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The News-Messenger from Fremont, Ohio • 25

Location:
Fremont, Ohio
Issue Date:
Page:
25
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

Saturday, Dec. 30, 1978, The News-Messenger, Fremont, 0. B-ll, movie review A symbolic approach in 'Beer Hunter' By BERNARD DREW Gannett News Service "The Deer Hunter" is an ambitious, massive epic, directed and co-authored by Michael Cimino. The movie runs slightly over three hours, and succeeds in being the "All Quiet on the Western Front" of the Vietnam War. Cimino, along with cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond, has created a gorgeous production, and the performances of Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale, Meryl Streep and John Savage are deeply moving.

However, there remain puzzles questions raised which the film doesn't seem to answer, and crossovers made from reality to symbolism which may be a trifle glib. Despite its faults, "The Deer Hunter" is a formidable work which asks a great deal of its audience. The graphic brutality of the Vietnam scenes are devastatingly rendered, and it is a pulverizing experience. Cimino and his co-writers Derlc Washburn (who wrote the original story and adapted the screenplay from it), Louis Garfinkel and Qulnn K. Redeker delve into' the American psyche, and expose our need to submerge and diffuse individual egos into group activity.

The film focuses on a group of friends who work in a steel mill in the fictional Pennsylvania town of Clairton, in the Ohio Valley. They are a rowdy, It all is." If Walken lives, he Is going to marry Meryl Streep. Only De Niro seems self-assured and in control. These qualities will permit him to survive the horrors of the war in one piece. He believes In grace under pressure and insists on taking the deer "in one shot," because that's how the game is played.

De Niro is not in control of the events of war, however. He, Walken, and Savage are captured by the North Vietnamese, who force them to play a terrifying 'game of Russian roulette. During the "game," Savage is destroyed, physically and emotionally. Walken, the dreamiest of the trio, is sent Into shock. De Niro is able to save himself and his shattered comrades by organizing an escape.

He herds them up the river where they can Join the refugees teeming into Saigon. The film becomes increasingly symbolic as it approaches its climax. Savage loses his legs and an arm and is sent to a veteran's hospital back home. Walken, still in shock, decides to stay on in Saigon and spend his time in a gambling den, dealing with the South Vietnamese for kicks and money. He becomes a drug addict.

De Niro is the only one who emerges whole and who learns from his experience. When he returns to the hometown, Cazale, Dzundza and Hspegren take him to the mountains for another hunt. De Niro refuses to shoot a deer, even with one shot. raucous and affectionate lot. De Niro, Walken and Savage are leaving for Vietnam in a couple of days.

Savage is to be married. The other men De Niro, Walken, Dazale, George Dzundza, and Chuck Hspegren, are to embark on a deer hunt in the mountains the minute the wedding ceremony is over. The early scenes in the mill town are brilliantly observed the bridegroom's mother sobbing in anguish to the priest, the bridesmaids scurrying through the splattered streets to the church; and the shabbily dressed town matrons in boots proudly bearing the wedding cake to the reception hall. Violence is omnipresent at the steel mill where the men shower before dressing for the wedding and in bridesmaid Meryl Streep's home where she is beaten by her drunken father minutes before she is to leave for church. After the ceremony, everyone repairs to the hall where the reception is held.

A placard proclaims "Serving God and Country Proudly" and amid the music and dancing are heavy drinking and flareups, hinting of deeper violence. The hunters" repair to the mountain where they will hunt deer. Cazale has come without his boots and tries to borrow a pair. Walken has made De Niro promise that if anything should happen to him over there, he will bring his body back here, "where George Kennedy learns you can't have it all He's quick to admit that the TV Industry likely doesn't need him today. "You look at the lineup and you see all these shows featuring youngsters.

Except for some epics like 'Centennial' and 'Backstairs at the White you can't reach much more depth on television now than the Fonz or Laverne and Shirley. But that's okay. That's just what It's all about now." It's more than okay with Kennedy, in fact. He recalled that when he served as a weekly TV star, "I felt 10 years older and realized then that the human machinery, like anything else, can wear down under constant pressure. I started out with a bunch of good-looking guys who were athletic as hell, who could ride horses and climb mountains.

And we could stay up late and work 60, 70 hours a week. But Now Kennedy seems to possess security so many others in his business lack an unwavering confidence that his will always be enough in demand that he needn't grab assignments out of fear each might be his last. "I can't spend my time worrying about things like that," he declared. "You worry, concentrate on such matters and you might keep working but other parts of your life will suffer." And to Kennedy, it's those "other parts" which life is all about. "Family is what it's all about," he repeated.

"I know that for others, business is everything. But for me real life begins when my business day ends." Life for Kennedy is centered around the Encino, home he shares with his bride Joan, whom he wed In August, her two teen-aged daughters and his 13-year-old son Christopher. His 16-year-old daughter Carrie, who still lives with her mother Revel (whom George divorced in 1977), visits the house several times a week. "I was going to fight for custody of both kids, until Carrie told me she wanted to stay with Revel," he said. "And even as it was, well, I bawled like a baby when the judge said Christopher could live with me.

All my friends, everyone I knew told me not to expect it that courts just don't give custody to fathers. But thank God they were wrong." At age 53, Kennedy is aiming for a professional future of work as it suits his personal needs. He wouldn't mind the grind of weekly TV again, he said, "but only if I could do a three-camera comedy." After having served as the star of two dramatic TV series "The Blue Knight" and "Sarge" he's convinced, "I'd never want to be the singular head of another TV show. It's just too much work. And who needs It?" By MARILYN BECK HOLLYWOOD "There's no way anyone can have it all in this business.

For no matter what you end up with, it's not what it's all about. The only thing that matters, you see, has nothing to do with career it has to do with relationships, with family." It took George Kennedy many long years to learn that lesson. And he admits now that it didn't truly sink in until after he had allowed himself to be willingly eagerly caught up in the Hollywood game of putting fame and fortune before all else. He had been knocking around the industry for years before winning the 1968 Best Supporting Oscar for "Cool Hand Luke." And with that industry recognition came his sudden acceptance into the Filmland society of Those Who Count. "The day before, I'd just been considered a hack actor who couldn't get through the door at Hollywood parties.

Then all at once my salary was going up 10 times what it had been, and I was suddenly being considered the peer of people like Edward G. Robinson, Charlton was mind-blowing. And let me tell you, I drank it all in for about two years, until the morning I finally looked at myself in the mirror and said, 'Hey, none of this is important. What was important was the family he was seeing too little of as he spent his days and nights trying to elevate his position in the industry. And that's when a change in George Kennedy came about.

Now, he said as he discussed the values that have been redefined in his life, "I could be much richer than I am. I know it. It's like Cary Grant once told me, 'Anyone can be a millionaire if he dedicates himself to only And if I'd dedicated myself to making movie after movie, accepting every offer that's come Instead, he's made quite a career out of turning down offers in recent years. in (Day SPECIAL If you can't afford to miss those paychecks, caSI me ROAST PORK and DRESSING Cup of Homemade Chicken Gumbo Soup Full "22" Selection Salad Bar Homemade Bread and Butter Selected Broccoli Cuts, Au Gratin Fluffy Whipped Potatoes Choice of Coffee or Tea NOTICE HOUSE TRAILER OWNERS The Revised Code of the State of Ohio, Sections 4503.06 and 4503.061 require the annual registration of House Trailers located in Sandusky County. All House Trailers located in Sandusky County as of January 1, 1979 must be registered for the 1979 tax on or before January 31,1 979.

House Trailers located in Sandusky County after January 1, 1979 must be registered for taxation within 30 days of date of entry or purchase. At the time of registration all of the annual tax must be paid. Registration can be made only at THE SANDUSKY COUNTY AUDITOR'S OFFICE SANDUSKY COUNTY COURTHOUSE FREMONT, OHIO Persons subject to this tax are urged to comply with this requirement as soon as possible in order to avoid penalties and last minute rush. For further information, phone 332-6411, Extension No. 253.

LEE WALTER Sandusky County Auditor Mutual of Omaha disability income insurance can provide a tegular monthly income when you're sick or hurt and can't work. Money to live on until you're back on the job. XL SENIOR CITIZENS SPECIAL 10 OFF ALL DAY Jan. 1st Mutual CN s)mflhflL Peoplt yo cm count Life Insurance Affiliate: United of Omaha fT TOM WALDSMITH PHONE 332-4823 FREMONT HT. S3 North Fremont FULL DINNER MENU ALSO AVAILABLE.

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About The News-Messenger Archive

Pages Available:
620,236
Years Available:
1913-2024