William Mauldin “Bo” Hopkins
(February 2, 1938 – May 28, 2022)
Bo Hopkins has passed away at 84. He’s one of my favorite 70s character actors, thanks to pictures like The Wild Bunch (1969), The Getaway (1972), American Graffiti (1973), White Lightning (1973) and The Killer Elite (1975, with James Caan, above). He was also terrific on The Rockford Files.
A Million Feet Of Film: The Making Of One-Eyed Jacks is the story of Marlon Brando’s One-Eyed Jacks, his first, and only, time as director and a picture that may be better known for its troubled production than its merits as a film.
More than three years from contracts to premiere. Six months of shooting. Almost 200 miles of negative exposed. A revolving door of personnel, including Rod Serling, Sam Peckinpah and Stanley Kubrick — all gone before the first frame was shot. A budget that ballooned from $1.8 million to $6 million. And the eventual takeover of the film by Paramount. Click the cover to order.
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.
Directed by Arthur Penn
Starring Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Michael J. Pollard, Gene Hackman, Estelle Parsons, Denver Pyle, Dub Taylor, Gene Wilder
Bonnie And Clyde (1967) is one of those movies my whole family loves. What does that say about us? Anyway, we’re all excited about the 50th anniversary screenings coming this August from Turner Classic Movies. My wife came across the link today, and you can already buy tickets.
So, does this mean we can count on Warner Bros. and TCM to bring Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch (1969) back in a couple years?
Directed by Sam Peckinpah
Starring Steve McQueen, Robert Preston, Ida Lupino, Joe Don Baker, Barbara Leigh, Ben Johnson, Dub Taylor
Sam Peckinpah’s Junior Bonner (1972) is a wonderful movie, plain and simple. And Kino Lorber’s bringing it to Blu-Ray this summer. Its previous DVD releases weren’t anamorphic, so this will be a huge leap forward.
If you haven’t seen it, you’re in for a real treat. I can’t recommend this one highly enough. Thanks to Paula for the photo of McQueen and Ben Johnson.
More Peckinpah Blu-Ray news — Criterion has announced Straw Dogs (1971) for June.
Directed by Jonathan Kaplan
Starring Jan Michael Vincent, Kay Lenz, Slim Pickens, L.Q. Jones, Don Porter, R.G. Armstrong, Dick Miller
Growing up in the South in the 70s, White Line Fever (1975) was a very big deal. It seemed like every kid I knew was crazy about either White Line Fever or Jaws (1975) — or they hated their moms for not letting them see them.
Jonathan Kaplan was clearly (and admittedly) inspired by Sam Peckinpah here, and it shows, especially in the cast: Slim Pickens, L.Q. Jones and R.G. Armstrong. This thing was a huge hit, with every redneck kid in the fifth grade wanting a Ford cabover truck like Jan Michael Vincent’s Blue Mule.
Mill Creek’s bringing it to Blu-Ray as part of its Payback Time Triple Feature. The other two are Chuck Norris in Silent Rage (1982) and Blind Fury (1989) with Rutger Hauer. I worked in a few video stores in college back in the 80s. If I had a nickel for every time someone rented Silent Rage, I’d be trying to buy that Bullitt Mustang from the previous post.
Not sure why, but the CED Videodisc seemed like the perfect image for this post.
Directed by Edward Bernds
Starring Hugh Marlowe, Nancy Gates, Rod Taylor
Allied Artists bragged that with World Without End (1956), they’d given the world the first sci-fi movie in CinemaScope. And Warner Archive is about to give it to us on Blu-Ray.
So, these astronauts return to Earth from a trip to Mars. Somehow they end up in the 26th century, to find a post-Apocalyptic world (actually, the Iverson Ranch) of mutants, monsters and girls in mini skirts. I love this kinda stuff.
Director Edward Bernds had a most interesting career, going from The Three Stooges to The Bowery Boys to Westerns like The Storm Rider (1957) to a string of sci-fi movies — World Without End, Queen Of Outer Space (1958), Return Of The Fly (1959) and Valley Of The Dragons (1961). He wrote or co-wrote all of these. Oh, and Sam Peckinpah was the dialogue director. So far, there is no specific release date.
Directed by Freddie Francis
Starring Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Lorna Heilbron, Michael Ripper
Mill Creek Entertainment has announced a three-picture Blu-Ray set for April called Psycho Circus. It consists of three features: Torture Garden (1967), The Creeping Flesh (1973) and Brotherhood Of Satan (1971).
For me, The Creeping Flesh is the cream of the crop. It’s a Tigon picture with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, directed by Freddie Francis. What’s not to like? A scientist comes back from Papua New Guinea with some bones. They get wet and flesh forms around them again — with slimy, murderous results.
Torture Garden (1967) is an Amicus anthology film from Freddie Francis again. It stars Jack Palance, Burgess Meredith and Peter Cushing, based on stories by Robert Bloch. Then there’s Brotherhood Of Satan which I’ve never seen, but am eager to see — it stars Strother Martin and L.Q. Jones, just a couple years after they played Coffer and T.C. in Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch (1969). The recent Mill Creek Hammer Blu-Ray twin bills were terrific, so I’m really looking forward to this set.
Directed by Sam Peckinpah
Starring Kris Kristofferson, Ali McGraw, Ernest Borgnine, Burt Young and Franklyn Ajaye
OK, so it’s really not all that good. But I’m so glad Kino Lorber is bringing Sam Peckinpah’s Convoy (1978) to Blu-ray. (That’s him with the headphones staring at Kristofferson.)
It’s got a great cast, some incredible New Mexico scenery and as you’d expect, Sam’s as good with crashing cars and trucks as with people getting shot. This was his next-to-last film (coming between 1977’s Cross Of Iron and 1983’s The Osterman Weekend), and his addictions and excesses were getting the best of him. His friend James Coburn was brought in as second unit director. Some say Coburn shot a great deal of what we see on the screen, as the picture went way over budget and behind schedule.