Sep 7, 2005

Between The Lines (1977)

One of my favourite "sleeper" films- before anyone knew who Jeff Goldblum, John Heard, Jill Eikenberry, Marilu Henner, Stephen Collins, Lindsay Crouse, Bruno Kirby and Joe Morton were, they all starred in this episodic comedy-drama about the final days of a radical newspaper about to be bought out by a more commercial publishing chain. And it also features Gwen Welles, one of my favourite actresses of the 1970's (CALIFORNIA SPLIT, NASHVILLE), and perennial weirdo Michael J. Pollard as the guy who helps sell their paper out on the street. This is an ensemble movie in the truest, finest sense of the word-- everyone gets a chance to shine, no-one steals the movie from someone else (even if Goldblum does have the showier role of the mile-a-minute rock critic), and we see their characters in all their highs and lows. One prime example of what made 1970's movies so good- character-driven, surprising, thoughtful, adventurous... so much of what today's Hollywood drivel isn't. Also there is a superb song score by Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes- the best bar band in the world. SJ and the boys appear in one lengthy nightclub sequence in which all of the characters turn. Also love the impromptu jam session that Goldblum, Morton and Collins have while the roadies are taking the equipment off the stage-- it's indicative of the loose "let's try it" attitude that made movies of the time so delightful to see then and now. And there are many, many more inspired moments like these. DVD, please.

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