(1976) + Shark (1969/Cheezy Flicks
C- Sound: C-/C Extras: C- Films: C/D
the top male stars of the 1970s associated with Southern Good Old Boy fun did
what they could and worked with who they could to have their success work
out. At opposite ends of their success,
singer/songwriter Kris Kristofferson and Burt Reynolds worked with top
directors in two of their most commercial offerings. For Kristofferson, working with Sam Peckinpah
in Convoy (1976) kept him a top box
office star and helped the director stay commercially viable a little bit
longer. For Reynolds, working with the
great Sam Fuller on Shark (1969) was
an early attempt to make the TV star a movie star while Fuller looked for a hit
that was not.
C.W. McCall jumped in the Country Pop bandwagon and produced a rare novelty
record in Convoy, a hilarious,
well-done, comic hit about how CB (Citizen’s Band, analog) Radio was so hot,
that it brought a group of participants together in the title activity; lining
up their vehicles in a long parade of trucks and other motorized vehicles
riding the roads of the U.S.A.! In one
of the then-rare early examples of this, it was decided to build an entire film
around the song and the result was a hit movie, itself jumping on another craze
of the time: the bandit/chase film cycle.
Convoy had Ernest Borgnine as the angry
“smokie” cop chasing Kristofferson, et al and a still hot and on top Ali McGraw
as his love interest. Broadly humorous
and definitely commercial, it was actually co-produced by Barry Spikings and Michael
Deeley (Blade Runner, The Man Who Fell To Earth) and Burt
Young (hot that year in Rocky as
well) made it a hit. Kristofferson was
also in the Barbra Streisand A Star Is
Born which was an even bigger hit.
Unfortunately, Peckinpah was repeating himself and though this is
competent entertainment, it is fluff with a little edge.
would have been a fool to pass up working with Fuller and being Thunderball (1965) was still on
everyone’s mind as a huge action hit, the heist script for Shark is set on the water often and takes place in Sudan. Though this is professional and even a bit
ambitious, Fuller wants a hit, but the script lacks suspense and any mystery is
slight. Action is also limited and the
film never adds up, while Reynolds gives a fair, pre-smart ass star
performance, the film falls flat and did not help anyone involved in the end.
2.35 X 1 image on Convoy and 1.33 X 1 image on Shark are soft and color poor,
while the PCM 16/48 2.0 Mono is low, rough and compressed on Convoy, so be very careful of playback
levels and volume switching, while Shark
fares a little better than expected in clarity.
Trailers and Intermission shorts are the only extras.
- Nicholas Sheffo