SLAP SHOT
1977, Universal, 122 min, USA, Dir: George Roy Hill

Director George Roy Hill (BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID) and writer Nancy Dowd (Best Screenplay winner for COMING HOME) bring to the screen this incredibly funny and foul-mouthed saga of a has-been hockey team from a dying-on-the-vine Pennsylvania town. Paul Newman is both the team’s coach and a player who strives for a winning strategy. When an atypical fit of violence erupts in the rink, it creates a surprising spike in the team’s popularity, and Newman suddenly has a guaranteed approach to bring in the fans. Co-starring Michael Ontkean as a fish-out-of-water Ivy League player disgruntled by the bad sportsmanship, Strother Martin as the team’s manager, Jerry Houser as Dave “Killer” Carlson and Jennifer Warren as Newman’s long-suffering beautician wife. Reportedly Newman’s favorite of his films. "Easily the greatest hockey film ever made. …Paul Newman stars as the coach/player for a second-rate team who can't win and can't even get arrested until they hire three brothers with Coke-bottle glasses named the Hansons. These three violent goons begin beating other players to a pulp in every game, not only drawing attention to the team but beginning a winning streak. …Irreverent and very funny." - Jeffrey M. Anderson, combustiblecelluloid.com


THE WILD BUNCH
1969, Warner Bros., 145 min, USA, Dir: Sam Peckinpah

Saddle up for director Sam Peckinpah’s magnificent, ultra-violent Western, starring William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Warren Oates and Jaime Sanchez as a band of doomed outlaws trying to outrun history. A film that forever changed the way violence was depicted and perceived in the movies. Co-starring Robert Ryan, Edmond O’Brien, L.Q. Jones, Bo Hopkins and Strother Martin. “The movie was photographed by Lucien Ballard, in dusty reds and golds and browns and shadows. The editing, by Lou Lombardo, uses slow motion to draw the violent scenes out into meditations on themselves. Every actor was perfectly cast to play exactly what he could play; even the small roles need no explanation. Peckinpah possibly identified with the wild bunch. Like them, he was an obsolete, violent, hard-drinking misfit with his own code, and did not fit easily into the new world of automobiles, and Hollywood studios.” - Roger Ebert


THE BALLAD OF CABLE HOGUE
1970, Warner Bros., 121 min, USA, Dir: Sam Peckinpah

This whimsical, sweetly melancholy, ultimately uplifting fable stars Jason Robards as Cable, a prospector left in the desert to die by partners L.Q. Jones and Strother Martin. But in a classic turning-lemons-into-lemonade twist, Cable discovers a freshwater spring and establishes a stagecoach rest stop on the spot, the perfect occupation for a cantankerous loner. Things couldn’t be going better with prostitute love-of-his-life Hildy (Stella Stevens) moving in with him. But then a newfangled invention rears its ugly head - the automobile. David Warner is excellent as Cable’s con man preacher pal, Joshua.


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