With extra time off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve enjoyed watching movies on television more than once like the “Pitch Perfect” series and “Under Siege” starting Steven Seagal. The “Pitch Perfect” series and “Under Siege” are like night and day, but I enjoyed watch them all. We even caught the television version of “Gran Torino” starring Clint Eastwood. A classic in my book, as are all Eastwood movies.
Some of Eastwood’s older movies are the best. They include, “Unforgiven,” “The Outlaw Josey Wales,” “Escape From Alcatraz,” “Pale Rider,” “In the Line of Fire,” “Every Which Way But Loose,” “Two Mules for Sister Sara, “The Gauntlet,” “Bronco Billy,” “Joe Kidd,” “The Eiger Sanction,” and “The Mule,” which I have not watched.
Last week, Debbie and I watched “Rustler’s Rhapsody,” starting Tom Berenger, Andy Griffith and Marilu Henner. Released in 1985, the film is a parody on Western movies and the singing cowboy. Debbie said she used to watch it while in high school and I’ve never heard of it. Anyway, I enjoyed watching and laughed through the entire movie.
Some of these old movies are great. I like them a lot more than the new ones Hollywood is releasing these days. One that comes to mind is, “The God’s Most Be Crazy, released in 1980. The movie centers around a Coke bottle, which was tossed out by the pilot of a private plane. It lands in the African desert and is discovered by a Bushman, who takes it back to his tribe. Tribe members find all sorts of uses for the Coke bottle such as a musical instrument, a fire starter and even a cooking utensil, until the tribe starts fighting over the bottle. The Bushman decides to take the bottle and return it to the gods. What ensues will keep you in stitches.
There was a sequel, “The God’s Must Be Crazy II,” released in 1989. If you want a good laugh, check out these two South African gems.
Back in the day, even before I could drive, my mom would take me to the Circle Theater on North Lewis in Tulsa on Friday nights for a double feature. I don’t remember all the movies I watched, but a couple that come to mind are, “White Line Fever,” a 1975 Canadian-American action crime movie starring Jan-Michael Vincent, who played Carol Jo Hummer, an independent trucker and his fight against the big boys in the glass house. It’s a good one.
Another one that comes to mind is “Sky Riders” starring James Coburn, Susannah York and Robert Culp. The movie centers around an industrialist’s wife, Ellen, and their children who are kidnapped by Greek terrorists and hidden in a mountain top monastery. After failed attempts by the police to rescue the family, Ellen’s ex-husband, Coburn, enters the picture. He hires a crew of professional hang gliders to help with the rescue. A great movie.
As a kid, and even into high school, I always enjoyed watching Disney movies starring Kurt Russell. Russell made some great movies back in the day and I enjoyed many of them.
Three gems that bring back lots of memories from the 1970s are the “Walking Tall” series about the real-life Buford Pusser, a legendary sheriff who spent his career in McNairy County, Tennessee cleaning up moonshiners and prostitution. He carried a big stick and took justice in his own hands. The first film in the series starred Joe Don Baker as Pusser. “Walking Tall 2” and the “Final Chapter” starred Bo Svenson as Pusser. The Final Chapter was released in the fall of 1977, my senior year in high school. There’s a museum in Adamsville, Tenn. to the late Pusser, who died in a 1977 auto accident. Visiting the Walking Tall Museum is one of my bucket list items.
I can’t forget about Steve McQueen, who made tons of movies. Two of my favorites, “The Hunter,” and “Tom Horn,” which were filmed toward the end of his life, are McQueen classics and worth seeing. I loved the car and combine chase scene in a corn field in “The Hunter.”
And lastly, I can’t forget about movies featuring Don Knotts, Harvey Korman and Tim Conway. One of my favorites, “The Longshot,” features Korman and Conway. It’s a movie about four life-long losers who decide to take a chance and place a large long-shot bet on a broken-down horse. It’s hilarious!
If you have a little time on your hands, as most of us do, check out some of the oldies but goodies from back in the day.
Have a great week and take care of yourself, my friends. And always remember that “Good Things are Happening,” every day and always.