FIRST BLOOD
1982, Rialto, 93 min, Dir: Ted Kotcheff

“It wasn't my war! You asked me, I didn't ask you! And I did what I had to do to win!” Sylvester Stallone created another screen icon in John Rambo, a Vietnam vet driven to violence in this box office hit. His bravura performance is balanced by that of Brian Dennehy as the small-town sheriff who doesn’t know what he’s dealing with, and Richard Crenna as the Special Forces colonel who does. Though the film doesn’t skimp on action, Kotcheff’s equal emphasis on character makes FIRST BLOOD the best of the Rambo series.


FUN WITH DICK AND JANE
1977, Sony Repertory, 95 min, Dir: Ted Kotcheff

A lifestyle beyond one’s means and the schemes to maintain it are the basis of this comedy favorite, which was remade in 2005. Dick and Jane Harper (George Segal and Jane Fonda) could lose their beautiful house when Dick is laid off – but it’s nothing a little armed robbery can’t fix. “The Tonight Show” sidekick Ed McMahon costars (and future “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno has an uncredited part). Co-produced by Aero Theatre benefactor Max Palevsky!


THE APPRENTICESHIP OF DUDDY KRAVITZ
1974, Paramount, 120 min, Dir: Ted Kotcheff

Director Ted Kotcheff earned a Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival and writer Mordecai Richler got an Oscar nomination for this funny and insightful portrait of an ambitious young man from a working-class Jewish family in 1950s Montreal. Richard Dreyfuss is perfect in the title role, making Duddy’s ethical lapses almost endearing as he hustles for a success that might impress his father (Jack Warden). Randy Quaid, Denholm Elliott and Joseph Wiseman costar.


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