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Year: Stars: Rating: Reviewer:

All the President's Men (1976)

The movie version of the Carl Bernstein-Bob Woodward book betokens the promotion of mild-mannered Clark Kent to the hero's role, protector of Truth, Justice, and the American Way. This post-Watergate permutation of the newspaper genre clings to plenty of starry-eyed ideas (Gordon Willis's lighting, for instance, sets up an overstated ... (PG)

4.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)

An effective cinematic antidote to Valium: from the first ominous musical strains to the final smoke-clearing, it exercises an unslackening tug on the viewer. The upper-crust British critics responsible for enshrining this classically styled Hollywood B-picture have been quick to draw parallels to Howard Hawks's Rio Bravo, but Assault on ... (R)

4.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Baby Blue Marine (1976)

The Norman Rockwell paintings displayed behind the credits may be seen as a bad omen; and the ensuing storyline, sure enough, proves to be Preston Sturges's Hail the Conquering Hero played with a solemnly straight face. Jan-Michael Vincent, a St. Loo rube with a head tapered like a brontosaurus, is ... (PG)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

The Bad News Bears (1976)

Bill (son of Burt) Lancaster's script takes an aloofly adult, isn't-that-cute view of a Little League pennant race. (And the use of Bizet's music as counterpoint to the kids' struggles is something that might have been thought up by the pompous CBS sports department.) No matter how condescending the treatment, ... (PG)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Blue Sunshine (1976)

Several Stanford University acid heads of the late Sixties are experiencing a delayed reaction to a special LSD recipe called "Blue Sunshine," a reaction characterized by a complete and embarrassing loss of hair and a subsequent urge toward gruesome homicide. (Nice touch: one of the drug victims loses a clump ... (R)

3.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Bound for Glory (1976)

David Carradine works small miracles with his loose-jointed, shuffle-footed, hands-in-pockets postures; and his Woody Guthrie impression becomes, at the same time, a generalized Depression impression, nicely self-contained. The higher-up creative people are more overbearing in their similar efforts to hit and hold a one-note Depression mood. Hal Ashby's direction keeps ... (PG)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

A Boy and His Dog (1976)

A flip piece of science-fiction misogyny. In the stereotyped wastelands of post-WWIII, man's best friend is still his dog, and woman is still his Garden of Eden undoer. (The dog's interior monologues and telepathic dialogues sound like a canine counterpart of Morris the Cat -- a dry wit, jaded, bored.) ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Breakheart Pass (1976)

The familiar Alistair MacLean strategy (lie, cheat, and conceal as long as possible, and finally deliver the revelations in staggering flurries) is put to work in a Wild West setting. The sense of exasperated mystification --- what the hell's happening here? -- is nicely set up in the briskly edited ... (PG)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976)

Or Robert Altman's absolutely unique and heroic enterprise of inimitable lustre. You can't get through the title and credits without wilting under the oppressive self-consciousness and self-congratulation of this debunking of an American hero (or this kicking of a dead horse). Altman's remedy for the anti-Indian attack of past Hollywood ... (PG)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Bugsy Malone (1976)

A novelty act: an all-juvenile cast, dolled up with double-breasted suits and slicked-down hair, re-enacts the underworld passions played out on the Warner Brothers lot in the Thirties by Cagney, Robinson, McHugh, Blondell, et al. The kids break into periodic song-and-dance routines, and the guns are loaded with lethal whipped ... (G)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Burnt Offerings (1976)

Nothing that occurs at the inhospitable, blurrily photographed summer house is more horrible to see than Karen Black's and Oliver Reed's uninhibited reactions to what occurs there -- her grotto-mouthed screams and his sweaty, convulsive shudders. With Bette Davis and Burgess Meredith; directed by Dan Curtis. (PG)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Cannonball (1976)

The star and director of Death Race 2000 -- David Carradine and Paul Bartel -- team up again, perhaps in the belief that things could not get any worse than the last time. But this encore cross-country race has one idea less than the one-idea Death Race, and is completely ... (PG)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Carrie (1976)

The main ingredients -- the adolescent heroine's mystical, mind-over-matter powers, her mother's sadistic, religious zeal, and her classmates' brutal bullying -- never interlock with each other. The crazy mother especially, with her Salvation Army frock and her Pre-Raphaelite hairdo, seems to be several decades out of sync with these modern ... (R)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Car Wash (1976)

Michael Schultz's infectious, lowbrow, proletarian comedy, encompassing a single workday and the motley mass of laborers, customers, and hangers-on at the Dee-Luxe Car Wash, is full of bustle, empty of laughs. Its main appeal is the merry-go-round cast of characters: the lecherous Jewish proprietor, his Maoist son, a sulky hooker, ... (PG)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Casanova (1976)

When all else deserts him -- all purpose, all commitment, all vitality -- Fellini likely will still engineer projects with unstinting multimillion-dollar budgets, with eerie, enclosed, otherworldly sets, and with unsurpassed color work by his faithful cameraman Giuseppe Rotunno. He appears to be closing in on that goal in Casanova. ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd