Movie Of The Day: Breezy (1973)

Back in 1973, then 43 year old actor Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby) was best known for tough guy roles in such films as Dirty Harry and Sergio Leone’s Dollars trilogy. He had branched out in directing two years previously with the thriller Play Misty For Me, which he followed with the western High Plains Drifter. Immediately afterwards, he made his first movie in which he didn’t star, a little romantic drama that Eastwood claims to this day is his favorite directed film, the forgotten classic Breezy.

Breezy is a pretty teenage hippy girl, who is very talkative and has a big heart. One day, while looking for a ride, she stumbles upon Frank, a dry, middle-aged real estate agent, and basically forces herself into his life. Slowly, through several subsequent encounters, an unconventional yet beautiful love story is formed.

Breezy reunited Eastwood with his Play Misty For Me screenwriter Jo Heims, and stars the late great William Holden (The Bridge On The River Kwai) and relative newcomer Kay Lenz (House). Roger C. Carmel (Harry Mudd in Star Trek: The Original Series) and Marj Dusay (MacArthur) play supporting roles while Clint himself appears in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo. Review and excerpt after the jump. Continue reading

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Movie Of The Day: Shaft (1971)

From Bullitt to Dirty Harry, 60s and 70s Hollywood was full of “tough cops with an attitude”, and John Shaft, played by Richard Roundtree (Speed Racer), was the black version. While not exactly a cop, Shaft is nevertheless a New York private detective, who operates in Harlem and doesn’t take shit from anybody, be it the bad guys or the cops, be it his foes, friends or lovers.

In the film, made to capitalize on the “blaxploitation” trend of the time, which had just started, smooth-talking Shaft is hired by local black mob boss Bumpy Jonas to find and rescue his kidnapped daughter. Along the way, Shaft will do plenty of walking around, plenty of smooth-talking, plenty of not taking shit from anybody, plenty of lovin’, and a little bit of action too.

Co-starring with Roundtree are Moses Gunn (Firestarter) and Charles Cioffi (Shadow Conspiracy). Shaft was directed by Gordon Parks (Leadbelly) and is based on a novel by Ernest Tidyman (Air Force One), who adapted the book with John D.F. Black (Trouble Man). Trailer and review after the jump.

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