Mrs. Pell: It’s ugly. This whole thing is so ugly. Have you any idea what it’s like to live with all this? People look at us and only see bigots and racists. Hatred isn’t something you’re born with. It gets taught. At school, they said segregation what’s said in the Bible. . .Genesis 9, Verse 27. At 7 years of age, you get told it enough times, you believe it. You believe the hatred. You live it. . .you breathe it. You marry it.
Tom: I appreciate your concern. . .but I’m perfectly able to carry on
by myself. As I said, with Gene’s help from time to time. I imagine we could have dinner once in a while, couldn’t we, Gene? Once or twice a week? Take you up to Rotary. Some of the speakers are amusing.
Gene: Sure, Dad.
Tom: Give us time to get together at last, a chance to know each other.
Alice: Gene wants to get married.
Alice: Gene wants to move to California and get married.
Gene: Alice, will you shut up?
Alice: I can’t help it. You’ve never faced up to him. Let him ruin your life.
Gene: I can handle my own life!
Alice: You can’t.
Tom: Children. Children.mI don’t want to interfere with either of your lives. I took of myself at 8, I can take care of myself at 80. I’ve never wanted to be a burden to my children.
Gene: I’m gonna hang around, Dad.
Tom: There’s no need to.
Gene: I’ll move in until you start feeling better.
Tom: I don’t want to ruin your life.
Gene: I didn’t say that.
Tom: I’ve long had the impression that my only function in this family was to supply the money…
Tom: To supply funds for your education.
Gene: Dad, will you stop it!
Tom: As far as I’m concerned, this conversation has ended.
Lion: You don’t have to hit people. Not if you can make ’em laugh.
Max Millan: Bullshit.
Lion: Hey Max, you heard the story of the scarecrow?
Max Millan: No.
Lion: You think crows are scared of a scarecrow?
Max Millan: Yeah, I think they’re scared.
Lion: Yeah why? No, crows are not scared, believe me.
Max Millan: The goddamn crows are scared.
Lion: No, crows are laughin’.
Max Millan: Nah, that’s bullshit. . .
Lion: That’s right, the crows are laughin’. Look, the farmer puts out a scarecrow, right, with a funny hat on it, got a funny face. The crows fly by, they see that, it strikes ’em funny, makes ’em laugh.
Max Millan: The goddamn crows are laughin’?
Lion: That’s right, they’re laughin’ their asses off. And then they say, “Well, that ol’ farmer Joe down there, he’s a pretty good guy. He made us laugh, so he won’t bother him any more.”
Max Millan: The goddamn crows are laughin’. . .
Lion: Ohh, they laughin’, woooo!
Max Millan: I gotta tell ya somethin’, that’s the most hare-brained idea I’ve ever heard.
Lion: Well, it’s true, they’re laughin’ their asses off.
Max Millan: The crows are laughin’. . .yeah. . .oh, man. . .I guess the fish are reciting poetry. . .
Lion: I guess so.
Max Millan: Uh huh. . .and the uh, pigs are playin’ banjo? And the dogs would be, let’s see, uh. . .would be playin’ hockey. And the uh. . .the uh. . .
Lion: Crows are laughin’.
Max Millan: Crows are laughin’, right. Ya know, in the joint I’ve heard some tales, oh boy, golly I’ve heard some tall tales. But at least those guys had the decency to admit that it was bullshit, you know what I mean? They actually uh, they took pride, pride in that it was bullshit. But the crows are laughin’ huh? Oh, brother, heee. . .I mean you’re not playin’ with a full deck man, you got one foot in the great beyond.
I just saw Mississippi Burning, which is fictionalized account of real events that happened in Mississippi in 1964, for the first time a few weeks ago and it really blew me away. It may not be a perfect film, but it’s definitely a film with a strong world-view. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, winning one: Best Sound, Best Editing, Best Cinematography (won), Best Supporting Actress Frances McDormand, Best Actor Gene Hackman, Best Director and Best Picture. The other films nominated for Best Picture that year were The Accidental Tourist, Dangerous Liaisons, Working Girl and winner Rain Man.
Stan: It wouldn’t hurt if you filled me in a little bit every once in awhile. Did you ever think of that?
Harry Caul: It has nothing to do with me! And even less to do with you!
Stan: It’s curiosity! Did you ever hear of that? It’s just goddamn human nature!
Harry Caul: Listen, if there’s one sure fire rule that I have learned in this business is I don’t know anything about human nature. I don’t know anything about curiosity. That’s not part of what I do.
I actually discussed Bonnie and Clyde a little bit in my article last year about 1967 and how it was the year that Old Hollywood became New Hollywood (I actually discuss all five Best Picture nominees from that year, as well as In Cold Blood), so I was reluctant to revisit 1967 for awhile. But I wrote that article over a year ago now, so I guess it’s time to revisit 1967 after all. I remember when I first saw this film it completely blew me away and upon every revisit I remain in awe of what an utterly amazing feat of filmmaking prowess is on display here. I saw an interview with Arthur Penn, I believe, where he talked about how he decided he wanted to shoot the picture in color because he wanted it to feel modern. They weren’t making a documentary of Depression Era America. This film was going to feel as modern as it possibly could, without being avant-garde. I think Penn accomplished just that, and made it just modern enough to feel timeless, actually. The film was nominated for nine Academy Awards, winning two: Best Costume Design, Best Cinematography (won), Best Supporting Actor Gene Hackman, Best Supporting Actor Michael J. Pollard, Best Supporting Actress Estelle Parsons (won), Best Actor Warren Beatty, Best Actress Faye Dunaway, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director and Best Picture. The other films nominated for Best Picture that year were Doctor Dolittle, The Graduate, Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner and winner In The Heat of the Night.
I know there is at least one book on this subject and I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but thanks to TCM showing several movies from that year, I have to agree completely. What I mean by Cinema, is Hollywood and American Cinema, because a lot of how it changed was based on things French New Wave directors had already been doing for almost ten years.
One way to see this change is by looking at the five films that were nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars that year. Four of the films are harbingers of the new Hollywood. One is old guard and because of that in addition I want to talk about another film that, although nominated for four Oscars, was not up for Best Picture.
The five films up for Best Picture were Bonnie & Clyde, Doctor Dolittle, The Graduate, Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner and In The Heat of the Night. The film sixth film I’m going to discuss is In Cold Blood.