Archive for the ‘Decade: 1970's’ Category

Essential Liz (Quad Cinema, NYC)

June 22, 2018

Get your Liz on. Quad Cinema in New York City currently screening an Elizabeth Taylor retrospective. From Quad,

Essential Liz

An actor first and then foremost a star, Elizabeth Taylor reached highs throughout—and well beyond—the Golden Age of Hollywood. Possessed of striking beauty including but hardly limited to, as cartoonist Garry Trudeau aptly wrote, “violet eyes to die for,” Taylor made her debut in 1942 at age 10. Her talent was evident and her impact upon audiences and industry was instantaneous, inviting choruses of “Who’s that girl?” Soon she was renegotiating her contract with MGM and America’s exhibitors had named her a Star of Tomorrow; by 1961, she was the theater owners’ choice as Top Box Office Star. Taylor’s dramatic screen performances (which earned her two Best Actress Academy Awards) riveted the world, which hungrily consumed gossip on her personal life of multiple marriages, infidelities, divorces, remarriage, births, losses, AIDS activism, and much more. Through it all, she forged a filmography that spanned the sublime to the ridiculous. This retrospective includes a number of rarely screened works and offers proof aplenty that great performances and movie stardom need not be mutually exclusive.

Reel Charlie would love to see on the big screen:
Butterfield 8
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Father of the Bride
A Place in the Sun
Reflections in a Golden Eye
Suddenly, Last Summer
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

See the full schedule and purchase tickets at Quad Cinema.


The Waltons

June 8, 2018

Yes, that The Waltons – the 1972 television series created by Earl Hamner, Jr. about growing up during the Depression, poor and full of love. It’s back, all nine seasons thanks to Amazon Prime Video. I wondered if time would be kind to this sweet show which bucked the odds during the kooky and crazy 1970’s. Time has been kind to the kinder Walton family. The show overflows with sincerity, simplicity, and love. I watched one episode so far. I can imagine revisiting The Waltons when I’m in the mood for something sweet and endearing. I still can’t believe Will Geer who played Grandpa is the same Will Geer who was a socialist and long-time lover of Harry Hays, the founder of the modern gay rights movement. Wish I would have known that fact back then. It would have saved me a lot of soul-searching for gay male role models. Still, hugs to The Waltons. I’m glad you still hold up after all these years. 3 out of 5.

Happy Pride Month 2018

June 1, 2018

I mentioned in an earlier post this week I’ll be tweeting each day in June 2018 #pridereads focusing on the many aspects of LGBT literature. I’m really looking forward to the challenge. Follow me @reelcharlie

Also, three years ago in 2015, I watched a film or television series each day for 30 Days of Gay. From an earlier blog post,

In June 2015, I created 30 Days of Gay: one review each day for the 30 days of June, LGBT Pride Month. I reviewed classic LGBT films I love but had yet to review on Reel Charlie along with brand new films. The month-long project was a labor of love and so much fun! Please follow the 30 Days of Gay thread by clicking on the link below and navigating forward in the blog by clicking on the film title in the upper-right – begin the first navigation by clicking on the link below, then choosing Maurice:
30 Days of Gay

We have a lot of be thankful for and a whole more to fight for. Future generations will look back on our lives and wonder how we managed to do all we did to further equal rights for gender and sexuality. Keep on doing what you are doing, talk, march, donate, love, show up, just be your authentic self. Special thanks to all my beautiful allies who never cease to amaze me. Your support and love make my heart sing. Happy Pride everyone. XOXO. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a tea dance to find.

Susan Dey Movies on YouTube

April 3, 2018

I have no idea whether any of this is legal or not, but I figure they are on YouTube to watch until they are not. Here are eight Susan Dey films from 1977 – 2002 that have been uploaded to YouTube for your viewing pleasure:

Mary Jane Harper Cried Last Night (1977)

Little Women, (1978 Part 1)

Little Women, (1978 Part 2)

Love Leads the Way (1984 with Timothy Bottoms)

I Love You Perfect (1989)

Bed of Lies (1992 with Chris Cooper)

Whose Child is This? The War for Baby Jessica (1993 with Michael Ontkean)

Beyond Betrayal (1994 with Richard Dean Anderson)

Disappearance (2002 with Harry Hamlin)

Murder on the Orient Express (1974)

January 13, 2018

Sat down the last two evenings with the 1974 adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. I stayed with it for more than half of the film. Honestly I could not get into it. The pacing too slow, actor’s delivery dull, sets looked cheap. Lauren Bacall overacted. Ingrid Bergman atrocious. Anthony Perkins reusing his Psycho persona. I’ve heard fun things about this incarnation from Steve Hayes. It’s as if he watched a completely different movie. I simply could not finish it. I really enjoyed the 2010 version from the Brits. And am looking forward to seeing Branagh’s newest addition when it arrives on Blu-ray in the library. Meanwhile 2 out of 5 for Sidney Lumet’s lackluster film, Murder on the Orient Express. Better go back and re-read the book.

Four Bewitched Christmas Episodes

December 25, 2017

Owning a television series on disc allows you to binge in unique ways. For instance today I was able to watch all four Christmas episodes of Bewitched thanks to the series boxed set. So much fun to travel from 1964 – 1970. The four episodes span a wealth of stories including not believing in Santa Claus, older people hating Christmas, Santa getting stuck in CT thanks to an Esmeralda spell gone bad, and a very special episode, Sisters at Heart about racism which was written by a group of LA 10th graders and won a special Emmy award that year.

Bewitched Christmas episodes:
Ep# Title Director Writer(s) Air Date
1–15 “A Vision of Sugar Plums” Alan Rafkin; Herman Groves December 24, 1964
4–16 “Humbug Not to Be Spoken Here” William Asher; Lila Garrett & Bernie Kahn December 21, 1967
6–14 “Santa Comes to Visit and Stays and Stays” Richard Michaels; Ed Jurist December 18, 1969
7–13 “Sisters at Heart” William Asher; William Asher & Barbara Avedon (teleplay) December 24, 1970

Bewitched “Humbug Not to Be Spoken Here” 1967


Bewitched “Sisters at Heart” 1970

Susan Dey and David Cassidy

November 22, 2017

Two of my favorite photos of Susan Dey and David Cassidy:

Susan Dey (Laurie) and David Cassidy (Keith) in The Partridge Family (1970).


Susan Dey and David Cassidy at the 1990 MTV Awards.

Rest in Peace David (2017).

Alien (Blu-ray)

November 3, 2017

Rounding out my scary Halloween week movie watching, I turned back time to 1979 and caught Alien on Blu-ray. I remember being scared the first time I saw the film. Alien in 2017 reads as a very simple film with a camp monster. It harkens back to B movies such as Creature from the Black Lagoon and classic films such as James Whale’s Frankenstein. Why do so many science fiction films portray characters as scrappy? Is that an American thing? It’s a trope I’m frankly tired of in a big way. Alien is worth watching for Sigourney Weaver and other cast members John Hurt and Ian Holm. Veronica Cartwright’s screaming gets on my nerves. In the end, it’s the kind of film you watch for the set designs and animation more than the story. 3.5 out of 5 for Alien.

Halloween 2017

October 31, 2017

Remember, Halloween doesn’t have to be ugly or bloody. It can be retro, campy, and gorgeous. Take a cue from the cast of Bewitched.

Samantha and Endora

Uncle Arthur & Serena


Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

October 28, 2017

Often classic films from decades long gone touch me deeply. Occasionally they don’t hold up, feeling awkward and irritating. Such was my experience watching Scorsese’s Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. I’m not a huge fan of Scorsese. I enjoyed his Cape Fear remake as well as The Age of Innocence, but I never sought out either film for a second round. Raging Bull and Taxi Driver as excellent as they probably are, simply don’t interest me. I love Ellen Burstyn, but if I had to listen to her sing mediocre songs for one more minute, I would shoot myself. Didn’t event wait for Kris Kristofferson to show up. 40 minutes was more than enough. The film felt flat, amateurish, over acted. Also, every time I think of the title, I hear Rose Royce’s Love Don’t Live Here Anymore in my head. And Madonna’s cover of it as well. That has nothing to do with the Scorsese film. 2 out of 5 for this disappointing classic. Next.

%d bloggers like this: