Sunday, 23 October 2016

Film Review, January 1979 Issue

Once again we are head down, collar up and trying to sound gruff-voiced as we enter the 1970s cinema. No, not because we are imitating James Bond... We are not yet 18 and we are trying to sneak into an X-rated Hammer Horror film!

Another year rolls by and now we enter the very last year of the 1970s as the January 1979 subscription issue of our favourite magazine falls through the letterbox. There's a man with a cape on the front...

On the inside front cover is a photo of the new Miss Cinema 1979. Janet Withey is her name.

She won the title in October 1978 and was given a cash prize and a week's holiday in Cyprus, being handed her cheque for the prize money by Peter Gilmore then appearing in the original series of Poldark on the telly.

Only a month earlier I had taken a number of photographs of her in her other role as the current Miss Blackpool when she was special guest at an open night for the firm I worked for.. Small world!

On the Contents page was a shot of Goldie Hawn, whose latest film, Foul Play, would soon be on general release.

We've had alcohol galore and cigarettes too numerous to sneeze - or cough - at, but I can't remember an advert for a jewellers before. The craze for wearing a slab of gold with an oversized hallmark was all the rage at the time. Rich people stooped under the weight of them. People like me hoped they wouldn't fold up unexpectedly in the wind... I wonder how many of them lie forgotten in drawers...

There's a two page article on the new film Force 10 From Navarone, the book written as a follow-up to the earlier The Guns of Navarone by Alistair MacLean. Robert Shaw, Harrison Ford and Edward Fox play the good guys who have to blow up a bridge in Yugoslavia.

"Take a right, Clyde...". An orang utan is Clint Eastwood's partner in Every Which Way But Loose, an amiable tale of a bare-knuckle prize fighter who takes on other pugilists, cops with a grudge, a motorcycle gang and Sondra Locke as his love interest - the interest being mostly on his side...

Meanwhile, just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...

They killed the shark at the end of Jaws, therefore for Jaws 2 it's a new shark at least as big as the last. Drawn to the seaside resort of Amity just as the last one was because of the lax attitude of the town's officials and a tasty selection of teens to chomp on, the new shark thinks life will be easy. But it's due for a shock...

A brief return to Yugoslavia as Quint - oh no... that was the first Jaws... - blows up the bridge... wait... no it's a dam... Oh for Heaven's sake...

It's Miss World! Actually it's Danish actress and singer, Ina Skriver, who was asked to change her name to Christina World so that the film makers of The Golden Lady, a James Bond spoof, could say their star was "Miss World". On her team are June Chadwick, Anika Pavel and Suzanne Danielle currently "carrying on" as Emmannuelle.

A brief return to Amity for a poster advertising the release of Jaws 2... Erm.. excuse me editor chappie - are you going to keep doing this in this issue?

On the centre spread is a 1979 calendar adorned with photos of this mild-mannered newspaper reporter - sorry son, you'll never hack being a reporter if you're mild-mannered - and his alter ego, the Man of Steel himself. Good grief! It's Superman.

DC Comics rubbish of course - when will they get round to some decent Marvel Comics films? Oh yes... there was one of the Von Trapp singers playing Spider-Man the other year, but no, I mean a decent Marvel film... The flying scenes were state of the art stuff for their time.

Three pages are devoted to films due for release in 1979. Many I remember. Many of them I actually went to see. Some of them were blooming awful and some were brilliant and we'll catch up with them in the coming issues. Meanwhile just as the fuss of Saturday Night Fever and Grease was dying down here someone brings out a book with over 100 photos of John Travolta for a mere 95 pence. Actually that sounds a lot cheaper now than it did back at the beginning of 1979 but still...

I don't think I've featured the regular article Track Events much in this series, but stunning news (even if text only - I had to go Googling for the pic). Ginger Rogers, whilst singing her little heart out in many of her films (in addition to some very fancy footwork with Fred and a few others) was not one of those stars who combined acting and dancing in films with recording records. In order to put that right, she has recorded a new album during 1978 and here it is. Included on the album are a couple of songs that she sang on film well over forty years ago. If you've never seen Ginger dance in glorious black and white - shame on you! Go and find a few films and marvel at how gorgeous and brilliant she was!

Next time...... February...

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