I saw a total of 59 movies in theaters in 1974, even though I didn't catch my first one until halfway through February. In 2012 dollars, that would be more than 700 smackers but in 1975, when movies were still a buck if you caught them at the right time--and only 2 or 3 when you didn't--it was probably less than 100 dollars!
Here, in the first of six installments, is the full list of films I paid to see last year. Even in a perfect world where I had plenty of money, I doubt there were more than a dozen films I would have wanted to see in 2011. I actually saw only two last year...and someone else paid for one of those.
1--MAGNUM FORCE--Feb 18th, Times Towne Cinema--I became a big Eastwood fan after my Dad and I saw a re-release of DIRTY HARRY the year before so we were both naturally excited to see the first sequel MAGNUM FORCE. We went on my Dad's 64th birthday! If anything, I think it's an even better film.
2--BLACK BELT JONES--March 16th, RKO Albee--ENTER THE DRAGON had been my favorite film the year before and with Bruce Lee dead it was presumed co-star Jim Kelly would carry on his film hero legacy. Sadly, he couldn't act and BLACK BELT JONES was no ENTER THE DRAGON.
3--ZARDOZ--March 23rd, Madison--Sean Connery's infamous diaper-wearing, post-apocalyptic caveman aside, this was a pretty thoughtful sci-fi flick. Since it was rated R, I had to get my Mom to take me. She didn't get it.
4--THE STING--April 13th, the Skywalk--My favorite film of the year and still one of my all-time favorite movies! Newman and Redford, Scott Joplin music, a fun plot, a great ending and a great cast. It would go on to win the Oscar. I went to see it with my friend Arthur. It was the only pic I ever went to see with Arthur for some reason.
5--STORMY--April 19th, Madison--Wow. I have no memories of this at all nor can I find it listed on IMDB. It says it's about a horse. I'm wondering if it might be the sequel to MISTY OF CHINCOTEAQUE, a book I had enjoyed a few year's earlier. There was a 1930's horse film called STORMY but that wasn't it. No clues, though. Anyone?
6--ALICE IN WONDERLAND--April 19th, Madison--This was the Disney film. It had been a favorite the first time I saw it as a kid so I was anxious to see it again. It remains a Disney favorite to thus day and probably my favorite version of one of my favorite stories.
7--McQ--April 21st, Ludlow--John Wayne was a favorite of my dad's so we saw a lot of his pictures on television when I was growing up and he became a favorite of mine. also. Wayne had reportedly turned down the role of DIRTY HARRY but then surprisingly took this lower-budget cop actioner that looks like a bit of a rip-off of the Eastwood film character.
8--THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE--April 27th, RKO International '70--This was a re-release when I caught it here for the first time. As disaster films go, it's one of the best...period. The top-notch cast set the standard for these all-star disaster pictures.
9--CHOSEN SURVIVORS--May 26th, Times Towne Cinema--This played more like a TV movie, complete with TV movie cast and a plot about a post-nuclear survival facility plagued by an unplanned for infestation of bats. It was okay...or would have been if it had been a TV movie. On the big screen, it didn't work so much for me.
10--SERPICO--May 26th, RKO International '70--I had no intention of seeing this one--seemed too "adult" for my interest. But Al Pacino's charisma came through in the TV commercials and I decided to take a chance. I was surprised how much i enjoyed it!