people bring up when they talk about Deliverance (that and the Dueling Banjos duet). But this movie has much to say about male bonding, urban vs. rural, right and wrong and when it is necessary to take the law into your own hands. It’s definitely a guy picture in that women are something “out there” or “back home.” Women are just a thing far, far away and men are freed from their domestic shackles to go canoeing and be men...away from the ball and chain! Though you never know when a hillbilly sociopath or two may be lurking around the river bend. Nothing is perfect, I guess.

Directed by John Boorman and based on the excellent book by James Dickey.

And Burt is at his best in his breakthrough role as the macho adventurer with seemingly no fear of anything.

Yep...Straight through the heart

Thanks, Burt

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