Movie Taboos, Shocking Seductions, “Mr. Tibbs”, Raging Bulls and $7,000 Cinema!

YOU TALKING TO ME?

Yes I am! Time to get back to talking movies! Let’s talk some CLASSIC FILMS, like “The Godfather”:

The story of Hollywood is much more entertaining that just history. It is full of iconic images like this one from “Easy Rider”:

And this one, of a young Dustin Hoffman about to be seduced:

And there are years in film that not only define an era but also set the stage for movie revolutions to come. Here are some books that define those revolutions – in many unique ways.


Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood by Mark Harris – Publication Date: 2008

This is a terrific book about Hollywood, Oscars, and the end of an era…

It’s the epic human drama behind the making of the five movies nominated for Best Picture in 1967 – Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, The Graduate, In the Heat of the Night, Doctor Doolittle, and Bonnie and Clyde – and through them, the larger story of the cultural revolution that transformed Hollywood, and America, forever!

It’s the mid-1960s, and westerns, war movies and blockbuster musicals like Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music-dominate the box office. The Hollywood studio system, with its cartels of talent and its production code, is hanging strong, or so it would seem. Meanwhile, Warren Beatty wonders why his career isn’t blooming after the success of his debut in Splendor in the Grass – and even though Sidney Poitier has just made history by becoming the first black Best Actor winner, he’s still feeling completely cut off from opportunities other than the same “noble black man” role. And a young actor named Dustin Hoffman struggles to find any work at all.

Now imagine this: in the midst of an escalation of Vietnam, civil rights and the “Summer Of Love”, a series of films are released that shock America with their forward-thinking sensibility:

“Bonnie & Clyde” showcases brutal violence not seen on-screen, along with Faye Dunaway’s unabashed sexuality:

And Speaking Of Taboos:

“Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner” tackled a virtually taboo subject at the time: inter-racial marriage – between a black man and white woman…

This was explosive material for the movies, in this case helped by having the parents portrayed by Hollywood legends Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy:


“Are you trying to seduce me, Mrs. Robinson?”

Then you have “The Graduate”, which features a young man having an affair with his girlfriend’s MOM!


“They Call Me MR. Tibbs!”

Now add “In The Heat Of The Night”, where Poitier stars as a Philadelphia cop who finds racism everywhere in a redneck south that refuses to think modern, not helped by the racist Police Chief played by Rod Steiger:

These four films were culture shocks to Hollywood, which at the time was still trotting out films like the 5th nominee in 1967 for Best Picture: the bloated, out of touch musical fiasco “Dr. Doolittle.”

This is a terrific look at Hollywood being torn apart…check it out….speaking of Hollywood torn apart, and out of control:


Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-and-Rock ‘N’ Roll Generation Saved Hollywood by Peter Biskind – Publication Date: 1999

Here is the definitive look at how a brash group of young Directors took over Hollywood in the 70’s…and what happened as a result!

When the low-budget biker movie “Easy Rider” shocked Hollywood with its success in 1969, a new Hollywood era was born. This was an age when talented young filmmakers such as Scorsese, Coppola, and Spielberg, along with a new breed of actors, including De Niro, Pacino, and Nicholson…

This group became the powerful figures who would make such modern classics as The Godfather, Chinatown, Taxi Driver, and Jaws. “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls” follows the wild ride that was Hollywood in the ’70s —

This book captures a new era of Hollywood that was an unabashed celebration of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll (both onscreen and off) and a climate where innovation and experimentation reigned supreme. The book is full of great stories about Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Peter Bogdanovich and more!

Based on hundreds of interviews with the directors themselves, producers, stars, agents, writers, studio executives, spouses, and ex-spouses, this is the full, candid story of Hollywood’s last golden age.

It was an era that produced such classics as Bogdanovich’s “The Last Picture Show” (above)…and chronicles how it all went downhill…speaking of downhill slides:


The Unkindest Cut: How a Hatchet-Man Critic Made His Own $7,000 Movie and Put It All on His Credit Card by Joe Queenan – Publication Date: 1997

Following in the maverick mold of Quentin Tarentino, Spike Lee, and Richard Rodriguez, writer Joe Queenan becomes an auteur and, in the process, funnier than ever, as he tries to master the art of writing, directing, scoring, casting, and marketing a movie–all by himself.

When Queenan saw Robert Rodriguez’s award-winning film “El Mariachi”, which was reputedly made for only $7000, he thought he’d like to duplicate the feat. Because of his extreme dislike of 12-step recovery programs, he decided to make a movie-12 Steps to Death-about an ex-LAPD cop whose life was ruined when a “schizoid anorexic recovering alcoholic with Attention Deficit Disorder slammed into the car, kill[ing] his wife and kids.”

Queenan is obsessed with doing the film for one dollar LESS than “el Mariachi” – but fantasy quickly turned to dreaded reality as he strived to write a screenplay, recruit neighbors as actors and lay out the filming over a 10-day period in Tarrytown, N.Y., where he lived. We see Queenan as he takes the $279 Hollywood Film Institute course; learns the astronomical cost of everything from camera rental to buying film stock. In the end Queenan is left with a bill for more than $67,000.

This is a hilarious book that shows making movies isn’t as easy as it looks – and all three books give you an insider’s look at what the magic of entertainment is all about!



Categories: 70's Cinema, Academy Awards, Action Films, Awards, Books / Media, Comedy Movies, Director Martin Scorsese, documentary films, Film Noir, Grindhouse, Movies, Obscure Movies, Politics, Revenge Movies, Talent/Celebrities, Uncategorized

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  1. Modern Horror Twin Directors! The Soska Sisters! “American Mary”! “Dead Hooker In A Trunk!” « johnrieber
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