I very much enjoyed last Monday's day off, courtesy of the Windsor family and the matriarch's birthday.
I watched a tremendous South Korean crime flick, Believer and picked up a DVD I've been after for ages (at a reasonable price). This US double-disc from the Shout Factory is a must have for anyone who has more than a passing interest in 1970s crime-action films.
THE NICKEL RIDE and 99 AND 44/100% DEAD, from major Hollywood directors Robert Mulligan (TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, SUMMER OF '42) and John Frankenheimer (THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, BLACK SUNDAY) were released in 1974.
99 44/100% DEAD is a near forgotten movie and not many cinema enthusiasts would even know of it as a Frankenheimer film. It's basically a weird pastiche of many film styles and is blackly comic. Richard Harris is the nominal star but it's Chuck Connors who makes his mark as a one-handed assassin who could well be Freddy Kreuger's long lost uncle. Ann Turkel has a co-starring role mainly because she was married to Harris at the time. I've only ever seen this pic on video and it's good to see this disc sports a nice widescreen transfer.
THE NICKEL RIDE is an exceptionally good crime film from a decade which produced probably Hollywood's best crime movies. I didn't know much about this title except it was Robert Mulligan's next film after THE OTHER, one of the screen's great horror movies. He handles this gritty gangster drama with such ease I'm surprised he never did more in the genre.
|The Nickel Ride|
Jason Miller (THE EXORCIST) is believable as the "key man", a mid-level mob figure who arranges the storage of stolen goods. His masters aren't impressed when he has trouble in arranging the sale of a large warehouse, and soon finds himself under extreme pressure from gangland associates and cowboy-like contract killers. It's not action-packed but delivers in storyline and atmosphere. John Hillerman and Bo Hopkins are first rate in secondary roles, and Linda Haynes does her best Tuesday Weld impersonation. It reminded me a lot of THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE.