Frazetta painted the artwork in 1963, if I am not mistaken. This particular reprint of the Burroughs classic was published by Ace Books in 1969.
“The Birds” (1963) was yet another film that I grew up with; it got plenty of air time in the 1980’s, and it was such a gem that my Uncle John had it in is movie library too.
As far as I am aware … this is the only time Alfred Hitchcock delved into science fiction -horror. (Somebody please correct me on that if I am wrong.) I only learned just now that it was based on a 1952 novel by Daphne du Maurier. (I thought the name sounded familiar upon reading it, and also learned that she wrote the eponymous source material for Hitchcock’s “Rebecca” in 1940.)
The trailer below is kind of interesting — it features Hitchcock himself hamming it up, with almost no footage from the film. I don’t think it would make it past a modern marketing department — it’s more than five minutes long, and it takes a bit too much time getting to its point.
If you’re acquainted with this blog at all, then you’re already aware of the sheer reverence I have for Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner” (1982). So I won’t belabor that subject yet again in order to note Rutger Hauer’s passing this past Friday.
Hauer was a prolific actor, and his fans can remember him fondly from any number of roles. Below are the trailers for my three favorites.
The first is 1986’s “The Hitcher,” which might have been the first modern, adult horror film that I truly loved. (This is leaving aside Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 “The Birds” and various monster movies aimed at kids.) I’m a little concerned that the trailer below misrepresents the movie, though. “The Hitcher” aspired to be a serious film, and was truly a great horror-thriller, in my opinion. It was moody, atmospheric, thoughtful and methodically paced (although it didn’t lack blood and violence either). It was far better than the 80’s action-horror boilerplate movie that the trailer seems to depict.
Hauer was terrifying. (If you are wondering, that is indeed C. Thomas Howell and Jennifer Jason Leigh costarring. And if you watch the trailer very closely, you can see Jeffrey DeMunn — who contemporary audiences will recognize as Dale from “The Walking Dead.”)
The second is movie is 1985’s “Ladyhawke,” which saw Hauer co-star with none other than Matthew Broderick and Michelle Pfeiffer. It had far more mainstream appeal, and it reliably kicks up nostalgia every time it’s mentioned on social media. (Seriously, go try it.)
The third is one that far fewer people will remember –1989’s “Blind Fury,” which rode the tail end of the decade’s martial arts craze. It was zany stuff, and it didn’t hold back on the 80’s-era cheese, but it had a lot of heart and was surprisingly earnest. Some of the action sequences were damned impressive too. (And if you were a nut for 80’s ninja movies, you’ll of course recognize Sho Kosugi as the acrobatic villain here.)
One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.”
Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.
— Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter From Birmingham Jail, 1963
This will probably be a pretty obscure Throwback Thursday post, but the segment below should be recognized by people who grew up in the New York metropolitan area in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. It’s none other than the intro for WOR-TV Channel 9’s “Million Dollar Movie.” (That music you hear is a particularly brassy rendition of Max Steiner’s “Tara’s Theme” from 1939’s “Gone With the Wind.”)
If you were in the New York area at that time, it ought to bring back memories of the old days of broadcast television. (It’s actually surprising how much nostalgia people online report at seeing this 44-second clip. And it’s amazing what you can find on the Internet.) A few commenters note sardonically that the clip makes Manhattan look like a nighttime paradise — while The Big Apple in the 1970’s was not always an easy place to be. (The city if far cleaner and safer today.)
Some of the comments I read were befuddling. There is one blogger who wrote that he remembers this intro from as far back as the 1950’s. (Had they really used it for more than two decades?) And a populous minority of commenters remember being unsettled by the clip. (They describe it as ominous, and the music as creepy, which mystifies the rest of us who remember “Million Dollar Movie.”)
This intro had an indelible effect on me. While it recalls monster movies like “King Kong” (1939) and “Godzilla” (1954) for a lot of others, it will always remind me of my father watching war films and cowboy movies on his days off — along with the occasional Charles Bronson flick. “The Great Escape” (1963), “A Bridge Too Far” (1977) and “Shane” (1953) all spring to mind.
When I was in the first or second grade, I habitually enhanced my Dad’s enjoyment of the “Million Dollar Movie” by peppering him endlessly with questions about whatever was playing — even if I had only wandered into the room for a few minutes. “Why did they call it ‘a bridge too far?'” “Why did they fight World War II?” “The British and French were good guys in the war, right?” “Why did the cowboy drop his gun on purpose?” “Why did the guy fake his death?” (Bear in mind, folks, this was broadcast television — long before the days of Netflix and DVD’s.)
If any kid did that to me when I was watching my favorite movies, I’d go nuts — even if I had a pause button. My father was a saint.
“No, no, we are not satisfied and will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”