Scarecrow, Starring Al Pacino and Gene Hackman, this is a very interesting film for many reasons, many many reason. You have a method actor, in Pacino, a totally night and day approach to Hackman’s acting style, so they clashed often throughout the film shoot. This was a very small film, and did very poor at the box office, with after this film Gene Hackman just solely focused on highly commercial films. Which I think was a questionable move, since 1974’s Francis Ford Coppola‘s The Conversation which he starred was a similar in the small movie vein, but did much better at the box office.

What I wanted to focus on, was Al Pacino’s performance which was very good, and intense, as usual, now Pacino’s, and Hackman’s characters were homeless hobos traveling across the country correct from California to Michigan. I kind of get why Hackman is homeless. It looks like he has an alcohol issue, and some major anger management problems as well, and has a degree of frequency to blaming all others for his problems, mistakes, and down falls.

 

On the other hand Al Pacino, was a sailor I think, on a boat that was described to Hackman, but what really drove Pancio’s character to be out in the street, he was not an alcoholic, or a drug addict, and by his mannerisms, and diction he on all accounts seems fairly smart, no rocket scientist by no means, but seems to have pretty good common sense. So what put him in the position he was in, which I had a problem with, not a big issue, but questionable. Maybe the director didn’t want Pacino’s character to be a drug addict to avoid type casting since that was the kind of role he was in while staring in 1971’s The Panic In Needle Park, only a few years earlier also directed by Jerry Schatzberg.

Who Directed Scarecrow Jerry Schatzberg

The story was pretty simple Gene Hackman’s Character who is Max, has to get to Pittsburgh to get money he has in a bank, so he can open a car wash, and runs into Pacino’s character Lion,who is on his way to Detroit to see his child who he has never seen, and give him or her, a gift of a lamp, which he carriers around in a white box.

 

I love Schatzberg’s gritty style of shooting a film with the amazing cinematography of Vilmos Zsigmond , these guys can give a hot summers day, a very cold dark cast. Director Jerry Schatzberg had the same kind of look in the film The Panic in Needle Park. I just wish he directed more films.

What year did Scarecrow come out 1973

Gene Hackman’s Max has a very violent temper, and watching him kind of has you on edge, when will he explode, which was good ,he has a very hard boiled personality. I’m not going to give anything away in the movie. I want you to see it like I did with the element of surprises I got as the film went along. What threw me off. There was a few roles, that had some pretty significant parts in the film, and these to people seem to just disappear, and were never seen, or heard from again, which was odd, because I liked those two people, and had an important part in the films development.

 

The most incredible think about Al Pacino he never allowed himself to be type cast. Al Pacino has had an interesting start to film, starting with The Panic in Needle Park, to playing a cold blooded gangster Michael Corleone in the Godfather, then jumping into playing an honest cop trying to do the right thing in a very corrupt New York City police Dept in Serpico, to his character Lion in Scarecrow, then back to Corleone in The Godfather Part II.

 

There was some good hobo life depicted, they occasionally found work when they needed money, and kept moving. There is some violence, that change the direction of the movie, but I liked Scarecrow. I had seen it recently on cable, after not seeing it in many years. It holds it’ own, some what dated, since its an almost 45 year old film, its just the changing of the times of course. These two guys today would have cell phones, and Max would have had online banking, and a debit card maybe so this would be a much different film in 2017

 

There are some great supporting roles, Richard Lynch, Eileen Brennan, Penelope Allen, Ann Wedgeworth, and Dorothy Tristan. Directed by Jerry Schatzberg

 

 

 

 

 

Panic In Year Zero, was released in 1962; this is an interesting film on several levels. Its borderline a B film, since there are no major current mainstream actors or actresses in the film. This is not something Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, Kirk Douglas, or Burt Lancaster, Katherine Hepburn, Deborah Kerr, Audrey Hepburn, or would see Gregory Peck signing up for. I’m sure the producers asked some of these big stars. Instead what we get is a well past his prime English Oscar winning actor well past his golden age of the Paramount picture heyday is Ray Milland in the lead as the father, and as the mother Jean Hagen who’s biggest role of her career was about 10 years earlier in Gene Kelly’s Singing In The Rain, as Lina Lamont by far the biggest role for her before or since, but by now shes firmly planed in B movie status.

Now for the teeny boppers, we have Frankie Avalon as the son, now hang on this is not a musical, and there is no singing. This is a serious drama, about what would happen if our enemies, dropped nuclear weapons on the U.S.

The Baldwin family of four were heading out on a camping, and fishing trip, leaving early in the morning. The family gets maybe an hour in the drive then a massive nuclear weapon is dropped on there home town of  Los Angeles, CA  and we follow there survival through out the movie.

Other than Milland, and Hagen along with Avalon there are no other reconcilable actors who even have supporting roles. What I did notice is how mean, and selfish people were back then, a real all for himself kind of society. Instead of having some degree on all for me none for you. There dosnet seem to be much of helping thy fellow man or woman. We perhaps are just in a different time in America now thank god, and sadly we see a lot of this is older films.

The film is fairly predicable, and there are no surprise endings. If the Twilight Zone were to be offered a 2 hour TV movie, and since the show was still very popular around the time this film was release. I can see this as a Twilight Zone TV film. In the early 60’s we were at a time of a major Russian cold war, with other films due out around the same period, Seven Days in May, and the black comedy Dr Strange Love, so all movie companies were kind of on the band wagon, pushing out there nuclear movie. I personally liked the movie it was kind of fun very dated of course, got to see some early 60’s nostalgia, and great Lex Baxter jazz music through out the film.

Panic Iin Year Zero was directed by Ray Milland

 

This film Stars Ray Milland, Jean Hagen, Frankie Avalon, and Mary Mitchel, black, and white rated G running time 93 minutes

 

 

 

 

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All The Presidents Men 1976, this was probably the best of the best political thrillers ever. Very old school reporting, from the early 70’s. This film is about the reporting of Watergate that eventually led to the first and only resignation of  a U.S. President Richard Nixon, with Bob Woodward, played by Robert Redford, and Carl Bernstein played by Dustin Hoffman, breaking the story at the Washington Post in Washington D.C

Stand out performance Jason Robards playing Ben Bradlee editor of the Post. The movie flows really well. What I like about this film is you know how it ends, but when the movie ends, Woodward and Bernstein are really getting started with the story. It’s hard to make political thrillers flow but the director the late Alan J Pakula dose an amazing job. There were a lot of old Hollywood actors in this film like two time Oscar nominee Jack Warden, Oscar winner Martin Balsam, and a great performance by 2007 Oscar nominee Hal Holbrook as deep throat.

Also some stand out performances by Jane Alexander, Meredith Baxter, Robert Walden, and Ned Beatty.

 

All The Presidents Men, I give it 5 stars

 

All the President’s Men (1976) – IMDb

 

All the President’s Men: Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein – Amazon.com

 

 

The Hustler won 2 Oscars, Best Cinematography black and white , Eugen Schufftan, and Best Art Direction, Harry Horner The Hustler, is starring Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, George C. Scott, Myron McCormick, Piper Laurie 296211370_640 MV5BMTY1NDQ3MzU5MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTQ4OTQwNw@@._V1_SX640_SY720_ paulnewman-hustler the_hustler_large_1050_591_81_s_c1 the-hustler

George C. Scott (Bert Gordon) is a successful gambler with a merciles s personal agenda and an intolerance for insolence. He offers to take Paul Newman (Eddie Felson) under his wing.

The Hustler, with Paul Newman, this movie is one of my favorite films of all time. Its in my personal top ten.  Paul Newman by the early 60s he was wrapping up, his black, and white movie era. I think Hud from 1963 may have been his last film shot in black, and white, but the Hustler from 1961 is a dark gritty film, about the seedy pool hustling world. He plays a pool hustler, and he claims hes the very best.

This film needs to be shot in black and white. Paul Newman plays career pool shark Fast Eddie Felson from Oakland California, and has been traveling with his manager Charlie played by veteran stage, and screen actor Myron McCormick. Eddie Felson’s goal is to come to Pittsburgh, but the film was shot in New York City, and to play Minnesota Fats played by Jackie Gleason. The famous pool shark, Willie Mosconi was there on the set as a technical adviser to help out with all the trick shots.

The interesting thing about Fast Eddies intentions is to beat Fats, but not just beat him, but for Fats to say hes beat, and he can’t win. It’s a very good study. Piper Laurie plays Felson girlfriend, and George C Scott plays gambler Bert Gordon who takes Felson under his wing. If you love old black, and white films, and Paul Newman. this film is for you, its a bit long, and could be slow in some places. This film is a great study in redemption, and triumph, as of this writing Piper Laurie is the only star of the film still living, at the age of 83

Paul Newman gives one of his best performance of the 1960s, with Hud, and Cool Hand Luke rounding out the decade, and there is no other pool film comes close to this film, other than The Color Of Money from 1985; Sadly this was co stars Piper Laurie’s last theatrical screen performance until 1976’s Carrie. A gifted actress, missed throught the rest of the decade of the 60’s

The Hustler won 2 Oscars, Best Cinematography black and white , Eugen Schufftan, and Best Art Direction, Harry Horner

The Hustler, is starring Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, George C. Scott, Myron McCormick,  and Piper Laurie

 

Remake: Yes there was a sequel of course . A good film. The Color Of Money 1985 starring Paul Newman, and Tom Cruise. Newman winning best actor, but a remake would work of the Hustler. It would be a small film made much like the original.

 

Directed By Robert Rossen

The Hustler, ex-boxer Jake Lamotta appears in this film with one line “check”

 

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The-Godfather-Part-2-1974




The Godfather Part II is probably the best made film of the 70s, and arguably maybe ever. Francis Ford Coppola said many times. He was under great pressure while filming the Godfather in 1971, and was about to be fired from the film at any point, almost daily by the Paramount heads, for a lot of questionable decisions. One being the casting a relatively unknown, Al Pacino, and for many other reasons. When part 2 came around, his main wish was to be left alone, and to make the move his way, and he made a master piece, on all levels.

Al Pacino’s character is clearly the new Don in the film, either being ran out of New York, by the other families, or by choice to get into the casino business, in Nevada, and pre-Castro Cuba who knows. I saw this film for the first time I think on HBO, in the cable stations primitive state maybe in the late 70s, and I did see the Godfather Saga around ’77; broadcast on TV over a three night period I think. Al Pacino, and Robert De Niro appear in this movie of course. Al Pacino as Michael, and Robert DeNiro, the young Vito Corleone.

Whats great about The Godfather Part llis everyone who was still living, what I mean who was not killed off appear in this movie from the first film. This film smartly goes back, and forth between when young Vito comes to American in 1901, and it Chronicles  Michael in 1958 Lake Tahoe,NVThis film effortlessly goes back, and forth between eras. In the 1958 era, Michael has to deal with major betrayal, a street war, and a senate investigation into his mod world. In the Vito Corleone segment starring Robert DeNiro who is a relatively newcomer to Hollywood. This film make him a super star, and earns him an Oscar. His era shows his rise to power in New York City’s little Italy in the 1920s, muscling in on the head black handers business in the streets.

The Godfather part ll released 1974

There are some supporting stand out performances. John Cazale who plays the weak, and dim witted brother Fredo has a much broader role, and the great acting coach Lee Strasberg, plays a Meyer Lansky type character by the name of Hyman Roth, and Michael’s Brooklyn New York mob Chieftain, by the name of Frankie Pentangeli, played with an Oscar nominated performance by Michael V. Gazzo. A very colorful character indeed.  The Godfather Part ll is a very long movie, but movies along very well. A lot of movies become dated after a while,but since this is a period piece, its really timeless. This film has great consumes, and music.

Little-Known Facts About ‘The Godfather: Part II’ – ABC News

It’s hard for me to choose what film is better. The Godfather, or The Godfather Part ll. What I can tell you. They are both my personal favorite movies of all time. The Godfather Part ll one the Oscar for best picture, as did the Godfather. The only sequels in the history of American film to do so. Other notable Oscar winners was Robert De Niro, Best Supporting actor for his role as Vito Corleone.

The cast rounds out with Talia Shire, Robert Duvall,Diane Keaton,Richard Bright,Bruno Kirby,Frank Sivero,Morgana King.

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola

 

 

 

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The  Anderson Tapes, was released in 1971 by Columbia pictures starring, Sean Connery,Dylan Cannon,Martin Balsam, and Alan King introducing Christoper Walken.  Directed by Sidney Lumet, Walken gets this rare introducing credit for a new up,and coming actor, or actress. Sometimes it could be a curse. I love this move. Its one of 5 or 10 movies that made me want to move to New York City. This film was released about 2 months before, the big Christmas blockbuster Bond Film Diamonds Are Forever, and would be Connerys last Bond appearance before the 80’s Never Say Never Again.

The Anderson Tapes Sean Connery Christoper Walken

The Anderson Tapes, was a Gangster film.  The movie begins with Connery, Walken, and another inmate being released from prison after a long stretch, the most interesting thing about the move is. The FBI, and other law enforcement agencies are filming, and video taping there every movement from the start of the move till the very end.  A deal is made with Alan Kings character a crime boss, to rob, an upscale apartment building located at 1 East 91st Street in Manhattan. Dyan Cannon plays Connery’s girlfriend who lives in the building. Well King gave Connery’s team the ok, which consist of Connery, Walken, Martin Balsam, Dick Anthony Williams,and Paul Benjamin, with veteran actor Val Avery. A great cast of new up, and coming method actors, with the old school.

Look for stand out performances by Garrett Morris playing a New York City cop, and well as Ralph Meeker. The Anderson Tapes is a small movie of course. A film not to over shadow, or out do Connery’s Bond a few months later, but a cleaver, very well made film, also by one of my favorite films by Sidney Lumet. He also directed Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon, and Henry Fonda, and Martin Balsam in 12 Angry Men about 13 years earlier. I saw the Anderson Tapes for the first time on HBO maybe in the early 1980’s.

The Anderson Tapes Sean Connery,Dyan Cannon

Remake rating is a five. This film I’m surprised has not been remade. I could see it staring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and maybe Angelina Jolie.

The Anderson Tapes, is clever because it kind of gives the ending away with out really doing it . Of course I’m not going to give it away here or spoil it , but its a fun crime drama with some comedy.

The Anderson Tapes, 1971 Sidney Lumet