15. 16. 17. (movie project moves on)

I was out of order, you know, when I watched Oliver! (1968) before In the Heat of the Night (1967) and it was just jarring to go from that frolic to the gritty, darkness of Sparta, IL.  Actually, I didn’t know that the town was in Illinois—I naturally thought Georgia because surely asshatbigots like those could not be living right next door…could they?  Sidney Poitier was having quite a year that year as “Guess Who’s Coming for Dinner” was also nominated for BP, (also “The Graduate”).  Though its blatant bigotry is (hopefully) dated, it showcases early forensics and good sleuthing, thanks to Mister Tibbs.  .  Rod Steiger with the gum-chewing won Best Actor that year, beating out Paul Newman in “Cool Hand Luke”—not sure I agree with that, Academy.

Next up (now back in order) was Midnight Cowboy (1969), a movie that is high on my list of favorites.   When I saw it back in the day, a lot of it was lost on me;  I still am mystified by some of the dream sequences, and I feel like I’m really tripping when they’re at that psychedelic party.  But the loneliness of Joe Buck and Rico Rizzo (not ratso, please), the desperation of their hope, always chokes me up and makes me Think…   Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight were both nominated for Best Actor and if I had been voting, I would have made it a tie;  but what does the Academy do?  Gives the award to John Wayne for True Grit…

I did not want to watch Patton (1970)…I actually saw it at the movie theatre and hated it then, still do…but I forced myself to watch Most of it.  Patton was a madman, a narcissist (I’m trying to be kind);  the heroes are the folks who died and/or put themselves in harm’s way during those awful battles of WWII.  The battles are pretty carefully reconstructed for this movie;  I’m just not interested in war—it’s not happy stuff.  The nominees that year were mostly lame, though: “Love Story”,  “Airport” “M*A*S*H*”, and “Five Easy Pieces”.

Tonight it’s “The French Connection”—I don’t think I’ve ever seen all of it…  Later…

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