Mark Rydell – The Reivers (1969)

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Synopsis:
Based on William Faulkner’s novel, THE REIVERS is a coming-of-age story laced with adventure and comedy. Young Lucius McCaslin (Mitch Vogel) leaves home and sets off on a journey with Boon (Steve McQueen), the family handyman, who is a reiver (cheating philanderer); and his best friend, Ned (Rupert Crosse). The three set off for the big city, where the boy, inspired by Boon, learns some valuable lessons about the world. A delightful piece of southern Americana, director Mark Rydell’s THE REIVERS is witty and filled with lively action. The score by John Williams and the superb cinematography enhance the richly fleshed-out characters. McQueen, in particular, gives one of the most memorable–and often underrated–performances of his career. Continue reading

Mark Rydell – Cinderella Liberty (1973)

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This charming tough-love romance is yet more evidence why the early 1970s is considered one of the most creative times in Hollywood. Basically a story about a link-up between a sailor and a pool hall tramp, Cinderella Liberty overcomes traditional problems with such material. The “R” rating for once allows such characters to talk as they might, although our nice-guy hero has a thing against profanity. Darryl Ponicsan’s story acknowledges the desperation of sailors to find female companionship, especially when on ‘Cinderella Liberty,’ a shore pass that expires at midnight. Also breaking with Hollywood tradition, the film allows Marsha Mason’s hooker to be credibly profane and self destructive, and yet still be worthy of our concern. The movie has its share of emotional compromises but by the last act we’re only hoping that things turn out well for our deserving main characters. Continue reading