Save The Tiger (1973)

JOHN G. AVILDSEN Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.  USA, 1973.  Filmways Pictures, Cirandinha Productions, Jalem Productions.  Screenplay by Steve Shagan.  Cinematography by James Crabe.  Produced by Martin Ransohoff, Steve Shagan.  Music by Marvin Hamlisch.  Production Design by Jack T. Collis.  Costume Design by John A. Anderson.  Film Editing by David Bretherton.  Academy Awards 1973.  Golden Globe Awards 1973. Screenwriter Steve Shagan barely conceals his contempt…

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State Of Siege

BBBB (out of 5) An American official (Yves Montand) is kidnapped by political insurgents in Uruguay, interrogated for what they suspect is his involvement in aiding the government’s suppression of the people through violence and torture. Montand insists that he is simply an employee of the US Agency for International Development and that his appearances…

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The Paper Chase

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Timothy Bottoms arrives for his first year of Harvard Law and is immediately made a target by a legendary professor (theatrical and film producer John Houseman in his first major film acting role), who treats him with both derision and admiration depending on what the day’s case studies bring. Bottoms makes friends and…

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Ash Wednesday

BB (out of 5) Elizabeth Taylor plays an ageing housewife who decides to go in for a face lift in order to save her loveless marriage to Henry Fonda.  Naturally, the filmmakers made sure to hag Liz up a lot in order to make her post-surgery looks more impressive (which they definitely are). After she…

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Papillon

BB (out of 5) Another prison movie for Steve McQueen, and once again he’s trying for the great escape. He plays a French petty criminal who is wrongly accused of murder and, after a few unsuccessful attempts to break free, is sent to a maximum security prison in Guyana. All manner of degradation is detailed…

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The Sting

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Robert Redford plays a con man who seeks revenge after his partner is killed by a crime boss. He teams up with older, wiser scam genius Paul Newman and the two of them set out to take the bad guy for all he’s worth. Despite there having been a million imitations of this…

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Day For Night (La Nuit Americaine)

BBBBB (out of 5) There’s magic in just about every frame of this thoroughly enjoyable movie. Francois Truffaut details the world of film making, playing himself as a frustrated director who has every possible production problem befall his latest project. His lead actor (Jean-Pierre Léaud) is emotionally unstable and prone to flights of ridiculous romanticism,…

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The Day Of The Jackal

BBBB (out of 5) Frederic Forsythe’s taut suspense novel comes to the screen with admirable results. Edward Fox is fantastic as the hired gun known only as “The Jackal”, enlisted by a militant faction of French loyalists who feel that de Gaulle’s allowing Algeria its independence constitutes treason to their homeland. After a failed attempt on…

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American Graffiti

BBBB (out of 5) This nostalgic look back at the glory days of carhops and jukeboxes was the basis for a whole retro wave in the seventies, even inspiring the television show Happy Days. It takes place on the night before four high school graduates are going to leave for college, and in celebration they…

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The Way We Were

BBBB (out of 5) Politics and romance mix with volatile results in this entertaining, intellectual soap opera. Barbra Streisand is zesty as an outspoken socialist who falls in love with golden boy Robert Redford.  He disapproves of her communist tendencies, but the two of them are so drawn to each other that they can’t help but…

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The Exorcist

BBBB.5 (out of 5) Ellen Burstyn plays a single mother and movie star whose stay in Washington while filming her latest project is interrupted by her daughter coming down with strange symptoms of psychological disturbance. WRONG! She’s possessed by a demon, and mom has to get a priest to come and exorcise it before things get…

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Serpico

BBBB.5 (out of 5) One of Al Pacino‘s best cinematic creations is in this impressive cop drama by Sidney Lumet. He plays Frank Serpico, a real-life New York City police officer who couldn’t stand back and watch his colleagues indulge in corrupt practices without blowing the whistle on them. Working the streets undercover (in some of…

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