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A 20th Century Fox Retrospective Scrapbook: 1972


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There were more Fox films in 1972 than there were in most of the rest, if not all of the rest, of the 70s thanks to a production deal with the soon to be shuttered Palomar Pictures, a division of ABC.

Blindman was a spaghetti western that co-starred Ringo Starr.

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Robert Redford and George Segal were up for a jewel heist in The hot Rock.

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Jean-Louis Trintignant was on the trail of a mysterious serial killer in Without Apparent Motive.

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The Concert for Bangladesh was a filmed version of George Harrison's fundraiser for the troubled nation.

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The Culpepper Cattle Company was a re-visionary Western

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The Other was a horror film involving two creepy twin brothers

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Fillmore was the latest rock foray.

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What Became of Jack and Jill was a British horror film

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Bonnie Bedilia was the title character in The Strange Vengeance of Rosalie

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The apes returned again

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To Kill a Clown was a psychological thriller with Alan Alda and Blythe Danner

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Barry Newman and Anna Karina featured in the thriller The Salzburg Connection

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Joe Don Baker headed up Welcome Home, Soldier Boys a road film with a dark twist

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Sounder was one of the most praised family films of the 70s, a landmark for African-American cinema, and a completely wonderful film.

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The Darwin Adventure dealt with the scientist's trip to South America

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Hammer was back with Vampire Circus.

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When the Legends Die was a western with Richard Widmark.

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The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie won the Foreign Film Oscar for 1972

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Trouble Man drove into the then popular blaxploitation film genre.

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And Hope to Die was a kidnapping saga with Jean-Louis Trintignant and Robert Ryan.

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And then the game changer. The Poseidon Adventure (coupled with a rerelease of The Sound of Music) lifted Fox out of the red and back to solvency. It is one of the best of the disaster genre so common in the 70s and Shelley Winters is very touching and moving in it.

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The Heartbreak Kid was brutally funny, a comedy where the "hero" is a cad and the sympathy is extended to the wronged wife instead. As that wife, Jeannie Berlin stole the whole show, but in truth most of this Neil Simon-Elaine May film worked extremely well.

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Joanne Woodward was directed by her husband on the adaptation of the Pulitzer winning play The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds.

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Sleuth was the last round for Joseph Mankiwietz. The Olivier-Caine thriller was very well reviewed, even if this viewer couldn't help thinking that at over 130 minutes, it was a bit overextended.

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Some gems here, definitely.

My top 10:

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1. THE OTHER
2. THE HOT ROCK
3. THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE
4. SOUNDER
5. WHEN THE LEGENDS DIE
6. THE EFFECT OF GAMMA RAYS
7. THE CULPEPPER CATTLE CO.
8. SLEUTH
9. CONQUEST OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
10. THE HEARTBREAK KID

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The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is my favorite of the year, but it seems weird to consider it a Fox movie. After that it's Sleuth (which needs a good Blu-ray release), The Heartbreak Kid, and The Hot Rock. I've seen When the Legend DiesSounderThe Other, the Apes movie, Vampire Circus (better than I expected), and Trouble Man. They have their fans, but I thought they were mostly forgettable. The Poseidon Adventure is one that I never got the appeal of, despite the excellent cast. I haven't seen the rest.

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So many good movies are favorites of mine. Sounder, Sleuth, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, The Other, The Poseidon Adventure, I never get tired of watching those movies.

I also like The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, with excellent performances by Joanne Woodward, Nell Potts, and Roberta Wallach.

Jeannie Berlin was smashing in The Heartbreak Kid.

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