Posts Tagged ‘Art Carney’

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It’s been over a year since my last post so where better to start than this…

The other night, with my fiance sleeping soundly next to me on the couch,  my Art Carney fest was in full swing but by night 5 I had all but exhausted my resources and looked to IMDB for help. I saw this 1980 made for tv, 2 part-er(didn’t realize it was two parts when I started it at 5 am10170974_10152106129668246_1167509043_n though) starring the man himself along with Michael Beck(Swan from the fucking Warriors!), Telly Savalas(!) and Alex Karras. I remembered seeing this as a kid with my uncle, so that ensured it would not be cute. I was definitely in the mood for that late 70’s/early 80’s look, but was shocked how much I loved the acting, writing, locations/ cinematography(seriously!) and sprawling but tight story and direction. Even the music cues were great. My toes(visible in that pic) did tap!

1975205_10152106217228246_54832007_nHere’s where it gets rough…

Starting part two at sunrise (about 7 am) wasn’t the best thing for my next day but for the film…brilliant. I have always preferred watching films at night and things like this…especially things like this…as late as possible. Part two had some great casting surprises. John “James from Good Times” Amos(actually, I love him in that Kevin Costner, bicycle racing nightmare, “American Flyers”), Joe Pantoliano (I know everyone thinks “Ralp Sipheretto” but I think prick manager from “Eddie & the Cruisers”), and Ed Lauter. Even Jeffery Tambor and Richard Lynch are here.

10154321_10152108683658246_920412500633355229_n Besides, what 80’s fringe flic would be complete without the appearance of Will Sampson(trademark back of head pictured with Beck -left)?

 

 

1393977_10152106177208246_2038454132_nAnd, come on…Telly “Who Loves Ya Baby” Savalas??? What more do you want? Dude’s head alone, makes any picture 23-24 percent cooler. He’s like Yul Brynner with a whore house to run and two-bit gambling debts to collect(break thumbs).

 

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Still, it’s Beck and Art Carney that shine here(I can’t believe that sentence fragment was typed either!). I celebrate Carneys entire career. I’m not just talking the Honeymooners and his credible, Oscar performances (Harry & Tonto, Late Show and the incredible underrated Going In Style)…I love things like this and St. Helens as well as his cameos in The incredible Naked Face and The Muppets Take Manhattan.  He is a fucking KING!

As for this movie…anyone looking for a great slice of late 70’s grit in the for of a great cast climbing around Alcatraz state park should check this out. The sooner the better(but as LATE as possible)

going-in-style

Going In Style 1979 

starring Art Carney, George Burns, Lee Strasberg and Charles Hallerhan. Directed by Martin Brest

Like the title says, they don’t make em’ like this anymore. I recently watched this movie (with fellow film geek, Dean Treadway) and was hooked within minutes. I confess a soft spot in my heart for Art Carney…and films shot in NYC in the late 70’s – early 80’s…and buddy/caper movies…annnnd comedy that doesn’t try to be funny. Let’s just say that I figured I would like this film. I had no idea that I would end up watching it 3 times in four days.

22503.1020.AThe basic idea(I am not imdb…there are no spoilers here) is three elderly best friends who live together feel, like most to the elderly in this country, like their lives have passed them by and that they are basically insignificant now. George Burns character has the idea to hold up a bank(worst case scenario, we going-in-style2get three years…free room and board and 36 social security checks waiting for us when we get out) and take hold of their destinies once again. I won’t give anymore detail beyond the robbery and this turning into a road movie. What needs to be said is the writing and performances as well as the warm, patient direction are incredible. The Going_In_Style_article_story_mainfilm is about friendship and loyalty without ever feeling “precious”. There is also a subtle wit in the performances of Art and George that make this movie hilarious to the right kind of eyes and ears. There is minimal slapstick but the robbery is great fun(Lee’s disguise breaks, forcing him to hold his gun in one hand and his Groucho Marx nose/glasses combo with the other). The trailer made this out to be a goofball comedy, but it is a deep and delicate character study that makes you a fourth member of the gang. Pour me a Sanka and sign me up for that.

If you have no other means, watch it here: