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August 02, 1974 - Image 5

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Michigan Daily, 1974-08-02

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Friday, August 2, 1974

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

cinema weekend

Page Five

Pick of the week:
La Strada
Friends of Newsreel, MLB
Fri., Sat., 7:30, 9:30
When Federico Fellini stopped
fooling around as an Italian ac-
tor and writer in the 40's and
started directing movies, he
blew a lot of people's minds.
His first few handful of films
are so special, such incredibly
personal and precious works of
art, that to this reviewer they
cast his later films of the last
two decades in a terminal sha-
dow.
La Strada (1955), staring An-
thony Quinn and (the director's
rwife) Giulette Masina, is a
'powerfully moving picture about
a strongman-performer and the
Innocent little waif he picks up
'along the muscle-bound tour
he's making via motor bike and
trailer.
Quinn has never been better,
bursting chains on his chest and
hearts in his breast with the pul-
verizing fury of a locomotive -
his character doesn't let up for
a minute. Masina is the per-
fectly pathetic blonde servant
girl for the muscle man; she is
devoted to Quinn in a love that
is never recognized or ack-
nowledged.
Richard Baseheart, who later
went on to a big career in the
60s, doing television's Voyage to
the Bottom of the Sea, plays a
surprisingly likeable character
called Fool by Quinn because he
sees through the strongman's
insults and malicious threats.
He is a character with human-
ity, a rarity in Fellini cinema.
After La Strada and Nights of
Cabiria Fellini made La Dolce
Vita. Then he stopped making
films and started making spec-
tacles of both himself and the
motion picture industry. His
talent is missed but the brief
hiatus he gave us was too bril-
liant to ever be forgotten.
-Michael Wilson
+ r *
Pink Floyd
The Movies, Briarwood
A "cinema concert" that is,
but, it is not, alas, "more than
a movie." Basically, it is just
a performance - on film - in
the 3000-year-old ruins of a
IPomneii coliseum, empty save
for the somd crew, the cam-
eramen, the wind, and t he
grass - interjected with a lot
of aimless footage while the
sondtrack plays.
Hot lava and bubbling mud.
Agonized faces from ancient sta-
tues and mosaics; the Pompeii
ruins. Pink Floyd's collosus
speakers. The four Floyds wan-
dering through barren land-
scapes and similar exsistential
scenes.
The music, however, perform-
ed live for this film, is close
to brilliant. In spite of their
recent commercial turnings,
Pink Floyd is still one of the
roost original, inventive, a n d
'dynamic groups at work today.
While the cinematics of this
flick do not add anything to
their music, they do not detract,
either. After all, the film brings
one a lot closer to the greup
than they will ever get in con-
cert. The curious can get to
see how they make all those
weird and intriguing sounds that
they do.
Thedfilm also includes some
studio footage, and interviews.
-Ron Langdon
Jamaica Inn
Cinema Guild, Arch. Aud.
Sat., 7:30, 9:30
Jamaica Inn (1937) is an Al-
fred Hitchcock picture that
moves with the pace of a two-
headed snail. How Hitchcock

ever got involved in this mess
is a wonder to everyone, includ-
ing the director himself. It was
his last British picture, a n d
one of three Daphne Du Maur-

ier story lines that the master
of great suspense was to for-
ever cannonize on film.
The story of Jamaica, if you
really must know, concerns a
boring 18th century tavern
where all kinds of ugly crim-
inals and scavengers h a a g
out trying to pretend they're
in some kind of psycho Treas-
ure Island.
Charles Laughton, who also
co-produced the film, plays a
highly respectable justice of the
peace that also serves as ring-
leader of the scum in the tav-
ern. Laughton, who had nis part
built up by J. B. Priestly in tite
screenplay because he felt it
needed more dialogue, hated
Hitchcock and couldn't stand his

version is by far the best and
represents the definitive ana-
chronisms Wilson was search-
ing for in both his hilarity and
English protocol.
-Michael Wilson
Captains Courageous
Cinema II, Aud. A
Sat., 7:30, 9:30
Freddy Barthomew, Mickey
Rooney, Lionel Barrymore, and
Spencer Tracy are the fantastic
cast in Captains Courageous, a
good film that tells the story
of a boy growing into manhood
with the fishermen of the North
Atlantic.
Based very closely on the

Mkichigan Daily

methodical and meticulous dir-
ectorial style. "He wasn't real-
ly a professional film man,"
said Hitchcock in retaliation to
the 1938 press, "and I don't
like to work that way."
The result is a period piece
almost as revolting as the cos-
tume buffoonery of this year's
Daisy Miller. Robert Newton
also stars in this film, but he
sure doesn't help much.
-Michael Wilson
Mutiny on the
Bounty
Cinema II, Aud. A
Fri., 7:30, 9:30
Perhaps one of the greatest
sea stories ever filmed is Frank
Lloyd's Mutiny on the Bounty,
the true tale of the mutiny
against the repressive Captain
Bligh in 1781 on a voyage to
Tahiti. Although the direction
is not really up to the task of
telling the tale, the acting is
first rate.
Starring Charles Laughton as
Bligh, Clark Gable as Christ-
ian, and Franchot Tone as
Brown, this film is carried sole-
ly on its acting. Laughton, es-
pecially, gives a performance
that is a classic, the definitive
Bligh. You will really h a t e
him by the end of the first
reel.
The supporting cast is also
good. This film was recognized
as a classic when it was made,
and even though a color remake
was made in the 60's, the orig-
inal is by far the best.
-David Warren
Ruggles of Red Gap
Cinema Guild, Arch. And.
Fri., 7:30, 9:30
Ruggles of Red Gap (1934) is
the story of an English butler
lost by his employer in a de-
faulting poker game who has to
contend with new owners and
the wild, wild West in a process
of splendidly funny rejuvena-
tion. Charles Laughton, the dis-
tinguished British ham and vet-
eran of over forty motion pic-
tures, fortunately portrays the
bumbling butler with more ob-
noxious manners and startling
eloquence than the character
could ever use.
Thus Ruggles turns ;nto
classic cinema through Laugh-
ton's virtuoso performance and
the stunning supporting cast,
which includes Charlie Ruggles,
Mary Boland, Roland Y o u n g
and Zasu Pitts (remember her
on Oh Susannah! as Gale
Storm's dizzy girlfriend?)
The story is taken from a pert
little novelette by Harry Leon
Wilson and has been filmed four
grueling times. This Laughton

Rudyard Kipling novel of the
same name, this film won Spen-
cer Tracy his first Oscar. More
importantly, though, is that he
deserved it. His portrayal of
Manuel, the Portuguese fisher-
man, really exhibits his enor-
mous talent.
Lionel Barrymore is great, as
usual, and Rooney and Bartho-
mew both give fine perform-
ances.
If you are a Kipling fan, or
Tracy fan, or Barrymore fan, or
just like to see fine acting, go
see Captains Courageous.
-David Warren
The Great Dictator
New World Film Co-op
Nat. Sci. And.
Fri., 7:30, 9:30
In The Great Dictator (1940),
Charlie Chaplin capitalizes on
his own more than striking re-
semblance to Der Fuhrer, tooth-
brush moustache and all. Char-
lie plays the part of an under-
dog Jewish barber who is mis-
taken for German dictator Hin-
kel.
When the film was originally
released, audiences gagged on
the vicious satire in the film,
which was a bit too much in the
days when Hitler's armies pos-
ed a real threat. Only a few
decades later can viewers give
the film the proper sort of at-
tention it deserves.
. Unfortunately, Chaplin d i s-
covered the soundtrack in The
Great Dictator, dropped h is
tramp character, and used dia-
logue instead of pantomime.
Charlie found out he could use
speeches to plead his case, ra-
ther than comic action, and this
leads him into serious trouble.

While there are admitterly
some brilliant sequences (par-
ticularly the scene in which Hin-
kel addresses his following in
a mocking form of "pig Ger-
man"), much of the film de-
generated into mush, a cliched
appeal for "peace and brother-
hood."
Chaplin shows in Dictator that
he still has the talent to save
a lot of souls - but I'm afraid
most viewers will have to settle
for being half-saved with this
one.
-Jeff Sorensen
Everything You've
Always Wanted To
J Know About Sex
The Movies, Briarwood
Never in a milion years will
Woody Allen approach the tal-
ent he displayed in the late six-
ties as a nightclub comedian
and rising filmmaker. In be-
tween all the hoopla about his
talent and cute looks and funny
plays, Woody made this f it1 m
based on the infamous David
Reuben book and turned in some
of the best acting and directing
of his career.
True, Everything has its low
points, but there are scenes in
this film that have got to be
some of the most hilarious and
imaginative satires to c o m e
around in a long time. There
are some great foreign film
takeoffs, for example, featuring
Allen in a deft pair of sun-
glasses.
Everything is being shown as
a double-bill with Mr. Majestyk,
the latest Charles Bronson thril-
ler.
-Michael Wilson
Love and Anarchy
Campus
This is beatifully constructed
Italian pornography, starring
Giancarlo Gianinni in a sort
of Day of the Jackal takeoff
about a man who has a bullet
with the initials "B.M." that
he plans to fire into Mussolini's
skull.
Unfortunately, Tunin, our
hero, bumps into a pretty
streetwalker (portrayed incred-
ibly well by Lina Polito), a n d
becomes momentarily detoured.
Many of the scenes take place
in the inevitable house of i11
repute, and director-writer Lin-
da Wertmuller makes this an
advantage by using real-life lo-
cations and brilliant co-stars.
Wertmuller is a fine technic-
ian and will no doubt be heard
from again. She is a welcome
addition to an industry that is
desperately lacking in female
directors.
--Michael Wilson
Terminal Man
The Movies, Briarwood
Terminal stars George Segal
in a fascinating failure of a mo-
tion picture. Directed and writ-

ten by Mike Hodges from Mich-
ael Crichton's best-selling novel,
Terminal is one-third interest-
ing and two-thirds ridiculous.
Crichton's story of a slightly
disturbed paranoid psychotic
who submits to an operation for
a cure to his "disease" was at
best fairly nice paperback ma-
terial.
On celluloid, the results of this
complex and frightening futuris-
tic medical technology make a
big joke of Segal and seems
closer to a Dean Martin shoot-
'em-up than a valid comment on
where we're all headed.
The problem lies somewhere
between the fact that G e o r g e
is making far too many pictures
and the sophomoric essence of
the material. Jean Hackett and
Donald Moffat are also featured
in this terminally slick shock
treatment.
-Michael Wilson
For Pete's Sake
Michigan
Barbra Streisand stars in this
quasi-sequel to the very success-
ful What's Up, Doc? Pete's pace
is just as frantic and some of
the lines are just as funny as
the material in the original
Peter Bogdanovich feature. Bas-
ically, however, Pete s i m p1 y
doesn't stack up.
Streisand portrays a harried
housewife who, having plunged
her husband into debt to cover
a nebulous investment, now
must come up with a scheme
to raise $3000 in a hurry. Her
ideas: prostitution and c a tt I e
rustling. (That's part of the
humor, gang.)
it's an enjoyable picture, ut
it could have been better.
-David Blomquist
Nine Lives of
Fritz the Cat
Fifth Forum
The feature-length animated
film and grade B studio Ameri-
can International Pictures re-
ceived a much-needed shot in
the arm a couple of years back
when Steve Krantz turned out
Fritz the Cat, a lewd, definite-
ly X-rated cartoon that no
doubt started Walt Disney roll-
ing over in his grave.
Naturally, we now have a
sequel to Fritz entitled (what
else?) The Nine Lives of guess
who. Be prepared: it isn't as
blue (or as funny) as Fritz No.
1.
Krantz's excuse probably will
be that during the period when
Nine Lives was in production,
the Supreme Court appeared to
be taking a tougher stand on
porno, and he didn't want to
get caught in the squeeze.
Nonsense. Well, you be the
judge.
-David Blomquist
Chinatown
Fox Village
Roman Polanski has a repu-
'ation for being a great direc-
tor. However, he also has a
reputation for being inconsist-
ent. His latest film, China-
town, is possibly the best film
he has ever made. It is a thrill-
er mystery of the first order.
It is the tale of a private in-
vestigator, Jack Nicholson, who
is caught up in a scandal and
a series of murders involving
the leading citizens of Los An-
geles of the 1930's.
The action is fast, and the
acting is the best in years. Ni-
cholson plays his role with a
cool and cynical style reminis-
cent of Bogart. Faye Dunaway
plays the woman who is trying
to run away from her past in
the best performance of her
career.
Polanski has been compared
to Hitchcock, but the compari-

son is not justified. Polanski has
proven in this film that he is
equal to any of the great direc-
tors of mystery movies.
-David Warren

EXCELLENT ACTING highlights this weekend at the movies.
Anthony Quinn and Charles Chaplin are just two of the
many brilliant performers featured at the cinema this Friday
and Saturday evenings.

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