Sunday, 20 December 2015

Film Review, October 1977 Issue

Here we are again delving through the pages of the magazine Film Review from 38 years ago.

"Bigger and Brighter!" (with this issue the magazine increased in size from 10.8 x 8.25 inches to A4: roughly 11.75 x 8.4) It ran to 56 pages counting front and rear cover from the previous 48 pages and featured more colour, more pictures and more features. It also featured a price increase from 15p per issue to 25p, though this still made it a cheaper magazine than most on the shelves of 1977.

Liza Minelli and Robert De Niro were pictured boogie-ing on down in New York, New York

On the inside cover this issue is our toiletries advert for Wella's Blo-dry which now contains a touch of cosmetic colour which tones down "brassiness" for blondes, adds depth to "mousy-browns" and imparts "richness" to brunettes. Not by way of funds I suspect...

Robin Askwith and Liz Fraser and a warning of what can happen when you go through a ghost train ride with hanky-panky on your minds are shown here enhancing the Contents page in a shot from the film Confessions From A Holiday Camp. Robin features in two more photographs in the magazine, one with Julia Bond from the same film and in another with Fiona Richmond from the film Let's Get Laid. Meanwhile young ladies from around the world were refusing sex with English boys, convinced their lovemaking would be interrupted by returning husbands/wives, deluges of water, collapsing beds or runaway motor lawn mowers...

In a new regular feature for the magazine, Peter Haigh's Pictures & People, there is the interesting behind-the-scenes tale of film producer John Dark who was in a chartered motor launch off Malta, searching out locations for a proposed film Seven Cities To Atlantis. The boat started to sink and the tiny life raft was only large enough to save a case of documents so John plunged into the water but his colleagues waited to take his photo before having to jump into the drink themselves! Two of the shipwrecked men were picked up by a small fishing boat but the others had to swim back to land, this taking an hour.

Just to rub salt into the tale, the following pages contain a double-page spread of a rather more fortunate couple enjoying sailing their catamaran. It doesn't at first glance appear that this would afford them much time to start swigging Bacardi and Tonic, but who knows...?

A couple of pages later and Smirnoff's new "Well they said anything could happen" campaign presents us with a fruit machine that pays out...fruit!

Michael York and the beautiful Barbara Carrera play the shipwrecked man and the girl he falls in love with on The Island of Dr. Moreau, from the story by H.G. Wells. Burt Lancaster played the mad doctor, intent on turning beasts into humans and vice versa. No prizes for guessing whether that turns out well...

After the success of The Exorcist in 1973 made a sequel inevitable, we rejoin the victim of demonic possession, Regan (Linda Blair) after four years when she has discovered she has the power to excite or calm others. Max Von Sydow as Father Merrin, the exorcist of the original film, returns in flashback sequences whilst Richard Burton stars as Father Lamont, trying to understand whether Father Merrin successfully exorcised or aided the Devil four years previously. Father Lamont and Regan are seen being bombarded by demon locusts.

I've not seen this film, but remember sitting through the original movie with my girlfriend of the time who was a nurse. She sat unmoved by all the events including the pea soup bit, claiming she had seen it all on the wards. She was a bit put out though at Regan's turning her head through 360 degrees... At the time, the original film seriously disturbed many people with its special effects and supernatural theme.

But if there was any green vomit in the second film it was no doubt swept up efficiently by the characters in the film Wombling Free. Holding hands with Bungo (Kenny Baker soon to be found inside a somewhat different costume as R2-D2 in Star Wars) is one of the film's humans, Kim, played by Bonnie Langford.

Normally featured on the Contents page, a shot of a film star (Roger Moore) reading Film Review is this time shown with details of a competition to visit a film studio. A panel on the same page proclaims "51 Lucky Readers" and tells how one of them won a Ford Fiesta whilst the others (surely only slightly less lucky?) won a year's supply of Valderma soap...

On August 16 1977 Elvis Presley had died leaving millions of fans shocked and saddened. In this October issue Film Review published a full-page tribute to Elvis, concluding "His death now ensures that he will become a legend...". I liked many of his songs but, as many people who know me will already know, I think it unhealthy for any person living or dead to be worshipped so much. Many people of my own generation bemoan that today's music is rubbish but we have helped contribute to that by refusing to support almost any artist unless they are a tribute act.

Nicely topical given recent medical news about Hitler... 1977 is the 50th year of talkies and we've already covered musicals and westerns. In this issue it's the turn of war films! Alec Guinness leads his men in their whistling of Colonel Bogey, at the start of The Bridge Over The River Kwai, leaving cinema audiences to supply their own choice of words...

Robert Redford winds up this article in uniform for his role in A Bridge Too Far.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments must be passed by moderator before appearing on this post.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...