This same combination is in full flower in Monte Hellman's Cockfighter (1974), available free via FilmOn's on demand service. The film is essentially a Warren Oates vehicle (and Stanton's friend and fellow Kentuckian is great here).
Oates' character is the lead and is willingly mute for much of the film, allowing Stanton to toss off many of the film's best lines in this subtly surprising and always fascinating post-Easy Rider look at a micro-culture of the '70's deep South. Based on the book by the great crime fiction writer Charles Willefored, it of course looks at the rooster fighting. The near-wordlessness of Oates in Cockfighter also must have come to Stanton's mind in his later iconic performance in Wim Wenders' 1984 Paris, Texas). to see more of this review and view the film, go to http://www.tvmix.com/gotta-watch-harry-dean-stanton-in-cockfighter/#more-3304
Saving Mr. Banks, is another Oscar contender that opened widely in the past week. Tom Hanks plays Walt Disney, while Emma Thompson (a natural choice over Meryl Streep because of her Nanny McPhee stint) plays the enigmatic Australian author of Mary Poppins, P. L. Travers (aka Helen Lyndon Goff). Although from a marketing standpoint the title seemed designed to draw in and on Hanks (playing on his name and his Oscar-winning title Saving Private Ryan from 1998), the title actually refers to the father's name in Travers' book.
The Disney-produced film adaptation of Travers' 1934 book was the source of much contention between the studio head and author, but would go on to win multiple Oscars, including those for Julie Andrews and the songwriting Sherman Brothers.
Ironically, although the first film I saw in the theater was Disney's The Jungle Book , I would fail to see the full-Mary Poppins until after the birth of my own children. My original memory of David Tomlinson, who plays Mr. Banks in that film, was as the villainous, yellow Apollo GT-driving Peter Thorndyke in Disney's live-action hit The Love Bug (and third highest grossing film of 1968). So I knew all along that this actor is much more than a marketing cipher for a corporate Oscar-drive. That said, I bring you his self-referential 'Mr. Banks'-style performance in a film that is unique in its own right: Wombling Free (1977), also starring England's costumed answer to the Muppets, Smurfs and Banana Splits combined: The Wombles. To read more of this review and see the film, head to :
One of the somewhat more subtle highlights of the recently released Wolf of Wall Street is the performance of Jean Dujardin as Swiss money-launderer Jean Jaques Saurel. The film marks the versatile French actor's biggest return to U.S. screens since his Oscar turn in The Artist (2011), and will soon be followed by a role in George Clooney's Ocean's WWII caper The Monument Men. In the two-year gap, many have discovered on cable or DVD two of Dujardin's hilarious earlier French-language 'tours de force', as Agent OSS 117 in OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (2006) and OSS 117: Lost In Rio (2009) - and it is for those, who clamor for more, or for the sources of the hilarity, that I present Maroc 7 (1967).
This revelatory British production officially stars Gene Barry (fresh off his titular role in cult '60s series Burke's Law) as secret agent Simon Grant, who infiltrates a Morocco-bound 'swinging' London modeling agency that is suspected as serving as a cover for international jewel theft. Barry plays it more like Dos Equis' 'Most Interesting Man In The World' than 'Belmondo-Bond,' allowing the lush and mod allure of his impeccable supporting cast, sets and locations to swirl about him - and in that regard, Maroc 7 compares quite favorably to its much bigger-budgeted mod/spy contemporaries, Casino Royale (1967) and You Only Live Twice (1967). To read more of this review and see this great film, head to http://www.tvmix.com/gotta-watch-swinging-sixties-moroccan-spy-maroc-7-movie/
Vito Rizzuto was buried a few days ago in Montreal, Canada. The man known as the 'Canadian Godfather' had died of pneumonia at the age of 67. Besides the widespread speculation about what this means for organized crime north of the U.S. border, this was an opportunity to get a glimpse into a shadow world that is hidden behind the stereotype of the 'mild, boring Canadian'.
When I saw Claude Fournier's Dan Candy's Law (1974 - also known as Alien Thunder) free via FilmOn's On Demand service, I could not help but be reminded of another instance of this self-perpetuating myth. Here was a film the portrays the Canadian West (it was filmed in Saskatchewan province) as a place just as violent and lawless as the American West as shown in such films as McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971) and Heaven's Gate (1980).
to read more of this review and check out the film, head to:
This underground gem from Gene Fowler, Jr., more respected in the mainstream for editing than directing (he would be Oscar-nominated for editing It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World in 1964), stars Edward Platt (equidistant from iconic turns as the detective in Rebel Without A Cause (1955) and "The Chief" in Get Smart (1965-70)) as Tucker, or (the original?) Mr. T, the erudite owner of a happening beatnik café who doubles as a nefarious mastermind. To read more of this review and watch a free stream of the flick head here: http://www.tvmix.com/gotta-watch-the-rebel-set-video/#more-2336