1970 April to June

5th April – BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID

On the screen – for THREE weeks – BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID – is a 1969, 20th Century Fox, American Western film directed by George Roy Hill and written by William Goldman. Based loosely on fact, the film tells the story of Wild West outlaws Robert LeRoy Parker, known as Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman), and his partner Harry Longabaugh, the “Sundance Kid” (Robert Redford), who are on the run from a crack US posse after a string of train robberies. The pair and Sundance’s lover, Etta Place (Katharine Ross), flee to Bolivia in search of a more successful criminal career.

In 2003, the film was selected for the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” The American Film Institute ranked Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid as the 73rd-greatest American film on its “AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition)” list. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were ranked 20th greatest heroes on “AFI’s 100 Years…100 Heroes and Villains”. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was selected by the American Film Institute as the 7th greatest Western of all time in the AFI’s 10 Top 10 list in 2008.

The trailer

In support was a 1969 West German documentary short HAPPENING IN WHITE.

26th April – MAROONED

On the screen – for seven days – MAROONED – is a 1969 American science fiction film directed by John Sturges and starring Gregory Peck, Richard Crenna, David Janssen, James Franciscus and Gene Hackman about three astronauts who are trapped and slowly suffocating in space. It was based on the 1964 novel Marooned by Martin Caidin. While the original novel was based on the single-pilot Project Mercury, the film depicted an Apollo command and service module with three astronauts and a space station resembling Skylab. Caidin acted as technical adviser and updated the novel, incorporating appropriate material from the original version. It won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects for Robie Robinson.

An earlier version of the film (based on the 1964 version of the novel) was in pre-production in 1965, with Frank Capra producing and directing, from a screenplay by Walter Newman; Capra heavily revised the script while seeking funding from investors, in order to reduce the budget. Amid concerns about the size of the project, Columbia Pictures’ M. J. Frankovich offered Capra 3 million to make the film, prompting him to abandon development. When Marooned was eventually produced with John Sturges as director and Mayo Simon as screenwriter, the budget was 8 million.

The original trailer

There was a FULL SUPPORTING PROGRAMME

3rd May – JOHN & MARY

On the screen – for seven days – JOHN & MARY – is a 1969 20th Century Fox American romantic drama film directed by Peter Yates, directly following the success of his film Bullitt. It stars Dustin Hoffman and Mia Farrow in the title roles, directly following their success in Midnight Cowboy and Rosemary’s Baby, respectively. The screenplay was adapted by John Mortimer from the Mervyn Jones novel. It begins the morning after John and Mary meet in a bar, during a conversation about Jean-Luc Godard’s Week End, and go home with each other. The story unfolds during the day as they belatedly get to know each other over breakfast, lunch and dinner. Flashbacks of their previous bad relationships are interspersed throughout when something in their conversation brings the thought up.

The original trailer

The supporting feature was THE LAST SHOT YOU HEAR a 1969 British thriller film directed by Gordon Hessler and starring Hugh Marlowe, Zena Walker, Patricia Haines, and William Dysart. It was Marlowe’s last film appearance.The film marked the end of the association between Robert L. Lippert and 20th Century Fox which produced over 200 films.

10th May – TELL THEM WILLIE BOY IS HERE

On the screen – for seven days – TELL THEM WILLIE BOY IS HERE – is a 1969 Technicolor Western film from Universal, based on the true story of a Chemehuevi-Paiute Indian named Willie Boy and his run-in with the law in 1909 in Banning, California. The film was written and directed by Abraham Polonsky, who, due to his blacklisting, had not directed a film since Force of Evil in 1948. As depicted in the movie, Willie Boy and Lola (her actual name was Carlota, though she was also called Isoleta and Lolita in various accounts) did run through the Morongo Valley. Carlota was found shot in the back in an area known as The Pipes in northwest Yucca Valley. She was either killed by Willie Boy or shot accidentally by a posse member. Willie Boy did ambush the posse at Ruby Mountain, killing several horses and accidentally wounding a posse member. He ended his ‘last stand’ by suicide on the flanks of Ruby Mountain west of the current site of Landers, California. Willie Boy’s grave monument can be found at 34°17′30″N 116°32′15″W. The monument itself bears the inscription “The West’s Last Famous Manhunt”, alluding to the notion that this was the last effort of its type before the use of a posse was generally replaced by modern, ‘fully’ staffed and empowered law enforcement agencies.

See the trailer

In support was THE LOVE GOD a 1969 Universal Pictures feature film which starred Don Knotts and Edmond O’Brien. It was written and directed by Nat Hiken, who died between the completion of shooting and the film’s release in theaters. The Love God? marked a change of pace for Knotts, who up to then had exclusively appeared in G-rated family comedies, and it was an attempt to integrate Knotts into the type of adult-related films that dominated the late 1960s and early 1970s.

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18th May – LONDON FESTIVAL BALLET

On the stage – for six days – LONDON FESTIVAL BALLET – The ballet headlining this week’s programme was COPPELIA , the story of Dr. Coppélius, a doctor who has made a life-size dancing doll. It is so lifelike that Franz, a village youth, becomes infatuated with it and sets aside his heart’s true desire, Swanhilda. She shows him his folly by dressing as the doll, pretending to make it come to life and ultimately saving him from an untimely end at the hands of the inventor.

The pas de deux from Coppelia in 1970

The programme opened with PAQUITA which was the creation of French composer Édouard Deldevez and Paris Opéra Ballet Master Joseph Mazilier in 1846. Rudolf Nureyev staged the piece in 1964 for the Royal Academy of Dancing, and at La Scala in 1970 it became the standard production among companies around the world. Using John Lanchbery’s adaptation of the music.

24th May – IN SEARCH OF THE CASTAWAYS

On the screen – for seven days – IN SEARCH OF THE CASTAWAYS – is a 1962 Walt Disney Productions feature film starring Hayley Mills and Maurice Chevalier in a tale about a worldwide search for a shipwrecked sea captain. The film was directed by Robert Stevenson from a screenplay by Lowell S. Hawley freely based upon Jules Verne’s 1868 adventure novel Captain Grant’s Children. In Search of the Castaways was Hayley Mills’ third film in the series of six for the Disney Studios.

A tv promotional slot

The support was KING OF THE GRIZZLIES, a 1970 American-Canadian coproduced adventure film directed by Ron Kelly and written by Jack Speirs, Rod Peterson and Norman Wright. The film stars John Yesno, Chris Wiggins, Hugh Webster and Jack Van Evera. The film was released on February 11, 1970, by Buena Vista Distribution.

31st May – THE LAST GRENADE

On the screen – for six days – {Not Weds 3 June) – THE LAST GRENADE – a 1970 British war film directed by Gordon Flemyng and from Cinerama Releasing, starring Stanley Baker and Alex Cord as two soldiers of fortune, formerly comrades, who now find themselves on opposite sides. The cast also includes Richard Attenborough, Honor Blackman, Rafer Johnson, John Thaw, Andrew Keir, and Julian Glover. It was the final feature film directed by Flemyng.

Filmed in Hong Kong and Spain, the film only uses names of the characters from John Sherlock’s 1964 novel The Ordeal of Major Grigsby that was set in the Malayan Emergency in 1948. Sherlock co-wrote the original screenplay that was rewritten by James Mitchell. The working title of the film was Grigsby.

The trailer for The Last Grenade

The supporting programme featured NO ROOM TO DIE, (Italian: Una lunga fila di croci, also known as Hanging for Django and A Noose for Django) is a 1969 Italian Spaghetti Western film directed by Sergio Garrone.

3rd June – FANTASIA

On the screen – one day only – 2 separate performances – all seats bookable – FANTASIA – a 1940 American animated film produced by Walt Disney and released by Walt Disney Productions. With story direction by Joe Grant and Dick Huemer, and production supervision by Ben Sharpsteen, it is the third Disney animated feature film. The film consists of eight animated segments set to pieces of classical music conducted by Leopold Stokowski, seven of which are performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra. (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice used an ad hoc studio orchestra.) Music critic and composer Deems Taylor acts as the film’s Master of Ceremonies, providing a live-action introduction to each animated segment.

Disney settled on the film’s concept as work neared completion on The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, an elaborate Silly Symphonies short designed as a comeback role for Mickey Mouse, who had declined in popularity. As production costs grew higher than what it could earn, Disney decided to include the short in a feature-length film with other segments set to classical pieces. The soundtrack was recorded using multiple audio channels and reproduced with Fantasound, a pioneering sound reproduction system that made Fantasia the first commercial film shown in stereophonic sound.

Fantasia was first released as a theatrical roadshow held in thirteen U.S. cities from November 13, 1940. While acclaimed by critics, it was unable to make a profit due to World War II cutting off distribution to the European market, the film’s high production costs, and the expense of leasing theatres and installing the Fantasound equipment for the roadshow presentations. The film was subsequently reissued multiple times with its original footage and audio being deleted, modified, or restored in each version. The Fantasia franchise has grown to include video games, Disneyland attractions, and a live concert. On the 100th anniversary of cinema in 1995, the Vatican included Fantasia in its list of 45 “great films” made under the Art category; the others being Religion and Values.

Fantasia was re-issued in 1970 and was promoted with a psychedelic-styled advertising campaign, and it became popular among teenagers and college students who reportedly appreciated it as a psychedelic experience. Animator Ollie Johnston recalled that young people “thought we were on a trip when we made it … every time we’d go to talk to a school or something, they’d ask us what we were on.” The release is also noted for the controversial removal of four scenes from The Pastoral Symphony over racial stereotyping. This version of Fantasia was issued on a regular basis, typically for exhibition in art houses in college towns, until the mid-1970s.

The original trailer

7th June – WINNING

On the screen – for seven days – WINNING – is a 1969 American Technicolor Panavision action drama sports film from Universal and directed by James Goldstone, starring Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward and Robert Wagner. The film is about a racecar driver who aspires to win the Indianapolis 500. A number of racecar drivers and people associated with racing appear in the film, including Bobby Unser, Tony Hulman, Bobby Grim, Dan Gurney, Roger McCluskey, and Bruce Walkup. During preparation for this film, Newman was trained for the motorsport by drivers Bob Sharp and Lake Underwood, at a race track high performance driving school—which sparked Newman’s enthusiasm for the sport and led to his participation as a competitor in sports car racing during the remainder of his life. He would eventually launch the much successful Newman/Haas Racing with his longtime racing competitor and friend Carl Haas, winning more than 100 races and 8 Driver’s Championships in IndyCar Series, although notably the team never won the 500. The film includes footage taken at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the legendary 2.5 mile track. Most of the footage is from the 1968 race. The accident during the first green flag is from the 1966 race.

The trailer for Winning

There was a Full Supporting Programme of short features.

14th June – A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS

On the screen – for seven days – A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS – A reissue of the first two of the Italian spaghetti western series that starred and made Clint Eastwood an international star. A Fistful of Dollars (Italian: Per un pugno di dollari, lit. ‘For a Fistful of Dollars’ titled on-screen as Fistful of Dollars) is a 1964 Spaghetti Western film directed by Sergio Leone and starring Clint Eastwood in his first leading role, alongside Gian Maria Volonté, Marianne Koch, Wolfgang Lukschy, Sieghardt Rupp, José Calvo, Antonio Prieto, and Joseph Egger. The film, an international co-production between Italy, West Germany, and Spain, was filmed on a low budget (reported to be $200,000), and Eastwood was paid $15,000 for his role.

Released in Italy in 1964 and then the UK and the United States in 1967, it initiated the popularity of the Spaghetti Western genre. It was followed by For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, also starring Eastwood. Collectively, the films are known as the “Dollars Trilogy”, or the “Man with No Name Trilogy”. The film has been identified as an unofficial remake of the Akira Kurosawa film Yojimbo (1961), which resulted in a successful lawsuit by Toho, Yojimbo’s production company. In the United States, the United Artists publicity campaign referred to Eastwood’s character in all three films as the “Man with No Name”.

As few Spaghetti Westerns had yet been released in the United States, many of the European cast and crew took on American-sounding stage names. These included Leone himself (“Bob Robertson”), Gian Maria Volonté (“Johnny Wels”), and composer Ennio Morricone (“Dan Savio”). A Fistful of Dollars was shot in Spain, mostly near Hoyo de Manzanares close to Madrid, but also (like its two sequels) in the Tabernas Desert and in the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park, both in the province of Almería.

The trailer for this double bill

The second in the series FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE (Italian: Per qualche dollaro in più) is a 1965 spaghetti Western film directed by Sergio Leone. It stars Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef as bounty hunters and Gian Maria Volonté as the primary villain. German actor Klaus Kinski plays a supporting role as a secondary villain. The film was once again, an international co-production among Italy, West Germany, and Spain. The film was released in the UK and United States in 1967, the film catapulted Eastwood and Van Cleef into stardom.

21st June – CARRY ON UP THE JUNGLE

On the screen – for seven days – CARRY ON UP THE JUNGLE – is a 1970 British comedy film from Rank, the 19th release in the series of 31 Carry On films (1958–1992). The film marked Frankie Howerd’s second and final appearance in the series. He stars alongside regular players Sid James, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, Terry Scott and Bernard Bresslaw. Kenneth Williams is unusually absent, this is due to him rehearsing for his new BBC show, International Cabaret . Kenneth Connor returns to the series for the first time since Carry On Cleo six years earlier and would now feature in almost every entry up to Carry On Emmannuelle in 1978. Jacki Piper makes the first of her four appearances in the series. Carry On Up the Jungle is, in part, a parody of Hammer Film Productions’ “Cavegirl” series: One Million Years B.C. (1966), Slave Girls (1967) and more particularly Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan series of books and films. Bernard Bresslaw learned all his native orders in Swahili; however, the “African” extras were of Caribbean origin and did not understand. But Sid James, who was born in South Africa, recognised it and congratulated him. The storyline is partly referenced in the Christmas Special Carry On, when all the characters sit down for Christmas Dinner and eat the Oozlum bird instead of a traditional Turkey. Charles Hawtrey plays the father of Ugg/Cecil Bagley Terry Scott despite being merely twelve and a half years his senior. Joan Sims as Lady Bagley plays his mother though she is three years his junior.

The trailer

The support was a documentary UNDER THE TABLE YOU MUST GO, a trip around the clubs, pubs and discotheques in London, England. It was narrated by dj Murray Kash and featured many of the celebrities of the day.

28th June – CACTUS FLOWER

On the screen – for six days – (Not Weds 1st July) – CACTUS FLOWER – is a 1969 American comedy film directed by Gene Saks and starring Walter Matthau, Ingrid Bergman, and Goldie Hawn, who won an Oscar for her performance. The screenplay was adapted by I. A. L. Diamond from the Broadway play of the same name written by Abe Burrows, which in turn was based upon the French play Fleur de cactus by Pierre Barillet and Jean-Pierre Grédy. It tells the story 21-year-old Toni Simmons who attempts to commit suicide by inhaling gas from a second-hand stove. Her neighbor, Igor Sullivan, smells the gas and rescues her by using mouth to mouth resuscitation, which evolves into a kiss after Toni regains consciousness.

Toni’s suicide attempt came after being stood up by her lover, dentist Dr. Julian Winston. Julian had told Toni from the beginning of their relationship that he had a wife and three children. Unknown to Toni, Julian is not married; and Toni hates lying above all other transgressions. Upon learning of Toni’s suicide attempt, Julian decides to marry Toni, but he needs a wife to divorce in order to sustain his earlier lie. Julian asks Stephanie Dickinson, his longtime nurse, to pose as his wife. At first unwilling, she ultimately relents, since she has long had a crush on her employer.

Toni senses Miss Dickinson’s feelings for Julian and asks Julian to help Miss Dickinson find another man. Ultimately, Julian’s friend Harvey, his patient Señor Arturo Sánchez, and Igor all become embroiled in Julian’s scheme. Toni suspects Julian’s untrustworthiness and leaves him for Igor. Julian finally falls in love with Miss Dickinson. The prickly cactus Miss Dickinson keeps on her desk in the office gives the film its name. Ultimately, both the cactus and Miss Dickinson “bloom”.

Trailer for Cactus Flower

In support was MACHINE GUN MCCAIN (Italian: Gli intoccabili) a 1969 Italian crime film directed by Giuliano Montaldo. The film is based on the novel Candyleg by Ovid Demaris. It starred John Cassavetes, Britt Eckland and Peter Falk.

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