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Reviews: Sidney Poitier In "They Call Me Mister Tibbs!" (1970) And "The Organization" (1971); Kino Lorber Blu-ray Releases

  • CinemaRetro
By Lee Pfeiffer

The year 1967 marked the high point of Sidney Poitier's screen career. He starred in three highly acclaimed box office hits: "To Sir, With Love", "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" and "In the Heat of the Night".  The fact that Poitier did not score a Best Actor Oscar nomination that year had less to do with societal prejudices (he had already won an Oscar) than the fact that he was competing with himself and split the voter's choices for his best performance. "In the Heat of the Night" did win the Best Picture Oscar and immortalized Poitier's performance as Virgil Tibbs, a Philadelphia detective who finds himself assigned to assist a redneck sheriff (Rod Steiger, who did win the Oscar that year for his performance in this film) in a town in the deep south that has experienced a grisly unsolved murder. When Steiger's character, resentful for
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Hal Philip Walker, Albuquerque, Nashville And Election 2016

From the first time I saw it until this moment, two days before what might just be the most important, potentially resonant (for good and ill) American presidential election since the days of the Civil War, no other movie has expanded in my view more meaningfully, more ambiguously, with more fascination than has Robert Altman’s Nashville. We often hear of movies which “transcend” their genres, or their initial ambitions or intentions, and often built into that alleged transcendence is a condescension to said genre, or those ambitions or intentions, as if the roots were somehow corrupt or unworthy, in need of reconstruction. If the form of Nashville transcends anything, it’s the shape and scope of the multi-character drama as we’d come to know it in 1975, which was dominated at the time by disaster movies and their jam-packed casts filled with old Hollywood veterans and Oscar winners. But
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‘Get To Know Your Rabbit’: Brian De Palma’s Transitional Fiasco

There’s an alternate version of Brian De Palma’s career where 1972’s Get to Know Your Rabbit stands as one of the most seminal entries. The last of De Palma’s early-70s comedies, the film is most readily recognized as a prelude to his directorial turning point. Just a year later, he began a string of legacy defining films: Sisters, Obsession, and Carrie.

But this early-period black sheep is more than a mere historical footnote. It’s the transitional fiasco that De Palma needed. Coming after the modest hits of Greetings and Hi, Mom!, this was the big leagues, a chance for the nascent but rising director to work with Hollywood and establish himself as a conjunction of artistic and financial impulses.

It’s only inevitable that even De Palma’s crowd-pleasing comedy scans as commentary about the prison of working with studios. In an impish reversal of the artist’s own circumstances,
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Robert Altman’s Nashville Screens Thursday Night at The Tivoli

“Y’all take it easy now. This isn’t Dallas, it’s Nashville! They can’t do this to us here in Nashville! Let’s show them what we’re made of. Come on everybody, sing! Somebody, sing!”

Nashville screens one time only Thursday, September 24th at The Tivoli Theater (6350 Delmar Blvd, St. Louis) at 7pm

In a decade of great films, Nashville is one of the greatest. I saw Nashville during its initial theatrical release and have seen it several times since but it has not played on the big screen (at least in St. Louis) in a long time. In 1974 director Robert Altman was directing films for United Artists and wanted them to produce his film Thieves Like Us. They agreed if he would agree to direct a story about country music that they had a script for. He rejected the script and said he would offer them
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Time Machine: Veterans Wallach and Coppola - Godfather 3 in Common - Are Special Oscar Honorees

Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson on the Oscars' Red Carpet Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson at the Academy Awards Eli Wallach and wife Anne Jackson are seen above arriving at the 2011 Academy Awards ceremony, held on Sunday, Feb. 27, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. The 95-year-old Wallach had received an Honorary Oscar at the Governors Awards in November 2010. See also: "Doris Day Inexplicably Snubbed by Academy," "Maureen O'Hara Honorary Oscar," "Honorary Oscars: Mary Pickford, Greta Garbo Among Rare Women Recipients," and "Hayao Miyazaki Getting Honorary Oscar." Delayed film debut The Actors Studio-trained Eli Wallach was to have made his film debut in Fred Zinnemann's Academy Award-winning 1953 blockbuster From Here to Eternity. Ultimately, however, Frank Sinatra – then a has-been following a string of box office duds – was cast for a pittance, getting beaten to a pulp by a pre-stardom Ernest Borgnine. For his bloodied efforts, Sinatra went on
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Youthful Redford Immersed in Dirty World of Politics on TCM Tonight

Young Robert Redford and politics: 'The Candidate' and 'All the President's Men' (photo: Robert Redford as Bob Woodward in 'All the President's Men') A young Robert Redford can be seen The Candidate, All the President's Men, Three Days of the Condor, and Downhill Racer as Turner Classic Movies' Redford series comes to a close this evening. The world of politics is the focus of the first three films, each one of them well-regarded box-office hits. The last title, which shows that politics is part of life no matter what, is set in the world of competitive sports. 'The Candidate' In the Michael Ritichie-directed The Candidate (1972), Robert Redford plays idealistic liberal Democrat Bob McKay, who, with no chance of winning, is convinced to run against the Republican incumbent in a fight for a California seat in Congress. See, McKay is too handsome. Too young. Too liberal.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Director Richard Rush To Appear At "The Stunt Man" Screening, Landmark Theatre, L.A. February 19

  • CinemaRetro
The Stunt Man, Richard Rush’s spectacular and highly entertaining 1980 film starring Peter O’Toole and Steve Railsback, will be screened on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at the Landmark Theatre in Los Angeles. Director Richard Rush is scheduled to appear at the screening, and other cast members are due to be determined as the screening date approaches. From the press release:

Vietnam veteran Cameron (Steve Railsback) is on the run from the police when he stumbles onto the set of a war movie directed by megalomaniac Eli Cross (Peter O'Toole). But when the young fugitive is forced to replace a dead stunt man, he falls in love with the movie's leading lady (Barbara Hershey) while trying to avoid getting arrested or killed. Is Eli trying to capture Cameron's death on film? And what happens to a paranoid stunt man when illusion and reality change places? Completed in 1979 but unreleased until 1980, this innovative
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Mike Gold: A Condo On The Wild Side

As you may have heard, singer/songwriter/occasional actor Lou Reed died last Sunday.

This didn’t come as much of a surprise. Several months ago, ComicMix’s own Martha Thomases had a swell birthday party at a wonderful-yet-foo-foo West Village Manhattan restaurant. As we left we walked through the massive line waiting to get in and I passed by a guy I thought I knew or recognized. Embarrassed, I waited until we were outside before I asked Martha if she knew who that was. She stopped, stared for a second, and said “Oh my god, that’s Lou Reed.”

Lou looked like shit – well-coiffed shit, but still… A week later we heard he was in for a liver transplant. Ultimately, it was that transplant that led to his death.

Martha and I share another Lou Reed moment, this one with fellow ComicMixer John Ostrander. You see, there is this
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The Conversation | Review

Director: Francis Ford Coppola Writer: Francis Ford Coppola Starring: Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Frederic Forrest, Cindy Williams, Allen Garfield, Teri Garr, Harrison Ford Harry Caul’s latest surveillance job involves listening in on Mark (Frederic Forrest) and Ann (Cindy Williams), a couple making the most out of a crowded park to talk about nothing in particular—or so it seems. […]
See full article at SmellsLikeScreenSpirit »

RopeofSilicon Movie Club: 'The Conversation' (1974)

Looking back at my Netflix history, the first time I saw Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation was almost four years ago exactly. For those that have seen my Paused features, this was actually the first film that gave me the idea to do such a feature. In fact, four years ago I took the above screen capture and today was the first time I've used it. Hackman in the shadows and the blue light in the background. I think it's a beautiful shot. While Coppola's first two Godfather films are rightly considering his masterpieces, there is a lot to be said for The Conversation and Gene Hackman's complicated performance. Hackman stars here as Harry Caul, a surveillance expert whom we first meet as he and his team are capturing the audio of a conversation between a young couple as they walk circles around Union Square. The conversation, to our ears,
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »


  • Comicmix
Back in the early days of cable, movies were rerun endlessly so if you liked one, you could burn their frames onto your retinas and it became a part of yourself. As a result, I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for 1974’s Busting. You sit there, scratching your head, and can’t recall the film and there’s no shame in that.

Written and directed by Peter Hyams (The Star Chamber, Outland), it is a buddy cop film before that became in vogue and is very much from the era. It has a nice grainy film stock, makes the cops and the thugs slovenly and a visual shambles. While most of Hyams’ peers set their gritty tales of big city corruption and the only honest cops’ efforts to bring down the kingpin of crime in New York City, Hyams set his in Los Angeles, although you’d be hard-pressed to tell.
See full article at Comicmix »

DVD Review - One from the Heart (1982)

One from the Heart, 1982.

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola.

Staring Frederic Forrest, Teri Garr, Raul Julia, Nastassja Kinski, Lainie Kazan, Allen Garfield and Harry Dean Stanton.


In Las Vegas, a couple break up on their fifth anniversary and both go on to find whom they believe to be their perfect match.

From the director of The Godfather, The Godfather: Part II, The Conversation and Apocalypse Now comes... er... One from the Heart. Remembered now as the film which declared Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope Studios bankrupt, it remains the complete and utter failure it was when first released in 1982.

God only knows what Coppola was thinking when he wrote the screenplay; his previous four films were examples of the finest films ever put to celluloid and he must have wanted a change from all that success and praise. One from the Heart couldn’t be further removed from the
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Blu-ray Review - The Conversation (1974)

The Conversation, 1974.

Written and Directed by Francis Ford Coppola.

Starring Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Allen Garfield, Frederic Forrest, Cindy Williams, Michael Higgins, Elizabeth MacRae, Teri Garr and Harrison Ford.


During a routine wire-tapping job, a surveillance expert has a crisis of conscience when comes to suspect that the couple he is recording will be murdered.

We open on a wide shot over looking San Francisco’s Union Square. People go about their day. A mime entertains a small crowd. We hear conversations of the people, but only snippets and fragments; this is interrupted by a loss of audio and static. Something isn’t right – we shouldn’t be listening in on these people’s lives. The camera switches to show a couple caught in the crosshairs of not a gun, but a state of the art listening device. As the story unfolds, we will learn that it is just as dangerous.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

New this Week: ‘In Time,’ ‘The Rum Diary’ and ‘Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy (Bd)’

Hitting movie theaters this weekend:

Anonymous - Rhys Ifans, Vanessa Redgrave, David Thewlis

In Time - Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy

Puss in Boots - Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis

The Rum Diary - Johnny Depp, Giovanni Ribisi, Aaron Eckhart

Movie of the Week

The Rum Diary

The Stars: Johnny Depp, Giovanni Ribisi, Aaron Eckhart

The Plot: American journalist Paul Kemp (Depp) takes on a freelance job in Puerto Rico for a local newspaper during the 1950s and struggles to find a balance between island culture and the ex-patriots who live there.

The Buzz: Where to begin? Have you seen the trailer? There’s a lot to digest in there.

In all honesty, I’d be a lot more excited than I am, (presently my excito-meter is at about a 6/10) if I’d never caught wind of the many negative rumblings about this film (I have a close
See full article at Scorecard Review »

The Coppola classic The Conversation coming to Blu

Lionsgate Films is gearing up for an October 25th Blu-ray release of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation (1974). The film stars Gene Hackman as an audio surveillance expert working in San Francisco who is faced with the dilemma of becoming involved with the targets he is monitoring. John Cazale, Harrison Ford, Cindy Williams, Allen Garfield, Frederic Forrest and Robert Duvall co-star, in the film which received numerous Oscar nominations for Sound Design, Best Screenplay, and Best Picture.

Here’s the listing for the disc’s extras:

Screen Tests

On-location Retrospective Featurette

Interviews with Director Francis Ford Coppola and Composer David Shire

Archival Footage

Archival Audio

Audio Commentaries

Making-of Featurette

Marketing Gallery

Theatrical Trailer

Source: Blu-ray
See full article at Killer Films »

DVD Playhouse--June 2011

DVD Playhouse June 2011


Allen Gardner

Kiss Me Deadly (Criterion) Robert Aldrich’s 1955 reinvention of the film noir detective story is one of cinema’s great genre mash-ups: part hardboiled noir; part cold war paranoid thriller; and part science- fiction. Ralph Meeker plays Mickey Spillane’s fascist detective Mike Hammer as a narcissistic simian thug, a sadist who would rather smash a suspect’s fingers than make love to the bevvy of beautiful dames that cross his path. In fact, the only time you see a smile cross Meeker’s sneering mug is when he’s doling out pain, with a vengeance. When a terrified young woman (Cloris Leachman, film debut) literally crossed Hammer’s path one night, and later turns up dead, he vows to get to the bottom of her brutal demise. One of the most influential films ever made, and perhaps the most-cited film by the architects
See full article at The Hollywood Interview »

The Conversation Review d: Francis Ford Coppola

The Conversation (1974) Direction and Screenplay: Francis Ford Coppola Cast: Gene Hackman, Robert Duvall, Frederic Forrest, Allen Garfield, John Cazale, Cindy Williams, Michael Higgins, Elizabeth MacRae, Teri Garr, Harrison Ford Oscar Movies Gene Hackman, The Conversation By Dan Schneider of Cosmoetica There are some works of art that are both obviously derivative and just as obviously inferior to the originals. Those simply ape the earlier work, tweak a few minor things, and try to pass off their theft as an "homage." The Conversation (1974), written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola and winner of the Cannes Film Festival's Palme d'Or, is not one of those minor works. Though it has an indebtedness to Michelangelo Antonioni's brilliant Blowup (1966), The Conversation does not merely ape that film's existential dilemma of an accidental photograph possibly cluing its lead character into murder. Instead, Coppola's film probes far more deeply into the mind of Harry Caul
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

36 Minutes of Quentin Tarantino's 'My Best Friend's Birthday'

Get ready to watch a rare piece of cinema as Vulture has come across the only remaining footage of Quentin Tarantino's early film My Best Friend's Birthday on YouTube.

I have not watched it yet, but did watch the opening to see what kind of quality we're talking about and it is pretty good considering you can't buy this anywhere. The YouTube description of it reads as follows: It's Mickey's Birthday and his girlfriend just left him, so that's when his friend Clarence shows him a birthday he'll never forget.

The film was completed, but the final reel was destroyed in a lab fire that broke out during editing. The surviving part of the film was shown in part to a small crowd in early 1987.

Actor Allen Garfield was teaching Quentin Tarantino acting at the time, and that is how he also became involved in the project. Filmed over three years,
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

The Man and His Dream: A Francis Ford Coppola Profile (Part 3)

Trevor Hogg profiles the career of legendary filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola in the third of a five-part feature... read parts one and two.

“The success of The Godfather [1972] went to my head like a rush of perfume. I thought I couldn’t do anything wrong,” admitted Oscar-winning director Francis Ford Coppola who decided to produce a $23 million romantic fantasy. “One from the Heart [1982] suffered from the perception of me as some wild, egomaniac Donald Trump type of guy, and once they think about you that way, it’s just so many months before you’re brought down.” A middle class couple (Frederic Forrest and Teri Garr) split up and head off to Las Vegas where they encounter fanciful lovers. “I wanted to take a fable-like story and treat it almost the way [Walt] Disney would approach a story in his animated films,” explained the filmmaker. “If we had made the movie in Las Vegas,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

See also

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