Tag Archives: Robert Redford

Film: Movies of 1976

 

It was a great year for famous quotes. "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore"..."You talkin' to me?"..."Yo, Adrian"..."Is it safe?" Uploaded by americanrhetoric.com.

Maybe it was the Bicentennial that inspired so many excellent movies. Okay, probably not. All I know is that 1976 was one of those special years when it was fun to be a movie fan because there was always something good playing. Such as:

All the President’s Men (Great American Things, October 7, 2010) – Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman solve Watergate. Best Supporting Actor for Jason Robards.

Carrie – Brian De Palma brings Steven King to the screen for the first time.

The Eagle Has Landed – a great thriller starring Michael Caine and Donald Sutherland.

Uploaded by th7.deviantart.net.

Marathon Man – one of my personal favorites. Laurence Olivier asks Dustin Hoffman, “Is it safe?”

Network – Peter Finch won the Best Actor Oscar and railed, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” Faye Dunaway earned Best Actress.

Rocky (Great American Things, August 2, 2010) – Sylvester Stallone came out of nowhere to write and direct the year’s box office winner. Won Best Picture, and Best Director (John Avildsen).

Silver Streak – First pairing of Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor is both comic and box office gold.

A Star is Born – this remake of the classic starred Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. The number two box office movie of the year.

Taxi Driver – Martin Scorsese directed, Robert De Niro starred. Won the Palme d’Or at Cannes. “You talkin’ to me?”

Advertisements

Film: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was a complete film -- outstanding script, excellent music, great direction. And, of course, Newman and Redford. Uploaded by moviemobsters.com.

Paul Newman (Great American Things, May 17, 2009) and Robert Redford starred in just two films together — this one and The Sting (Great American Things, April 14, 2010) — which is a shame, because film audiences couldn’t get enough of them. Butch (Newman) and Sundance (Redford) were outlaws in the Old West, train robbers in what they called the Hole in the Wall Gang. This movie had everything – great acting of course, wonderful music, and a memorable script.

Uploaded by matttrailer.com.

That script was the work of William Goldman (Great American Things, October 13, 2010), who devotes a chapter in his book Adventures in the Screen Trade to the making of this film. Lots of interesting stuff there, including this, in which Newman and director George Roy Hill had an ongoing argument about the proper placement of a scene:

Toward the end of the first week (of rehearsal), Newman and Hill were at it again, tearing into each other, back and forth, on and on — until we were all aware of this strange, new, and altogether remarkable sound. The gofer, way across the room, in his sleep, had let fly with this whopper of a fart. Newman and Hill registered the event, paused briefly, then went back into combat.

But the fart continued.

Now they paused a second time, all of us staring at this old sleeping guy. Newman and Hill turned back to each other again —

–the fart went on and on. (All true, I swear.) Now we were all silent. Still it continued.

Everyone was aware of the fact that we were in the presence of a phenomenal physical feat. Amazing. We all had to take a break after that. The old guy slept on, eventually lapsing into silence.

Ah, hard to pass up a good fart story. Anyway, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid earned seven Oscar nominations, and won four. (It lost Best Picture to Midnight Cowboy.) Even so, it was ranked number 50 in the American Film Institute’s 100 Years…100 Movies.

Film: All the President’s Men

 

The source book was dense and detailed. Screenwriter extraordinaire William Goldman distilled its essence, turning it into an engrossing thriller. Uploaded by john-likes-movies.blogspot.com.

Typically, when you’ve read a book and then see the movie adaptation of that book, the film leaves much to be desired. So much must be omitted. That’s one of the things that cause me to marvel at this movie – long after the book has faded, the Alan Pakula film is still fascinating to watch.

Uploaded by img5.allocine.fr.

One of the reasons is the screenwriter. William Goldman is one of the all-time masters of the art, and he realized what was important in the complicated Watergate saga, and what didn’t advance the story. Especially considering the large cast in this epic.

The main characters were excellent – Dustin Hoffman as Carl Bernstein and Robert Redford as fellow Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward. And what a supporting cast! Martin Balsam, Jason Robards, Jack Warden, Hal Holbrook, Jane Alexander, Meredith Baxter, Ned Beatty, Stephen Collins…

All the President’s Men received eight Academy Awards nominations, and won four (Sound, Art Direction, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor – Robards).

Film: The Natural

The New York Daily News and ESPN both named The Natural as the sixth-best sports movie of all time. Uploaded by robertedwardauctions.com.

Robert Redford was at his best as Roy Hobbs, the “natural” baseball player whose career was changed forever by an encounter with a deranged fan. Years go by, and Hobbs finally gets a second chance at the big leagues.

Uploaded by images.sodahead.com.

The movie is told almost as myth, with supernatural elements in many scenes. As a boy, Hobbs carved a bat from a branch of a tree split by lightning. He carves a lightning bolt into it, and calls it “Wonderboy.” There’s a wonderful scene in which Hobbs, as a pitcher, strikes out “The Whammer,” an obvious doppelganger for Babe Ruth. And the final scene is over the top as a badly hurt Hobbs hits a home run to win the pennant as lightning flashes in the sky.

The Natural was directed by Barry Levinson, a director who was hot in the 1980s (Diner, Tin Men, Rain Man, Good Morning, Vietnam).  It had an excellent cast, featuring Glenn Close (Academy Award nomination), Barbara Hershey, Wilford Brimley, Robert Duvall (Great American Things, August 21, 2009), and Darren McGavin.

Both the New York Daily News and ESPN named The Natural as the number 6 sports movie of all time.

Film: The Sting

The Sting won 7 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Oddly, as great as Newman and Redford were, neither won Best Actor. Uploaded by bam.org.

Paul Newman (Great American Things, May 17, 2009) and Robert Redford co-starred in two blockbuster movies, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in 1969, and The Sting in 1974. The term “buddy movie” predated their partnership, and yet you’d be hard-pressed to find a better pairing of superstars than these two actors in these two movies. But if you had to choose only one, it has to be The Sting.

Director George Roy Hill used both of his stars’ strengths – Newman’s versatility, and Redford’s charm. But the biggest star of all was the screenplay written by David Ward. Ward had investigated con artists for another script he had underway, and loved the big con called “The Wire.” Everyone who read the script also loved it, making it easy to attract top talent.

Uploaded by wizbangblog.com.

There were several excellent character parts as well in the ensemble cast. Robert Shaw was particularly strong as the mark, Doyle Lonnegan. The story is that Shaw hurt his ankle before filming began, and incorporated his limp into his character – “Ya folla?”

One other element of genius in this movie was the score, which featured ragtime tunes by Scott Joplin. They lent a wonderful period feeling to the movie, even though in reality they predated the time frame of the movie by about 25 years.

The Sting was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, and won 7, including Best Picture. Oddly, Newman was not nominated for Best Actor, though Redford was – and he was one of the movie’s three nominees who didn’t win…