Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Film Review, November 1978 Issue

Money passes hands. You smile hopefully at the pretty girl in the ticket booth, but she never looks up, not even apologetically as she blows a large bubble of chewing gum which bursts messily over her face. She slides your tickets out of the metallic slot and you mumble your thanks and head for the Circle with your mates who are all thinking along the lines of "skanky"...

Lights down, curtains open - Trailer Time! What will be on over the next couple of weeks. Well, heck, if you'd have bought Film Review magazine you would already know!

So here we are in November 1978, looking forward to the Christmas new films. Actually... none of them are Christmas related. Instead there's more of John and Livvy in Grease and an all-star cast for Death On The Nile. The Greek Tycoon with Anthony Quinn and Jacqueline Bisset has been in this magazine for what seems like ages but is finally about to hit the screens.

Inside the front cover is an advert for Bacardi that we haven't seen before. Forgive me for digressing, but does anyone else remember the superb cinema advert of the time for Gordon's Gin that was all industrial sized pipes and reservoirs apparently filled with gushing water and sometimes overlaid with the green Gordon's bottle? I think it was accompanied by the Also Sprach Zarathustra music that was also used for Old Spice aftershave, but I could be wrong in this. The other memorable Gordon's tune was done by Jeff Wayne of War of The Worlds fame.

In this 50th year since Mickey Mouse first made an appearance, Disney releases Pete's Dragon, a mix of live action and cartoon but on a different scale to those snippets from Mary Poppins and Bedknobs and Broomsticks. The effects were ok-ish if you ignored the obvious bits when actors looked in the wrong direction, but the biggest reason the film failed to spark all that much excitement was that it just wasn't up to the standard of story or music that we had come to expect from Disney.

It's not as though there was no talent. Mickey Rooney, Helen Reddy, Red Buttons and our own Jim Dale as a quack doctor were all involved. And now I see that Disney are about to release a new version. Hmmm... With today's CGI effects (and a new story and songs) it may do well... But I think they are brave...

Director Brian DePalma follows up his success with Carrie with another film about people with special powers. Gosh, will we ever see a return of that type of film do you think? Starring Amy Irving and Andrew Stevens as two teenagers with the power to make people bleed and also telekinesis (it had served Carrie so well after all). Kirk Douglas and John Cassavettes also star - being one on the side of the angels and the other being keen to exploit the youngsters. I did see this at the time but can't remember too much about it. Seven years later Amy Irving was to marry Steven Spielberg.

Peter Falk takes on a Humphrey Bogart send-up. A sort of Columbo played for laughs really...

It's all go for Mickey Rooney as apart from acting in Pete's Dragon, he's just got hitched again at the age of 57 to singer/composer, Janice Chamberlin, 39.

I'm sure it's just coincidence that on the facing page is another Smirnoff advert under the by-line "Well, they said anything could happen."

And even after the eight or was it nine-page spread that was helplessly devoted to Grease last month, here's another helping of Luscious Livvy as the one we all wanted, never mind that boorish gang member chappie.

But to show I bear him no ill-will, here's John Travolta with (sigh) Olivia Neutron-Bomb and the rest of the - ha ha ha, no I can't do it... (yes, come on!) No really I, ha ha ha... (You have to!!!) Ok! Ok! The rest of the teenagers - agh! Ha ha ha ha... see... I couldn't do it...

Nothing up my sleeve... Timex quartz with hands... Pink-eyed bunny rabbit optional.

The magazine featured Part One of a series entitled 75 Years of Hollywood. Covering the years 1903-1928, this was a three-page humdinger of an article. Intending to just skim the first bit I've just read it in its entirety, so fascinating is the story of the silent film era. The group pictured are on the set of Don Juan (1926), the first film with synchronised sound effects and music but not, as yet, speech. Included on the front row are Warner Oland (who during the 1930s found fame as oriental detective Charlie Chan, Estelle Taylor, John Barrymore and Mary Astor. On the back row extreme left is 21-year-old Myrna Loy and studio man Jack Warner is third from the right.

Burt Reynolds was one of those larger-than-life 1970s actors. He was everywhere or so it seemed for a while. Smokey and The Bandit, The Mean Machine, Deliverance, Nickelodeon, Semi-Tough, The Cannonball Run, the list goes on. The photo is from Hooper where he plays a stuntman blackmailed into making a dangerous stunt jump over a gorge in a rocket-powered car.

A wagon-load of stars join the cast for Agatha Christie's story of death and carnage in Egypt, Death On The Nile. Starring Peter Ustinov as belgian detective Hercule Poirot, it remains on my "never seen" list...

Here the cast line up on the good ship Karnak (wasn't that Tarzan's son, or was that Kojak?) (No... it was Korak...) Lois Chiles is the one whose performance needs careful attention towards the beginning of the film as - hey let's face it - one of them had to go...

I was stupid enough to smoke during my teens and this was my cigarette of choice. Players No.6. I stopped smoking in 1976 when Miss Franny was carrying our child (and they went up to 30p per packet - outrageous!) In the event I spent all the money on tubes of Smarties to take to keep the cravings away and almost immediately boosted my waistline... No ear patches in those days...

In the next article we reach the end of 1978 and the halfway point in this series of articles. In an advert for subscriptions, Film Review points to a recent sale of a 1969 issue to someone who had been willing to pay £20 for it. This at a time when the cover price was a mere 25 pence. Given 40 years inflation since then I reckon I should be able to get a couple of hundred now for each issue, though if someone wanted to make a close offer I would consider it...

No comments:

Post a Comment

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

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...