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April 14, 1977 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-04-14

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rts & Entertainment Thursday, April 14, 1977 Page Five




new suspense fil s vary

By X


might very well turn out to be the
year of the thriller. Thus far, the movie
industry has brought us Robert Ald-
rich's gift 'to the cinema of paranoia,
Twilight's Last Gleaming; George Pan
Cosmatos' look at chemical-biological
warfare aboard a runaway train, The
Cassandra Crossing, and Michael Win-
ner's loose examination of a young wom-
an's plight as the gates of hell beckon
- The Sentinel.
The trend continues with three new
thrillers hitting town simultaneously.
Among them, the obvious standout John
Sturges' The Eagle Has Landed, an adap-
tion of the Jack Higgins best-seller con-
cerning a fictional German attempt to
kidnap Winston Churchill.'
The remaining two which run the
gamut from good to merely adequate,
are Airport '77, the third look at life on
a 747 headed for nowhere but trouble;
and The Domino Principle, Stanley Kra-
mer's message-filled "thriller" about an
ex-con's attempts to resist an all-power-
ful and mysterious organization's iron-
fisted grip on him.
to handle war-adventure films is widely
known. His The Great Escape was one of
the best of its kind - an exciting, epic
story of American POWs attempts to
escape a German camp. Over the last
fifteen years Sturges has become the
master of successful spectacles. An ath-
letic director fascinated by feats of skill
and strength, he created classic mo-
ments in film like Steve McQueen's
motorcycle jumping of barbed wire
fences during- The Great Escape, Spen-
cer Tracy's one-armed karate-skills in
Bad Day at Bad Rock, and the power-
ful heroics in the Magnificent Seven.
The Eagle Has Landed is no excep-
* tion, although the "heroes" happen to
be Nazis. Michael Caine portrays the
cocky leader of the mission, a captain
of a crack paratrooper squadron.
Commanding fierce loyalty from his
men, and unable to control equally fierce

contempt for Nazi sadism, he is shipped
off to prison for interfering with the
transport of ,Jews headed for a con-
centration camp.
When a Nazi officer (Robert Duvall)
devises a far-fetched plan to kidnap
Churchill as a last ditch attempt to sal-
vage the German effort, Caine is sprung
to lead the kidnapping attempt, and al-
lied with Donald Sutherland, an IRA
leader who'll do anything to sabotage
the English war effort.
THE FILM IS suspenseful, intelligent-
ly written and marvellously acted. Mi-
chael Caine is properly heroic, bigger-
than-life, yet realistic and three-dimen-
sional throughout; an insightful interpre-
tation of a complex character. Donald
Sutherland, complete with Irish brogue,
is equally good, confirming his place
as one of today's most gifted and ver-
satile actors.
Have a fli r fa
Ifyuare Iterest-
ed in reviewiti
poetry, and music
or writing feature
stories a bo ut the
drama, dance, firm
arts: Contact Arts
Editor, c/o The
Michigan Daily.
When thoughtful writing and charac-
terizations are lacking in a film, what
remains is something on the order of
Airport '77, an exciting, technically ex-
pert film, but, unfortunately abundant
with one-dimensional cardboard charac-
The true star of the film is a Boe-
ing 747 owned by ultra-zillionaire Jim-
my Stewart who manages his best "this
ain't The Philadelphia Story but I'm hav-
ing fun anyway" smile.
THE PLOT IS AT BEST silly - in
the midst of a hijacking attempt, a 747
crashes into everyone's favorite science-
fiction location, the Bermuda Triangle:
The passengers are subsequently trap-
ped hundreds of feet below the water

and only minutes away from being crush-
ed by its pressure.
But Jack Lemmon is on hand to save
the day as the pilot of the jet, display-
ing heroics which have previously been
reserved for the likes of a Charlton Hes-
ton. Also on board are Olivia de Havil-
land and Joseph Cotten as ex-lovers who
are re-united by tragedy and Brenda
Vacarro, as Lemmon's girlfriend who
can't decide between a career and mar-
riage. George Kennedy is back as Joe
Patroni, technician-turned-airline man-
ager and the last character surviving
the past two previous "Airport" epics.
The plot is childish and despite the
high-powered Hollywood veterans, the
characterizations are as bad as those
from any daytime soap opera. Jerry
Jameson's direction, though, is quite
good, featuring some fluid camera move-
ment and expert quick-cutting. Besides,
any disaster flick without Charlton Hes-
ton can't be all bad.
hold true for most Stanley Kramer films
including his latest, The Domino Princi-
ple. It is a film which carries the most
overblown and meaningless statement
yet of the cinema of paranoia, plastered
all over the film's recent ads, "Trust
no one."
Gene Hackman portrays a prison in-
mate, sprung from the "Big House" by
a mysterious organization known only
as THEY. Hackman initially doesn't care
who's responsible for this good fortune
- he's now a "free" man and is re-
united with wife Candice Bergen, res-
plendent with fright wig and looking like
one of those characters right out of a
laxative commercial.
But, as they say, there's no such
thing as a free lunch, and THEY want
something from Hackman - a simple
aisassination. Who? That's the mystery,
and the film doesn't bother to tell us.
Hackman and Richard Widmark, as
one of THEY's representatives are, as
usual, good. Yet even these two stal-
warts are unable to overcome Kramer's
lackadaisical direction. Perhaps a more
appropriate parting message would be:

JUST AS UAC's Robert Alt-
man festival enters its
climactic final week, featuring
the appearance of Altman him-
self, the Daily, alas, is closing
down for the semester break.
Therefore, here is some idea
of who and what to look for
during the remainder of the fes-


offered on Thursday, April 21.$
Buffalo Bill and the Indians
will be shown for $1.50 on Ap-
ril 20 and 22 at 7:00 and 9:30.
All screenings will be held in
Angell Aud. A.
THE FESTIVAL will culmi-
nate Saturday the 23rd with the
personal appearance of Alt-
man, who will be at Hill Audi-
torium at 7:30. In addition to
speaking, Altman will be offer-
ing a screening of his newly
released film, 3 Women. This
will be the Midwest premier of
the film, which opened in New
York just this .week. 3 Women
has already been hailed a film
masterpiece. According to An-
drew Sarris, it "is such a stim-
ulating achievement in cinema-
tic art that it makes one rethink

his greatest financial success. style, to make an entertaining
In M*A*S*H, Altman first em- modern version of the classic
ployed many of the techniques Raymond Chandler story.
that became his trademark, In California Split, Altman's
among them, over-lapping dia- tale of two gamblers, he makes
logue and the submersion of his first serious exploration of
traditional plot. American life, a subject he ex-
ALTMAN'S next effort, Brew- panded on in Nashville. Alt-
sTMA Mnext effsor cltteBrewman's stylistic growth culmi-
strMcCloud, is a cluttered, nates in Nashville, and the film
yet brilliant satire of American's ahigeat heve-
life; a sort of great American is by far his greatest achieve
nightmare about flight and free-
dom which displayed a fine
taendfors. ilventiveess. c- buffalo Bill and the Indians
talent fr eattempted to coibine character
Cabe and Mrs. Miller, Altman's ,,,v,, r l .airn

festival continues

drama ofeAmerican frontier,
life, was released in 1971, and
is considered one of Altman's
best films. In McCabe, Altman
demonstrated his rare ability
for finding beauty in everyday

su y, po lcai s aeme t, an
an old-west Hollywood ambi-
ence and as a result, was de-
scribed by Andrew Sarris as "a
mess." The fact remains, even
when Altman is at his worst,
he retains the ability to com-
nl thA 7P(P n d C"t him

First off, tomorrow night,
Tommy Thompson, Altman pro-
duction manager and assistant
director, and Elaine Bradish,
who manages Altman's office,
will be making a joint appear-
ance in Rackham auditorium
at 7:30. Bradish and Thompson
have proved invaluable to Alt-
man, providing both adminis-
trative and creativeassistance.
They will speak on the produc-
tion aspect of filmmaking, and
its role in Altman's films. The
lost for this event is $1.25.
Beginning this Saturday, Alt-
man's last three releases will
be screened on campus. On Sat-
urday, Nashville, which has
been called everything from a
"spiritual inventory of Amer-
ica" to a "three- hour coke
commercial," will be shown
four times: at 1:00, 4:00, and
L2:00 midnight for $1, and at
9:15 for $1.50. The 9:15 show
follows, a 7:00 screening of
California Split, and you can
see both for $2.00. This same
double-bill arrangement will be

.pe n vvewer
the whole aesthetic of motion Images, Altman's next film, thinking.
pictures." is one of his justifiably least
Altman's innovative and un- seen films. Although often vis- Tickets for t
compromising style has long ually compelling, the film tends pearance are $
made him a maverick, both ar- to be vague and pretentious. In $3.50, and area
tistically and in the Hollywood The Long Goodbye, Altman re- door or through
circle. Like all such original turned to his lively, kinetic are reserved.
artists, Altman has come under - - -
heavy fire from his colleagues
and critics,abut his stylistic in- THURS. $4.00 per show
novations have made him one
of the most vital and original
forces in American cinema. His fI
flaws are those of excess - his the B
failures are never total, and
are often fascinating. of the LOUG H
Altman's first feature film,
That Cold Day in the Park,..
went relatively unnoticed. In in a benef
1970, he burst onto the scene OUT Ma
with M*A*S*H, which remains SINGUU
2 Shows: 8 p.m. &
$4 per sh1
" Research, Writing, Editing.x FRI.-SAT.: T
" Professional, Fast. POND STRING I
D e e d e Palaz2
- Any Topic, All Fields Manafee (both
Send $1 for Mail Order Catalog Dick Siegel, S
or . .(b.. <~*~othSa. na
Write for free information . b Sat
$Or,,,se ri .the Ark. $2.50 f
and Reference purposes only,
I Z240 Park Avenue
Rutherford,New Jersey 07070 421 Hill 8:30 76
Phone (201) 939-0189

anu se nim
he Altman ap-
1.50, $2.50, and
available at the
iUAC. All seats
it for
10:30 p.m.
BAND plus
zola, David
Fri.), and
ara Keller
benefit for
for evening.

Trust no one


Stanley Kra-


Manilow s Drunkard': Fun
By STEPHEN PICKOVER comic effect and also relieves to remain ossified and ,spifli-
RARRY MANILOW'S The any guilt audience members cated, Edward acquiesces.
Drunkard is a cliched might feel at tossing popcorn All the acting was marvelous-
melodrama which evokes many and peanuts at Lawyer Cribbs ly well overdone, and the sing
heart - felt laughs rather than (Paul Sivertsen), the Snidely ing was loud and boisterous.
disgruntled moans. Whiplash of the story, while Denise Cole's (Mary's mother)
As a wacky cross between they slowly get plastered sip- powerful and sassy tone along
Dudley Do-right and The Perils ping cocktails. Also, because of with K. Badgerow's lovely lilt-
of Pauline, the piece - which, the informality, the small tech- ing voice in her number "Crazy
is showing this week in the Un- nical difficulties were totally Little World" deserve com-
ion - manages to work because ' ignored. mendation. All the characteriz-
of the performers' quick pacing THE PLOT'S main theme is ations were consistent and su-
and Manilow's catchy tunes. that of a young collegiate nam- perbly played.
But don't expect to hear music ed Edward (Steve Meigs) who The cast warms up the audi-
of the Mandy and "I Write the marries the almost spinster ence with some song tunes done
Songs" variety. Most of the Mary (Sue Perkoff) and is lead in sing-along style, including
songs are farcical facsimiles of on the road to ruin with the 'Happy Days are Here Again."
stock melodramatic melodies help of demon rum and Lawyer This and the off-stage focus
with a bit of self - mimicry Cribbs. After Edward leaves utilized throughout the per-I
written into the lyrics. How- his wife and child (Benita Hof- formance aided in the involve-.
ever, they do span music gen- stetter), William is constantly ment of the audience.
res - everything from blues to coming to Mary's rescue, pro- The Drunkard is a frolicking'
chorus-kick show tunes to vau- tecting her from the evil grasp fiasco and provides for an, en-
devillian operetta. of Cribbs as he sings "Stupid tertaining evening. The show
This production, directed by though I may be . . . I will will be appearing at the An-
Ted Badgerow, who also plays fight for justice if I can." Ed- derson Room in the Michigan
the goody-two-shoes character ward is discovered by a tem- Union through Sunday, April 17,
William, makes effective use perance lady (Kathy Badgerow) with further performances next
of audience participation, strong dressed a la Salvation Army. week. So take a night off from
voices and entertaining choreo- He and the audience are asked final studying and get plastered
graphy. The tackiness of the set "Do you want to be saved?", - aesthetically speaking, of
helps create a desired cheap and while the audience prefers course.
Kinks' 'Sleepwalker drags

SummerInstitute on Film,
Video and Photography j
June 19 through July 8, 197
Hampshire College, Amherst, Mass.
Sponsored by the University Film Study Center, the Institute
provides a uni-que opportunity for students, artists and
educators to study a specific area of the media arts with
leadin artists and theoreticians. Six graduate or under-
graduate credit.
Filmmaking, Animation, Optical Printing,
Multi-Media Performance, Filmmaking for
Educators and Other Professionals, C a b I e
Television Production, Photography, Photo
Silk-Screen, and Electronic Music.
Film: Imaaes and Realities, Film: Art, Poli-
tics and Perception-Video: The Personal {
Poltiics of Perception, Screenwriting, Film
Criticism, Direction Film Actors, and the
Films of Hitchcock.
Dusan Hakavejev, Richard Leacock, Robert
Breer, Midge Mackenzie, Ed Emshwiller,
Frond Daniel, Jerome Liebling, Roger Green-
spun, and other faculty and guest artists.
For Complete Course Information:
University Film Study Center, Inc.
Box 275
Cambridge, Mass. 02138
(617) 253-7612



Tommy Thompson produced the "I Love Lucy" show for seven years. For the
past seven years he has been production head for Lion's Gate Films. His film
credits include Production Manager for THE LONG GOODBYE, THIEVES LIKE
Director on NASHVILLE, he produced IMAGES and was first Assistant Director
for McCABE AND MRS. MILLER and WELCOME TO L.A. He also recently com-
pleted his role as Executive Producer in charge of production,for Alan Rudolph's
WELCOME TO L.A. and Altman's 3 WOMEN.
Ms. Brandish is in charge of Altman's office. She is a consultant in every aspect of
his work, from creativity to business. She has worked with Altman on every phase
of production from the conception of Lion's Gate Films, and was Production
Secretary for NASHVILLE.
taum tcN01mPscNV
elaine bradis

fjF THE FEW remaining
groups that date back to
the early sixties, the Kinks are
responsible for the lion's share
of the finest music produced by
them. In their earlydays, they
were a hard-rocking, raunchy
band, recording scorchers like
"You Really Got Me" and "All
Day and All of the Night",
songs they have yet to top in
terms of sheer punk energy.
Later, they grew to create
songs so melodic and lyrically
clever that they surpassed
much of the Beatles' best work.
Albums such as Face to Face,
Village Green Preservation So-
ciety, and Something Else tow-
er far above what is generally
considered good music today.
Hard times hit in the seventies,
however. The Kinks recorded
six albums for RCA, and al-
though each were valuable in
spots, they paled beside their
music of the previous decade.

When the Kinks left RCA for
Arista last year, rejuvenation
hopes were generated. In that
light, it must be reported that
the new Kinks album, Sleep-
walker (Arista 4106) is a bit-
ter disappointment. Although
leader Ray Davies and brother
Dave Davies' singing ,as well
as the band's instrumentation,
continues to improve, the songs
are mediocre. As the last few
Kinks efforts have been con-
cept albums, the concepts have
often hidden and excused the
weakness of individual songs.
On the conceptless Sleepwalker,
the tracks must stand alone;
most of them fail at this task.
THE MELODIES are interest-
ing, but nothing special. The
lyrics are simpler than usual,
and often surprisingly trite.
Furthermore, the material is
so unadventurous that some
tracks tend to resemble each
other. If the record has one
point in its favor, it's its suc-
cess in establishing a listless,

uncomfortable, mood -
fectly in keeping with
Sleepwalker title.


Of the nine songs on the al-
bum, "Juke Box Music" is the
only one to fully succeed. A
delineation of the effects of
rock n roll on teenagers,sthis
song is a throwback to the old
Kinks.Ifvtheaother eightsongsst
were even half as good as this
one is, Sleepwalker would be a
smashing ,success.


LAIkO-wib L /1...A

S cwff1~71


a itt
with special guest

* e..

1113C PMn

no Aw? of ho
iR+++ 1tAR


Noon Luncheon





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