Friday 7 September 2018

Vale Burt Reynolds - A couple of tributes from Adrian Danks and the editor

Adrian Danks (from Facebook)
Just wanted to note the passing of Burt Reynolds, featured in the lead role (somewhat incongruously you could say) of Sergio Corbucci's NAVAJO JOE (left). He's certainly more "Joe" than "Navajo". It was the final film in our spaghetti western season that wound up at the Melbourne Cinémathèque on Wednesday night. 

Probably not one of his great roles (only his 2nd starring one it should be noted), & he suggested the wig he wore made him look like "Natalie Wood" (not sure about that). But it’s certainly a committed performance in a fairly one-dimensional, tough, violent, partly progressive revenge western with a great score by Morricone (as Leo Nichols). 

So not exactly an atypical film for Reynolds in many ways. I always enjoyed seeing him on screen particularly in the following: DELIVERANCE, BREAKING IN, HUSTLE, THE LONGEST YARD, NICKELODEON, SEMI-TOUGH, HOOPER &, of course, BOOGIE NIGHTS.  Though boy was he in a lot of crap. 

My dad also loved - as did many, I'm sure - those SMOKEY & THE BANDIT movies. 

Vale Burt.

Geoff Gardner
I think I liked Burt Reynolds way before Deliverance.  In the days when American series TV were the staple of Australian TV and the staple of entertainment in our home, his appearances in Riverboat (1959-60) all the way through to Hawk (1966) first made and then consolidated his reputation in our household. My Mum thought he was the bees knees. 
Burt Reynolds, Hawk

I think I first saw him in a movie in 100 Rifles but I didn’t go to it to see Burt ReynoldsRaquel Welch was way ahead, up front and centre in that one.  The same year he made Shark  for Sam Fuller but nobody saw that until the cheap bootleg VHS copies came out years later.Terrible movie. 

I was surprised to learn only today that Burt knocked back an offer from Orson Welles to be in The Other Side of the Wind. If you look at his filmography on IMDb you have to be surprised that could ever knock any part back. He appeared in far more than his fair share of commercial crap. In fact he did seem to me to be an actor prepared to have a go at things outside the comfort zone. He, like the rest of the cast, was dreadful in Bogdanovich’s doomed from the start musical At Long Last Love but you could see why he would want to do it. Anyone invited to sing Cole Porter songs can hardly refuse. 
Reynolds, Cybill Shepherd At Long Last Love
I think Adrian’s list covers his best films. Late in his career Reynolds was terrific in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights for which he got his only Oscar nomination. Apparently, according to one of the endless radio reports on ABC News Radio today he regretted doing that one. No matter he played the part with conviction. 

Not a great technician. You didn’t look to him for accents or makeup but playing cool, cynical, suave guys with glib dialogue he could do that quite well. Robert Aldrich and Burt Reynolds were a perfect fit. An interesting actor.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry, but 'At Long Last Love' is a gem of a movie and the whole cast, including Reynolds, are wonderful in it. It shouldn't be dismissed so casually, especially if one hasn't seen the James Blakely version, as Bogdanovich describes here...


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