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Austin American-Statesman from Austin, Texas • Page 21
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Austin American-Statesman from Austin, Texas • Page 21

Austin, Texas
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neumaaiiv, reoruary 4, 1976 6Cmic koo9 Nest9 1- A gloFieiis trilbiite rr ill til lllil kmmmmi Ifc. -i A i By PATRICK TAGGART Amusements Editor With the proliferation of stage productions of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and the enormous critical response to the new film, it's more than a little difficult to put one's self at a comfortable, neutral distance from this celebrated work, now at theAmericana. Originally a novel by Ken Kesey, the beautifully-written book was, upon its release in 1963, an immediate symbol for the youth rebellion of the late 1960s. With its microcosmic setting of a state mental institution, and with its central inhabitant the free-sprir-. ited, rowdy (and probably qujte sane) R.

P. McMurphy, "Cuc-koos's Nest" was the signature of our resentment against insti-tutionalism, of repression of spirit, societal pressures to conform to the system. Soon after the book's release, Dale Wasserman produced the stage version, which faithfully recreated the novelist's characters and environs, and transcribed the tensions, horror and humor of the book into something theater audiences could see and hear. Delayed far too long for its worth is Milos Forman's film version, produced by Saul Zaentz's Fantasy Films and United ists." Many will find it the best of all "Cuckoo's Nests," and for good reason. Cast in the title role of R.

McMurphy, the roudy who feigns insanity to escape the drudgery of a prison work farm, is Jack Nicholson, who could have been born for the role. He's a lusty, guiltless renegade, a mean but winsome bastard, and Nicholson was never more right for the part. In this as in most Nicholson performances, the machinery works so quietly, and with such precision, that the actor's carefully-created illusion becomes reality to his audiences, and they are his prisoners totally. Forman, who in his earlier "Taking Off" exhibited a flair for casting, has outdone himself (and a lot of other directors! here. Five of the finest supporting performers are making either their film or acting debuts.

Brad Dourif has already picked up a Golden Globe Award for Best Debut by an actor for his portrayal of the stuttering, women-dominated Billy Bibbit. Christopher Lloyd, who has experience as a stage actor, is fierce and funny as the violence-prone Taber. Among the others, two of whom had never acted before, it's difficult to say who is the most touching. It might be Sydney Lassick as Cheswick, a tortured, weak-willed creature whose courage is sewed into McMurphy's coat-tails. A trucking clerk by profession, Lassick's only acting experience is in community theater.

Will Sampson, who plays chief Bromden, is a wildlife artist, and is also acting for the first time. Sampson, who is not only physically right for the part (he stands 6-feet, 7-inches tall), has an expressive and sympathetic face. He is a joy to watch, and his final triumph is unforgettable. Perhaps most impressive of all is the performance of Dr. Dean Brooks, superintendent of the Oregon State Hospital.

He plays his fictional counterpart, Dr. Spivey, the ineffectual psychiatrist whose hospital is run by a gaggle of nurses. Two of his scenes with Nicholson are improvised, and his performance is so sure and subtle that he and the star create perfect chemistry. Louise Fletcher, a veteran, is a consummate Nurse Ratched surely one of the meatiest if most antagonistic women's roles in modern film. Sexless and plain-featured, she is the cold, austere monument to The System, Ward Policy, and The Established Way of Doing Things.

Analogous to societal and national organizations, she innocently believes that her actions benefit her patients until she confronts rebellion or intimidation. Then she destroys in this case her most vulnerable patient and McMurphy's protest can only seal his fate. Director Forman and cinematographers Haskell Wexler and Bill Butler have mounted an extremely handsome film, a beauty to watch, soundly integrated, intelligently edited. "Cuckoo's Nest" lends itself to countless interpretations and analyses, but to me, it's value has been not so much in what it had to say via metaphor or symbolism, but its ability to capture an attitude, to sum up and celebrate the fruits of intellectual rebellion. The rebellion of the late 60s wasn't all that wonderful, but it opened some minds and eyes, and the book, the play, and now this glorious film, lay it in our laps.

It's a tribute to filmmaking at its finest. MENTAL PATIENT JACK NICHOLSON PLAYS CARDS WITH INMATES IN 'CUCKOO'S NEST' Showing a new game to Frederickson, Martini, Billy Bibbit, Scanlon, and Taber FIRST-RUN MOVIES "Chino" (PG) Action adventure drama starring Charles Bronson and Jill Ireland. Directed by John Sturges. At the Americana. "Jock Petersen" (R) An older man returns to college to resume his studies, unprepared for the updated college social scene.

Stars Jack Thompson and Jacki Weaver. At the Aquarius IV and Burnet Drive-In. "The Magic Flute" (G) Ingmar Bergman's film of the Mozart's classic comic opera. At the Village Cinema IV. "Sex and the French School Girl" (X) French soft-porn feature about a tutor who finds more than books at a rural French manor.

At the Texas. "The Black Bird" (PG) George Segal stars in this spoof of the detective genre as Sam Spade Jr. is sent in search of the elusive Maltese Falcon. At the Fox Twin. "The Hindenburg" (PG) George C.

Scott and Anne Bancroft head an all-star cast in this film which hypothesizes the events which led up to the explosion of the large zeppelin in 1937 over Lakehurst, N.J. At the Highland Mall Cinema, "Sundance Cassidy and Butch the Kid" (PG) Western comedy starring Robert Neuman, Karen Blake and John Wade. At the Aquarius IV and Burnet Drive-In. "Lucky Lady" (PG) Stanley Donen's movie about rum-running from Mexico to California during Prohibitidn. Starring Liza Minnglli, Burt Reynolds and Gene Hackman.

At" the Highland Mall Cinema. "Hustle" (R) Burt Reynolds and Catherine Deneuve in a police action drama from director Robert Aldrich. At the Capital Plaza Cinema. "The Man Who Would Be King" (PG) Sean Connery and Michael Caine star as two men who seek to rule a country in this film version of the Rudyard Kipling classic, directed by John Huston. At the Northcross 6.

"Dog Day Afternoon" (R) Al Pacino stars in Sidney Lumet's film version of an actual attempted bank robbery in which a man tried to secure funds for this male lover's sex change operation and the bizarre circumstances that followed. At the Varsity. "The Story of 0" (X) Controversial French, soft-porn movie based on the classie erotic novel. At the Northcross 6. "The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams" (G) Tale of a mountaineer who makes friends with the fiercest bears in North America.

At the Northcross 6 and Southwood. "Out of Season" (R) Vanessa Redgrave, Cliff Robertson and Susan George star in this tale of a woman and her daughter and the man who returns from the past. At the Northcross 6. ONSTAGE "Send Me Ko Flowers" Van Johnson stars in this comedy current at the Country Dinner Playhouse. Doors open at 5:45 p.m.;-performance at 8 p.m.

Reservations necessary. DANCE Michael Sokoloff Company The modern dance company will perform Sokoloff's new work, "Babylon," at 8: 15 p.m. at Zacha-ry Scott Theater Center. CONCERTS Music of the Ozarks The members of the Rackensack Folklore Society will appear in the Alma Thomas Theater at Southwestern University in Georgetown at 8 p.m. with their folk show of mountain singers, musicians, dancers and craftspersons.

CLUB ACTS Double Shot at Back Room. Bruce Hancock Band at Rome Inn. Hardin and Russell at Hole in the Wall. Greezy Wheels at Soap Creek Saloon. Jazzmanian Devils and 47 Times Its Own Weight at Armadillo World Headquarters.

Jemmie Vaugban Than-derbirds at Castle Creek. Peggy Lauren and Bobby Doyle Trio at Blue Parrot. Geneva and the Gentlemen at Seville Room. Buddy Wilson at Saddle Club. Ernie Mae Miller at Cedar's Restaurant.

Bernie Siben at Casablanca. James Wagner at Red Tomato. The Moods of Country Music at Skyline Club. Louise Fletcher enjoys return LOS ANGELES (AP) A work for an Alabama lady. young man walked "Cp to Louise Fletcher in a "The women's movement had made a profound impression on me," she reflected.

"I felt there was something more to life than waiting room of Los Angeles International Airport recently I had to be an actress," she said. She went to New York, played in summer stock with young Robert Redford, landed in Hollywood to perform TV leads in "Playhouse 90" and "Wagon Train." She studied acting with Jeff L3nd said politely, "I'd like to kill deal about herself. "For one thing, I have had a healthy increase in my self-esteem," she commented. "For the past 10 years, I have been identified as John and Andy's mother and Jerry's wife. Now I'm known as Louise Fletcher, actress.

It's great." She contemplates how much her parentage has affected her career. Quite a bit, she thinks. being a wife and mother, and I was anxious to work again. But you." "Thank you very much," she it was a hard job finding an agent who would handle me. I smiled, continuing on her way.

It was a compliment, of sorts Corey, whose students also-Was told, 'Why do you want to included Jack Nicholson, and work when you have a husband was considered a promising who can suDDOrt or. 'I Ihis season Miss Fletcher can 6e seen playing one of the most detestable villainesses in movie1 Like Lon Chaney, she was born prospect by the studios despite have another actress your age history Nurse Ratched with to deaf parents. "When I was 3, her height of 5 feet 10. She and I can't get work for almost won the lead in "Where Her work in "Thieves Like lJhe strait-jacketed mind, the The Boys Are," but lost out to Us" drew the attention of the "woman who drives Jack, i ill aiwlili' liini nrifcMiiiriiiiiriiimf Nicholson to a mindless state in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's I was sent to live with hearing relatives so I could learn how to talk," she said. "Even so, I was so shy that when I went to school for the first time, I was sent home with a notice, "This girl should be sent to a school another towering beauty, Paula makers of "Cuckoo's Nest" and Prentiss.

Warner Brothers she was hired after Ellen offered a contract but she Burstyn and other name perceived that their intent was actresses declined the role of Nest." She and Nicholson are the two LOUISE FLETCHER People hate her best things in a sometimes to conscript "cheap labor." Nurse Ratched. Louise plays Meanwhile, she had met and, her cool, and that makes her punishing motion picture. With promising acting career to be a for the deaf. her total control, her wife and mother. At 41 she is Louise's father was a singleminded rectitude, she is a once more in demand, and she Birmingham, minister convincing match for the admits, "I'm enjoying it very who traveled as a missionary to outgoing goof-off of the mental much." She had just returned the deaf.

Both parents enjoyed asylum, McMurphy. Both look from a rugged, cross-country movies and so did their now as the performers to beat in publicity tour which she daughter. So much so that she married producer Jerry Bick menace all the more effective, and had given birth to John and "She was written very Andrew, now 13 and 12. Her villainous in the book and the husband's work took the family play," she said, "but I thought to England, and she abandoned it would be more sinister for her her career for 10 years. Back in to believe that she was doing America, her husband good.

That coincided with the produced "Thieves Like Us," thinking of Milos (Forman, the and director Robert Altman director). Besides, how could I wanted Louise to play the role out-act, out-shout, or out-of a Southern housewife. Easy anything Jack Nicholson?" he Academy Award enjoyed more than she had once sat transfixed through Sweepstakes. expected she would. Amid all several showings of Ginger.

"All this is very new and the questionings of the media Rogers in "Lady In the Dark," exciting for me," says she sorted out her life and its much to the worry of her Fletcher, who had given up a priorities and learned a great family. "That just set it for me; IIMJMMUMW. '-'MIIIIUJ1LIII ll.jIH. 111 ML x3 Success hasn't spoiled country comic Glower A NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) SiifH hasn't rhanppd Jerrv 1 Clower, a former fertilizer L.J salesman who has ridden a i crest of laughter to become one I of America's best-loved.

rJ -humorists. tell my stories and that's half the battle." At just the slightest suggestion, he repeats his stories for interviewers. He's proud that his stories are for the whole family. "I was told that I'd have to be vulgar for my first album to sell. But I've sold more albums NEW YORK (AP) Twelve of America's leading contemporary artists have interpreted the theme, "Spirit of Independence," in a lithograph or seri-' graph in editions of 125 signed and numbered original prints.

In the coming months, 109 U.S. museums will hold special exhibits featuring these 12 pictures. Each museum will have received a donation by Loril-lard, a division of Loews of the 12 pictures for the museum's permanent collection. In addition, a traveling exhibition, through the American Federation of Arts, will go to many other museums and colleges during 1976. The United States Information Agency will show the prints, called the Kent Bicentennial Portfolio, in foreign countries.

Pictures convey U.S. spirit amusements 'Guthrie' will return to Creek "Woody Guthrie: Child of Dust," the longest-running play at the Creek Theater, will return for a limited engagement Fridays and Saturdays through February. The one-man project of Tommy Taylor encompasses the life, music and philosophy of the late American folk artist. Reservations may be made by calling the Creek Theater at 477-8900. The largest general merchandising firm in the world is Sears, Roebuck and Co.

i He owns the same home, drives a pickup truck to some personal appearances and eats than all those vulgar types. I'm crackers he finds in his motel one of the few standup humorists who can entertain a family." '-4 rooms. I Just five years ago, he was selling fertilizer in Mississippi. the same Clower. 49.

does CARL PERKINS Oak Hill benefit arl Perkins here tonight The Oak Hill Fire Depart Now he's a member of the Grand Ole Opry, has been named country comedian of the year by three publications and has been called "The Will Rogers of the New South." "I've been successful because I haven't he said Interart Works presents tapes ment is sponsoring Us fourth an- ,1 nual Country Music Benefit the Reynolds Sisters and the New Oso Band in a performance at Brushy Creek Saloon. For more information, call 472-0718. An Interart Works Video Production will be shown from 8:30 to 10 p.m. Wednesday on Austin Community Television. Programmed are "Sound Box," a color tape using syn thesizer and audio images by Jacob Acosta, William McClelland and Robert Pacelii; and "Sunshine Music Hour," a black and white tape featuring I Showat7p.m.inCityColiseum.

Grand Ole Opry. "I still eat I Stars of the show are Carl baked coon with good folks." Pprkini Charlie Walker and showeyerywhere. "Maybe you've been someplace shakin' hands with someone when he spots somebody a little more important across the room and leaves to go to him. Well, I'm not that type storyteller. I put on the same show anywhere." He's not searching for new stories, but gets them from real happenings.

"I'm not really looking for material, but things just happen as long as I'm with people. The funniest stories I tell really happened, although I embellish them." Joining the Grand Ole Opry was one of the biggest moments of his life, he said. "There's nothing I praise the Lord more for than my Si fw A III. 4 VBlvvt V.ViliiililVI(V -array Kellum. I've ever been paid was when I The proceeds will be applied some reporter asked my "toward construction of a firiv neighbor if I've changed and he unseat Oak Hill.

said, Well, he's got more i Tickets In advance are $2.50 pictures hangin' on the orjadults and $1.25 for child- I rio; $3 for adults and $2 for "One thing I have changed is Tchil'dren at the door. Informa- my tithe at the First Baptist may be obtained by calling Church. That's a beautiful I 171-9561; chan6c" Simplicity and sincerity have Royal Workshop madenim successful, he said. GOOD ONE PARLOR THROUGH SATURDAY FEB. 7th.

limit ant coupon ptf fam DOLLAR OFF The regular Price of any family size pizza. Presented By THE MUSIC DEPARTMENT Of nD3 padei daptlGIt ccuzrn The Darrell Royal Workshop lkeep my stories simple. My ily pizza orcMrM. provides sheltered employment taJdng induction into the Opry." he other services for mentally flnd makini, i said. "A 'chillburnin' runs up February 5th P.M.

Cnunnn CZnnA Onlv In Aiietin At at the 321 Cameron Road 454-4016 TT7 handicapped adults. Address: complicated. We've got a lot of and down my back everytime I 102 Congress Ave. Telephone: workin hard at go on the show. The adrenalin Sponsored by the gets flowing and I feel like I Askin-Travis County MHMR "And sincerity makes a could jump over a nine-story difference.

I sincerely want to building." ADMISSION HESIirWED HATS 1 3 -i, H. --4. -A 1 itt 'j.

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