Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Redford's Loose

Just got done with the handsome Criterion Downhill Racer package, part of my Barnes & Noble "50% Off Criterion Sale" bounty (total price for Racer: $9.10 after tax). There's really no other time to buy Criterions except during these sales.

You'll be hard-pressed to find a big time Hollywood star portray a bigger jerk than Redford's Dave Chappellet of Racer. It's one of many fascinating aspects of this character study told with refreshingly little sentimentality and "rah-rah" heroics...in short, another gem from the late '60s - early '70s. It was an impressive and brave move on the part of Redford to play such a heel, coming off one of his biggest popular successes in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. In the meantime, he also managed to act in Tell Them Willie Boy is Here, completing a trio of 1969 films that earned him a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. I dare say that the two lesser known films of Redford's '69 look better in hindsight than Butch and Sundance.

Anyway, I don't have any materials from Racer in my collection, but here are some choice promo stills from the release of the second Redford and Michael Ritchie collaboration, The Candidate:
Lock up your daughters, folks!

A faux McKay campaign office set up across the street from the Sutton Theatre where the film premiered. Read through the comments on the link above to learn about the sad fate of the Sutton, one of many historic New York theaters to be demolished in favor of a shiny glass condominium.

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