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The Preshow Entertainment was PARENTHOOD, 2 JOHN FOGERTY VIDEOS, and THE BEST OF BLONDIE (videos).

PARENTHOOD was a short-lived TV show based on the movie. It aired in 1990. It was a terrible show (we discovered that as we watched it). But we wanted to see it not because of the screen team of Ken "Remote Control" Ober, Ed "See my car?" Begley, Jr., and David "Mr. Cox" Arquette, but because Joss "Buffy" Whedon produced it. Besides Ed Begley, Jr., we had a young Leonardo DiCaprio (his first appearance in TV and movies, I think) and an even younger Thora Birch, who in the opening credits just went by the name Thora (both kid actors received Young Actor Awards for this show). Developed by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, and produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, PARENTHOOD is a messy hodgepodge of stories with not a spark of humor or entertaining wit whatsoever. With its giant cast of characters, it was hard to tell who was related to whom. The three main throughlines were; parents who didn't want their little girl to play with a doll, for fear it would, you know? I don't even remember. And a dad who just wanted to pay child support and never see his son. And a fight over a balloon that would later torment the father who let it fly away.


We moved on to part two of the Preshow Entertainment, 2 John Fogerty Videos (THE OLD MAN DOWN THE ROAD and ROCK AND ROLL GIRLS). I taped these off MTV about 20 years ago, when it was white and they played videos. ROAD was ROPE-ish, faked so it looked like it was all done in one long moving shot. GIRLS was a fake (I think) live performance in a small room. And there were some old MTV promos and logos to make you sigh. Even a clip of J.J. Jackson!


The movie selected was BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID. Perhaps the trailblazer of "buddy movies" (you can all bust me on that, if you like), BCATSK is a movie that hasn't lost an ounce of its fun in 35 years.

George Roy Hill directs Paul Newman and Robert Redford (they would re-team 4 years later for THE STING) in a frolicking Western. They're two lovable anti-heroes. Bank robbers that you root for. Tricky stuff, always, but in the capable hands of normally overrated writer William Goldman, this film is simply charming. How much of it is true? I'm too lazy to research that. But Goldman's script is filled with gems of dialogue, and some of the crispiest characters ever. And he even tells you a few things that will happen later. You know they will happen, yet you don't care that you know. That is how good this script is.

The movie starts strong and never fizzles. From the very top, when Redford is accused of cheating at poker, and his accuser realizes he's The Sundance Kid and backs off, the tone of the film is set. Even the corny "bicycle montage" while RAINDROPS KEEP FALLING ON MY HEAD plays can't stop this movie.

There's also some great moments, like "Who ARE those guys?", and when Butch recognizes twice-robbed Woodcock's voice through the train door (again, making
-Buzzword alert- "sympathetic characters" out of outlaws). And let us not forget when Butch kicks Lurch (Ted Cassidy) in the balls. Oh, and the famous clip of them jumping off the cliff and into the rapids.

Populated with familiar faces (Sam Elliot, Strother Martin, and, allegedly, Christopher Lloyd), and seasoned actors (look up Henry Jones, Jeff Corey, or George Furth, for example), the film, although in yellows and even in sepia, is more colorful than FANTASIA.

Essentially, BCATSK is a chase film. Pitched today it would be: Les Miserables meets Lethal Weapon. And it would suck.

But back then, when pacing meant "pacing", it did win Best Screenplay, Best Score, Best Song, and Best Cinematography (the late Conrad "American Beauty" Hall), as well as nominations for Best Picture and Best Director. See Rich? The Academy isn't always wrong.

Back in the late '70s, I remember seeing a poster on the subway for BUTCH AND SUNDANCE: THE EARLY DAYS, starring William Katt and Tom Berringer. Whose idea was THAT????? And there was also a TV movie WANTED: THE SUNDANCE WOMAN, with Katherine Ross reprising her role from the movie. But despite that, a Bolivian army couldn't stop BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID from what it is- a true classic American movie. And how many film festivals do you know named for a movie?

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