American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre Presents...
Making Movie History for Over 80 Years!

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Egyptian Series Programmed by: Chris D.

Aero series programmed by Grant Moninger and Gwen Deglise. Aero program notes by Grant Moninger and Chris D.

Special Thanks to: Suzanne Leroy & Shirley Couch/SONY REPERTORY; Grover Crisp; Helena Brissenden; Emily Horn & Barry Allen/PARAMOUNT; Marilee Womack/WARNER BROS.; Paul Ginsburg/UNIVERSAL; Germaine Simiens/CONCORDE-NEW HORIZON; Todd Wiener; Amy Lewin/MGM REPERTORY; Caitlin Robertson/20th CENTURY FOX; Cary Haber/CRITERION.

 

SOLD OUT SCREENINGS: There will be a waiting line for Sold Out screenings. Tickets often become available at the door the night of an event.

Sold out programs will be indicated here if sold out 24 hours in advance of screening date.

 

 

All guests are subject to availability. The Cinematheque will offer a refund due to guest cancellations only IF the refund transaction is complete PRIOR to the start of the show.

Tickets available 30 days in advance. Tickets are $10 general admission unless noted otherwise.
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The American Cinematheque is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization.
The Film Programs of the American Cinematheque are presented at the magnificently renovated, historic 1922 Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. Located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.
Photo Credit: Randall Michelson. Detail of Egyptian Theatre Ceiling.

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<<< May 4 - 31,  2007 >>>

The Seventies: The Good, The Bad and The Strange!

 

Discuss this series with other film fans on:
http://www.myspace.com/americancinematheque

 

Additional Screenings in this series will take place at  the Aero Theatre May 10 - 26!

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In case you hadn’t guessed it already, we love The Seventies at the American Cinematheque. All over the world, it was one of the greatest decades ever for making movies. Although groundbreaking changes and landmark films of the New Hollywood (as well as great last gasps of the old-style studio system) were showing up in theatres from the mid-1960’s on, it really was not until the 1970’s that everything truly coalesced. The Seventies saw the film industry metamorphose into an entirely new animal. Many steps tentatively taken a few years earlier were now accomplished with more confidence, more daring and more disregard for the old formulaic way of doing things. There were also studio entertainments transformed and unshackled by the new freedom of expression and relaxation of censorship. By the same token on the negative side, a few New Hollywood directors, after one or two universally acclaimed efforts, miscalculated with self-indulgent pet projects. Some studio heads not only blindly courted the New Hollywood, not knowing just why or what was attracting younger audiences, but they also continued to desperately chart box office success by creating all-star disaster pictures and adapting scandalous bestsellers aimed at the lowest common denominator. (Just a note: we would have included two of our favorite disaster films here, AIRPORT and THE TOWERING INFERNO, but there weren’t any screenable prints!). As our series title The Seventies: The Good, The Bad and The Strange suggests, we have samplings of all three kinds of movies -- from acclaimed as well as underrated, obscure films of the New Hollywood to fascinatingly so-bad-they’re-good blockbuster guilty pleasures (and sometimes hybrids of the two!) Including, at the Egyptian: FIVE EASY PIECES, LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR, STRAIGHT TIME, HUSBANDS, MANDINGO, DOCTORS’ WIVES, THE LOVE MACHINE, LADY SINGS THE BLUES, MAHOGANY, BLUE COLLAR, PORTNOY’S COMPLAINT, EXECUTIVE ACTION, GUMSHOE, FREEBIE AND THE BEAN, THREE WOMEN, and an encore double feature of DIARY OF A MAD HOUSEWIFE and PLAY IT AS IT LAYS and more! And at the Aero: BOB & CAROL & TED & ALICE, THE DEER HUNTER, THE LAST PICTURE SHOW, BIG BAD MAMA, THE TOGETHER BROTHERS, SHAMPOO, THE LAST OF SHEILA, THE OTHER and more! One thing we can truthfully say about all of the films in this series, is that every single one of them is incredibly entertaining.

 

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Friday, May 4 - 7:30 PM

Jack Nicholson/Bob Rafelson Double Feature:

New 35mm Print! FIVE EASY PIECES, 1970, Sony Repertory, 96 min. Hard-hitting, brilliantly sarcastic drama of Bakersfield oil-rig worker Jack Nicholson on the run from his former life as a concert pianist (!), with country waitress girlfriend (and Tammy Wynette fan) Karen Black in tow. Returning to visit his Washington island home after his father has a stroke, things come to a head when he seduces the fiancee (Susan Anspach) of his better-than-thou brother (Ralph Waite). One of the defining films of the New Hollywood, stunningly directed by Bob Rafelson and written by Carole Eastman (under aka Adrien Joyce). Co-starring the great Billy Green Bush as Nicholson’s hapless, redneck friend and Fannie Flagg as Bush’s loyal spouse. "…a masterpiece of heartbreaking intensity." -- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

New 35mm Print! THE KING OF MARVIN GARDENS, 1972, Sony Repertory, 103 min. Jack Nicholson and director Bob Rafelson’s follow-up to FIVE EASY PIECES was this quirky character study. Nicholson, an iconoclastic, late night, radio talk show host, is fundamentally at odds with his fast-talking, ne’erdowell brother (Bruce Dern) who is fronting for Atlantic City gangsters. Dern, along with girlfriend Ellen Burstyn and her stepdaughter Julia Anne Robinson, tries to convince his younger sibling that this time his get-rich schemes and tropical island fantasies will work. But built-up resentments from all concerned gradually boil over into violence, toppling the delicate balance of repressed emotions. With Scatman Crothers, John Ryan.

 

 

Saturday, May 5 - 7:30PM

Double Feature:

LOOKING FOR MR. GOODBAR, 1977, Paramount, 135 min. This adaptation of Judith Rossner’s bestselling novel (based on a real event) was director Richard Brooks’ (IN COLD BLOOD) last commercially successful, critically acclaimed film. Diane Keaton plays a straight-arrow, Catholic teacher for deaf children who gradually descends into a whirlpool of promiscuous sex and drugs after an unhappy affair. Cruising bars to meet available young studs inevitably puts her at great risk of her personal safety. One of the first mainstream American films to seriously explore the darker side of the sexual revolution of the 1960’s and 1970’s -- the ending was a shocker at the time and still retains its power to disturb. With Tuesday Weld, Richard Kiley, Richard Gere (in the role that put him on the map) and William Atherton. NOT ON DVD

LIPSTICK, 1976, Paramount, 89 min. Dir. Lamont Johnson. This intense, fast-moving and well-acted guilty pleasure was unfairly savaged by critics. Glamorous supermodel Margaux Hemingway (in her acting debut) presses charges when raped by her little sister’s music teacher, arrogant composer Chris Sarandon. Prosecuted by fierce district attorney Anne Bancroft, Sarandon’s character has the predatory instinct for indignantly coming off as the real wronged party and walks after being found innocent. Devastated Hemingway tries to cope with the disappointment, but is soon galvanized into spectacular, avenging action when Sarandon next rapes her little sister (Mariel Hemingway, in a stunning debut). The climax shot at West Hollywood’s Pacific Design Center has to be seen to be believed, simultaneously echoing Helmut Newton and Sam Peckinpah. "Though suffused with guilty pleasures, it's also a devastating look at society's unfair tendencies to make clear divisions between Madonna and Whore labels." -- Ed Henderson, Slant Magazine

 

 

Sunday, May 6 - 7:30 PM

Re-Adjusting Ex-Cons Double Feature:

STRAIGHT TIME, 1978, Warner Bros., 114 min. Dir. Ulu Grosbard (TRUE CONFESSIONS). This adaptation of the novel No Beast So Fierce, the crime fiction debut of writer Edward Bunker (an ex-con himself, the book was written while he was still in prison), is one of the most underrated and least seen of Dustin Hoffman’s 1970’s performances. Reformed Los Angeles junkie and thief Hoffman comes up against the gritty realities of a smugly unfair parole officer (M. Emmett Walsh) and the limited employment opportunities for ex-convicts. Although the bitter, frustrated Hoffman finds love in the form of Theresa Russell, his institutionalized resentments gradually suck him back down into the company of lower companions (Gary Busey, Harry Dean Stanton) and a life of crime. This was a project close to Hoffman’s heart - he initially began directing the film himself but turned it over to director Grosbard after the first few days. NOT ON DVD

Ultra-Rare! GOING HOME, 1971, Warner Bros., 97 min. Dir. Herbert B. Leonard. Another underrated film that came in even lower on audience radar than STRAIGHT TIME. Teenager Jan-Michael Vincent, after growing up in a succession of boys’ homes, tracks down the estranged, out-on-parole father (Robert Mitchum) who had murdered Vincent’s mother in a drunken rage years before. Mitchum, living in a trailer park with his savvy younger girlfriend (Brenda Vaccaro), is trying to put his life back together. But the dysfunctional dynamic is not so easily exorcised. Tanking at the box office and dismissed by critics, then-head of MGM Jim Aubrey took scissors to the film, much as he did to many other movies released on his watch (including PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID). It is a testament to this unassuming film’s quiet strength and to the performers (particularly Mitchum), that it remains as powerful today as on its initial release. NOT ON DVD

 

 

Wednesday, May 9 - 7:30 PM

New 35mm Print! HUSBANDS, 1970, Sony Repertory, 133 min. Dir. John Cassavetes. A common friend's death brings three married friends (Peter Falk, Ben Gazzara, John Cassavetes) to reconsider their lives. Though not openly acknowledging it, they are shocked into consciousness of life’s fleeting nature, and they leave home together. Through girls, wine, gambling and love-making they seek truth. With Jenny Runacre. "The characters in HUSBANDS are quite different from those in FACES. I mean FACES was about people who were just getting by. These guys don't want to just get by in life. They want to live…You could say it's about three married guys who want something for themselves. They don't know what they want, but they get scared when their best friend dies." - - John Cassavetes. NOT ON DVD

 

 

 

Thursday, May 10 - 7:30 PM

Frank Perry Encore Double Feature:

DIARY OF A MAD HOUSEWIFE, 1970, Universal, 103 min. Director Frank Perry’s brilliant comedy-drama satirizes the psychological rat race of a middle class married couple in New York City, circa 1970. Carrie Snodgress’ Oscar-nominated performance as abusive Richard Benjamin’s isolated wife is one of the standout portrayals of the New Hollywood. As Snodgress’ marriage continues to disintegrate, she takes a lover (Frank Langella) to fill up the emotional vacuum. Before long, she finds that this solution is no solution at all. Frank Perry’s spouse and frequent writing collaborator, Eleanor, adapts the best-selling novel by Sue Kaufman. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for Alice Cooper’s performance in a swinging party scene. "… great movie making." - Roger Greenspun, The New York Times NOT ON DVD

PLAY IT AS IT LAYS, 1972, Universal, 99 min. Director Frank Perry (DAVID AND LISA) delivered many edgy psychological classics, and none is more deserving of rediscovery than this rarely-screened adaptation of Joan Didion’s bestseller, with a screenplay by Didion and her late husband, John Gregory Dunne. Tuesday Weld is at her best as fiercely intelligent Maria, an ex-model on the verge of a nervous breakdown. In-the-closet producer Anthony Perkins is her only friend and Adam Roarke her estranged, director husband trying to jumpstart his career out of the biker-film ghetto. A scathing stream-of-consciousness portrait of Hollywood in the early 1970’s. NOT ON DVD

 

 

Friday, May 11 - 7:30 PM

Suburban Satire Double Feature:

REAL LIFE, 1979, Paramount, 99 min. Inspired by the 1970’s PBS reality TV series "An American Family" about the Loud clan, this directorial debut for star Albert Brooks was also the feature debut for producer Penelope Spheeris (who later directed WAYNE’S WORLD). Brooks is at his best as the hilariously self-serving filmmaker who invades Phoenix suburban everyman Charles Grodin’s "normal" family household to chronicle their everyday lives. Amazingly enough, there were some critics who thought the film was for real on its initial release and not just a spot-on satire of reality television. Alarmingly prescient and more relevant than ever. "…Albert Brooks's first and funniest feature." - J. Hoberman, Village Voice

SMILE, 1975, MGM Repertory, 117 min. Director Michael Ritchie’s savage, Norman Rockwell-in-rehab comedy stars Bruce Dern, Barbara Feldon("Get Smart"), Michael Kidd and Geoffrey Lewis as a group of civic boosters desperately trying to stage a teenage beauty pageant in Santa Rosa, California. Annette O’Toole and Melanie Griffith are among the gorgeous, devious and very unlady-like contestants, in this wickedly funny snapshot of the underbelly of mid-70’s America. NOT ON DVD Special In Person Guests TBA! Check our voicemail 323 466.FILM.

 

 

Saturday, May 12 - 7:30 PM

Trashy Bestsellers Double Feature:

Rare! New 35mm Print! DOCTORS’ WIVES, 1971, Sony Repertory, 101 min. Director George Schaeffer and screenwriter Daniel Taradash adapt Frank Slaughter’s novel into a glossy, melodramatic mystery soaper that is more entertaining than it has any right to be. Dyan Cannon, Janice Rule, Rachel Roberts and Cara Williams are the disgruntled spouses of high-profile doctors Richard Crenna, Gene Hackman, Carroll O’Conner ("All In The Family") and John Colicos. When their hubbies start focusing more on career than marital bliss, the wives begin indulging in sex, booze and drugs to assuage their lonely lives. Soon one of them ends up murdered. Unbridled trash played to the hilt with tons of gloriously inappropriate (and hilarious) dialogue from a convincingly-unashamed, taking-it-seriously cast. With great support from pros Ralph Bellamy, Diana Sands, Scott Brady and Richard Anderson. NOT ON DVD

New 35mm Print! THE LOVE MACHINE, 1978, Sony Repertory, 108 min. Dir. Jack Haley, Jr. Mind-numbingly entertaining, guilty-pleasure fun and another unapologetically trashy ride from the pen of author Jacqueline Susann. John Phillip Law is Robin Stone, an unscrupulous TV executive who will figuratively and literally screw anyone he has to in order to rise to the top. He becomes entangled in liaisons with various beauties, and has to contend with Dyan Cannon, Jody Wexler and petulant gay photographer, Jerry Nelson (a memorable performance by David Hemmings), as he realizes his ambitions. But the precarious balancing act soon causes his ego-driven empire to begin to crumble. With a supporting cast that includes Robert Ryan, Jackie Cooper. Dionne Warwick sings the opening theme "He’s Moving On." NOT ON DVD

 

 

Sunday, May 13 - 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

BLUE COLLAR, 1978, Universal, 114 min. Paul Schrader’s directorial debut is one of his best pictures and remains one of the most searing accounts ever of the urban working man’s life in America. Harvey Keitel, Richard Pryor and Yaphet Kotto are three auto plant workers and best friends who are less than happy with their severely corrupt union. When their nocturnal burglary of the union’s safe nets cash, but a startling revelation of cooked books -- kickbacks, payoffs and collusion with organized crime - the lives of the three comrades become a nightmare of looking-over-their-shoulders paranoia. The director co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Leonard Schrader (THE YAKUZA), and the amazing original score is by Jack Nitzsche (PERFORMANCE) with an unforgettable hard blues-rock opening-credits song warbled by none other than Captain Beefheart. A film comparable in street credibility and manic energy to Scorsese’s MEAN STREETS -- if you have never seen this, it is not to be missed. Long out-of-print on DVD. "Very probably the most clear-sighted movie ever made about the ways that shopfloor workers get f*****d over by 'the system’." -- Time Out (UK)

Rare! DOC, 1971, MGM Repertory, 95 min. The only western from director Frank Perry (PLAY IT AS IT LAYS) is a radical deconstruction of American heroes as admired icons. Working from respected newspaperman and author Pete Hamill’s script, director Perry torches the mythologized take on Wyatt Earp (Harris Yulin) and Doc Holliday (Stacey Keach). Some have accused Perry of going too far in the opposite direction, but it is still refreshing to see this fascinating, alternate insight of Earp, the revered lawman (portrayed as a deeply flawed manipulator with political aspirations) and Holliday, the gambler loyal to his friend (shown as an ambivalent, tormented man unable to sustain relationships). Many memorable scenes abound, with exemplary performances, including Faye Dunaway as Holliday’s longstanding paramour, who was not the proverbial whore with a heart of gold. "Perry's approach…is altogether fascinating…the movie really does give you a sense of inhabiting the West…The preparations for the shoot-out at the O.K. Corral are properly cold-blooded, and the shoot-out itself is sudden, brief and terrible." -- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times NOT ON DVD

 

 

Thursday, May 17 - 7:30 PM

Richard Fleischer Double Feature:

Rare! MANDINGO, 1975, Paramount, 127 min. Dir. Richard Fleischer (THE NARROW MARGIN; THE BOSTON STRANGLER). Enormously controversial (and profitable) when it was released, this is a superb, explosive study of slavery and the sexual hypocrisy that helped prop it up. The film remains a much more unflinching, realistic alternative to the comparatively sanitized point of view found in the popular TV mini-series, "Roots" (which was televised two years later). James Mason is unforgettably creepy as the ruthless, ailing slave-owner, with Ken Norton, Susan George, Perry King and Brenda Sykes as the interracial couples swirling about the plantation. Fleischer's treatment is matter-of-fact, in-your-face and unpretentious. Beautifully shot and undeserving of it's pariah reputation, the authentic location and production design add to the disturbing ambience. Maurice Jarre supplies the superb score with songs by Muddy Waters. Rarely screened since its original release, MANDINGO is long overdue for serious reappraisal. NOT ON DVD

THE DON IS DEAD, 1973, Universal, 115 min. Director Richard Fleischer could always be counted on to supply value for dollar as well as an unpretentious, straightforward quality to all of his productions. Nowhere is it more evident than in this underrated mob opus that was unjustly compared to the then-recently released THE GODFATHER. Gang boss Charles Cioffi (KLUTE), hoping to orchestrate a mob war so he can consolidate power, sets the wheels in motion when he introduces the ambitious singer girlfriend (Angel Tompkins) of mobster heir Robert Forster (JACKIE BROWN) to rival boss, Anthony Quinn. Adding to the escalating mayhem are hotheaded hitmen Frederic Forrest (APOCALYPSE NOW) and Al Lettieri (THE GETAWAY).

 

 

Friday, May 18 - 7:30 PM

Peter Bogdanovich Double Feature:

New 35mm Print! THE LAST PICTURE SHOW, 1971, Sony Repertory, 118 min. Based on Larry McMurtry’s elegiac, autobiographical novel of north Texas in the late 1950’s, LAST PICTURE SHOW stars Jeff Bridges, Timothy Bottoms and Cybill Shepherd (in her first role) as a trio of sexually-confused teens trapped in a dying, dust-blown town. Flawlessly directed by Peter Bogdanovich and photographed by Robert Surtees, with a letter-perfect supporting cast led by Ben Johnson (Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner), Cloris Leachman (Best Actress Oscar winner) and Ellen Burstyn. "…an adventure in rediscovery - of a very decent, straightforward kind of movie, as well as of - and I rather hesitate to use such a square phrase - human values."-- Vincent Canby, The New York Times

SAINT JACK, 1979, Concorde-New Horizon, 112 min. One of director Peter Bogdanovich’s best and most underrated films is adapted from the Paul Theroux novel and features a fine, alternately funny and poignant performance by Ben Gazzara as an easygoing, expatriate American pimp in Vietnam-era Singapore. Exceptionally authentic location atmosphere highlights this fascinating saga, a perfect balance of character study focusing on redemptive individual independence (think Bogart or Mitchum), and the treachery of sexual and Cold War politics. With Denholm Elliott, Joss Ackland, George Lazenby. "Shot entirely on location in Singapore, the film (produced by Roger Corman, who gave Bogdanovich his start on THE WILD ANGELS in 1964) is extremely well crafted, finely acted, and conjures up a positively intriguing milieu… The script is a good one, gutsy and sometimes very funny." -- Variety

 

 

Saturday, May 19 - 7:30 PM

Diana Ross Double Feature:

LADY SINGS THE BLUES, 1972, Paramount, 144 min. Sidney J. Furie (THE IPCRESS FILE) may have seemed an odd choice to helm a biopic about blues legend Billie Holiday, but he does a good job counterbalancing the Hollywood/Motown gloss that threatened to sabotage the project. Diana Ross, nominated for a Best Actress Oscar in her feature film debut as Billie, gives off an aura of neurotic vulnerability and ravaged youth that relentlessly follows her into adulthood. Billie’s childhood rape and being forced into prostitution (she began singing in brothels), her witnessing of Klan lynchings (which resulted in her song, "Strange Fruit"), her tragic descent into drug addiction that caused her premature decline and death, are all here. Richard Pryor is Piano Man, her doomed partner in not only the blues but in drugs, and Billy Dee Williams is Louis McKay, her third husband. Critics were evenly divided, but the Chicago Sun-Times’ Roger Ebert asserted, "…one of the great performances of 1972…she never tries to imitate Holiday, but she sings somehow in the manner of Holiday. There is an uncanny echo… the style is a tribute to Billie Holiday, not an impersonation."

MAHOGANY, 1975, Paramount, 109 min. An uncredited Tony Richardson started directing this guilty pleasure soap opera but was swiftly replaced by Motown head and producer Berry Gordy himself when their visions collided. The result is a schizophrenic melange of female empowerment saga and give-up-your-career-for-love sentiment. Diana Ross is a hardworking office girl with dreams of becoming a fashion designer. The next thing she knows she’s catapulted into supermodel stardom by bisexual photographer Anthony Perkins. Soon she’s rich, powerful and sampling all the decadent joys of a jaded European aristocracy. Billy Dee Williams is the honest politician Diana temporarily leaves behind before she realizes that being the kept woman of rich Jean-Pierre Aumont is not for her, and that "Success is nothing without someone you love to share it with." With the song "Do You Know Where You’re Going To?" played throughout and some of the awful fashions on display, MAHOGANY embodies all that was tacky and egocentric about big name, 1970’s entertainment. Co-starring Beah Richards (GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER), Marisa Mell (DANGER: DIABOLIK). A kitschy delight.

 

 

Sunday, May 20 - 7:30 PM

Amateur Private Eyes Double Feature:

New 35mm Print! GUMSHOE, 1971, Sony Repertory, 88 min. This quirky crime comedy drama starring Albert Finney as a failed Liverpool comic and bingo caller with delusions of private-eye-dom was the feature directorial debut of Stephen Frears (THE QUEEN). Disillusioned Finney retains his sarcastic humor in the most dire circumstances, whether it’s having to deal with his detested, upscale brother (Frank Finlay) who has married his girlfriend (Billie Whitelaw) or the complications that ensue on his first job as a detective, finding himself abruptly up to his eyeballs in smuggling, South African politics, seductive villainesses (Janice Rule) and homicide. An underrated gem, filled with priceless dialogue and an evocative pop score by Andrew Lloyd Webber (before he descended into bombast). NOT ON DVD

THE MIDNIGHT MAN, 1974, Universal, 117 min. Dir. Roland Kibbee/Burt Lancaster. "The Ex-con. The Hippie. The Senator. The Pervert. The Lesbian. The Professor. The Sheriff. The Sadist. One of them is a murderer. All of them make the most fascinating murder mystery in years." Despite the ridiculous tagline, this is one of the most original, well-acted (and least-known) mystery thrillers released during the 1970’s. Former homicide detective Burt Lancaster, released after serving a term for shooting his unfaithful wife and her lover, finds the only job he can get is as a college campus security guard. Shortly after he discovers a break-in of campus psychologist Robert Quarry’s office, where patient tapes were stolen, the troubled student daughter (Catherine Bach) of politician Morgan Woodward is murdered. Sheriff Harris Yulin assigns guilt to a hapless, oddball janitor, but Lancaster believes differently. As he tries to find the real killer, he quickly descends into a nightmarish, nocturnal world of small town prejudice and dark secrets. Fans of "Twin Peaks" will notice some plot element similarities faintly echoed later in David Lynch’s cult TV series. NOT ON DVD

 

 

Wednesday, May 23 - 7:30 PM

Assassination Conspiracy Double Feature:

Ultra-Rare! EXECUTIVE ACTION, 1973, Warner Bros., 91 min. Years before Oliver Stone’s JFK, director David Miller (LONELY ARE THE BRAVE) pulled off one of the most shocking casting coups of the early 1970’s: Burt Lancaster and Robert Ryan as two rich Texas men on a commission of right-wing corporate honchos who are revealed to be the real force behind the JFK assassination. Alarmed at civil rights progress, Kennedy’s commitment to the nuclear test-ban treaty and his wavering on Viet-Nam, they plot the president’s demise with a coldly detached precision. The screenplay was penned by previously blacklisted Dalton Trumbo. With Will Geer, John Anderson. "…The filmmakers do not insist that they have solved John Kennedy's murder; instead, they simply evoke what might have happened, according to various researchers, including Mark Lane… The film's sternest and strongest point is that only a crazed person acting on his own would have been acceptable to the American public - which, at that time, certainly did not want to believe in a conspiracy." -- Nora Sayre, The New York Times (Because of rarity, this original print is slightly faded) NOT ON DVD

THE PARALLAX VIEW, 1974, Paramount, 102 min. Dir. Alan J. Pakula. Impetuous reporter Warren Beatty’s hunt for a political assassin turns more and more terrifying as each successive layer of corruption and right-wing insanity is unpeeled. When he enlists in a program to recruit social misfits as political killers-for-hire, the narrative assumes cosmically paranoid dimensions. A daringly downbeat, uncompromising speculation on how far the advocates of repression will go. With Paula Prentiss, William Daniels, Hume Cronyn. "Its visual organisation is stunning… Excellent performances; fascinating film." -- Time Out (UK)

 

 

Thursday, May 24 - 7:30 PM

George C. Scott Double Feature:

THE HOSPITAL, 1971, MGM Repertory, 103 min. Dir. Arthur Hiller. Before Paddy Chayefsky took a blowtorch to television with his screenplay for the Academy Award-winning NETWORK, he dismantled New York City’s disintegrating public health care system with this scathing, darkly comic indictment that won him the Oscar for Best Screenplay. His personal life in a shambles, George C. Scott is the chief of medicine at a hospital where patients are dying from caregivers’ errors and mistaken identities. To make matters worse, there may also be a psychotic murderer on the loose in the building. Just-arrived Diana Rigg, waiting and hoping to take her comatose father (Barnard Hughes) home to the Sioux reservation where he operates a clinic, forms an emotional bond with Scott when the two are not trading quick-witted barbs. But will they both survive the escalating insanity of an establishment collapsing in on itself?

New 35mm Print! THE NEW CENTURIONS, 1972, Sony Repertory, 103 min. Director Richard Fleischer brings his usual straightforward approach to this underrated adaptation of former cop-turned-author Joseph Wambaugh’s bestseller. George C. Scott is excellent as the seasoned police veteran who shepherds young newcomer Stacey Keach in the ways of the street. Initially hoping to support himself by police work until he gets his degree, law student Keach is gradually worn down by the pitiless grind and lets go of his ambition and family (wife, Jane Alexander). The job likewise takes its toll on Scott, but he is better at keeping his emotions hidden – until it is too late. Surprisingly downbeat, this is one of the better films made about mid-20th century law enforcement, obviously influencing such later pictures as COLORS, and it captures the smog-baked hell of Los Angeles like few other movies from the 1970’s. With an outstanding supporting cast that includes Scott Wilson (IN COLD BLOOD), Rosalind Cash, James Sikking ("Hill Street Blues"), Clifton James and Erik Estrada. NOT ON DVD

 

 

Friday, May 25 - 7:30 PM

Politically Incorrect Cops Double Feature! Richard Rush in person!

FREEBIE AND THE BEAN, 1974, Warner Bros., 113 min. This cop buddy action film directed by Richard Rush (THE STUNT MAN) was mercilessly savaged by critics who found it disturbingly offensive – but it packed them in at the box office. Contrary to most then-current reviews, Rush’s approach is so insanely over-the-top, so remorselessly profane and politically incorrect, it transcends into an anarchic, anything-goes, live-action cartoon universe. Sensitive, though hot-tempered, Latino cop Alan Arkin is repeatedly provoked by his abusive, foulmouthed partner James Caan as they wreck most of San Francisco in a non-stop demolition derby trying to capture mobster Jack Kruschen. Valerie Harper is a standout as Arkin’s put-upon wife. "…rife with racism, homophobia and sexism. That it entertains rather than appalls is down to James Caan and Alan Arkin's brilliant badinage which, together with some excellent action sequences, ensure director Richard Rush's movie gets away with its detours into bad taste."Channel 4 Film (UK) NOT ON DVD Director Richard Rush in person!

REPORT TO THE COMMISSIONER, 1975, MGM Repertory, 112 min. Dir. Milton Katselas. Realistically hard-edged and relentless in its energy, this depiction of an undercover narcotics operation botched by the well-meaning interference of na´ve rookie Michael Moriarty is gripping from beginning to end. Like few other cop movies, it still packs an enormous emotional wallop. Veteran detective Yaphet Kotto ("Homicide: Life on the Streets") breaks Moriarty in as best he can, but he cannot save him from the sharks in their own department. Moriarty’s footchase and elevator shaft standoff with drug dealer ‘Stick’ (Tony King) is one of the most suspenseful in 1970’s action films. Co-starring Hector Elizondo, Susan Blakely, Edward Grover, William Devane. Abby Mann (Oscar-winner for his scripts for both SHIP OF FOOLS and JUDGEMENT AT NUREMBERG) and Ernest Tidyman (THE FRENCH CONNECTION) adapted the novel by James Mills (who was also the original author of Panic In Needle Park). NOT ON DVD

 

 

Saturday, May 26 - 7:30 PM

Confessional Bestsellers Double Feature

SUCH GOOD FRIENDS, 1971, Paramount, 101 min. One of director Otto Preminger’s (ANGEL FACE) best, most fascinating later films finds Dyan Cannon reeling at the revelation that her comatose husband (Laurence Luckinbill) was sleeping around with many of her closest friends. We watch as she commiserates and retaliates with her "friends," doctors and relatives, including Jennifer O’Neil, James Coco, Louise Lasser (BANANAS; "Mary Hartman"), Nina Foch, Ken Howard and Burgess Meredith. The scalpel-sharp screenplay adapted from Lois Gould’s novel was co-written by Elaine May (under the pseudonym Esther Dale), David Shaber and an uncredited Joan Didion. "Four stars. Otto Preminger's SUCH GOOD FRIENDS is a hard, unsentimental, deeply cynical comedy about life…in New York City. It's Preminger's best film in a long time, probably since ANATOMY OF A MURDER in 1959." -- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times NOT ON DVD

Rare! PORTNOY’S COMPLAINT, 1972, Warner Bros., 101 min. This directorial debut of famed screenwriter, Ernest Lehman (he penned WEST SIDE STORY and THE SOUND OF MUSIC!), is an adaptation of Philip Roth’s bestseller and served to bitterly divide critics. Since the book’s subject matter was largely composed of long monologues devoted to a young, Jewish man’s unhealthy obsession with - well, "spanking the monkey" - as well as his caustic relationship with his neurotic mother (played by Lee Grant), many believed it to be not only obscene, but also unfilmable. Richard Benjamin is the distressed young man (he had starred in another Roth adaptation the previous year, GOODBYE COLUMBUS) and Karen Black (who received excellent notices) plays one of his "love" interests, nicknamed, perhaps not uncoincidentally, "The Monkey." With Jeannie Berlin and Jill Clayburgh. NOT ON DVD

 

 

Thursday, May 31 - 7:30 PM

Fish-Out-of-Water Double Feature:

3 WOMEN, 1977, 20th Century Fox, 124 min. Director Robert Altman’s dazzlingly brilliant study of three different women who have more in common than one initially imagines, with everything from consumer culture to macho-role-playing skewered as the narrative unfolds. Clueless, but sweet Millie (Shelley Duvall), working at a convalescent resort, takes young, naive Pinky (Sissy Spacek) under her wing, and both become gradually caught up in the strange relationship between reclusive artist, Willie (Janice Rule) and her husband (Robert Fortier, who seems to be channeling Hunter S. Thompson). Fascinatingly offbeat and, at times, frightening, as the heart of the characters’ lives is stripped bare to reveal a quirky core as empty and arid as their desert community.
Rare! LEO, THE LAST, 1970, MGM Repertory, 104 min. Director John Boorman’s shamefully neglected comedy drama chronicles impoverished Italian nobleman Marcello Mastroianni’s alternately whimsical and wistful experiences residing in a black London ghetto. Veers beautifully and skillfully between carefully observed character study and guerrilla theater. Co-starring Billie Whitelaw, Calvin Lockhart, Louis Gossett, Jr. "…a most engagingly shy and sensitive Marcello Mastroianni, in a performance of great self-effacing intelligence. Everybody around him is good, but the black family across the way, that is not even heard until near the end, is superb. Glenna Forster Jones - skinny, sexy, bright and tough - would by herself be reason for going to any movie. And Boorman seems to excel in sensing where his actors most vividly and subtly meet the characters he has in mind…in his newest movie he reveals a taste for profitable risk-taking that is a characteristic of the very best directors." -- Roger Greenspun, The New York Times NOT ON DVD