Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Films of the 70s

The 1970s were just a plain weird time for movies. Not bad movies, but just strange. All kinds of amazing work was hitting the screens in those days. And there were so many venues for independent producers: lots of smaller theater chains and drive-in theaters. Even TV was in on the act...you never knew what kind of weirdness was going to come out of the old boob tube on any given day.

Here's an obscure film with Warren Oates and Harry Dean Stanton. I really would like to own a copy of this one. Makes you wonder what could have been if THE MISSOURI BREAKS had been filmed the way it was originally intended...low budget and starring these two guys instead of Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson.

Here's another totally strange one, MONGO'S BACK IN TOWN. I saw this once--and once only--when it first aired on television. This was really a rough vision of life. It bothered me from beginning to end (I believe I was twelve or thirteen years old). I'd seen THUNDER ROAD with Robert Mitchum years before, but Mongo, as portrayed by Joe Don Baker, was the meanest anti-hero I'd ever seen. To my kid's-eye view, it just did not compute. And the ending! It took me days to get over the ending of that movie. Yet another one I should try to find and view again through the jaded eyes of present day.


Tracy said...

I used to love Henry Dean Stanton until he was living in town for here for a while. Ran into in him several times in a little hole-in-the wall breakfast house I frequent. He was surly and rude and the staff got tired of dealing with him. Made me sad. No one really bothered him, trying to talk to him or anything, but he was just not nice.

HemlockMan said...

That sucks! I love his work. Too bad he was a jerk!

Sometimes I wonder what THE MISSOURI BREAKS would have been like if they'd made it the way it was originally planned. Harry Dean Stanton was to have played the Brando part and Oates the role that Nicholson ended up with. And on a budget probably one-twentieth what they ended up spending on the awful movie they ended with. Alas!