Category Archives: 1977

Blu-Ray News #187: Cross Of Iron (1977).

Directed by Sam Peckinpah
Starring James Coburn, Maximilian Schell, James Mason, David Warner, Senta Berger

Hen’s Tooth Video has a Blu-Ray of Cross Of Iron (1977) on the way. Their special edition DVD boasted a great lineup of extras, and I hope those will make the leap to Blu-Ray. It’s coming in October.

This is a great film, the last great one from Sam Peckinpah, with a really incredible performance from James Coburn. (He also looks so cool in this one.) It’s a shame it’s been so hard to see over the years, but that’s how things tend to go with these international productions. Let’s hope this release will help change that. Highly recommended.

 

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Filed under 1977, Avco Embassy, DVD/Blu-ray News, James Coburn, Sam Peckinpah

Merry Christmas Again.

My daughter’s taken to Star Wars in a big way. She came across this.

Bet the pine needles fall off long before they hit hyperspace.

Here’s wishing you and yours a stellar holiday — and safe travels no matter how far, far away you have to go.

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Filed under 1977

Blu-Ray News #150: Sorcerer (1977).

Directed by William Friedkin
Starring Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal, Amidou, Ramon Bieri

You may not know that William Friedkin’s Sorcerer (1977) is one of my favorite movies — so much so that I dedicated a blog to it alone.

It’s always good news to see the 4K restoration of this maligned masterpiece come available in some form in some part of the world. The latest is a special 40th anniversary edition from British label Entertainment One. It’ll be out November 6th.

Special Features and Technical Specs:
• Sorcerers – A Conversation with William Friedkin & Nicolas Winding Refn
• The Mystery of Fate – A letter from director William Friedkin
• Newly commissioned artwork to celebrate the 40th Anniversary
• Reversible sleeve containing newly commissioned & original artwork

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Filed under 1977, DVD/Blu-ray News, Roy Scheider, William Friedkin

Coming Back: Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977).

Written and Directed by Steven Spielberg
Starring Richard Dreyfuss, Teri Garr, Melinda Dillon, Francois Truffaut

CE3K truckSteven Spielberg’s Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977) is 40 years old, which for some of us serves as a reminder of just how old we are. Yikes.

In a sci-fi movie year that had already given us Star Wars, Spielberg’s followup to Jaws (1975) was a big, big deal. We all went a little UFO-happy, just like we’d gotten collectively spooked by the ocean a couple years before.

For those of us who want to relive those days (to “make contact again,” as the trailer says) or give our kids a little taste of ’em, Close Encounters (Spielberg’s Director’s Cut) will play theaters for a week in September, with a new 4K and Blu-Ray release coming a couple weeks later. I’m getting stoked.

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Filed under 1977, Columbia, DVD/Blu-ray News, Richard Dreyfuss, Screenings, Steven Spielberg

RIP, Carrie Fisher.

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Carrie Fisher
(October 21, 1956 – December 27, 2016)

If you grew up in the late 70s, Star Wars (1977) was a part of your life — whether you liked it or not. So for many of us out there, it’s quite a blow to lose Carrie Fisher. (Kids of the 80s are going through the same thing with George Michael.)

Here she is on location for The Empire Strikes Back (1980), the second Star Wars movie. With a film so big and filled with special effects — and Empire is an epic in every sense of the word, it’s easy to overlook what the actors are doing. Pay attention next time, she’s really terrific.

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Filed under 1977, 20th Century-Fox

Blu-ray News #57: Airport, The Complete Collection (1970-1979).

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Universal has always been big on “franchises,” from the Universal Monsters and Ma And Pa Kettle to Back To The Future and Tremors.

Certainly one of their biggest would have to be the Airport pictures. And while they’re a cases study in the Law Of Diminishing Returns, there’s still something about them, something we can all own on Blu-ray in June.

Airport (1970)
Directed by George Seaton
Starring Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin, Jean Seberg, Jacqueline Bisset, George Kennedy, Helen Hayes, Van Heflin, Maureen Stapleton, Barry Nelson

Van Heflin (in his last movie) blows a hole in Dean Martin’s plane. Shot in 70mm Todd-AO by Ernest Laszlo, it was a massive success — and kick-started the disaster movie craze of the 70s. Note the Easter ad for Radio City Music Hall.

Airport ’75 (1974)
Directed by Jack Smight
Starring Charlton Heston, Karen Black, George Kennedy, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Helen Reddy, Gloria Swanson, Linda Blair

A small plane runs into the cockpit of a 747, leaving no one to fly the plane. It seems to be the movie most parodied in Airplane! (1980).

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Airport ’77 (1977)
Directed by Jarry Jameson
Starring Jack Lemmon, Lee Grant, James Stewart, George Kennedy, Brenda Vaccaro, Christopher Lee, Joseph Cotton

A hijacked 747 crashes and sinks in the Bermuda Triangle.

The Concorde: Airport ’79 (1979)
Directed by David Lowell Rich
Starring Alain Delon, Susan Blakely, Robert Wagner, Sylvia Kristal, George Kennedy, Eddie Albert, Charo, John Davidson

Where the previous pictures had the likes of Helen Hayes, James Stewart, Gloria Swanson and Joseph Cotton in supporting roles, here we have Charo and Sybil Danning. It plays like a TV movie, and a bad one at that.

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Filed under 1970, 1974, 1977, 1979, Charlton Heston, Christopher Lee, Dean Martin, DVD/Blu-ray News, Jack Lemmon, Universal (-International)

Making Movies: A Bridge Too Far (1977).

Bridge Too Far HS

I was lucky enough to attend a special screening of A Bridge Too Far (1977) here in Raleigh, North Carolina, when it first opened. I was 13. The guy James Caan played, Staff Sergeant Dohun, was there — and he was not happy that Caan dropped an F Bomb in one scene.

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Plastic commandoes ready to litter the bridge.

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Watching and waiting — something that happened in both 1944 and 1977.

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(Sir) Michael Caine (as John Ormsby Evelyn ‘JOE’ Vandeleur) and director (Sir) Richard Attenborough.

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Shooting the harrowing sequence where Robert Redford (as Major Julian Cook) and his men cross the river in flimsy assault boats. “Hail Mary, full of grace…”

I’ve always had a soft spot for A Bridge Too Far. It’s one of the last truly epic war movies, with a few jaw-dropping scenes here and there. And it was a huge moviegoing experience for me. Cornelius Ryan’s book is terrific, too.

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Filed under 1977, Gene Hackman, James Caan, Making Movies, Michael Caine, Richard Attenborough, Robert Redford, Sean Connery