SUMMER OF '42
1971, Warner Bros., 103 min, USA, Dir: Robert Mulligan

This sleeper hit was based on writer Herman Raucher’s experiences as a teen on Nantucket Island during WWII. While hanging out with his friends on the beach, Hermie (Gary Grimes) is drawn to a beautiful older woman (Jennifer O’Neill) whose soldier husband is on duty in France. Though as obsessed with sex as pals Oscy and Benjie, Hermie comes to realize how complicated relationships can be when emotions factor in. Robert Surtees’ cinematography lends this coming-of-age story a nostalgic glow, as does Michel Legrand’s Oscar-winning score and its haunting theme song, “The Summer Knows.”


THE OTHER
1972, 20th Century Fox, 108 min, USA, Dir: Robert Mulligan

This creepy adaptation of Tom Tryon’s best-seller is set on a New England farm in the mid-1930s, where strange happenings begin to swirl around twins Niles and Holland Perry. With their mother (Diana Muldaur) reduced to a recluse by her husband’s recent death, the boys gravitate to their grandmother (played by famed acting teacher Uta Hagen). She teaches one of them how to play “the great game” - a way to project the mind outside the body - which has grave consequences when it turns out the pair are much less angelic than they initially appear. Jerry Goldsmith composed the darkly atmospheric score.


THE NICKEL RIDE
1974, 20th Century Fox, 99 min, USA, Dir: Robert Mulligan

A superb neo-noir with Jason Miller (THE EXORCIST) as the can-do man who holds keys to stolen-goods depots in downtown Los Angeles. Charged by his syndicate boss, urbane John Hillerman, with buying up an unused block of warehouses for more storage, Miller starts to encounter problems. Like an unraveling ball of yarn, trivial difficulties snowball out of control, threatening not only his career but his life. Beautifully realized, from the low-key performances to the evocation of a dying-on-the-vine downtown - whole blocks of which have not changed much since the making of this film. The gradual building of suspense and the aura of impending doom - a feeling so borderline we're not sure if Miller’s just being paranoid - is intensely disturbing. Bo Hopkins is the friendly good ol’ boy apprentice Miller gets saddled with and Linda Haynes is Miller’s understanding girl. Screenplay by Eric Roth (THE INSIDER, MUNICH, FORREST GUMP).


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