If you know the movie “Network” at all, it’s probably from this single line of dialogue: “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.” That’s fine. It’s a great line, definitely the line of the movie, as well as being the mission statement of not just Howard Beale, the anchorman slipping into madness, but the man who created him, playwright and screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky. Plus, it’s not really a “single line.” It’s repeated again and again throughout the movie, first by Beale himself, then by viewers all over American who shout it out their windows, and finally by Beale’s studio audience, reciting it as a cheap catchphrase, one that’s lost all the bite and bile it once had.
Hollywood had been making gangster movies since the days of the silents, but it wasn’t until “The Godfather” arrived in 1972 that a gangster movie finally felt real. Part of the reason was the cast. In the classic era, Hollywood gangsters were played by actors who tended to be Irish (James Cagney), Jewish (Edward G. Robinson, aka Emmanuel Goldenberg) or upper class WASP (Humprey Bogart, believe it or not).
What if the great private eye thrillers of the past — movies like “The Maltese Falcon” or “Murder, My Sweet,” hadn’t been made under the restrictive eye of Hollywood’s production code? What if all the sex, sleaze and violence lurking just under the surface had been allowed onscreen? What if all that adult content had actually been made for adult audiences? You’d get a movie like “Chinatown.”
Before the Force could awaken this week, it had to be created. And that conversation between Luke Skywalker and Old Ben Kenobi is the first time the Force was ever mentioned in “Star Wars,” a movie released way back in 1977 and the one responsible for everything — good and bad, inspirational and embarrassing — that’s come since.
Two serious detectives with silly names try and halt the heroin deal of the century in The French Connection (1971). Popeye (Gene Hackman) and Cloudy (Roy “you’re gonna need a bigger boat” Scheider) are on a series of undercover stakeouts as they try to bring down an elaborate heroin-smuggling ring. The film, based on a true story, is the first R-Rated movie to win the Academy Award.
James Bond is back in theaters with Spectre, so we’re bringing you an Out of Theaters two-fer with a 007 from yesteryear and a recent year. Today’s episode simultaneously discusses and compares Live and Let Die (1973) and Casino Royale (2006).
The cult classic Rocky Horror Picture Show is unlike any movie reviewed by Out of Theaters to date. That’s because the film, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is always IN theaters somewhere. If you decide that now is the time for you to finally watch the movie then do make your best attempt to see it with an audience, or at the very least a large group of enthusiastic friends. It’s simply not designed to be watched alone on your couch.
The Exorcist has everything Catholics fear: Ouija boards, the devil, and girls talking about sex. The 42-year-old movie follows the demonic possession of Regan, a 12-year-old girl being raised by her actress mother in Georgetown. Regan (Linda Blair) begins dropping c-words, spitting up pea soup, doing crab walks and sleeping above the covers once the devil takes over her body. She also kills a couple people, but somehow that’s not as disturbing as the c-word being dropped by a 12-year-old girl.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the movie that proves dinner with the family can be an actual nightmare, is as scary today as it was 41 years ago. Released this month in 1974, Texas Chainsaw follows a group of young friends who meeting their grim and untimely deaths at the hands of a family of cannibals. The film’s somewhat grainy, low-budget look — it was made for less than $300,000 — helps create an eerie feeling even before the grotesque killings begin.
Loathed by bleeding-heart liberals and loved by gun-toting ‘Muricans, Death Wish (1974) is the movie that set out to prove vigilante heroes don’t need capes or super powers: they just need a gun. The Second Amendment propaganda film tells the story of self-proclaimed “bleeding-heart liberal” Paul Kersey (Charles Bronson in his most famous role). After his wife is killed and daughter is raped by a trio of criminals (including Jeff Goldblum in his film debut as Freak No. 1), Kersey decides to become one-man vigilante taking on New York’s seedy underbelly with his .32 caliber nickel plated Colt Police Positive.