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Saturday, August 25

DOUBLE FEATURE: Two films for one admission. Tickets purchased entitle patrons to stay and see the following film at no additional charge.


12:30   4:35   8:45       

(1978, Hal Ashby) “No *#@!!* Navy’s going to give some poor !!@ kid eight years in the #@! brig without me taking him out for the time of his *#@!!* life.” Jack Nicholson’s Billy “Badass” Buddusky and Otis Young’s “Mule” Mulhall decide to turn their TDY as shore patrol escort of a convict from Norfolk to the Portsmouth, NH brig, into a raucous paid vacation. But when they befriend their prisoner, lumpishly naïve klepto Randy Quaid – given eight years for a $40 theft from the camp commandant’s wife’s favorite charity – it’s time for a little education in boozing, whoring and spine-growing en route, along with the American screen’s most sustained onslaught of profanity to date. DCP. Approx. 105 min.


“A very funny film, sometimes a gut-busting one… It’s Ashby’s deceptively soft touch — you have to get up pretty early in the morning to catch him directing — that makes the film’s many varied tones, some of which border on scathing, feel like the most logical waypoints on the characters’ strange journey.” 
– Jaime N. Christley, The Village Voice

“Nicholson can make his feelings come through his skin the way Anthony Quinn can make you shore the emotion that’s making him sweat. Other actors might communicate a thought or an economical gesture, but Nicholson does it with his whole body, as if he were electrically prodded… In The Last Detail, you can see the kid who hasn’t grown up in Nicholson’s grin, and that grin has the same tickle it had when he played the giddy, drunken Southern lawyer in Easy Rider, but now it belongs to the ravaged face of an aging sailor. Buddusky is the best full-scale part he’s had.”
– Pauline Kael

“There is an unpretentious realism in Robert Towne’s script and Ashby handles his camera with a simplicity reminiscent of the way American directors treated lower-depths material in the ‘30s… It is attention to the authentic detail that gives The Last Detail its modest but genuine distinction.”
– Richard Schickel, Time

“Towne’s script was so densely written that it allowed little space for a director’s ego to intrude, and the directorial restraint, in fact, feels just right… Whenever possible, Ashby let his actors go, guiding them only when necessary. The results were sensational.”
– Nick Dawson, Being Hal Ashby: Life of a Hollywood Rebel


2:35   6:45       

(1970, Bob Rafelson) “Hold it between your knees.” Supremely alienated oilfield roustabout/piano virtuoso Jack Nicholson (as Bobby Eroica Dupea), on the run from his well-bred roots, dallies with blue collar waitress Karen Black (the name on her uniform is “Rayette”) and his brother’s classy fiancée Susan Anspach; bowls with buddy Billy “Green” Bush (wived by Fannie Flagg, author of Fried Green Tomatoes); gives a ride to motor-mouthed hitcher Helena Kallianiotes and a lesson in highway greasy spoon etiquette to a rule-ridden waitress; tries to reconcile with his stroke-silenced dad; and tosses off a few other easy pieces by Chopin. Long-time Nicholson pal Carole Eastman (Adrien Joyce) expanded on three sketches by director Rafelson, ultimately basing the character on both Nicholson and her brother, with scenes based on actual occurrences. Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Director, Actor and Supporting Actress. DCP. Approx. 98 min.


“One of the best American films! A masterpiece of heartbreaking intensity!”
– Roger Ebert

“One of the best American films for years…Nicholson’s performance was one of the great charismatic ones.”
– David Shipman

“Rafelson calls our attention to the grimy life textures and the shabby hopes of these decent middle Americans. They live in a landscape of motels, highways, TV dinners, dust, and jealousy, and so de we all, but they seem to have nothing else. The movie is joyously alive to the road life of its hero. We follow him through bard and bowling alleys, motels and mobile homes, and we find him rebelling against lower-middle-class values even as he embraces them. In one magical scene, he leaps from his car in a traffic jam and starts playing the piano on the truck in front of him; the scene sounds forced, described this way, but Rafelson and Nicholson never force anything, and never have to. Robert Eroica Dupea is one of the most unforgettable characters in American Movies.”
– Roger Ebert

“It’s a striking movie, eloquent, important, written and improvised in a clear-hearted American idiom that derives from no other civilization, and describing as if for the first time the nature of the familiar American man who feels he has to keep running because the only good is momentum.”
– Pauline Kael

Film Forum