The Delinquents (1957) - News Poster

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How George A. Romero Changed the Course of American Independent Film

How George A. Romero Changed the Course of American Independent Film
Predictably, most of the memorials for the late great horror director George A. Romero focused on his influence on the zombie and wider horror genre. Yes, he was important and influential in that area. But his legacy is much wider. More than any other filmmaker, Romero changed the course of independent film making in America.

Independent films have been around as long as movies existed. Indeed, in their infancy all early features from around 1912 were basically independent, before the Hollywood studio system rapidly evolved in the late teens.

Though the majors dominated moviemaking and distribution from their hub in Southern California, many independent filmmakers such as Edgar G. Ulmer, the idiosyncratic Edward Wood, African-American pioneer Oscar Micheaux and various ethnic cinemas flourished on the side. In 1955 Robert Altman was making industrial films in Kansas City when he was hired by a local businessman to make his first feature, the low-budget
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The Delinquents

“Here is the screen’s most shocking exposé, of the ‘Baby-Facers’ just taking their first stumbling steps down Sin Street U.S.A.!” Robert Altman’s first feature film is far too good to be described as any but an expert step toward an impressive career. But he had to deal with a young actor who drove him up the wall, Tom Laughlin.

The Delinquents

Blu-ray

Olive Films

1957 / B&W / 1:66 widescreen / 72 min. / Street Date March 21, 2017 / available through the Olive Films website / 29.98

Starring: Tom Laughlin, Peter Miller, Richard Bakalyan, Rosemary Howard, Helen Hawley, Leonard Belove, Lotus Corelli, James Lantz, Christine Altman, George Mason Kuhn, Pat Stedman, Norman Zands, James Leria, Julia Lee, Lou Lombardo.

Cinematography: Charles Paddock

Film Editor: Helene Turner

Second Unit Director: Reza Badiyi

Produced, Written and Directed by Robert Altman

The hoods of tomorrow! The gun molls of the future!

Ah, the glorious Juvenile Delinquency film, or J.D. Epic,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

The Delinquents, Peyton Place and The Wanderers: Jim Hemphill’s Home Video Picks

Robert Altman was making a living as an industrial filmmaker in Kansas City, Missouri when an opportunity arose that would change his life — and the history of American movies — forever. It was the mid-1950s and juvenile delinquent movies like The Blackboard Jungle and Rebel Without a Cause were burning up the box office, so the son of a movie theater chain owner approached Altman with idea of producing his own teen film. Altman banged out a script in three or four days, and on a budget of $60,000 shot his first feature, The Delinquents, in two weeks with […]
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Short Cuts

Success in the ’90s gave Robert Altman the opportunity to experiment once again. Several short stories by Raymond Carver interlock in a mosaic of Los Angeles populated by scores of actors in ensemble mode. Clocking in at three hours, Altman’s epic has all the time and space it needs.

Short Cuts

Blu-ray

The Criterion Collection 265

1993 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 187 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date October 18, 2016 / 39.95

Starring Andie MacDowell, Bruce Davison, Jack Lemmon, Julianne Moore,

Matthew Modine, Anne Archer, Fred Ward, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Chris Penn, Lili Taylor, Robert Downey Jr., Madeleine Stowe, Tim Robbins, Lily Tomlin, Tom Waits, Frances McDormand, Peter Gallagher, Annie Ross, Lori Singer, Lyle Lovett, Buck Henry, Huey Lewis, Margery Bond, Robert DoQui.

Cinematography Walt Lloyd

Production Designer Stephen Altman

Art Direction Jerry Fleming

Film Editors Suzy Elmiger, Geraldine Peroni

Original Music Gavin Friday, Mark Isham

Written by Robert Altman, Frank Barhydt from writings
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Stakeout on Dope Street

With a title like this you know it has to be good. Irvin Kershner got his start directing on this small-scale tale of kids and crime. Jonathan Haze and Abby Dalton are standouts in the cast, while the uncredited executive producer who put up the cash is said to have been Roger Corman. It's a beautiful widescreen transfer -- the film was one of the first features shot by Haskell Wexler, who is also uncredited. Stakeout on Dope Street DVD-r The Warner Archive Collection 1958 / B&W / 1:85 widescreen / 83 min. / Street Date June 22, 2016 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Starring Yale Wexler, Jonathon Haze, Morris Miller (Stever Marlo), Abby Dalton, Allen Kramer, Herman Rudin, Philip Mansour, Andrew J. Fenady, Herschel Bernardi, Coleman Francis. Cinematography Mark Jeffrey (Haskell Wexler) Film Editor Melvin Sloan Original Music Richard Markowitz Story and Screenplay by Andrew J. Fenady, Irvin Kershner, Irvin Schwartz Produced by Andrew J. Fenady Directed
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Carnival of Souls

Cinema Art from Lawrence, Kansas?   Industrial filmmaker Herk Harvey comes through with a classic horror gem for the ages. A haunted church organist begins to suspect that her hallucinations are more than just nerves. And who is that ghoulish man who keeps appearing in reflections, or popping up out of nowhere? Carnival of Souls Blu-ray The Criterion Collection 63 1962 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 78 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date July 12, 2016 / 39.95 Starring Candace Hilligoss, Frances Feist, Sidney Berger, Art Ellison, Stan Levitt, Herk Harvey. Cinematography Maurice Prather Film Editor Dan Palmquist, Bill de Jarnette Original Music Gene Moore Assistant Director Raza (Reza) Badiyi Written by John Clifford Produced and Directed by Herk Harvey

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Herk Harvey's marvelous Carnival of Souls is an anomaly in screen horror, a regional effort that transcends its production limitations to deliver a tingling encounter with the uncanny. Harvey was a prolific producer of industrial films,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Dick Bakalyan, Character Actor Who Appeared in ‘Chinatown,’ Dies at 84

Dick Bakalyan, Character Actor Who Appeared in ‘Chinatown,’ Dies at 84
Character actor Richard (Dick) Bakalyan, who famously appeared in “Chinatown” as Loach, the partner of Jake Gittes’ former partner, who plays a key role in the movie’s climax, among many other films and TV shows, died in his sleep in Elmira, N.Y. on February 27 of a cerebral hemorrhage. He was 84.

Bakalyan was known for his broken nose and a streetwise twist of a phrase. Some fans might not remember the name, but everyone knew the face; they’d wave and call to him from cars or on the street. He said, “You have to the ride the horse you’re given” — a dedication to authenticity and subtlety that ensured his portrayal was always appropriate to the role and the scene.

In his mid-20s, Bakalyan appeared as an antisocial teen in “The Delinquents,” “The Delicate Delinquent,” “Juvenile Jungle” and “Hot Car Girl,” among others. By 30, he graduated to
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Dick Bakalyan, Character Actor Who Appeared in ‘Chinatown,’ Dies at 84

Dick Bakalyan, Character Actor Who Appeared in ‘Chinatown,’ Dies at 84
Character actor Richard (Dick) Bakalyan, who famously appeared in “Chinatown” as Loach, the partner of Jake Gittes’ former partner, who plays a key role in the movie’s climax, among many other films and TV shows, died in his sleep in Elmira, N.Y. on February 27 of a cerebral hemorrhage. He was 84.

Bakalyan was known for his broken nose and a streetwise twist of a phrase. Some fans might not remember the name, but everyone knew the face; they’d wave and call to him from cars or on the street. He said, “You have to the ride the horse you’re given” — a dedication to authenticity and subtlety that ensured his portrayal was always appropriate to the role and the scene.

In his mid-20s, Bakalyan appeared as an antisocial teen in “The Delinquents,” “The Delicate Delinquent,” “Juvenile Jungle” and “Hot Car Girl,” among others. By 30, he graduated to
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Beyond Narrative: The Future of the Feature Film

Editor's Note: RogerEbert.com is proud to reprint Roger Ebert's 1978 entry from the Encyclopedia Britannica publication "The Great Ideas Today," part of "The Great Books of the Western World." Reprinted with permission from The Great Ideas Today ©1978 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

It's a measure of how completely the Internet has transformed communication that I need to explain, for the benefit of some younger readers, what encyclopedias were: bound editions summing up all available knowledge, delivered to one's home in handsome bound editions. The "Great Books" series zeroed in on books about history, poetry, natural science, math and other fields of study; the "Great Ideas" series was meant to tie all the ideas together, and that was the mission given to Roger when he undertook this piece about film.

Given the venue he was writing for, it's probably wisest to look at Roger's long, wide-ranging piece as a snapshot of the
See full article at Roger Ebert's Blog »

Film Review: ‘Altman’

Film Review: ‘Altman’
Given the who’s-who of collaborators and acolytes of the late Robert Altman assembled for this feature-length tribute, it would have been all too easy for director Ron Mann to let the film turn into a loose, digressive — indeed, Altmanesque — jamboree of war stories and portable wisdom. But to great, stirring effect, “Altman” charts a different course, drawing on a wealth of existing material to tell the filmmaker’s story largely in his own, brashly eloquent words, and through generous clips from his massive, admittedly uneven, always uncompromising filmography. The result captures Altman the artist and the man, the one inseparable from the other, about as well as any two-hour film could hope to do. The pic makes its broadcast debut on Epix Aug. 6, following its June 20 premiere as part of the UCLA Film and Television Archive’s ongoing Altman retrospective.

Working closely with Altman’s widow, Kathryn, and his frequent producer,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Long Before Indie Blockbuster Billy Jack, Laughlin Had Trouble on the Set of Altman's First Feature Film

Tom Laughlin: ‘Billy Jack’ actor-filmmaker who died last week helped to revolutionize film distribution patterns in North America (photo: Tom Laughlin in ‘Billy Jack’) Tom Laughlin, best known for the Billy Jack movies he wrote, directed, and starred in opposite his wife Delores Taylor (since 1954), died of complications from pneumonia last Thursday, December 12, 2013, at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks, northwest of Los Angeles County. Tom Laughlin (born on August 10, 1931, in Minneapolis) was 82; in the last dozen years or so, he suffered from a number of ailments, including cancer and a series of strokes. Tom Laughlin movies: ‘The Delinquents’ and fighting with Robert Altman In the mid-’50s, after acting in college plays and in his own stock company while attending university in Wisconsin, Tom Laughlin began landing small roles on television, e.g., Climax!, Navy Log, The Millionaire. At that time, he was also cast
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Actor Tom ‘Billy Jack’ Laughlin Dead at 82

Younger movie buffs may have no idea how popular the Billy Jack movies were in the early ’70s but Billy Jack and The Trial Of Billy Jack were the cool films to see when I was in middle school. The first film in the series was Born Losers in 1967, an above average entry in the biker genre notable for its odd hero Billy Jack, a brave Native American ex-Army Green Beret played by Tom Laughlin who used his karate skills to fight a nefarious motorcycle gang. Laughlin wrote and directed three sequels which costarred his wife Delores Taylor. Billy Jack was released in 1971, and this time Billy used those same skills to fight racism and oppression. With its themes of child abuse, the trampling of Indian rights, prejudice, television exposes, campus shootings by the National Guard, the Mi Lai massacre, culture clashes, Jungian philosophy, police brutality, government corruption, karate, guns,
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Tom Laughlin Dies

Tom Laughlin Dies
Actor-writer-director Tom Laughlin, whose production and marketing of Billy Jack set a standard for breaking the rules on and off screen, has died. He was 82. Laughlin's daughter told the Associated Press that he died Thursday at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Teresa Laughlin, who acted in the Billy Jack movies, said his cause of death was complications from pneumonia. Billy Jack was released in 1971 after a long struggle by Laughlin to gain control of the low-budget, self-financed movie, a model for guerrilla filmmaking. He wrote, directed and produced Billy Jack and starred as the ex-Green
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Robert Altman: The Hollywood Interview

Director Robert Altman.

Robert Altman: Eclectic Maverick

By

Alex Simon

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the April 1999 issue of Venice Magazine.

It's the Fall of 1977 and I'm a bored and rebellious ten year old in search of a new movie to occupy my underworked and creativity-starved brain, feeling far too mature for previous favorites Wily Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) and Return of the Pink Panther (1975), and wanting something more up-to-date and edgy than Chaplin's City Lights (1931). I needed a movie to call my favorite that would be symbolic of my own new-found manhood (and something that would really piss off my parents and teachers). Mom and Dad were going out for the evening, leaving me with whatever unfortunate baby-sitter happened to need the $10 badly enough to play mother hen to an obnoxiously precocious only child like myself. I scanned the TV Guide for what
See full article at The Hollywood Interview »

Watch Robert Altman's long-lost short film, Modern Football

As great moviemakers go, Robert Altman was a late bloomer, making his name with his fifth feature film, M*A*S*H, when he was in his mid-forties. But he didn't suddenly appear out of nowhere. Before making his first low-budget movie The Delinquents in 1957 and settling in for years of journeyman work in television, Altman churned out several short industrial films starting in 1949. Most of this stuff is lost to history, but now Altman completists can check out one of his earliest works below, the 1951 Modern Football, an educational sports documentary co-sponsored by Wheaties and ...
See full article at The AV Club »

Director Robert Altman Dies at 81

Director Robert Altman Dies at 81
Robert Altman, the legendary director behind such modern classics as MASH, Nashville, The Player, and Gosford Park, died Monday night in Los Angeles; he was 81. The cause of death was not immediately disclosed, and a statement released Tuesday afternoon stated that Altman died from complications due to cancer; the news release also said that Altman had been in pre-production for a film he was slated to start shooting in February. When he was presented with an honorary Academy Award just last year, Altman revealed that he had been the recipient of a heart transplant within the past ten years, a fact he hadn't made public because he feared it would hinder his ability to get work. One of the most influential and well-respected directors of modern cinema, Altman's work was marked by a naturalistic approach that favored long, unbroken tracking shots and overlapping dialogue (as well as storylines), as well as improvisation, usually among a large ensemble cast. Though now regarded as one of the premier American filmmakers, Altman had a career that reached both popular and critical highs as well as lows, as he burst onto the scene in the early '70s with very acclaimed films, but had a string of commercial and critical failures as well. All told, he received five Oscar nominations for directing MASH, Nashville, The Player, Short Cuts and most recently Gosford Park. Other numerous awards include two Cannes Film Festival wins (for The Player and MASH), a Golden Globe (for Gosford Park) and an Emmy (for the TV series Tanner 88). Born in Kansas City, Altman attended Catholic schools as well as a military academy before enlisting in the Air Force in 1945. After being discharged, Altman tried his hand at acting and writing in both Los Angeles and New York before returning home to Kansas City, where he started making industrial films for the Calvin Company. After numerous false starts, Altman finally made the full move to Hollywood, and in 1957 directed his first theatrical film, The Delinquents. Though it didn't start him on the road to fame, the film was good enough to secure Altman work in television, particularly for Alfred Hitchcock and his Alfred Hitchcock Presents television series. In 1969, Altman was offered the script for MASH, which had been rejected by numerous other filmmakers. The movie, a black comedy set during the Korean War (and a thinly veiled attack on the then-raging Vietnam War), was a rousing commercial and critical success, scoring Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Director and, most famously, inspiring the successful TV sitcom, which took on a very different tone. His films after MASH included the revisionist western McCabe and Mrs. Miller and the updated California noir The Long Goodbye, but it was 1975's Nashville, a multi-layered film centered around the country music capital and the wildly divergent Americans who converged there, that would be his next major success, also receiving Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Director. After Nashville, Altman more often than not found himself on the opposite end of the spectrum, with films such as the acclaimed but sometimes puzzling 3 Women as well as the commercial flop A Wedding and, most notoriously, the Robin Williams version of Popeye, which was technically a hit but seen as an artistic failure. Altman worked constantly through the '80s - his films included Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, Streamers, Secret Honor, and Fool for Love - but it wasn't until the HBO series Tanner 88, about a fictional candidate's run for the presidency, that he found favor again. In the early '90s, the one-two punch of The Player (a biting Hollywood satire) and Short Cuts (based on the stories of Raymond Carver) put him back on the map, but he followed those with the less well-received Pret-a-Porter, The Gingerbread Man, and Cookie's Fortune. True to the ups-and-downs of his career, Altman was back on top with Gosford Park, a British-set ensemble film that combined comedy, drama and mystery, and marked his first Best Picture nominee since Nashville. His last films included a revisit to the world of Tanner 88 with Tanner on Tanner, and just this year, A Prairie Home Companion, based on the radio show by Garrison Keillor. Upon receiving his honorary Oscar last year, Altman appeared to be in fine health, but reportedly directed most of A Prairie Home Companion from a wheelchair, with the Altman-influenced director Paul Thomas Anderson on hand. Altman is survived by his third wife, Kathryn, their two sons, and a daughter and two other sons from two previous marriages. --Mark Englehart, IMDb staff

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