American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre Presents...
Making Movie History for 80 Years!

Click to Print Page 1 or Page 2 or Full Text of Oct./Nov. Schedule!
Series compiled by:  Dennis Bartok & Chris D.



Special Thanks to: John Kirk, Irene Ramos and Latanya Taylor/MGM-UA; Anne Goodman/CRITERION PICTURES; Marilee Womack/WARNER BROS. CLASSICS; Mickey Zide; Amy Lewin/ PARAMOUNT; Joe Kaufman.





Tickets available 30 days in advance. Tickets are $9 general admission unless noted otherwise.
Sold out programs will be indicated here if sold out 24 hours in advance of screening date.
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24-Hour Information: 323.466.FILM
Contact Us
The American Cinematheque is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization.
The Film Programs of the American Cinematheque are presented at the magnificently renovated, historic 1922 Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. Located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.
Photo Credit: Randall Michelson. Detail of Egyptian Theatre Ceiling.

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<<< November 5-7, 2004 >>>

Talking Tough, Walking Tall: Hardboiled Action in the 1970s!!


The 1970s produced the pinnacle of a distinctive style of lean, hard-edged crime/action movies, in the tradition of hardboiled film noir and pulp fiction. A mixture of realism and a cynical nihilism that was a hangover from the imploded 1960s Flower Power/Vietnam era, the movies featured laconic, steely-eyed tough guys who meant what they said – if they said anything at all. They often talked with fists and firearms and didn't wait for permission from some corrupt or namby-pamby authority figure to validate their independent brand of problem-solving. Cop, private eye, gangster or wandering loner (the roles were to some degree interchangeable), these icons writ large on a gigantic movie screen tailored for an alienated public's vicarious fantasies and need of catharsis. Prime terrain for these films was the decaying inner city: movies like DIRTY HARRY, THE WARRIORS and ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 defined the term "urban jungle" (and occasionally inspired a media frenzy over gang-related violence at theaters showing these and similar films). No self-respecting action hero appeared without his or her own theme song, including such cooler-than-thou tracks as Lalo Schifrin’s score for DIRTY HARRY, Isaac Hayes’ SHAFT, and John Carpenter’s own spooky, do-it-yourself synth soundtrack for ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13.

Although there are still exemplary action pictures made and released today, movies like TRAINING DAY and NARC are the exception rather than the rule. From VANISHING POINT to DIRTY MARY, CRAZY LARRY to ACROSS 110th STREET – compare these to the lion's share of what passes for current action films – there's no homogenization, no catering to teen demographics, no gutting of content for a PG rating, no over-reliance on bloated pyrotechnics, no effort to make every audience member happy with broad spectrum political correctness. Although we've barely scratched the surface in this rich vein of bygone guilty pleasures, there's more than enough in-your-face, tough-talking, fists-flying, gutsy grittiness here to satisfy the most demanding fan. Get ready to rumble!


Friday, November 5 – 7:00 PM

Richard Sarafian, Barry Newman & Paul Koslo In Person!

VANISHING POINT, 1971, 20th Century Fox, 97 min. Dir. Richard Sarafian. Ex-stock car driver and uncompromising loner, Kowalski (Barry Newman) drives a turbo-charged white Dodge Challenger into psychedelicized oblivion, pursued by an army of cops and naked motorcyclists. The great Cleavon Little co-stars as "Super Soul," blind disc jockey and visionary madman of the airwaves. Fasten your seatbelts. With Severn Darden, Dean Jagger, Paul Koslo. Discussion following with director Richard Sarafian and actors Barry Newman and Paul Koslo.


Friday, November 5 – 9:30 PM

Don Siegel Double Header:

DIRTY HARRY, 1971, Warner Bros., 111 min. Director Don Siegel turns San Francisco, the 60’s hippie mecca, into an unforgettable 70’s war zone of bank robbers and psycho-killers, governed only by the long gun of the law – in the form of magnum-toting Harry (Clint Eastwood). Shredding red tape and civil liberties along the way, he goes up against demented, homicidal lunatic, Scorpio (an unforgettable performance by Andrew Robinson). A master of minimalism, packing the fiercest punch into the fewest moves, Siegel transformed the genre film like no other American director. With Reni Santoni, Harry Guardino, John Vernon.

CHARLEY VARRICK, 1973, Universal, 111 min. Many people who went to see this on its initial release were expecting a genial Walther Matthau comedy. Instead they got this hard-as-nails, Don Siegel-helmed thriller about a lone wolf master crook, Charley Varrick (Matthau in a change-of-pace role), who robs a small-town bank unaware it’s full of Mafia money. With riveting supporting performaces from a truly lethal Joe Don Baker, Andrew Robinson, Sheree North, Felicia Farr.


Saturday, November 6 – 5:00 PM

Double Feature:

THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE, 1974, MGM/UA, 104 min. Dir. Joseph Sargent. Nerve-demolishing suspense delivered at an intoxicating pace as merciless hijackers led by coldblooded Robert Shaw take over an NYC subway and demand $1,000,000 in ransom. Hardboiled action thrillers just don’t get much better. With a sterling cast that includes Walter Matthau, Martin Balsam, Hector Elizondo and Jerry Stiller, and a killer score by David Shire.

DIRTY MARY, CRAZY LARRY, 1974, 20th Century Fox, 93 min. Dir. John Hough. Everybody’s a tough guy in this criminally-overlooked thrill ride of a chase movie. Callous heist man Larry (Peter Fonda) and reluctant partner Deke (Adam Roarke) knock over a supermarket payroll then take off in their souped-up Dodge Charger with Fonda's white trash squeeze, Mary (Susan George). Soon, ruthlessly hardnosed sheriff Everett (Vic Morrow) is dogging their trail. A wild cinematic rollercoaster with one of the most unexpectedly twisted finales this side of VANISHING POINT. Co-starring Roddy McDowall, Kenneth Tobey.


Saturday, November 6 – 9:15 PM

Double Feature:

SHAFT, 1971, MGM (Warner Bros.), 100 min. Dir. Gordon Parks. "Who’s da man?!" Why Richard Roundtree, of course, as leather-clad NYC private eye, John Shaft, in this groundbreaking cinematic hymn to a new kind of urban hero. Shaft doesn’t take lip from anyone – black militants, cops, the Harlem mob or white gangsters – when he reluctantly rescues the daughter of crime boss Bumpy Jonas (Moses Gunn) from the Mafia. Punctuated by Isaac Hayes’ awesome, percolating score (his "Theme From Shaft" won the 1971 Oscar for Best Song). Shaft, he’s one bad mutha’ – shut your mouth!

ACROSS 110th STREET, 1972, MGM/UA, 102 min. Gritty, brutally realistic saga of small time hoods heisting $300,000 from the Mafia and igniting a gang war in Harlem that threatens to engulf New York. Short-fused, bigoted Mattelli (Anthony Quinn) and straight arrow Pope (Yaphet Kotto) are the at-odds police detectives out to stop the chaos. Fast-moving, no-nonsense direction from Barry Shear (WILD IN THE STREETS) in down-and-dirty Big Apple locations make this an unrelentingly hardboiled ride through the 1970s urban inferno. With able support from Anthony Franciosa, Paul Benjamin, Richard Ward, Antonio Fargas and that great theme song by Bobby Womack!


Sunday, November 7 – 5:00 PM

New 35mm Print!! THE LONGEST YARD, 1974, Paramount, 121 min. One of director Robert Aldrich’s foulest, funniest films pits former pro quaterback Burt Reynolds and his team of convicts against a sadistic squad of prison guards led by Ed Lauter and double-crossing warden Eddie Albert. A college football star, Aldrich obviously took great pleasure in setting up the film’s bone-crunching game sequences. Remade recently as THE MEAN MACHINE (2001), it’s now being remade again for 2005 release with Adam Sandler and Chris Rock! "I’m a football nut…would have done the picture for nothing – fortunately they didn’t know that at Paramount!" – Robert Aldrich Discussion following with actor Ed Lauter.


Sunday, November 7 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature – Walter Hill and Joseph Kaufman In Person!

THE WARRIORS, 1979, Paramount, 93 min. One of director Walter Hill’s finest films assumes a dark, comic book style, following the Coney Island Warriors as they run for their lives after being fingered for the murder of a peacemaking gang leader. The gangbangers brave a gauntlet of ghetto booby traps, unseen marauders, unsympathetic cops and rabid, teen NYC wolfpacks as they try to reach safe home turf. Tough-talking Michael Beck, James Remar and Deborah Van Valkenburgh lead a snarling young cast.

ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13, 1976, CKK Corp., 90 min. Dir. John Carpenter. This stark modern homage to Howard Hawks’ RIO BRAVO updates the action with a youth gang attacking a closing police station in a blighted ghetto neighborhood. Rapid-fire banter flies fast and furious between charismatic convict Darwin Joston and policewoman Laurie Zimmer as the faceless, virtually supernatural marauders attack. This remains one of Carpenter’s most effective pictures, an edge-of-your-seat thriller that put him on the map as an imaginative, creative force to be reckoned with. With Austin Stoker. Discussion between films with THE WARRIORS director Walter Hill and PRECINCT 13 producer Joseph Kaufman.