Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Underrated '77 - Vinny Tucceri ""

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Underrated '77 - Vinny Tucceri

Vinny is a cinephile who was late to the bluray game but still is an avid film collector. He works on the THE FILM SLOBS in his free time and edits documentaries that are too depressing to watch more than once. He tries to stay active on letterboxd
On Twitter @VinnyTucceri
Australian cinema is in itself very underrated. The true independents of past decades didn't get the international love and audiences that modern filmmakers do. The Australian film industry went through a renaissance in the 70s and 80s and because of that we get films like Backroads. It's a simple story of two men that steal a car and drive around getting into trouble. It also has a lot of comments on aboriginal race relations and feels like a sort of Easy Rider tribute. It's a slow film for some but is quite enjoyable and very much a product of its time. If you can track it down, give it a chance! A lot of people are weary of arthouse road films and I can understand that. Extended shots of New South Wales and long conversations between the two main characters are broken up with a song or two. Films don't play like this anymore. It was a different style then and it needs to find a new audience today.

The Domino Principle
Stanley Kramer's penultimate film is famous for being a cash grab for star Gene Hackman but it isn't that bad, I promise. Hackman phones in the performance, sure, but a half-assed Hackman is still better than most. The film tells the story of a veteran (Hackman) who ends up in prison. Sought out for his rifle skills, he is enlisted to be an assassin in exchange for his escape. It's one of those fun conspiracy thrillers that popped up throughout the 1970s, a product of its time, and works for its action sequences and intrigue. The supporting cast is fantastic (Candice Bergen, Richard Widmark, Mickey Rooney, Edward Albert, Eli Wallace) and you'll love seeing them in this genre film. I love Gene Hackman and he is an icon, and he was entitled to get this paycheck, damnit!
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A Piece Of The Action
There's a 99.9% chance that Bill Cosby is a huge piece of shit. I get it. But I'm a big fan of this film (made years before I was even born, let alone before any allegations were brought to my attention). The third in a trilogy of films made with Sidney Poitier, A Piece Of The Action is, like the others, a crime comedy. Poitier and Cosby star as two thieves who never get caught, until a retired cop (James Earl Jones) let's them know of his discovery. They are given an option: he can turn them in or they can help at a youth center. It then falls into a cliche "one last heist" but it doesn't kill the film. The comedy is broad but hits the spot. Definitely worth checking out for the soundtrack and styles alone, but a heartwarming heist film is always a good choice!
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The World's Greatest Lover
It is truly my belief that everyone should fall in love with Gene Wilder. A fantastic actor that didn't make enough movies, Gene turned to directing in the mid-1970s and his second film is a fantastic comedic romp through early Hollywood. There was a sort of trend with early Hollywood being represented in 70s cinema, with films like Hearts Of The West, The Day Of The Locust, Nickelodeon, Inserts and The Wild Party, leading to this film being sort of lost in the mix. Wilder himself stars as a man out to win an acting gig to compete with Rudolph Valentino for the hearts, and dollars, of millions of women. It's bizarre and silly and Wilder is a genius again. The film was a critical failure and a commercial success but under appreciated amongst the greats in his filmography. This is pure Wilder and everyone should see it. Also stars Carol Kane as his wife and Dom Deluise as the head of the movie studio.
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Three teens leave their humdrum lives in California to head north to Alaska, hoping to get rich in the salmon industry. Plans fall through and they end up getting involved with robberies, eating dog food to survive and kidnapping a prostitute. It's a road comedy full of crime and action, and some quintessential seventies scenes that will definitely keep you entertained. The stars are all the children of famous actors (Robert Carradine, Desi Arnaz Jr, Anne Lockhart and Melanie Griffith) and the casting works quite well. I never hear anyone talk about this film and it's a shame because it really is entertaining.
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Tomorrow I'll Wake Up And Scald Myself With Tea
Sometimes a film just has a perfect title. It makes you stop and investigate. Some can be one word titles that give you everything up front (Titanic, Singles, Hook) and sometimes they are just so enticing because you have no idea what to expect (Your Vice Is A Locked Room And Only I Have The Key, There Will Be Blood). I wasn't sure what to think of this title when I came across this film but it's just as fun and bizarre as you can imagine. In the not so distant future, technology has been created that allows for commercial time travel and a group of Nazis want to use it to give Hitler hydrogen bomb technology, changing the outcome of World War 2. When the bribed time machine pilot dies, his twin brother takes his place (on the mission and at home) and has to stop the Nazis. It's really entertaining and It's probably my favorite sci-fi film from 1977 and I'm not even afraid to say that.
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