“French Connection” Cut

“The French Connection” (1971) won five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor (Gene Hackman) and Best Director (William Friedkin.)  It was a property of 20th Century-Fox until the studio was sold to Disney in 2020.  In 2023, the Criterion Collection would release the film edited.  Some blame Disney, some blame Criterion.

The scene in question.  “Popeye” Doyle’s partner, Russo (Roy Schieder) is stabbed while trying to arrest a black suspect.  Russo asks, “How’d I know he had a knife?”  “Popeye” (based on NYPD Det. Eddie Egan) calls him a “dumb guinea”, then says “Never trust a nigger.”  He continues on by saying, “Never trust anybody.”

“The French Connection” is based on the true crime novel written by Robin Moore.

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This is censorship of the new woke Hollywood.  What has shocked film fans is how a major film like this is being changed for Gen. Z.  (God forbid they should be made aware there’s an unpleasant world out there.)

I don’t expect this will be the last time a movie is cut so as not to offend the white liberal.  (Blacks don’t give a damn.  They call themselves nigger all the time.)  What is concerning is how this will affect films of the future.

The Oscars (the Motion Picture Academy of Arts & Sciences) recently adopted a new rule wherein a film cannot be nominated for a Best Picture award unless they hire minorities and formerly disenfranchised members of society.  Tell me, have these snobs ever read the First Amendment?  If filmmakers are forced to hire people based on their proclivities, instead of their expertise, it changes the work itself.  The creation of the film is altered by hiring those who may not be qualified.  All they need is to be on the woke list.

Text © 2023 – ERN

Marilyn Monroe’s Last Movie

Most consider “The Misfits” as Marilyn Monroe’s last film; however, there were a number of failed attempts to cast her in other pictures.  Most famous of all is “Something’s Got to Give”, abandoned by 20th Century Fox after MM’s numerous absences.  A last attempt to finish it, after Monroe was fired, then rehired, ended when she died on August 5, 1962.

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The plot:  A woman returns after being lost on a desert island, finding out her husband has just remarried.  The first video is of a 1990’s TV special commenting on what transpired.

Recently restored by 20th Century Fox, the video below attempts to piece together what was filmed.  (37 minutes in length.)

   Funniest scene:  Wally Cox in the shoe store.

   Also contains MM’s nude swim, a major event in ’62.

 “The Misfits” (1961.)  Arthur Miller’s saga of how a woman changes the lives of three down and out losers.  Also starring Clark Gable, Eli Wallach and Montgomery Clift.  “Misfits” didn’t connect with audiences then, but is more appreciated today.

   Best performance:  Montgomery Clift as Perce Howland.

   Clark Gable died of a heart attack shortly after filming.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) 

   Based on the novella by Truman Capote.  The author urged the studio to cast Marilyn as Holly Golightly.  Turned down by the director Blake Edwards because of MM’s notorious reputation for being late, high, sick and/or forgetting her lines.

Monroe lost role of Holly Golightly to Audrey Hepburn who received an Oscar nomination for “Best Actress”

“They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?”  Rights to this were then owned by Charlie Chaplin, who offered MM the lead role.  She turned it down, believing it was about horses.  (Plot concerns marathon dance contests in the 1930’s.)

    Released in 1969, starring Jane Fonda, who received an Oscar nomination for “Best Actress”.

   “Freud” (1962)

Actor friend Montgomery Clift tried to get Marilyn cast as Freud’s wife.  Susan Kohner was cast instead.

See the source image  “What a Way to Go!”  (1964)

Dark comedy about a wife whose five husbands all die for one reason or another.  Shirley MacLaine inherited the role.

Last major public appearance.  MM sings “Happy Birthday” to President Kennedy.  Host Peter Lawford refers to her as “the late Marilyn Monroe.”

Text © 2018 – ERN

One Hour Photo (2002) Review

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This is Robin Williams as we’ve never seen him before.

In “Insomnia”, (2002) with Al Pacino, he played a writer turned killer.  This became a cop drama, a cat-and-mouse game with a showy performance by Pacino.


In “One Hour Photo”, Williams doesn’t share star billing and he owns this.

“1-Hour” is what I would call, events that could occur in real life.  What makes it so real?  “Sy” Parrish (Robin Williams) is like a million other people.  A face in the crowd; a colorless individual who doesn’t stand out.  What goes on in the minds of people who aren’t noticed?

PLOT.  Sy Parris works at a mammoth superstore called “SavMart”, behind the photo counter.  We soon learn that he is an obsessive perfectionist, producing high quality work.  A “slight .3 blue shift to cyan” bothers him enough to cause a major argument with an AGFA repairman.  During lunch, the store manager (well played by Gary Cole) notices Sy “spacing out”, drifting off into a daydream world.  What is Sy thinking about?

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In his mind, is the Yorkin family, his idolized, adopted, photo family.  Because Sy is privy to people’s private moments, (moments that he would be locked out of otherwise), he begins to imagine himself as part of their lives.  From the duplicate photos he’s pasted on his entire wall, he’s documented everything and, even worse, he fantasizes himself in the photos as “Uncle Sy”.

Sy attempts contact with Nina (the wife and mother) and Jake Yorkin (the son), played by Connie Nielson and Dylan Smith.  He gives Jake a free “throwaway” camera.  He just happens to meet up with Nina at the food court where he’s reading her favorite book.  He drives to their house and imagines himself inside, enjoying himself inside “paradise”.

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It’s a different story when he meets Will Yorkin, the father/husband.  (Michael Vartan.)  Will  is cordial, but thinks Sy is odd.  Under his breath, he tells his son not to talk to strangers, meaning Sy.  Sy buys Jake an action figure which Jake cannot accept.  This figure, holding a silver sword, becomes a totem – a symbol of revenge for Sy.

Sy’s house of cards begins to crash down when the store manager notices missing film chemicals, those used in the duplicate pictures.  Sy is fired, effective at the end of the week.  When he’s told, it’s as if his “family” has been killed.

Image result for one hour photo 2002 Through coincidental circumstances, a girl he’s seen before (Erin Daniels as Maya Burson), brings in some film for developing.  As it turns out, she’s having an affair with Will Yorkin, as Sy discovers within her photos.  He swaps envelopes with Nina’s, so she becomes aware of it.  Following them home, Sy watches, waiting for the big argument, which doesn’t come.

Frustrated, Sy turns his attentions on the manager’s daughter, who he photographs through a zoom lens as she plays on the front lawn.  These are the last photos he has developed at SavMart and Bill the manager gets the message.  Police are called into Sy’s apartment, where they discover all his photos with Will’s face scratched out.  Sy isn’t there.  He is at the hotel, where Will and Maya meet for the final confrontation.

Kudos to 20th Century-Fox and director/writer Mark Romanek for giving Mr. Williams this role, which easily could have gone to a dramatic actor.  Williams really brings out the humanity of this character, a tragic man who has fallen through the cracks.  If you notice, most of Sy’s customers don’t even look at him and he is keenly aware of it.  In these modern times, technology has forced a major disconnect between people.  I’d expect there are a lot of Sy Parrishs out there.

“One Hour Photo” is a quiet film, ominous with subtle effects, muted tones and an eerie, electronic background score.  That is why it slowly gets under your skin, unlike other loud, deafening “thrillers”.  That is also why “1 Hour” probably didn’t receive any Oscar nominations, as these types of films usually don’t.

I remember when “The Shootist” came out, Regin Philbin did a review.  He describes it as the film we’ve been waiting for, the movie John Wayne almost didn’t make and the one we’ll always remember him for.

The same could be said for this.

Text © 2018 – Eric Reports