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January 16, 1973 - Image 3

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1973-01-16

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Tuesday, January 16, 1973


Page Three

7 Temperatures Rising

Most of our patrons agree with
1'214 s. university Free Press critic Susan Stark who
the most easy-to-take comedy of
CAM the year" and who picked it as
________________________one of the year's
Theatre Phone 668-6416 10 best films.
S "r
They met at the funeral of a perfect stranger.
Fromthen on, things got perfectly stranger and stranger.
Paramount Pictures Presents
Color by Technicolor A Paramount Picture
"THE DOVE" .n :
A satire on ingmar Bergman. films

Sam Peckinpah's films have,
over the past four years, alter-
nated with scrupulous regularity
between the violent and action-
packed, yet serious and ambitious
films upon which the director has
partially gained his reputation
(The Wild Bunch (1969, The
Straw Dogs (1972)), and Peckin-
pah's cinematic breathers-light, -
pseudo-lyrical, superficially much
prettier and more eager to please
charm-films (The Ballad of Cable
Hogue (1969) and Junior Bonner
(1972)). The tougher films seem
to me the much more exciting
group; Peckinpah is an unde-
niably talented action director
who produces slight, dull, in-
sincere trifles when he's out of
his element. Yet even the direct-
or's action films are tremendous-
ly uneven. Pechinpaw is often all
too eager to impose second-rate,
inappropriate philosophpic mean-
ings on those films, meanings
that are occasionally so facile
and offensive as to almost ne-
gate the effects of his superior
By all rights-if the cycle were
to continue-one would expect
The Getaway, Peckinpah's latest
film, to be another of his tough
movies. And to a certain extent
it is just that. The Getaway has
quite a fair sized portion of that
characteristic Peckinpah violent
excitement that is the director at
his best. Indeed, the film's plot
line often seems to be little more
than a string meant to tie to-
gether various , action episodes.
Doc McCoy (Steve McQueen) is
granted parole after serving four
years in prison so that he may
engineer a bank heist for a
crooked government offcial. Doc,
Carol McCoy (Ali McGraw), and
colleagues steal the $500,000.
Doc and the Missus try to reach
the Mexican border with their
fortune intact, pursued by police
and fellow crooks alike.
Yet The Getaway differs mark-
edly from Peckinpah's recent
violent films, for the film is al-
most completely in pretentions
and seriousness. To be sure,
many of the old Peckinpah
pseudo- profound cliches sur-
face occasionally. The movie's
poor opening sequence features a
montage comparison of Mc-
Queen with animals caged and
tamed by technology, thereby
combining two favorite peckinpah
themes, Man as advanced ani-
mal and Man up against Technol-
ogy. And in the pair of romances

An unpretentious
blood rn' guts movie

the film produces-McQueen-Mc-
-Graw and the often funny, oc-
casionally inane pairing of
Sally Struthers with fine film
heavy Al Lettieri-Peckinpah's
motion of women's attraction for
the macho Man's Man is ever
present. This sort of preten-
tiousness makes up, however, a
minor, undeveloped aspect of the
film, not its major preoccupa-
tions. Peckinpah seems to be pri-
marily interested in making an
uncomplicated, entertaining, ex-
citing action film; his previous-
ly overblown, inappropriate in-
tellectual obsessions are here
shrunk down to size and/or done
away with entirely.
So instead of Robert Ardrey
and theories on human sexual be-
havior, we get a tremendous con-
cern with dramatic effect, a con-
cern so overriding that plot and
character logic are often thrown
to the winds. For example: the
McCoy's p 1 a n t diversionary
bombs that are intended to ex-
plode after they have robbed the
bank. Why after, not during or
before? Certainly not for any
mundane reasons; more likely so
that we can see Ali and Steve
drive the getaway car through
the explosions (and up along the
porch of somebody's house). Why
does McCoy order a salesman,
at gunpoint, to wrap up a shot-
gun he knows he will probably
use within the next few mo-
ments? Simple. Peckinpah mere-
ly wants us to enjoy the sight of
McQueen shooting the gun
through all the wrapping. And
once again, dramatic effect tri-
umphs over storyline logic.
Coincident with Peckinpah's de-
sire to make an unpretentious

blood and guts movie is a wish to
pay homage to his filmic roots-
the American action and sus-
pense film. The director's dis-
dain for plot sense is similar to
Hawk's plot confusion in The
Big Sleep. Several of the movie's
best scenes-those set in a gar-
bage truck, in a train station, in
a run-down hotel, in particular-
are conceived in very Hitch-
cockian terms. Even Peckinpah's
decision to do away with "pro-
fundity" that does not grow or-
ganically from the film's nar-
rative harkens back to the gen-
erally unpretentious Hollywood
of the '30's and '40's. And while
Peckinpah is no Hitchcock or
Walsh, he nevertheless does
create some fine sequences, and
he does keep things moving
smoothly throughout the film's
two-hour length.
Not as successful is Peckin-
pah's attempt to create an up-
dated variation on the Bacall-
Bogart chemistry in the teaming
of Ali McGraw and Steve Mc-
Queen. Try this dialogue on for
McGraw: "I can screw every
prison official in Texas if I have
McQueen: "Texas is a big
McGraw: "I can handle it."
McQueen: "Yeh, I bet you
Bogart and Bacall might have
been able to pull this scene off
(I kind of doubt it). But Mc-
Queen and McGraw trading
these quips are downright laugh-
able. I thought I saw some
genuineness in the physical part's
of the pair's love scenes-still, I
may have been influenced by the

gossip columns. Otherwise, Mc-
Queen is ok, but he's playing to
a human vacuum. McGraw's
Carol McCoy - Jenny Cavilleri
gone ganster's moll-is really
awful. Yet McQueen is beginning
to look wrinkled and paunchy,
while McGraw is as firm and fine
as ever, so I guess her atrocious
performance lends some sense of
balance here. At any rate, Peck-
inpah's try at whipping up a
reincarnation of the classic duo
is a predictably ludicrous one.
Nevertheless, even at its most
inept-and in the McQueen-Mc-
Graw interplay it is very inept-
Peckinpah's manner of showing
respect for his cinema ancestry
impresses me as being infinitely
more fitting and likeable than
the phony depth of The Straw
Dogs. Just when I thought we
were due for another Peckinpah
heavy, the man comes up with an
uncharacteristic combination of
exciting action and a welcome
lack of the director's brand of

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7 ABC News
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4 News
7 To Tell the Truth
. 9 Beverly Hillbillies
50 I Love Lucy
56 French Chef
7:30 2 What's My Line?
4 You Asked for It
7 Parent Game
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8:00 2 Maude
4 Bighorn!



7 Temperatures Rising
9 All Outdoors
50 Dragnet
8:30 2 Hawaii Five-O
7 Movie
9 Pig and Whistle
Bill Moyers' Journal
50 Merv Griffin
9:00 4 Hernandez: Houston P.D.
9 News
56 Common Ground
9:30 2 Movie
9 Front Page Challenge
56 Black Journal
10:00 4 NBC Reports
7 Marcus Welby, M.D.
9 Tuesday Night
50 Perry Mason
56 Detroit Black Journal
10:30 564360 Degrees
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9 CBC News
50 One Step Beyond
11:20 9 News
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4 Johnny Carson
7 Movie-Thriller
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"Virginia City." (1940)
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"Charlie Chan at the Race
Track" 1936
2:50 2 News

Spector's timeless rock n' roll
revived from Christmas past

..* . .*.*.*.*.*.mm mma so m

Nominate your favorites

. . .

New Morning presents

Agnes VordG's

Le Bonheur
"Varda's dissection is strikingly adult and unem-
barrassed in its depiction of the variety of love with
artistic and technical grace. A memorable view of
the male and female-awash in familiar together-
ness, sacred sex, and frank adultery."
"We have from France one of the most beautiful
films that t. think you will ever see. It's called LE
BONHEUR, which means 'happiness,' and it's
Renoirish in full color with the tones of the im-
"A very unusual picture. Beautiful! A fine, con-
sistent originality that merits attention from all


Pick the most memorable records of 1972. Send nomina-
tions to the Arts Editor c/o The Michigan Daily, no later
than Friday, January 19. Cast your vote now for the best:
Album of the year................................
Rock album of the year ................... ..........
Rock/folk-rock album of the year .....................
Orchestral rock album of the year .....................
Country/country-rock album of the year ...............
R & B album of the year .. ..........................
Debut album of the year............................
Single of the year ....................................
W orst album of the year ..............................
FILMS-Cinema guild is showing Mankiewicz' Cleopatra in
Arch. Aud. at 6, 9:05 tonight. About this film Daily re-
viewer Jeff Sorensen comments:
Don't miss Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and a
cast of thousands in one of the monumental film lemons
of all time. Cleopatra cost o cool $40 million to produce,
the most expensive Hollywood movie ever made, and died
commercially at the gate when it first came out. The
film is pretty much of an artistic disaster as well as it
plods along interminably for most of its three hours.
Despite her $3 million plus paycheck, Elizabeth Taylor
must be held accountable for a great deal of the failure.
She attempts to play Cleopatra as a historically earlier
version of Martha from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf,
a suburban housewife, rather than the Cleopatra of
The Ann Arbor Film Coop presents Hamilton's From
Russia With Love starring Sean Connery as James Bond
in Aud. A. Angell Hall at 7, 9 tonight.
MUSIC-Schubert's Die Winterreise: Ralph Herbert baritone;
Paul Boylan, piano at Rackham Aud. tonight at 8.
ART-An exhibition of "Post Conceptual Graphics" by Robert
Senn Hauser is on display in the exhibition hall of the
college of Architecture and Design. Lantern Gallery is
showing "From N.Y. via A.A. With Love!" which focuses
on works by several New York artists.

Now that the tree has been
taken down, the new year has
gotten its foot in the door and all
those unwanted, unsightly gifts
have been returned, what's the
last thing you want to hear
A Christmas album, perhaps?
Ah, but this is no ordinary
Christmas album! Sure, it's got
"White Christmas," "Frosty the
Snowman," "Winter Wonderland"
- and all those other traditional
Yuletide songs, but if you're ex-
pecting the sort of syrupy music
that annually drips from the
speakers of department store
P.A. systems and is secreted
from easy listening stations to
ooze its way over the airwaves
into your radio, then you're sadly
mistaken. This is a rock'n roll
Christmas album!
A rock'n roll Christmas album!
Lest your mind, reeling from
the thought of the unlikely com-
bination of rock'n roll and Christ-
mas music, seize upon the con-
clusion that this is a tasteless,
crass attempt to exploint the
youth market, let me assure you
that I do not use the phrase
"rock'n roll" lightly. Phil Spec-
tor's Christmas Album (Apple
SW 3400) is not only good Christ-
mas music, it's great rock'n roll.
Although this record was orig-
inally releasedtway back inr'63,
and includes the efforts of Dar-
lene Love, The Crystals, The
Ronettes and Bob B. Soxx and
the Blue Jeans, it appeals to
much more than a sense of sock-
hop camp (although it does that
too, an asset not to be under-
valued). Phil Spector, whodpro-
duced all these artists-and ex-
panded the job of producer 'till
it dwarfed the role of the singers
themselves-had the ability to
transcend current pop trends to
producetimeless rock'n roll.tHis
sure feel for a throbbing teen-
age heartbeat and, especially,
his consummate musical genious
insured that.
This album is Spector at his
peak. That pulsating wall of
sound, the complex constructions
of horns,strings,backup vocals,
assorted percussion instruments
-all an orchestra has to offer
plus the traditional rock accom-
paniment: it's all there. Each
of these cuts is a compact rock
symphony. Most of the songs are
framed by clever little goodies
such as the approaching footsteps
and big wet smack preceding "I
Saw Mommy Kissing Santa
Claus" and the false ending of
"Sleigh Bells" (followed by a
key change, a restatement of the
opening phrase, a horse neighing
and the ringing of sleigh bells).
Sandwiched in between is some
of the most carefully orchestrated
rock ever made. Instruments,
it u re interest-
e nreviewing
poetry, and music,
or rtng feature
stories about the
arts: Contact Art
Editor, c/o The
daa,adance, film.

riffs and voices drift in and out
continually, overlaying the basic
rock'n roll that's at the core of
each song.
Although Spector is definitely
the presiding genius of the album,
some of the talent he assembled
for the sessions deserves men-
tion. Jack Nitzsche (who's since
worked wth Neil Young and the
Stones, among others) is credited
as arranger, so it's safe to as-
sume he made some large con-
tributions to the album. Among
the anonymous musicians heard,
the drummer, the sax player and
the pianist all get honorary men-
tions. The drummer is just plain
solid, lashing out at his drums
in a precisely controlled fury
that moves everything along
nicely. The few sax breaks on
the album are notable for their

elegant yet energetic simplicity.
The plane really only surfaces
once on the albums, but that's at
high point of the best cut,
"Christmas (Baby Please Come
Home), the only Spector-penned
song present. As Spector delays
the last line of the last verse,
while Darlene Love and a back-
up chorus alternately scream
"Please!" with increasing fre-
quency and fervor, the piano
follows them up the scale, build-
ing tension, until Darlene finally
climaxes with "Baby please come
home!" and, as the song slowly
fades out, the piano just sort of
soars on the heights it's attained.
I know that Christmas is al-
ready past, but it's not too late
to go out and buy yourself a
belated present. I guarantee you
won't return it.

one day only

January 17

Pete and Tillie:
meager melodrama


$1.25 cont. 7:00-8:30-10:00 -Friends of Newsreel

Who will
survive-in one
one of the
greatest escapeW
adventures ever!

Pete and Tillie has its roots
set in melodrama, in the type
that can never really escape the-
rigors of its form to elevate it-
self to even the most meager of
artistic achievements.
A skeletal outline of the story
lays bare the Naked Truth about
the film, which disguises itself for
its first 80 minutes as a sensitive
comedy, then slips into a phone
booth to suddenly shrink into
Soap Opera: two single people
(Walter Matthau and Carol Bur-
nett) meet at a party, have an
affair, get married, have- a child,
the child developes a malignancy,
he dies, the marriage crumbles,
the wife puts herself in a rest
home, and at the end the mar-
riage is patched up.
I assume that I was supposed
to leave the theater showering
tears on my new scraf, but I
suppose I will always resent the
efforts of those who desire to
warm the aesthetic cockles of my
heart with a blowtorch. The way
to a critic's heart is, alas, through
his or her mind; I would guess
that Pete and Tillie tried to make
entry somewhere around the but-
The worst aspect of the film is
the plot, to which director Martin
Ritt clings desperately, having no
sense of technique to cover up
the passage of cinematic time.
His directorial repertoire consists
of a long shot and a facial close-
up, doing quite a bit towards
making Carol Burnett look like
she was still on television.
There is nothing of import in
Pete and Tillie that comes out of
its cinematic production, out of
the use of the camera itself. The
film's best moments are the re-
sult of the rapid-fire joking of
Pete, which is obviously best
suited for the stage. Most of his
remarks do, however, have a
refreshing touch of vulgarity
about them, a crudeness which
he does not hesitate to expose at
the most awkward of moments.
When propositioning Tillie before
they are married, he does so by
inviting her to his place "for a
spot of heavy breathing." Ber-
nard Shaw would not be jealous,
I am sure, but the combination
of such lines with Matthau's im-

UNTIL 9:00 P.M.
Miss J leads deck-side promenades
in an Italian platform sandal...
headed for exotic ports of call in
rich dark brown leather with triplex
cross strap construction, platform
sole and heel. 7-10 N, 5-10 M. $10.
- A

pishly ugly wise-old-hound-of-a-
leathery-face is effectively amus-
And, for all - of those people
who have waited out these long
years during the war in Vietnam
to see Carol Burnett take off her
clothes (she does so in the dark),
there is even a Bed .Scene.
Once the awesome beauty of
the deed is done, Pete interrupts
the afterglow after about fifteen
seconds to cut out for a salami
sandwich, an example of the
film's "realistic" touches. This
occurs, of course, in the film's
first half, where theoverall at-
itude is one of "anything for-a
lap gh."
But, once the kid gets sick,
the laughs are simply non-exis-
tent. (His death, incidentally,
occurs after he is on the screen
about 20 minutes, which is none
too soon, because the actor play
ing little Charlie had one of those
fake, high-pitched laughs that
make a mockery of real chil-
After the child's illness becomes
a valid reality for both Pete and
Tillie, their listlessness turns
slowly to bitterness. In one scene
Tillie walks into her backyard
and screams convulsively at God
and at the heavens in general,
coming up with some surprisingly
fine blasphemy.
But one has to wonder if the
Peter DeVries novella Witch's
Milk, on which the movie is bes-
ed, also fell prey to the Jekyll-
and-Hyde conversion of the mor-
bid turn of events and also lost
its credibility, as the movie cer-
tainly does.
Mel Brooks made the same
curious mistake in his film The
Twelve Chairs, a fine comery
until the very end, when sud-
denly The Russian character
played by Ron Moody began to
fake an epileptic fit for money.
It was not inserted as a sick
joke, but rather to give the film
some richer meaning beyond the
laughter. Needless to say, it did
The same error in Pete and
Tillie is catastrophic, because
the film depends on the transi-
tion, but the different moods do
not blend together; actually the
diverse elements of comedy and
tragedy, in this instance, stare
at each other from across a
void, and occasionally they make
fun of each other.
don't look like
Dascola Barbers
615 E. Liberty
611 E. University

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