Archive for the ‘1976’ Category

As a massive fan of Jaws, Chief Brody has always been my hero! And so was Roy Scheider of course, who immortalized the part. At one point in my life as a young cinefile I wanted to see all the movies he was in. But most were difficult to digest. Apart from Blue Thunder and The French Connection. 

Marathon Man was another memorable one. It has one of the coolest non-Jaws Roy Scheider scenes, in which he fights and kills an attacker in a Paris hotel room after doing push-ups on the ledge of the bed. And the movie has other classic scenes like the one where Dustin Hofman gets tortured by an ex nazi dentist who drills a hole in his perfectly healthy teeth.

Re-watching this classic seventies suspense thriller as an adult was interesting. Sure, the above mentioned scenes are classics, but what was the movie about again? Ah! When word gets out that his brother is killed in a car accident, a former nazi criminal leaves his hiding place in Uruguay to reclaim items he has hidden in a safe in New York. For years, he could finance his hideout via a network of couriers, but he wants to be sure there is still stuff in the safe. This synopsis isn’t immediately clear as the story is told from the perspective of a student, whose brother is one of the couriers and ends up dead in his apartment. Now, the network assumes he knows more and haunts him.

The movie has quite a lot of odd action scenes that are instant classics, like the opening car chase between an old nazi and an old jew, ending in a deadly accident. It sounds like something from a bad sketch show, but it’s not. The seventies spirit is great. There’s something about that decade that resonates best in movies. The acting is over the top, especially the death scenes. And there are a lot. So that’s a bit of a disappointment. But it’s suspenseful and entertaining.

But come to think of it. Apart from Jaws, Jaws II, The French Connection, Marathon Man, The Sorcerer and All That Jazz most Roy Scheider movies are not worth recommending. It feels sacrilegious to write this, but the man has starred in so many bad movies. Too bad Quentin Tarantino didn’t give him a second career boost in the nineties. He ended up making straight to video C-movies for the last two decades of his career. So sad!

Movies with Roy Scheider I want to re-watch again: Klute (**), The French Connection (****), The Seven-Ups (**1/2), The Sorcerer (**1/2)  

Movies with Roy Scheider that I do not need to rewatch at all: Assignment Munich, Sheila Levine Is Dead And Living In New York (*1/2), Last Embrace (**), All That Jazz (**), Still Of The Night (**), Blue Thunder (**), Tiger Town (**), 2010: The Year We Made Contact, 52 Pick Up, Cohen And Tate, Listen To Me, Night Game, The Fourth War, The Russia House (**), Naked Lunch, Romeo Is Bleeding, Executive Target

Movies with Roy Scheider I’ve never seen and would like to watch one day: The Outside Man, Jacobo Timerman, The Myth Of Fingerprints, RKO 281 

Movies with Roy Scheider I can’t be bothered with: all the rest.

www.imdb.com/title/tt0074860

Classic: Rocky – **

Posted: January 19, 2017 in 1976, Drama, Social Drama, Sportsdrama, USA, XX

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, Rocky remains quite an important and popular movie. The story is well known. A street boxer, who hasn’t really made anything of his life, takes up the challenge to fight Apollo Creed, the reigning world champion. He has no fair chance, but he’ll get plenty of money and it’s all for the good as he’ll be the underdog and that attracts crowds.

Rocky was the first in a series of six movies focussing on the ‘Italian Stallion’, the underdog who ends up being the champ. Back in the eighties Rocky III and Rocky IV were smash hits at the box office, with chart topping soundtracks and every tough kid in school trying to replay the fights between Sylvester Stallone and Mr T (III) or Dolf Lundgren (IV). Back then anyone who was a fan of these action blockbusters had little interest in seeing the first movie, which is more of a social drama. As a kid, I couldn’t understand the fuzz about this boring motion picture of the seventies that has only one fight. As an adult, I can understand the fuzz a bit more. The zero to hero-story always works. Especially back then. Stallone is really good in this movie. The soundtrack was refreshing at the time. The rich and successful guy was black ! The dialogue isn’t PC at all. The fights look real. All great.

But what’s with all the shouting? Everyone shouts. All the time. It’s like watching a modern day Egyptian movie. And what’s with the side characters? Rocky’s future wife Adrian… Rocky’s trainer Micky… Rocky’s supposedly best friend Paulie… Rocky’s maffia employer Gazzo… Every scene they are in is annoying. And there are a lot.

However, after watching last year’s reboot Creed it’s interesting to see this classic again. A lot of references make more sense now.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075148/