HARDCORE
1979, Sony Repertory, 109 min, USA, Dir: Paul Schrader

This underrated drama from writer-director Paul Schrader is anchored by one of George C. Scott’s greatest performances. He plays Jake Van Dorn, a conservative Midwestern businessman whose daughter disappears during a church-sponsored trip to California. Horrified to learn she may now be working in the L.A. porn industry, Van Dorn enlists a sleazy private investigator (Peter Boyle) and a wary streetwalker (Season Hubley) to find the girl.


WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAM
1980, Universal, 96 min, USA, Dir: Art Linson

Bill Murray turns in a transformative performance as Hunter S. Thompson in this one-of-a-kind biopic that draws from several of Thompson’s writings to tell the story of his outrageous friendship with lawyer and activist Oscar Zeta Acosta (called Carl Lazlo in the film and played by Peter Boyle). With music by Neil Young.


JOE (1970)
1970, Park Circus/MGM, 107 min, USA, Dir: John G. Avildsen

A low-budget indie film shot over a month and a half in the winter of 1970, JOE traces the adversarial relationship between a white-collar father (Dennis Patrick) and his hippie daughter (a debuting Susan Sarandon). After a confrontation with her grungy partner (Patrick McDermott), the traumatized patriarch winds up at a bar, where he befriends working-class Joe (Peter Boyle), who is a fount of caustic barbs against the counterculture. The pair bond and set out on an odyssey that concludes in nightmarish carnage at a rural commune. Re-editing the film around Boyle's performance and even releasing a soundtrack album devoted to his diatribes, original distributor Cannon not only made JOE box-office gold, but turned Boyle himself into a star.


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