Movie reviews from the '70s

Cinemascope movies cropped for TV, Rossellini visits UCSD, Shepherd's San Diego movie house survey, Vincente Minnelli comes to La Jolla, the Reader's rating system

  • Image by Michael Blann

Crop Failure

The most obvious damage done to a movie that has been trimmed, cropped, to fit the TV space, is to the composition of the images. It is like a museum trying to fit a painting of The Last Supper into a tight squeeze space by knocking off three or four disciples from each end of the picture.

September 13, 1973 | Read full article


Old Movie Critics Never Die

I do not care if UCSD students ever get the chance to see Fists of Fury or The Eyes of Hell. Presumably, college students must sit still for enough froth and trivia during their classes all week long without needing to be bothered with more of it when they go to a movie.

November 1, 1973 | Read full article


Movie Houses I Have Known

It was probably incorrect to expect anything from this quaint place, with its church-pew seats and windows at the back of the auditorium; one assumed a certain intellectual standing simply because its snack bar dispenses items like guava juice and oatmeal-date bars.

December 13, 1973 | Read full article


Shoot If You Must This Old Grey Head

The complainer expects to be in agreement: he is certain that there is some chicanery afoot if his innate common sense clashes with some idea he encounters: and he is undoubtedly the one in Humanities classrooms across the country who declares out loud, citing the fusty wrong-headedness of their ideas, that Plato was an ostrich, Augustine a bat, Strindberg a pig, and Hemingway a lot of bull.

August 29, 1974 | Read full article


The Courtship of Liza's Father

When chased down by a question on his working methods — what does he try for in the way of color? In the way of camerawork? — Vincente Minnelli, showing as much wonderment as any onlooker, held up the durable deflection device, "It's all intuitive." In short, the billowy prestige due to movie directors, as a class, was hauled down and folded up, like a sail.

September 5, 1974 | Read full article


Seeing Stars and Spots

I am convinced that the entire population will see The Sting, Chinatown, and The Exorcist regardless of anything I might print about them, and that is fine with me; I wish everyone saw more — or at least more varied — movies, and not fewer.

November 14, 1974 | Read full article

For more movie reviews by Duncan Shepherd visit his staff page

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Comments

Duncan Shepherd was erudite, opinionated and wrote very loooong movie reviews for the Reader for a very loooong time. To his eternal discredit, he panned the aging, overweight, superb actress Simone Signoret in a sentimental movie called "Madame Rosa," set in the impoverished North African neighborhoods of Paris, France. Shepherd did redeem himself in his farewell review, a rare, memorable, heartfelt love letter to the movies. Still and all, I prefer the mensch-y, smart and funny Scott Marks to his detached olympian predecessor.

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