PAPER MOON
1973, Paramount, 102 min, USA, Dir: Peter Bogdanovich

Director Peter Bogdanovich’s Depression-era tale of confidence man Ryan O’Neal and his young daughter (Tatum O’Neal, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar) fleecing naive citizens from town to town in the American Midwest is rendered in glistening and appropriately gritty black, gray and white tones by cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs. Co-starring Madeline Kahn and John Hillerman.


THE NICKEL RIDE
1974, 20th Century Fox, 99 min, USA, Dir: Robert Mulligan

A superb neo-noir with Jason Miller (THE EXORCIST) as the can-do man who holds keys to stolen-goods depots in downtown Los Angeles. Charged by his syndicate boss, urbane John Hillerman, with buying up an unused block of warehouses for more storage, Miller starts to encounter problems. Like an unraveling ball of yarn, trivial difficulties snowball out of control, threatening not only his career but his life. Beautifully realized, from the low-key performances to the evocation of a dying-on-the-vine downtown - whole blocks of which have not changed much since the making of this film. The gradual building of suspense and the aura of impending doom - a feeling so borderline we're not sure if Miller’s just being paranoid - is intensely disturbing. Bo Hopkins is the friendly good ol’ boy apprentice Miller gets saddled with and Linda Haynes is Miller’s understanding girl. Screenplay by Eric Roth (THE INSIDER, MUNICH, FORREST GUMP).


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