Monday, 16 November 2015

Film Review, June 1977 Issue

Another look at the world of cinema through the pages of the magazine Film Review.

We've reached the summer of 1977 and the June issue of the magazine. The front cover features Sylvester Stallone whose film Rocky has just won three Oscars, for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Editing. It will spawn a whole series of sequels starring Stallone and ensure his place in the top ten list of Best Bruises.

Inside the front cover is a warning of what drinking too much can do as this couple drift out to sea on a flimsy raft, oblivious to the dangers of his foot enticingly attracting local sharks and the lack of any factor 30 sun screen. Come to think of it - there's a lack of any Bacardi bottle on that raft too...

There was a report from the Cannes Festival in the magazine. Amongst the films shown at Cannes in 1977 was The Duellists starring Keith Carradine and (pictured above) Harvey Keitel as two officers in Napoleon's army who fought duels against each other for 15 years. Now that's what I call a rotten shot!

David Carradine, massively famous for the TV series Kung Fu, which for a short while changed the playing habits of little boys from playing cowboys to making sharp pointed metal stars to fling at each other, is seen here playing folk singer Woody Guthrie in the United Artists film Bound For Glory.

Another United Artists film with a musical storyline was New York, New York with Liza Minnelli and Robert De Niro, set in the Big Band era of the 1940s. Ah... yes it was on page eleven as it happens, why do you ask?

I've never got round to watching Joseph Andrews I must admit. Described in this poster as "an epic love story" it does rather come off more as a typical 1970s British sex comedy. Michael Hordern (brilliant actor but with a fabulous technique for whimsy and lechery as witness A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum), Beryl Reid and Jim Dale are supporting cast. The gorgeous Ann-Margaret plays Lady Booby and is described elsewhere in the magazine as a "booby dazzler"... It's not one that I'll go searching for to watch almost forty years later!

But the charms of Ann-Margaret, I am certain, would be far more delightful than those of the 84-year-old Mae West who tottered out to make Sextette, another sex-comedy that I haven't seen and would probably close my eyes if kidnapped and tied to a chair in front of the screen... Tongue-in-cheek and hokum that it was surely intended to be, I just can't imagine that anyone would seriously suspend belief and good taste enough to want to watch Timothy Dalton acting frustrated as her newly-wed sixth husband trying in vain to spend his wedding night alone with her. Suspend belief? You'd have to shoot it straight out of your dictionary...!

Ugh, sorry - I'm going to have to clean my teeth after that one! A full-page advert for toothpaste in a cinema magazine - yes indeed, don't forget those pearly whites need to shine out in the dark!

The success bombshell that is Jodie Foster brings out yet another fabulous film. Sheesh they must have worked the poor girl into the ground in the first half of 1977! I did go to see this film and it was very funny. I'm not sure if it was the first such body-swap film but it was the first I came across and the only others I can think of were all brought out after it, so it was a novel idea to me anyway at the time. It was re-made by the same company (Disney) in 2003 with Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan and you have to wonder why that was deemed necessary...

Meanwhile in the world of sequels... After Doug McClure and Susan Penhaligon were stranded in a land full of prehistoric monsters in the 1975 The Land That Time Forgot here we revisit in 1977 for The People That Time Forgot. The hero this time is a buddy of Doug's character who comes to rescue him and who is played by Patrick Wayne, son of John. Seen with him here are the wonderful Thorley Walters, Dana Gillespie and Sarah Douglas.

In the letters section of the magazine the argument was still raging over whether Roger Moore was a credible Bond or not with letters on either side. Someone else felt so moved by a line in the credits of A Star Is Born that they wrote in to share the fact that they had read "Ms Streisand's gowns from her own closet"... And for that the magazine paid one pound, as it did for every letter published.

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