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Frank Pierson Saturday 30th April 2011 at the 54th Annual San Francisco International Film Festival Awards held at Bimbo's 365 Club San Francisco, California

Frank Pierson
Frank Pierson
Frank Pierson and Sidney Ganis
Frank Pierson
Frank Pierson and Sidney Ganis
Frank Pierson

Cool Hand Luke Review


Excellent
A half-dozen months after its 40th anniversary and just over a year after it's star's for-real-this-time retirement from acting, Stuart Rosenberg's Cool Hand Luke still stands as the quintessential cool movie, despite its reality. That is to say: The lines and the character have survived the film's oft-forgotten actual message.

I surmise that summary is an act of redundancy but let's do it one more time for the cheap seats. The man is introduced as Lucas Jackson (Paul Newman), a Vietnam vet who takes to cutting heads off parking meters while on a bender. Sent to a hotter-than-a-smokehouse prison camp in the south (it was mainly shot near and around San Joaquin and Stockton, California), Lucas has the smirk of a troublemaker but doesn't show his hand til a solid 30 minutes in. It's a boxing match between Luke and alpha-con Dragline (the great George Kennedy) that queues up the prisoners, the guards, and the Captain (Strother Martin, pure menace), proving that Luke may be the true pied piper of the prison camp. Even with his drunken mother, a role originally offered to Bette Davis that eventually went to Jo Van Fleet, the con's cocky grin cannot be dissuaded.

Continue reading: Cool Hand Luke Review

Cool Hand Luke Review


Excellent
A half-dozen months after its 40th anniversary and just over a year after it's star's for-real-this-time retirement from acting, Stuart Rosenberg's Cool Hand Luke still stands as the quintessential cool movie, despite its reality. That is to say: The lines and the character have survived the film's oft-forgotten actual message.

I surmise that summary is an act of redundancy but let's do it one more time for the cheap seats. The man is introduced as Lucas Jackson (Paul Newman), a Vietnam vet who takes to cutting heads off parking meters while on a bender. Sent to a hotter-than-a-smokehouse prison camp in the south (it was mainly shot near and around San Joaquin and Stockton, California), Lucas has the smirk of a troublemaker but doesn't show his hand til a solid 30 minutes in. It's a boxing match between Luke and alpha-con Dragline (the great George Kennedy) that queues up the prisoners, the guards, and the Captain (Strother Martin, pure menace), proving that Luke may be the true pied piper of the prison camp. Even with his drunken mother, a role originally offered to Bette Davis that eventually went to Jo Van Fleet, the con's cocky grin cannot be dissuaded.

Continue reading: Cool Hand Luke Review

A Star Is Born (1976) Review


OK
Here's another nominee in the increasingly crowded category of Most Unnecessary Remake: 1976's A Star Is Born, with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson picking over the bones of not one but three previous versions, most notably the 1954 musical epic starring Judy Garland and James Mason. It's a great story for sure, but this star turn for Streisand, which is hopelessly stuck in the bell-bottomed clichés of the '70s, hasn't aged well and isn't much fun to watch.

We first meet struggling singer Esther Hoffman (Streisand) as she performs a gig in an L.A. club backed up by two African-American women. Their name: The Oreos (groan). Into the club stumbles hirsute rock legend John Norman Howard (Kristofferson) on one of his daily benders. He loves her voice, she loves his... hair, I suppose... and soon, for no apparent reason, she's madly in love with him.

Continue reading: A Star Is Born (1976) Review

Dog Day Afternoon Review


Extraordinary
Attica! Attica!

I'd say they don't make 'em like Dog Day Afternoon anymore, but, you know, they sure do try to. Bank robbers under fire, hostage negotiations, panic in the streets. Why, moviedom is littered with films like Heat, Mad City, The Negotiator... some good, some bad.

Continue reading: Dog Day Afternoon Review

A Star Is Born (1976) Review


OK
Here's another nominee in the increasingly crowded category of Most Unnecessary Remake: 1976's A Star Is Born, with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson picking over the bones of not one but three previous versions, most notably the 1954 musical epic starring Judy Garland and James Mason. It's a great story for sure, but this star turn for Streisand, which is hopelessly stuck in the bell-bottomed clichés of the '70s, hasn't aged well and isn't much fun to watch.

We first meet struggling singer Esther Hoffman (Streisand) as she performs a gig in an L.A. club backed up by two African-American women. Their name: The Oreos (groan). Into the club stumbles hirsute rock legend John Norman Howard (Kristofferson) on one of his daily benders. He loves her voice, she loves his... hair, I suppose... and soon, for no apparent reason, she's madly in love with him.

Continue reading: A Star Is Born (1976) Review

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