After a couple of major studio flops, Peter Bogdanovich returned to his 1960s filmmaking roots with this Roger Corman-produced low budget film. Easygoing expatriate Jack Flowers (Ben Gazzara) makes his living in early-1970s Singapore legally and illegally looking after the needs of American and British businessmen, such as the mild-mannered William Leigh (Denholm Elliott). With his gift for putting clients and girls at ease, Jack opens a successful brothel, but pressure from local mobsters soon puts him out of business. Ever the survivor, he starts working for the shady, Cuban-cigar-smoking Eddie Schuman (Bogdanovich) as a pimp for GIs on breaks from Vietnam. But Jack’s conscience starts to dog him when Schuman hires him to take compromising pictures of a visiting Senator (George Lazenby). Adapted by Bogdanovich, Howard O. Sackler, and Paul Theroux from Theroux’s novel, Saint Jack offers a pimp with a heart of gold, who is less an ugly colonial American abroad than an outsider trying to make the best of a bad situation. Continue reading
In tiny Anarene, Texas, in the lull between World War Two and the Korean Conflict, Sonny and Duane are best friends. Enduring that awkward period of life between boyhood and manhood, the two pass their time the best way they know how — with the movie house, basketball, and girls. Jacey is Duane’s steady, wanted by every boy in school, and she knows it. Her daddy is rich and her mom is good looking and loose. It’s the general consensus that whoever wins Jacey’s heart will be set for life. But Anarene is dying a quiet death as folks head for the big cities to make their livings and raise their kids. The boys are torn between a future somewhere out there beyond the borders of town or making do with their inheritance of a run-down pool hall and a decrepit movie house — the legacy of their friend and mentor, Sam the Lion. As high school graduation approaches, they learn some difficult lessons about love, loneliness, and jealousy. Then folks stop attending the second-run features at the movie house and the time comes for the last picture show. With the closure of the movie house, the boys feel that a stage of their lives is closing. They stand uneasily on the threshold of the rest of their lives. (The movie was adapted from the novel by Larry McMurtry). Continue reading
A documentary on the life and films of director John Ford.
Plot Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
This documentary profiles the great American filmmaker John Ford (1895-1973). Among the films he directed were The Young Lincoln, Stagecoach, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and The Grapes of Wrath. Ford’s work was distinguished by its great emotional clarity, which some see as sentimentality, and storytelling which evokes and defines what it is to be American. The film features interviews with Ford and with many of his stars, as well as exemplary clips from his films. Many of Ford’s films were westerns, and interviews with him are filmed in Monument Valley, one of his favorite film settings. It is narrated by director Peter Bogdonavich, whose own work shows Ford’s influence. Among the actors interviewed are John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda. Continue reading
Description: Miranda “no relation” Presley is a singer-songwriter from New York City who comes to Nashville to make it big in country music. As do 10,000 fellow hopefuls. After arriving in the Music City after a long bus ride, Miranda makes her way top the Bluebird Cafe, a local watering hole with a reputation as a showcase for new talent. The bar’s owner, Lucy, takes a shine to the plucky newcomer, and gives her a job as a waitress. Miranda befriends three fellow hopefuls: shy Connecticut cowboy Kyle, Southern belle Linda Lue and James Wright, a cocky Texan with brooding good looks and a tormented artist attitude. A love triangle between Miranda, Kyle and James ensues. Together they embark on a rocky ride down Music city´s well-worn highway of hope, heartbreak and the thing called love. Continue reading
Saticoy. Director Peter Bogdanovich; Producer Peter Bogdanovich; Screenplay Peter Bogdanovich; Camera Laszlo Kovacs; Editor [uncredited]; Art Director Polly Platt
A good programmer, within low budget limitations, about a sniper and his innocent victims. A separate, concurrent sub-plot features Boris Karloff as a horror film star who feels he is washed up. Both plot lines converge in an exciting climax.
Peter Bogdanovich has made a film of much suspense and implicit violence. It opens with a typical horror pic finale, which in a neat switcheroo turns out to be just that, as producer Monte Landis, o.o.’s the film. Karloff declares he is through with films and exits. A sidewalk scene introduces Tim O’Kelly, all-American boy who has drawn a bead on Karloff from a nearby gun shop. Continue reading
Description: They All Laughed is less a comedy than an extended love letter—there’s a rambling, awkward tone to the film, and in places it’s so unabashedly personal that certain viewers may flinch from the self-exposure. Ritter’s character is openly a Bogdanovich surrogate—he even wears the director’s trademark horn-rimmed glasses, and he helps Stratten escape an overbearing, jealous husband. The romance between Hepburn and Gazzara is rooted in their real-life affair, and the regret felt by Hepburn’s character references her own status as an aging star. And though the humor in the film is squarely in the neo-screwball style of What’s Up Doc—lightning-quick dialogue, pratfalls, double-takes, blink-and-you-missed it innuendo—They All Laughed, with its sudden shifts in tone and lack of conventional narrative, moves that style into the realm of the European art film. Continue reading