Saturday, November 30, 2013


The year is 1975…and…
 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 it now, much of the print from the faded pages has yellowed, but yes, I still have it! So I've decided this month to stroll down memory lane and comment on some of the film ads from my movie scrapbook.  I’ll also try to fit in a suitable 1001 movie entry at the end of each post since that is still the point of this blog.

This is the last entry from my old movie scrapbook and I've included those ads for this post that wouldn't neatly fit anywhere else. Thank goodness for that catch-all category called Miscellaneous!

1975 Movie Scrapbook (Post 11: Miscellaneous)

1. Race With the Devil
This is one of those movies that I remember seeing when it came out (In 1975, of course) and haven't seen since. However, I do seem to still have strong memories about what it was about. Two couples (Peter Fonda & Lara Parker and Warren Oates & Loretta Swit) while vacationing in a Winnebago, witness a group of satanists performing a virgin sacrifice. The satanists spot the couples witnessing the crime and spend most of the movie chasing them down. The two couples try to tell the authorities, but everyone seems to be against them and they have no idea who they can trust. At one point, they are at a roadblock where there is a school bus accident and Peter Fonda yells out, "A school bus on a Sunday! I don't think so!" After this proclamation, Fonda wheels the Winnebago around at breakneck speed! The satanists kill Lara Parker's little dog and put a snake in the Winnebago at different times. Loretta Swit also steals a library reference book in the film's most controversial scene (At least to a librarian). The satanists do catch up to them at the end. In retrospect, the film seems like sort of a combination of The Exorcist and Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

At least that's the way I remember it.

Additional note on Lara Parker. Lara Parker is best known as the evil witch Angelique from the 60's gothic soap opera Dark Shadows. I was a regular watcher of the show during 70's reruns and I was very pleased to find Lara and her Dark Shadows co-star Katherine Lee Scott at this years DragonCon Scifi convention in Atlanta.

When I got a chance to talk with her, I asked her about Race With the Devil, though I didn't ask her about the controversial "library book theft" scene. She did sign the picture to the left for me.

2. Framed
Before he became better know (at least to me) as having his movies mocked on Mystery Science Theater 3000, there were quite a few Joe Don Baker movies made during the 70’s...Well, maybe for a couple of years, anyway.
The ad for Framed trumpets...“That Walking Tall Man is Back…He was taken By Everyone, For everything he had. All he had left was one obsession. To get even. To pay them back two for one!” The ad has a poorly drawn Joe Don leaping into the middle of the picture, I assume bent on revenge. I confess to never having seen Framed, but I did see Joe Don's movie Mitchell on Mystery Science Theater, which was probably more fun anyway.

3. Shampoo
The ad from Shampoo was a seemingly simple picture of hairdresser Warren Beatty holding a comb against the head of Gloria Hawn as Hawn and Julie Christie stare blankly into the camera. Understated and effective.


...let us not forget the movie ad for Black Shampoo, which was much less subtle..."When he's mad...he's mean...he's a lovin' machine! (Oh, yeah!)

4. The Born Losers
The early seventies was the movie era of Billy Jack. The ad here says it all...BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND “BORN LOSERS” THE ORIGINAL SCREEN APPEARANCE OF TOM LAUGHLIN AS BILLY JACK.

I too, was a Billy Jack fan and had to see this 1967 film when it was  re-released. The ad features the peace loving half-breed equipped with a shotgun and ready to take on the establishment, Nixon supporters, a corrupt city council or whomever else gets in his way!

I admit that I still have affection for the Billy Jack movies, though I didn’t vote for Tom Laughlin during the many times he ran for president.

5. The Three Days of the Condor
Shady CIA spooks under the background of a giant coin where Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway appear to be making out.

Espionage! Romance! And a menacing bird!

His CIA code name is condor. In the next seventy-two hours almost everyone he trusts will try to kill him!

6. Give Em Hell Harry
In 1975, James Whitmore received an Oscar nomination for his one man depiction of Harry Truman. I may have seen it. Or was that the one man show of Will Rogers? Or maybe that was Hal Holbrook as Mark Twain? Anyway, the giant ad is packed with positive reviews. Women’s Wear Daily says “Whitmore has an effect over his listeners that can only be described as hypnotic!” I include this because you may have been wondering what Women’s Wear Daily thought of Give ‘Em Hell Harry in 1975.

7. The Lion in Winter
The critically acclaimed 1968 Oscar Winner. This ad show off the film's three academy awards.

You Get it? This is from a 1975 scrapbook, but in those days, movies that were a few years old were often re-released and actually shown at movie theaters!

Hard to believe there ever was such a day.

8. Fantastic Planet
Ad depicts animation stills and brags about all the film festival prizes it won.

Today’s 70’s Miscellaneous movie experience is...

Fantastic Planet

This animated story of an alien culture called the Traags and their human-like pets who eventually rebel may seem like fairly standard sci-fi when the plot is recounted. What is most special about this film is the cut-out stop animation that is down right hypnotic at times.

I'd also like to point out that the first time I saw this film was on television as part of one of my favorite shows of the 80's called Night Flight. This show aired on the USA Network and showed such cult movie favorites as Eraserhead, Kentucky Fried Movie* as well as Fantastic Planet.

Night Flight also aired cutting edge videos (at least I thought them to be cutting edge videos at the time) from such artists as Kate Bush, Laurie Anderson and Mike Oldfield. I also remember them playing Frank Zappa's claymation classic Inca Roads, a bizarre video called Electric Mummy, which I can't seem to find anywhere on the Internet, and of course, Fish Heads by Barnes and Barnes.

On Night Flight, you also could relive the campy 50's sci-fi TV show Space Patrol or the Cold War clip show Atomic Cafe.

The point is you never new what to expect from Night Flight. It was definitely something to channel surf to during the 80's on a Saturday night. So if you ever find yourself channel surfing on a Saturday night during the 80's, give Night Flight a try.

*This is my fourth blog in a row with a reference to Kentucky Fried Movie. I am still mentioning this for no reason in particular.

Well, it's time to put my old movie scrapbook from 1975 back in the filing cabinet. I knew I'd find a use for it someday. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013


The year is 1975…and…

 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 it now, much of the print from the faded pages has yellowed, but yes, I still have it! So I’ve decided this month to stroll down memory lane and comment on some of the film ads from my movie scrapbook.  I’ll also try to fit in a suitable 1001 movie entry at the end of each post since that is still the point of this blog.

(1975 Movie Scrapbook Post 10: Action Heroes)

  1. 1. Russian Roulette-George Segal was a pretty good comedic actor during the 60’s and 70’s in films like Fun With Dick and Jane and dramas like Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? But George Segal-action star? The ad for Russian Roulette has George coming out of a six-shooter with a rifle under the heading, George Segal hangs tough ..and plays the game with all the chambers loaded! I don’t think this apparent effort to turn George Segal into Clint Eastwood met with much success.

2. Part 2 Walking Tall-You can’t get more 70’s kick ass action than Joe Don Baker in Part 2 Walking Tall. Wait, I forgot. They got Bo Svenson to play the lead for part 2. I guess Joe Don was too busy making Framed and Mitchell  to appear in the movie that made him semi-famous. The ad cries out, “If anything ever happens to me I want you to be sure you finish telling my story.” Apparently they didn't finish telling the story as there was later a Walking Tall: The Final Chapter.

3. The Human Factor- Clearly when movies from the mid 70’s thought of terrorists, they were thinking of mostly white guys in ski masks. The ad for this one states, Every 24 hours an American Family will be killed by radical assassins…If the CIA, FBI, and Police Can’t Stop It…The Human Factor will!

The cool little ad features a guy in a ski mask with a gun about half the size of the entire ad. Various pictures of people in chains, tied up and explosions set around a rare starring role for disaster movie specialist George Kennedy who this time is apparently not going to take any crap from anybody!

4. The Terrorists- Skyjack! Kidnap! A Time-Bomb of Suspense Has Started Ticking. Two nations are being held for ransom and Sean Connery is the agent who takes on the terrorists! I do not remember this movie at all because I am sure I would remember any 70’s movie with Sean having a both a full head of hair.

5. Bruce Lee and I-I remember after Bruce Lee’s death there were many Kung Fu films featuring a lot of sound alike actors (like Bruce Li). Though this one is listed as being directed by Bruce Lee himself, but I’m skeptical of that claim!

Today’s 70’s Action Hero movie is...

                                                               Enter the Dragon

The one movie that The 1001 book does list with Bruce Lee is Enter the Dragon. I had a little deja vu with this one. I thought that maybe I had seen it before, but soon realized that I only had only watched the parody version from a segment of Kentucky Fried Movie.*

The main reason to watch Enter the Dragon is Bruce Lee and the fight scenes (including some unexpected martial-arts moves from the the ubiquitous John Saxon). The plot does remind me a bit of one of those mid-70's Roger Moore-James Bond movies- (The Man With the Golden Gun in particular, though Enter the Dragon was made first) including the island supervillain Han, a few lovely ladies and the Afro donning Jim Kelly whose main line is “Bullshit Mr. Han-Man! Man, you come right out of a comic book!”

The DVD I watched included the extra documentary Bruce Lee: A Warrior’s Journey, which I actually liked better than Enter the Dragon. It really made me appreciate Lee that much more and included the footage of Lee’s unfinished movie, The Game of Death.

*This makes three straight blogs that I've made a reference to Kentucky Fried Movie. I bring this up for no reason in particular.

Monday, November 25, 2013


The year is 1975…and…
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 it now, much of the print from the faded pages has yellowed, but yes, I still have it! So I’ve decided this month to stroll down memory lane and comment on some of the film ads from my movie scrapbook.  I’ll also try to fit in a suitable 1001 movie entry at the end of each post since that is still the point of this blog.

1975 Movie Scrapbook (Post 9: Adults only)

1. The Cheerleaders

The infamous movie often talked about around the schoolyard of my middle school. The poop had it that it was about a cheerleader/cheerleaders who sabotage the opposing team by having sex with them and making them too tired to play! When I saw this at a midnight movie a few years later, this turned out to my surprise to be exactly what this was about! The 1975 ad intones, Come Huddle With the Cheerleaders. Everything You’ve heard about Cheerleaders Comes True! See Them Do It!
From my midnight movie experience I mostly remember a lot of drunk guys yelling Owww during the nude scenes.

2. The Happy Hooker

Another infamous sex movie of the 70’s based on the memoirs of Xaveria Hollander. I may have seen this movie, but I honestly don’t recall. I have read the book, but trust me; it was all in the name of research. The ad, which features just a picture of a shapely leg with a hundred dollar bill in her g-string screams Lynn Redgrave is a Delight! Risqué Fun.

3. The Reincarnation of Peter Proud

“1975 will be the year of The Reincarnation of Peter Proud,” said Tower Ticker of the Chicago Tribune. Well, not quite. It was the year of Jaws, actually. It did mark the first movie in which I ever saw a woman topless in a movie (Gotta love Margot Kidder and Cornelia Sharpe!) so it does mark a personal historical cinematic landmark

4. The Groove Tube

Yes, The Groove Tube was definitely a movie to see on the midnight circuit during the 70's. I have a feeling the films bawdy sketch humor that seemed pretty funny at the time may not date all that well, but the great movie poster of the gorilla with a TV on its head (satirizing the all-time great bad film Robot Monster) will stay with me for life.

5. If You Don’t Stop It You’ll Go Blind

The 70’s had a few of these R-rated sketch comedies, the best of which were Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex and Kentucky Fried Movie* and I suppose I will throw The Groove Tube into that category. A Couple of others were Can I Do It Till I Need Glasses and  If You Don’t Stop It You’ll Go Blind.  The ad for this one features a cartoon of a man in a cape clearly exposing himself and then asks, Is it funnier than Blazing Saddles? You Bet Your CENSORED It is! 

I’m guessing probably not.

And today's 70's Adults Only movie experience is...

Don't Look Now

Seeing this for the first time in over twenty-five years, Don't Look Now remains a most intriguing yet reserved psychological thriller. There is a scene toward the end of the movie that made the audience I saw it with (back in the 80's) gasp and I wondered how it would work on me viewing this alone in my living room, fully aware of what was coming. Answer: I gasped again. It's still a great scene.

But today's entry is under Adults only. And staying with that theme, Don't Look Back has a famous erotic sex scene between Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland that is so intense, that there has always been a rumor that the two of them are actually having sex on camera. Sutherland has denied it was real. I tend to believe him, because who would lie about NOT having sex with Julie Christie?

*This is my second blog in a row with a reference to Kentucky Fried Movie. I am still mentioning this for no reason in particular.

Friday, November 22, 2013

AIRPLANE! (1980)

The year is 1975…and…
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 it now, much of the print from the faded pages has yellowed, but yes, I still have it! So I’ve decided this month to stroll down memory lane and comment on some of the film ads from my movie scrapbook.  I’ll also try to fit in a suitable 1001 movie entry at the end of each post since that is still the point of this blog.

1975 Movie Scrapbook (Post 8: Disaster Movies)

Yes, I admit that I looked forward to every new disaster movie release doing this time. Airport in 1970 was really the first of the genre. It was followed in 1972 by The Poseidon Adventure. But really 1974/1975 was the disaster movie epi-center. The Towering Inferno, Airport 1975 and Earthquake were really the disaster trilogy here. A few came after, but the disaster movie really was past its peek by 1976. But the legacy of Irwin Allen lives on in expensive but cheesy Michael Bay action movies of today.

1. The Towering Inferno

I made an earlier post this month on "movies with the cast and the bottom (or side) of the ad. Well, pretty much every disaster had their all-star cast aligned here. Steve McQueen is The Fire Chief and Paul Newman is the Architect! One Tiny Spark Becomes a Night of Blazing Suspense.The world's tallest building on fire. You are there on the 135th way way out. Probably my favorite of the disaster movies of the era. The cast at the bottom of the ad includes O. J. Simpson as a security officer, Fred Astaire as a con man, and Robert Vaughn/Robert Wagner as two guys I remember having difficulty telling apart at the time.

2. Airport 1975

The ad for "A75" has the streak of a private plane plowing into the cockpit of a 747. The cast at the bottom of the ad includes a post Exorcist Linda Blair (whose role as the sick girl on the plane can no longer be seen by me as anything but source material for the similar character in Airplane!), Gloria Swanson (I can't remember if she was playing Norma Desmond or not), Sid Caesar (who has the movie's signature line, "The stewardess is flying the plane!"), and Helen Reddy as a nun (I Am Woman, indeed!)

Point to ponder: Why was George Kennedy in all four Airport movies and Earthquake? I have nothing against George Kennedy, just wondering. He seemed like a logical canidate for Zucker and Abrams to cast in Airplane!, but it was not to be. Zucker/Abrams made up for this oversight by casting George in all of The Naked Gun movies.

3. Earthquake

Pretty cool ad of the word Earthquake with the city coming apart and people falling out of the letters. But once again, we have the cast at the bottom of the ad which include former child preacher Marjoe Gortner, Richard "Shaft" Roundtree as the motorcycle stuntman with the cool name of Miles Quade, French-Canadian beauty and one of my personal hearthrobs Genvieve Bujold, Victoria Principal whose most memorable scene is modeling an undersized Miles Quade t-shirt, and of course, George Kennedy as the Beaver.
When I saw this movie for the first time I was promised the excitement of Sensurround! in the theater. The floors were supposed to shake and you, yourself would feel you were right in the middle of an actual earthquake! Well, Sensurround! was noisy, irritating and made me wish the quake scene would end so I could go on to the next scene without Sensurround!. But maybe it was just the theater, I thought. So I went to see Earthquake again a few weeks later at the late great Emory Cinema, but alas, Sensurround wasn't any better there.

4. The Hindenburg

I confess that The Hindenburg was one I never got around to seeing. The ad asks The truth at last! Who destroyed the Hindenburg? The cast at the bottom (whoops, looks like they're on the side of the ad this time) and once you get past George C. Scott and Anne Bancroft, this all-star cast doesn't seem quite as all-star as some of the others of the type. I mean, Charles Durning, Roy Thinnes and William Atherton?

5. Tidal Wave

The blame is on me for being such a disaster movie fan, that I went to see this stinker. The ad looks great: A giant tidal wave about to engulf the city. Earthquakes shatter the Nation. Cities become Raging Firestroms. But the worst is yet to come! If the ad were truthful, it would have said. “Tidal Wave takes advantage of disaster movie craze with poorly dubbed, low budget Japanese flick released with unrelated scene with Lorne Greene tacked on. Moviegoers ask for their money back!”

Today’s 70’s Disaster Movie Experience is...


I know putting a movie that came out in 1980 is probably cheating to define as a 70's movie experience. But none of the disaster movies with the cast at the bottom of the ad made the 1001 movie cut.* So, I've got to cut corners and list the parody that did make the 1001 list.

I still remember going to a lot of  movies during the summer of 1980. There was Dressed to Kill, The Shining, The Empire Strikes Back, Xanadu…ok, maybe not Xandadu. But with all due respect to Yoda, the Overlook Hotel and Angie Dickinson's naked body double, the movie of the summer of 1980 was Airplane!

It came at the right time for me. As I mentioned, I grew up with the previously mentioned disaster movies, but the formula had run pretty stale at this point and the team that brought you Kentucky Fried Movie, now brought you a parody of the genre (though technically a parody of the 50’s straight film Zero Hour! which I unsuccessfully tried to watch years later without reciting Airplane! lines back at the screen.) With a plethora of quotable one-liners.

You ever seen a grown man naked?

Surely you can’t be serious! I am serious and don’t call me Shirley.

A hospital? What is it? It's a big building with patients, but that's not important right now.

I can make a hat, a brouche, a pterodactyl...

Stewardess, I speak jive

and…well, some are only funny in context and it shows what a tightrope the Zuckers and Abrams walked because when one of the jokes fell flat…it fell very flat. Just watch the second Airplane movie (without the Zucker and Abrams) to see how much less funny that one is.

* This just in...The 2013 revised 5th edition copy of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die has included The Towering Inferno! Woo hoo!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


The year is 1975…and…
 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 it now, much of the print from the faded pages has yellowed, but yes, I still have it! So I’ve decided this month to stroll down memory lane and comment on some of the film ads from my movie scrapbook.  I’ll also try to fit in a suitable 1001 movie entry at the end of each post since that is still the point of this blog.

Post 10 1975 Movie Scrapbook (Post 7: Comedy Giants)
Brooks, Allen, Sellers, Wilder and Monty Python. The 70's was truly the cinematic comedy renaissance.

1. Return of the Pink Panther

Nice ad featuring a giant shadowed Inspector Clouseau looking through a magnifying glass at the actual cartoon Pink Panther. I remember being excited when this movie came out and still think it’s the best of the Peter Sellers/Blake Edwards Panther films.

2. Blazing Saddles

from the people that brought you The Jazz Singer! It took me awhile to realize what they meant by this was that Warner Brothers put out both The Jazz Singer and Blazing Saddles, though it is rarely seen a double feature to my knowledge. The colorful ad featuring Mel Brooks in full Indian headdress wasn't necessary to lead me to want to see this movie when it came out. I bugged my dad until he took me to see it. He also took me to see Young Frankenstein that year. Thanks, dad.

3. Love and Death

First Woody Allen movie I ever saw at the theater (Emory Cinema, a movie house that tragically died in a fire in 1978) and still one of my favorites of Allen’s. This nice big ad includes the memorable picture of Woody in the countryside with Death.

4. The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes Smarter Brother

Funny thing about this movie. It featured three members of the cast of Young Frankenstein (Gene Wilder, Marty Feldman, Madeline Kahn) which was a definite favorite of mine from a year before. I also bought the book (actually a novelization) for Smarter Brother. The only problem is that I never got around to seeing the movie! Still haven’t seen it.

5. Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Of course Holy Grail, may indeed be the Holy Grail of 70’s quotable movies. (It’s just a flesh wound. She turned me into a Newt! We are the Knights who say… NI.) The ad is pretty good too-Makes Ben Hur look like an Epic! SEE-*The Trojan Rabbit*The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch *Sets the Cinema Back 500 YearsKnight of Niek! *And Much, Much More!

Tonight's 70's comedy giants movie experience is:

Monty Python's Life of Brian

Monty Python seemed to come out of nowehere with this strange British sketch comedy television show that came on PBS during the mid 70's. A few lumberjack, dead parrot, and office of silly walks skits later, they came out with one of the ulimate cult movies of all-time, Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

But let us not forget the movie Monty Python ended the 70's with, The Life of Brian, a comedy of a man whose life parallels the life of Jesus. It received a lot of flack from religious groups despite the claims that this was not supposed to be the story of Jesus.

Oh well, my advice to those who might take offense is,
If life seems jolly rotten there's something you've forgotten
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing
When you're feeling in the dumps don't be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle, that's the thing
And always look on the bright side of life

Plus it's just as funny as Holy Grail!

Saturday, November 16, 2013


The year is 1975…and…

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 it now, much of the print from the faded pages has yellowed, but yes, I still have it! So I’ve decided this month to stroll down memory lane and comment on some of the film ads from my movie scrapbook.  I’ll also try to fit in a suitable 1001 movie entry at the end of each post since that is still the point of this blog.

1975 Movie Scrapbook (Post 6: Bombs)

1. Mandingo

Expect the savage. The sensual. The shocking. The sad. The powerful. The shameful. Expect all that motion picture screen has never dared to show before. Except the truth. Now you are ready for Madingo.

The whole ad for Mandingo is trying to make the potential moviegoer think of Gone With the Wind with lots (and lots) of sex…Interracial sex at that! I do remember this as an infamous movie of its day, but never saw it. It did have a prominent display in the 1975 Playboy Sex in Cinema review...or so I am told. Ahem.

2. The Great Waldo Pepper

Not really a bomb, but according to writer William Goldman, this Robert Redford/Geroge Roy Hill follow up to The Sting didn’t really didn’t live up to expectations either. What I still remember about the ad is the quote from Albert Weis (the film was playing at his Weis Cinema in Atlanta.) “I Love Waldo! Money back guarantee! If you don’t agree, your money will be cheerfully refunded” I still wonder if he had any takers for those who didn’t find Waldo all that appealing.

3. Gable and Lombard

They don’t make love like this anymore..but two of Hollywood’s greatest stars did and this is their hilarious and touching story.

I couldn't find a copy of the ad in my scrapbook on the Internet, so I just posted a Spanish language poster for no reason in particular. A much ridiculed movie in its day in any language before being pretty much forgotten as time passed. At least Jill Clayburgh went on to have a successful movie career and James Brolin went on to marry Barbara Streisand.

4. Whiffs

Speaking of Streisand husbands…let’s look at Elliot Gould. Definitely a prime example of William Goldman’s being a star doesn’t last long adage. MASH and Bob and Carol Ted and Alice made him a front line star…and a few movies like Whiffs took him down just as quickly. “The most hilarious military farce since MASH!” “It’s a real gasser.” The ad does feature some neat animated pictures of the cast, but nifty animated renderings of Harry Guardino and Godfrey Cambridge do not necessarily make a hit. Do you know anyone who has actually seen Whiffs?

5. The Fortune

When I was reading the book on 70’s cinema, Easy Riders and Raging Bulls, it discussed in some detail the making of The Fortune. Apparently they had a script that made very little sense and nobody involved with the film understood what was going on. The film’s pedigree of Mike Nichols directing Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty probably looked good on paper, but obviously didn’t work out that way. The ad says “You may never stop laughing!” But given this films reputation, the ad probably should read, “You may never stop scratching your head in confusion.”

Today’s 70’s movie "Bomb" experience is...

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia

I first became aware of Sam Peckinpah, as with many other things, through the jokes and cartoons that mentioned him in MAD magazine. Usually these jokes referred to violence and bloodbaths in his movies. I later watched and certainly would list as two of my favorites of this director as The Wild Bunch and Straw Dogs. But I could never bring myself to watch Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. Possibly because it was listed in Harry and Michael Medved's 1979 book The 50 Worst Movies of All Time. This is why I am listing it here under the bomb category. My old original Leonard Maltin movie guide didn’t think much of it either. But something apparently happened to the reputation of the film. Due to my past bias toward the film, I was pretty surprised to see it in the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. “The book” even states that “this is one of those rare films that divides audiences into those who rate it a five-star classic and those who see it as a one-star dog.” After finally seeing it, I have to admit that this story of a bartender who attempts to fetch a decapitated head from a Mexican graveyard and deliver it for a bounty really is something that I enjoyed watching. And yes, I know it sounds like quite the feel-good movie! The bartender is played by character actor Warren Oates (Race With the Devil, Two-Lane Blacktop and Stripes). His prostitute/singer/girl friend/ is played by the often topless Ilesa Vega. I don’t recall seeing a couple quite like them ever on the screen before, and I appreciated that. Once again, I have to give the 1001 movie book some credit for pushing me to watch something I probably would have never bothered with otherwise.

By the way, if you get the DVD, it includes an audio commentary by no less than 3! Peckinpah scholars. I’d just like to say it somehow warms my heart that there are any Peckinpah scholars, let alone three on one commentary track!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


The year is 1975…and…

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 it now, much of the print from the faded pages has yellowed, but yes, I still have it! So I’ve decided this month to stroll down memory lane and comment on some of the film ads from my movie scrapbook.  I’ll also try to fit in a suitable 1001 movie entry at the end of each post since that is still the point of this blog.

1975 Scrapbook (Post 5: Teen and Young Adult)
Can you remember the days when only certain movies were geared for a younger audience? Of course, now practically ALL movies are geared for a younger audience, but that's another story.

1. Aloha, Bobby and Rose

Bobby has a ’68 Camaro. Rose has a five year-old kid. On their first date they become lovers and fugitives.

So it’s Bonnie and Clyde meets Two-Lane Blacktop maybe? The Camaro (which I’m guessing is the real star of the film) is featured in the ad in front of the Hollywood sign where Bobby and Rose are leaning against the car talking about, you know, life and stuff.

2. Return to Macon County

The main thing I remember about this sequel to the Max Baer hit Macon County Line is that I got in the theater to see it on a free pass when my brother reviewed movies for the Valley Times News in Lannett, Alabama. The ad features a young Nick Nolte and Don Johnson and reads, “Macon County-Six Years Later: Nothings Changed But the Faces. Strange things still happen to strangers-especially kids like Bo, Harley and Junell.”

A different ad for this film that I found to the right seems to be trying to promote this as more of a Burt Reynolds good ole boy movie than the somber ad that I have in my scrapbook. Whatever sells I guess.


3. Cornbread, Earl and Me

Cornbread, Earl and Me was probably one of the few Hollywood films with a black cast during the early to mid 70's I can remember that wasn't a Dolemite/Superfly Blaxploitation film.

Hold it High and Let it Fly was his motto...but if you cut him, you cut yourself some big trouble!

The movie ad I have promotes basketball star Keith (Jamaal) Wilkes as Cornbread, in his first (and last) starring role.

I kept think Kotter kid Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs was in this one, but soon realized I was thinking about Cooley High instead. Haven't we all gotten Cornbread, Earl and Me and Cooley High mixed up at least once?

4. The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz-

How not to do a movie ad. The ad starts with the question What make Duddy run? The ad should answer something like: Because the law is on his ass! To prevent his girl from marrying another man! Or Just for the hell of it!” Instead the ad gives us a five paragraph explanation in small type that even now I can’t get to the bottom of. Goodbye, Duddy, I’ll think I’ll go watch something a little less long winded like Vanishing Point instead.

Clearly the ad to the right isn't the one I'm talking about. This one just has Duddy just giving us the finger. Much better than the other one. They should have gone with this one all along.

5. The Other Side of the Mountain

Basically a mid-70’s version of something that would have been written by Nicholas Sparks if he had been around then.

The ad claims that

It takes a rare and special movie to each week attract larger audiences than in each preceding week!

The above description really isn’t exciting enough for me. Just say instead that-Mountain gets bigger and bigger and there aint’ no stoppin’ this behemoth! ...or something to that effect.

Today’s 70’s teen and young adult movie experience is...

Saturday Night Fever

When you discuss Saturday Night Fever, you can talk about how it is a strong urban drama among young friends in the big city, or about John Travolta's breakout role of Tony Manero, the loser by day, who achieves meaning in life only on the dance floor at night, or how director John Badham captures the essence of disco during the late 70's. But if you were in high school during the time this movie was released, the thing you will mostly take away from Saturday Night Fever is the soundtrack. If you listened to top 40 radio you really couldn't get away from it. But for me, the "soundtrack" of Saturday Night Fever extends beyond what was on the actual movie soundtrack to other disco songs of the era that represent the time.

So here is my list of 30 songs that best represent the Saturday Night Fever (extended) sountrack

1.Stayin' Alive by The Bee Gees (Song I heard a million times, but never quite got the lyrics down until remade by the geriatric singers from the documentary Young @ Heart about thirty years later.)

2.Night Fever by The Bee Gees (The other big one by The Bee Gees that isn't Stayin' Alive.)

3.How Deep is Your Love by The Bee Gees (They had to have something to play during Saturday Night Fever's sentimental scenes)

4.You Should Be Dancing by The Bee Gees (Probably the best of the Bee Gees contributions to the film and also provides the background to Travolta's best moments on the dance floor.)

5.More Than a Woman by The Bee Gees/Tavares (Heard plenty of both versions of this song back in the time. Tavares makes me think of former Pittsburgh Pirate Frank Tavaras, which I mention for no reason in particular.)

6.Hot Stuff  by Donna Summer (One of the more catchy disco tunes and accentuated by the fact that Donna Summer was pretty hot stuff herself at the time)

7.A Fifth of Beethoven by Walter Murphy (When this came out, I remember critics often using the terms "Beethoven" and "spinning in his grave" together more than once.)

8.If I Can't Have You by Yvonne Elliman (Yvonne's other claim to fame was playing Mary Magdelene in the film version of Jesus Christ, Superstar. And who says Mary Magdelene can't be Hawaiian?)

9. Emotion by Samantha Sang (This top ten hit with the Bee Gees singing backup vocals sure seemed like it was in Saturday Night Fever, but wasn't)

10. Disco Inferno by The Trampps (I always loved the line, "The funk was flaaaminnn' outta control!)

11. Groove Line by Heatwave (Before looking this up, I had thought it had been recorded by Peter Brown. See #29)

12. Boogie Shoes by K. C. and the Sunshine Band (I admit that  K. C. and the Sunshine Band wasn't my thing, but I did see them in concert at the Gulf State Fair about ten years ago and I admit they were pretty good. Maybe I'm just getting soft in my old age.)

13. Shake Your Booty or That's the Way I Like It by K. C. and the Sunshine Band (I know there's a difference between these songs, but I can't think of one without the other.)

14. You Make Me Feel Like Dancing by Leo Sayer (Definitely a signature Disco song, sung by "the guy who often dressed like a clown, sang falsetto looked a little like Richard Simmons")

15. Fire by The Ohio Players (I just read where there is only one surviving member of The Ohio Players. That's just not funky at all.)

16. Disco Duck by Rick Dees (I'm all for novelty songs, but I never got or liked Disco Duck. Listening to it now...I neither get or like Disco Duck.)

17. Boogie Wonderland by Earth, Wind and Fire (Just watched the video for this, remember now how damn flashy these guys were! I guess I'm just going to have to live with the reality that I'll never be nearly as funky as Maurice White. Sigh...moving on.)

18. I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor (Yeah, yeah. I know. Your boyfriend just left you and you played this song a gazillion times until you stopped thinking about him. Whatever helps, Gertrude.)

19. Funky Town by Lipps Inc (Don't think there ever was an album called Lipps Inc's Greatest Hits. Just a hunch.)

20. Heart of Glass by Blondie (Editorial: Madonna couldn't carry Debbie Harry's panty hose. End of editorial.)

21. Dancing Queen by ABBA (Yes, I like ABBA. So sue me.)

22. I Love the Night Life by Alicia Bridges (The only person on this list I met. During the early 90's she worked at a "gay variety store" next to veterinary clinic where I worked. Nice lady.)

23. Car Wash by Rose Royce (Can't remember if the song came before the movie or the other way around. I know I could look it up, but I'd rather it just remain a mystery.)

24. Shake Your Groove Thing by Peaches and Herb (Was never sure what my groove thing was or if I wanted to shake it, but I sure heard this one a lot during the late 70's)

25. Don't Leave Me This Way by Thelma Houston (Can't think of this song without picturing spinning disco balls.)

26. Play That Funky Music by Wild Cherry (I still remember Wild Cherry had a memorable album cover with giant red lips eating a cherry.)

27. Le Freak by Chic (Seems like when the radio wasn't playing Shake Your Groove Thing, they were playing Le Freak.)

28. We Are Family by Sister Sledge (Popularized by the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates. Ok, I'm up to two Pittsburgh Pirates references on one blog entry)

29. Dance With Me by Peter Brown (Peter Brown may not have done Disco Inferno, but he for sure did this one.)

30. Last Dance by Donna Summer (And the last listing has to go to the undisptued queen of disco.)

I never thought I'd ever have a desire to compile a list of disco songs, so never say never.