Category Archives: 1975

“You’re gonna need a bigger aquarium.”

Saw this Jaws (1975) trinket today in the aquarium/fish bowl department at Walmart.

Where was this when the movie first came out (June 1975) and I was 11? You can bet I would’ve had a goldfish swimming around this thing.

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Filed under 1975, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw, Roy Scheider, Steven Spielberg

Screening: Jaws (1975).



Directed by Steven Spielberg
Screenplay by Peter Benchley and Carl Gottlieb
Based on the novel by Peter Benchley
Director of Photography: Bill Butler
Film Editor: Verna Fields
Music by John Williams

Cast: Roy Scheider (Brody), Robert Shaw (Quint), Richard Dreyfuss (Hooper), Lorraine Gary (Ellen Brody), Murray Hamilton (Vaughn)

Always try to see Jaws (1975) in a theater at least once every summer. Tonight’s the night, at the wonderful Graham Cinema in nearby Graham, North Carolina.

Of course, Jaws had one of the greatest ad campaigns ever. I especially like the rarely-used tagline “She was the first…”

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Filed under 1975, Murray Hamilton, Robert Shaw, Roy Scheider, Screenings, Steven Spielberg

Blu-Ray News #335: Rollerball (1975).

Produced and directed by Norman Jewison
Starring James Caan, John Houseman, Maud Adams, John Beck, Moses Gunn, Sir Ralph Richardson

I love Rollerball (1975). It’s one of my favorite science fiction films of the 70s, coming from the glorious period when James Cann was knocking one movie out of the park after another. (That’s just my opinion, mind you.)

It’s one of those pessimistic future things where the world is run by corporations and people’s pent-up anger is channelled into the sport rollerball, a deadly combination of hockey, football, motocross and roller derby. When Houston’s Jonathan E (James Caan) becomes a superstar with more power than the corporations are comfortable with, they try all sorts of tricks to encourage him to retire — including rule changes to make rollerball more dangerous than ever. But that makes people love Jonathan even more. (The world being lorded over by giant corporations used to be science fiction, but it’s getting less science fiction-y by the day.)

James Caan and the Houston rollerball team.

It’s also one of those have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too movies that pushed its anti-violence message by being really, really violent. Here, it kinda works. And man, it sure is rough along the way.

Caan is terrific, John Houseman is really creepy, Sir Ralph Richardson has a short, very weird scene, but the great Moses Gunn almost steals the movie as Caan’s trainer and friend. They say the actors and stunt men had a good time shooting the rollerball scenes and actually continued playing between takes!

Rollerball is coming to Blu-Ray from Scorpion Releasing later this month, and I’m really excited about it. It’ll have a killer lineup of interviews, commentaries, trailers, etc. But the star player will be a new 4K restoration, something I think the film richly deserves. (My old DVD was terrible.) Highly, highly recommended. Jonathan! Jonathan! Jonathan!

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Filed under 1975, DVD/Blu-ray News, James Caan, Norman Jewison, Scorpion Releasing, United Artists

Blu-Ray News #325: The Man Who Would Be King (1975).

Directed by John Huston
Starring Sean Connery, Michael Caine, Christopher Plummer, Saeed Jaffrey

When Sean Connery passed away in October, one of the things I heard a lot was “It really stinks you can’t get The Man Who Would Be King on Blu-Ray.” Well, technically you could, if you were willing to pay crazy collector prices for it. Luckily, Warner Archive is righting that wrong in January with a re-issue.

Connery, Michael Caine and director John Huston really knocked it out of the park with this one. Huston had been trying to make it for over 20 years, and both Connery and Caine said it was their favorite of their own films. It’s a near-perfect adventure movie and it holds up remarkably well — and the cinematography by Oswald Morris will look splendid on Blu-Ray. Highly, highly recommended.

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Filed under 1975, DVD/Blu-ray News, John Huston, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Warner Archive

RIP, Allen Garfield.

Allen Garfield
(born Allen Goorwitz; November 22, 1939 – April 7, 2020)

COVID-19 has claimed a great character actor, Mr. Allen Garfield.

He’s in some key 70s films, like Coppola’s The Conversation (1974) and Altman’s Nashville (1975), along with The Candidate (1972), Friedkin’s The Brinks Job (1978) and The Stunt Man (1980). And he’s got a great part in one of my all-time favorites, Slither (1973, above).

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Filed under 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, Francis Ford Coppola, James Caan, Richard Rush, Robert Altman, William Friedkin

Blu-Ray Review: White Line Fever (1975).

Directed by Jonathan Kaplan
Written by Ken Freidman & Jonathan Kaplan
Director Of Photography: Fred Koenekamp
Film Editor: O. Nicholas Brown
Music by David Nichtern

Cast: Jan-Michael Vincent (Carrol Jo Hummer), Kay Lenz (Jerri Hummer), Slim Pickens (Duane Haller), Sam Laws (Pops Dinwiddie), L.Q. Jones (Buck Wessle), Don Porter (Cutler), R.G. Armstrong (Prosecutor), Leigh French (Lucy), Dick Miller (Birdie Corman), Martin Kove (Clem)

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Jonathan Kaplan directed a cool Isaac Hayes movie called Truck Turner (1974) and followed it with a movie that’s really about trucks, White Line Fever (1975). It’s a modern day Western, pretty much, with some good stunt work and a terrific cast. Kaplan did exactly what I would’ve done if I had a shot at making a movie in the mid-70s — load it up with all my favorite character actors (his love of Sam Peckinpah is quite obvious here).

Carrol Jo Hummer (Jan Michael Vincent) is a young Air Force vet who gets married (to Kay Lenz), gets a truck and gets out on the road to make a life for his new family. Unfortunately, Carrol Jo soon discovers the high cost of being an honest man in a very corrupt world. But, lucky for us, that sets in motion a lot of action scenes involving all sorts of trucks and Carrol Jo’s Remington pump shotgun.

Growing up in the South in the 70s, White Line Fever was the talk of the playground in the sixth grade — everybody’d seen it over the summer break. It took me years to finally catch up with it (Jaws dominated that summer for me), and when I did, here were all these guys I knew from other movies — Slim Pickens, L.Q. Jones, R.G. Armstrong, Dick Miller. That remains its chief appeal for me today. Another thing — movies like this, which were sorta dismissed when they came out, sure seem good compared to what came later. I’d watch this 10 times before I’d watch something made in the last 10 years.

White Line Fever is now available from Mill Creek on Blu-Ray with a special sleeve that recycles the old VHS packaging. I worked my way through college at video stores (anybody remember Philadelphia’s Video Village?) and this box — complete with “Action,” PG rating and “Please Rewind” stickers — really took me back. But it’s what’s inside that counts, and this is a near-perfect transfer of a typical mid-70s action movie. You probably have a pretty good idea of what that looks like. There are no extras, just a pretty cool movie looking really good. And that’s plenty good enough for me.

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Filed under 1975, Columbia, Dick Miller, L.Q. Jones, Mill Creek, R.G. Armstrong, Slim Pickens

Blu-Ray News #248: Godzilla – The Showa-Era Films (1954-1975).

If I had a nickel for every minute I stared at this FM cover as kid…

For their 1000th release (or spine number), The Criterion Collection has gone very big with a great big giant box of Godzilla movies. Not those new things — no thank you — but the real ones.

Of course, this being a Criterion release, you can count on each of these the films — all 15 Godzilla movies released from 1954 to 1975 — shining like a jewel. And naturally, there will be tons of extras, from alternate versions to commentaries to documentaries and trailers and so on. Does my heart good to know the work of Mr. Honda and Mr. Tsuburaya will get the level of respect these folks will give it.

The films are:
Godzilla (1954)
Godzilla Raids Again (1955)
King Kong Vs. Godzilla (1963, 2.35 AR)
Mothra Vs. Godzilla (1964, 2.35 AR)
Ghidorah, The Three-Headed Monster (1964 2.35 AR)
Invasion Of Astro-Monster (1965, 2.35 AR)
Son Of Godzilla (1967, 2.35 AR)

Destroy All Monsters (1968, 2.35 AR)
All Monsters Attack (1969, 2.35 AR)
Godzilla Ss. Hedorah (1971, AKA Godzilla Vs. The Smog Monster, 2.35 AR)

Godzilla Vs. Gigan (1972, 2.35 AR)
Godzilla Vs. Megalon (1973, 2.35 AR)
Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla (1974, 2.35 AR)
Terror Of Mechagodzilla (1975, 2.35 AR)

I absolutely love some of these movies. One of them I hate with a passion. Son Of Godzilla is criminally lame, and at 10, I considered it the worst movie I’d ever seen (that was before The Witches Of Eastwick). The very thought of making my way through this thing (yes, even Son Of Godzilla)  makes me happy.

Stomping its way to TVs everywhere in October. Make sure yours is one of them.

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Filed under 1954, 1955, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, AIP, Criterion Collection, DVD/Blu-ray News, Eiji Tsuburaya, Famous Monsters Of Filmland, Ishirō Honda, Kaiju Movies, Toho

RIP, Paul Koslo.

Paul Koslo
(June 27, 1944 – January 9, 2019)

I just learned that one of my favorite character actors of the 70s, Paul Koslo, passed away back in January. He’s in so much great stuff: The Omega Man (1971), Joe Kidd (1972), Mr. Majestyk (1974, above), Freebie And The Bean (1974), The Drowning Pool (1975) and Rooster Cogburn (1975), to name just a few. How many actors could say they locked horns with John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Charles Bronson, Paul Newman and James Caan?

Every movie he was in was better for his presence.

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Filed under 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, Alan Arkin, Charles Bronson, Charlton Heston, Clint Eastwood, James Caan, Paul Newman

Screenings: Jaws (1975).

Directed by Steven Spielberg
Screenplay by Peter Benchley and Carl Gottlieb
Based on the novel by Peter Benchley
Director of Photography: Bill Butler
Film Editor: Verna Fields
Music by John Williams

Cast: Roy Scheider (Brody), Robert Shaw (Quint), Richard Dreyfuss (Hooper), Lorraine Gary (Ellen Brody), Murray Hamilton (Vaughn)

I love the fact that Jaws (1975) turns up in theaters every summer. It’s here in the Raleigh area next week and I can’t wait. Watch for one in your area.

It’s usually not on film anymore, but the digital restoration from a few years ago was terrific. And, of course, on the big screen you can see “the head, the tail, the whole damn thing.”

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Filed under 1975, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw, Roy Scheider, Screenings, Steven Spielberg, Universal (-International)

Blu-Ray News #185: Trilogy Of Terror (1975).

Directed by Dan Curtis
Written by Richard Matheson and William F. Nolan
Starring Karen Black, Robert Burton, Gregory Harrison

That picture will probably sell you on Kino Lorber’s upcoming (October) Blu-Ray release of Trilogy Of Terror, one way or another. You’re either dying to get your hands on a copy or you want to stay the hell away from it. You see, this 1975 TV movie is about as scary as scary gets. And Karen Black, who plays four different roles in the three stories, is terrific.

With this getting a 4K restoration, along with the same for The Night Strangler (1973), there’s a lot of love going around for Dan Curtis. So how about a Blu-Ray of his Melvin Purvis: G-Man (1974), which John Milius co-wrote?

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Filed under 1975, Dan Curtis, DVD/Blu-ray News, John Milius, Karen Black, Kino Lorber, Richard Matheson