Category Archives: 1973

The Exorcist (1973)

exorcist

Your mother’s in here, Karras. Would you like to leave a message? I’ll see that she gets it.

— Demon

I owned a VHS copy of The Exorcist for a time, but I have not seen the Director’s Cut of the movie until now. Seeing that this is the end of my “Creep-A-Thon”, I wanted to end on a high with this ten-time Academy award nominated movie and the #208 movie of All Time on IMDb by William Freidkin. It won for Best Adapted Screenplay for William Peter Blatty for adapting his own book. This movie still creeps me out.

It has been a long time since I have seen the movie that I don’t want was or wasn’t in the theatrical cut. In this version, Father Merrin (Max von Sydow) is on an archeological dig in Northern Iraq where he uncovers an ancient artifact that is reminiscent of the devil.

Cut to Georgetown where an actress, Chris McNeill (Ellen Busrtyn) in the middle of filming a movie for Burke Jennings (Jack MacGowran). She rents out a house with her daughter, Regan (Linda Blair). Everything seems to fine, except Mrs. MacNeil hears noises from the attic. She thinks that there are rats. When she investigates, nothing is there.

After Regan’s twelfth birthday, she starts acting weird with spacing out, the inappropriate outbursts and swearing. Chris and Regan don’t know what is going on. Chris contacts Dr. Klein (Barton Heyman) to perform a battery of tests on Regan. He concludes that she has a lesion in her temporal lobe that causes the change in behavior.

In consulting with Dr. Taney (Robert Symonds) with x-rays, they cannot find on her brain. The doctors are stumped. They have exhausts of their options medically. It could be mental. A therapist (Arthur Storch) is called to put Regan under hypnosis. During the session, a spirit that inhabits her body is brought out.

There last resort is an exorcism to drive the spirit out of her body. Father Karras (Jason Miller) wants the task to perform the exorcism, but his superiors want to have a person that had actually performed. The church enlists Father Merrin to lead the exorcism.

I can’t believe that I was bored at some parts with this movie. During the movie, I was dozing. I don’t remember the movie having these B, C and D subplots with Karras’ mother, the mystery of the death of the director, the noises in the attic, etc.

The movie is still good. This movie is so creepy that it might happen to you. Being possessed by the devil. It’s more real than a vampire, a werewolf or a zombie coming after you.

Judgment: After all this time, the movie is very effective by freaking you out.

Rating: ****

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Enter the Dragon (1973)

enter_the_dragon

Don’t think. FEEL. It is like a finger pointing away to the moon. Do not concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.

— Lee

There is something about Bruce Lee that I can’t put my finger on. He has “it”. Whatever it is, he has it. His intricate moves, facial expressions, the cadence of his voice. He commands the screen whenever he is on it.

That being said, this is first time that I saw Enter the Dragon in it entirety.  I have seen the climactic scene with the room full of mirrors a couple of times. Wow! Even though this movie was released in 1973, that scene is still great. That is a testament to the filmmaking. The rest of movie not so much.

Like many other martial arts movies, the plot is basic. Bruce plays the Shaolin monk Lee, a master of the ways of Kung Fu. He is recruited by Braithwaite (Geoffrey Weeks), a British officer to spy on a local Hong Kong kingpin, Han (Shih Kien). Han used to be a Shaolin monk who turned into being a cocaine pusher and white slave trader.

Braithwaite wants Lee to enter a tournament that will take place on Han’s private island.

When Lee arrives he sees other fighters there like Williams (Jim Kelly), Roper (John Saxon). Han wants to have control over the outcome of the tournament. He enlists his henchmen, Oharra (Robert Wall) and Bolo (Yang Sze) to keep everyone in line.

It was a solid movie for being the first American produced one. Great fight scenes. The dialogue was wooden.

I had trouble with a couple of sequences. There is a scene in the middle of the movie when Han shows his true colors that completely bored me to no end. Also, when Lee is in “stealth mode”, he is fighting the guards and you could hear the sound effects loudly. I thought that a person trying to hide in the shadows should not draw attention to themselves.

Judgment: If you want to see Bruce Lee at his best, I would suggest you check out this movie.

Rating: ***1/2

Serpico (1973)

Frank, let’s face it. Who can trust a cop that won’t take money?

–Tom Keough

Based on the book by Peter Maas, Serpico tells the true a story of a straight and narrow cop, Frank Serpico (Al Pacino) chronicling his journey from when he graduates from the police academy to when he becomes a whistle blower about the corruption in the NYPD.

At the opening credits of the movie, you see that Frank has been shot. The movie constructs the events leading up to him getting shot.

During he short stint in various divisions of the NYPD, he witnessed corruption by his follow officers by taking money from suspects and keeping it for themselves.

He tries to tell his superiors about the corruption, but it falls on deaf ears.

One day, he meets Bob Blair (Tony Roberts), a man that he confides in to help him blow the whistle.

I had fun watching this film. I thought that Serpico’s look like a cross between my dad, Quentin Crisp and a pirate. Watch the film. You know it’s true.

Judgment: If you want to see a understated cop movie by Sidney Lumet, watch this film.

Rating: ****

Last Tango in Paris (1973)

Anyway, to make a long, dull story even duller, I come from a time when a guy like me used to come into a joint like this and pick up a young chick like you and… call her a “bimbo.”

— Paul


Last Tango In Paris
was showing on Hulu now. I wanted to see what the fuss with all about the explicitness and the “back door” scene everyone was talking about.

Let’s be honest here. I don’t like the movie. It’s not because the subject or anything. It was just blah. This movie was rated “NC-17” back in 1972. This movie is barely on “R” now.

The story is about an American widower, Paul (Marlon Brando) that is coping from the suicide of his wife. He has an affair with a young Parisian woman, Jeanne (Maria Schneider).

I was bored with the film. This film came from Bernardo Bertolucci. It was nominated for two Oscars in 1973. I was surprised how the movie does not hold up.

My judgment: Don’t expect this movie to titillate you with its “explicitness.”

My rating: **1/2

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