Monthly Archives: September 1975

WILL THE REAL NORMAN MAILER PLEASE STAND UP (1975 review)

From Monthly Film Bulletin, September 1975, Vol. 42, No. 500.

It’s good to see Norman Mailer’s first three features just out in a two-disc DVD set from Eclipse (it would be great if Criterion could eventually do the same for Susan Sontag’s three fiction features), even though I regret that my two favorite Mailer films — his untitled, ten-minute experimental short from 1947 (recently discovered by archivist Michael Chaiken, who wrote the excellent and provocative notes for the Eclipse set, and which I saw last July at Il Cinema Ritrovato) and Tough Guys Don’t Dance (1987) — aren’t included. (Admittedly, I haven’t yet seen all of Maidstone, which Chaiken makes the most claims for, so these rankings on  my part are still subject to revision.)…In his Eclipse notes, Chaiken describes Will the Real Norman Mailer Please Stand Up? [sic] as “a filmed counterpart to The Armies of the Night“, which parallels my own observation here.Read more »

BRATS & HOG WILD (1975 reviews)

From Monthly Film Bulletin, September 1975. — J.R.

Brats
U.S.A., 1930
Director : James Parrott

Cert–U. dist–Kingston. p.c/p–Hal Roach. For MGM. story–Leo
McCarey. dial–H. M. Walker. ph–George Stevens. ed–Richard Currier.
l.p–Stan Laurel (Himself/His Son), Oliver Hardy (Himself/His Son).
732 ft. 20 mins. (16 mm.).

While Laurel and Hardy try to play checkers, they are repeatedly interrupted by the fights and antics of their two sons, miniature replicas of themselves; eventually they send them up to bed. After putting on their pyjamas, the kids continue to wreak havoc: as Hardy Jnr. looks under the bed for a mouse, it crawls on to his bottom, and Laurel Jnr. fires at it with a toy gun; Hardy Jnr. howls in pain, and Laurel Jnr. fills the bathtub to offer him relief, leaving both taps on. They spar with boxing gloves before their fathers appear once more, and Hardy is persuaded to sing them a lullaby; when one of the kids asks for a glass of water and Hardy opens the bathroom door, the room is flooded.

A clever use of double sets — each room scaled separately to match the respective sizes of fathers and sons — and a baby Hardy without a moustache aren’t really enough to make this more than a minor Laurel and Hardy effort, although there are a few compensations along the way, most notably Laurel’s adage that “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make a pencil lead”, and Hardy’s lullaby, which quickly gravitates into a scat-yodeling exercise.… Read more »

THE WILD PARTY (1975 review)

From Monthly Film Bulletin, September 1975 (Vol. 42, No. 500). I’m not sure why I neglected to mention Fatty Arbuckle in this review, but I obviously should have. (I also might have mentioned that another  long narrative poem by Joseph Moncure March, The Set-Up, provided the basis for a more enduring 1949 Robert Ryan/Robert Wise feature.)– J.R.

U.S.A., 1974

Director: James Ivory


Cert–X. dist–7 Keys. p.c–The Wild Party.A Samuel Z. Arkoff  presentation. exec. p–Edgar Lansbury, Joseph Beruh. p-Ismai Merchant. assoc. p—George Manasse.asst. d–Edward Folger. sc–Walter Marks. Based on the narrative poem by Joseph Moncure March. ph–Walter Lassally. col–Movielab. ed–Kent McKinney. a.d–David Nichols. set dec–Bruce David Weintraub. set artist–Pamela Gray. sp. effects–Edward Bash. m/m.d–Larry Rosenthal. dance m–Louis St. Louis. songs–”Wild Partv”, “Funny Man”, ”Not That Queenie of Mine”, “Singapore Sally”, “Herbert Hoover Drag”, ”Ain’t Nothing Bad About Feeling Good”, “Sunday Morning Blues” by Walter Marks. musical sequences staged by–Patricia Birch. cost–Ron Talsky, Ralph Lauren, Ronald Kolddzie. make-up-Louis Lane. titles— Arthur Eckstein. title poster art–Peter Diaferia. sd. ed–Mary Brown. sd. rec–Gary Alper. sd.Read more »

W.W. AND THE DIXIE DANCEKINGS (1975 review)

From Monthly Film Bulletin, September 1975, Vol. 42, No. 500. — J.R.

W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings

U.S.A..1975

Director: John G. Avildsen

Cert—A. dist–Fox-Rank. p.c–20th Century-Fox. exec. p–Steve

Shagan. p–Stanley S. Canter. p. manager–William C. Davidson. asst. d

–Ric Rondell, Jerry Grandey. sc–Thomas Rickman. ph–Jim Crabe.

col–TVC; prints by DeLuxe. ed–Richard Halsey, Robbe Roberts. a.d

Larry Paull. set dec–JimBerkey. sp. effects–Milt Rice. m–Dave Grusin.

songs–”Hound Dog” by Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, sung by Elvis

Presley; “Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight” by Calvin Carter, James

Hudson; “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry; “Bye Bye Love” by

Felice Bryant, Boudleaux Bryant; “I’m Walkin’” by Antoine “Fats”

Domino, Dave Bartholomew; “Blue Suede Shoes” by Carl Lee Perkins;

“Mama Was a Convict” by Tom Rickman, Tim Mclntire; “A Friend” by

Jerry Reed; “Dirty Car Blues” (traditional), performed by Furry Lewis.

cost–Dick LaMotte. titles–PacificTitle. sd. rec–Bud Alper. sd. re-rec

Don Bassman. stunt co-ordinator–Hal Needham. l.p–Bert Reynolds

(W.W.… Read more »

OVERLORD (1975 review and 2006 review)

Criterion has just released Overlord on Blue-Ray. Here are my two separate reviews of the film, written over three decades apart — for Monthly Film Bulletin, September 1975, Vol. 42, No. 500, and for the Chicago Reader, June 2, 2006. — J.R.

Overlord-Poster

Overlord

 

Great Britain. 1975

Director: Stuart Cooper

Cert–A. dist-EMI. p.c–Joswend. p–James Quinn. p. manager

Michael Guest. sc–Stuart Cooper, Christopher Hudson. ph–John

Alcott. optical effects–Vee Films. ed–Jonathan Gili. a.d–Michael

Moody, Barry Kitts. m–Partl Glass. songs–”The Lambeth Walk” by

Douglas Furber, Noel Gay; “We Don’t Know Where We’re Going” by

Ralph Butler, Noel Gay, sung by Nick Curtis. costume advice–Laurie

Milner. titles–Ann Hechle. sd. ed–Alan Be1l. sd. rec–Tony Jackson.

sd. re-rec–Gerry Humphries. l.p–Brian Stirner (Tom), Davyd Harries

(Jack), Nicholas Ball (Arthur), Julie Neesam (Girl), Sam Sewell (Trained

Soldier), John Franklyn-Robbins (Dad), Stella Tanner (Mum), Harry

Shacklock (Station-master), David Scheuer (Medical Officer), Ian Liston

(Barrack Guard), Lorna Lewis (Prostitute), Stephen Riddle (Dead German

Soldier), Jack Le White (Barman), Mark Penfold (Photographer), Micaela

Minelli (Little Girl), Elsa Minelli (Little Girl’s Mother).… Read more »