Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hotter Than Bond. Cooler Than Bullitt.


Clint Eastwood is in and around town shooting Gran Torino, a movie named after a Korean War veteran's classic 1972 model Ford. Supposed to be released late December 2008. Clint has often played characters "hotter than Bond, cooler than Bullitt," which is exactly how the fictional Vietnam veteran John Shaft is described in an early 70s movie poster (as played by Richard Roundtree) -- and there's a further connection. Ernest Tidyman (1928-1984) wrote the screenplay for High Plains Drifter (1973) and the novel Shaft (and he co-wrote the screenplay for the movie version of Shaft, both in 1971). Furthermore, if memory serves, Shaft drives something an awful lot like a red Gran Torino in Shaft's Big Score (1972 -- along with the original Shaft, directed by the multi-talented Gordon Parks, 1912-2006). Everything's connected in more ways than one, I suppose.


Tidyman first made a splash with his screenplay (adapted from Robin Moore's book) for the movie version of The French Connection (directed by William Friedkin, 1971).

More importantly, who could possibly forget Tidyman's novel -- not yet made into a movie -- Shaft Among the Jews (1972, 1973)?


Tideymen also wrote the mordantly compelling screenplay for Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones (1980 two-part TV miniseries/movie based on Charles A. Krause's Guyana Massacre: The Eyewitness Account, 1978/1979). Where oh where is the digital version of this classic biopic?



Joey Ramone Place at East 2nd Street and Bowery. CBGB & OMFUG, where Joey and The Ramones famously played in the 1970s and beyond, was at Bowery and Bleeker until it closed in 2006. In 1972, Shaft fictionally lived on Bleeker . . . and so it goes . . . . . and so it went -- Joey Ramone (1951-2001), RIP.

Today's Rune: The Self.

9 comments:

Erik Donald France said...

Well, maybe it's a 1972 Plymouth Satellite Sebring plus hardtop in Shaft's Big Score. So says the "Internet Movie Cars Database" or IMCDB. Who knew?

JR's Thumbprints said...

Some Michigan politician don't like the new tax breaks for movie making in our states. Let's hope nothing comes of it. I've heard Eastwood has been in the Pointes and Royal Oak. How cool is that!

As for Joey Ramone having a street named after him--very cool. I believe he had OCD and had a routine where he'd step on and off a curb a set number of times before crossing a street. He even got hit by a slow moving car once, after confusing the driver with his routine.

JR's Thumbprints said...

More than one poltician (of course).

JR's Thumbprints said...

...with an "i". It's late.

Johnny Yen said...

My god, has it been that long since we lost Joey?

My son was running around in his Ramones t-shirt today, and yesterday my step-daughter ran to turn up the radio when "I Wanna Be Sedated" came on (Sirius Satellite Radio-- the best twenty bucks Kim and I spend a month). Also, was talking to a couple of my regulars at the restaurant tonight about when and where we'd seen the Ramones. We are all around fifty...

Had a 1972 Cutlass Supreme convertible in the late eighties/early nineties. I think I was getting my mid-life crisis out of the way early. That bad boy would do 160 plus on the highway. Miss the muscle cars.

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Lana Gramlich said...

Shaft Among the Jews??? OMG, how goofy is THAT?
As for Jonestown, there's something strangely hypnotic to me about the story, in general. I'd heard a little about it when it happened of course, but didn't get the full story until much more recently. I'm always amazed when people give up their will to these charismatic cultists. These kinds of stories are like a train wreck to me; I just can't look away.

Erik Donald France said...

Thanks all for the comments!
Jim, I'd love to see Clint's team in action. Wild about poor Joey. No wonder he was obsessed with Vietnam. Johnny, glad to hear another generation "gets" it ;-> Man, do I want to be sedated! Tell me when the nightmare's over (Bush-Cheney). Cheers on your muscle car! Qassia, I may check more into it. . .

Cheers, all!

Charles Gramlich said...

Tidyman wrote the novelization of High Plains Drifter as well. I have that book.