Category Archives: sydney pollack
Three Days of the Condor ~ I’m watching this the day after hearing of Sydney Pollack’s passing and this is truly one of his better films. What strikes me immediately is how violent the flick is without actually showing the violence the way a current film would. My, how things have changed, and not for the better. Thinking about the movies that Pollack has directed Robert Redford in I really have to say that he brings out the best in the actor. I’ll have to remember to watch Havana again soon. This film though is excellent and highly recommended.
36 Hours ~ Another excellent but also probably sadly forgotten flick. James Garner, showing terrific acting chops rarely seen in his role as Jim Rockford, gives an amazing performance here as an American soldier on the eve of D-Day who is captured by the Nazis, and tricked into believing it’s six years later and the war is over – so they can discover the details of the invasion. Brilliant flick based on a short story by Roald Dahl.
Mary and Rhoda ~ A desperate shot at reviving the magic of the old “Mary Tyler Moore Show” two and a half decades later. Mary and Valerie Harper’s Rhoda meet up in New York and help each other deal with their college age daughters. This TV movie was so bad that even the actors in it wish it best forgotten.
Ulli Lommel’s Black Dahlia ~ This is just a sick sick sick mess. Writer/director Lommel (and it hurts to even give him the benefit of the doubt as those titles) is a hack and would be better off making snuff films. The only thing this has to do with the Black Dahlia is that the three sociopaths who ‘act’ as protagonists repeatedly reenact Elizabeth Short’s murder on victim after victim after victim. I hated this.
Yesterday famed director and actor Sydney Pollack passed away. While known best as a director I feel he was also one of the finest character actors as well.
My favorite films that he directed include that great Burt Lancaster flick The Swimmer (for which he was not credited), one of the best thrillers ever Three Days of the Condor and one of my all-time favorites They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?. Everyone talks about Tootsie and The Way We Were, but if you really want to see some of his amazing direction, I recommend these two underrated and/or forgotten classics: The Yakuza and his remake of Sabrina.
He’ll be missed, both behind, and on, the screen.