Aliens, Gunslingers, Samurai and One-Armed Swordsmen: The Genre Films of 1967

15 Nov

The 50th anniversaries of various landmark films from 1967 have been celebrated widely, including in a couple of previous entries here, but this time I want to look back at the unprecedented variety of genre films that came out that year, particularly from other countries, all part of the global cinematic landscape that only gradually came into view to a budding film buff in his formative years and still expanding the more I discover.

I’ve seen more films from 1967 than from any other individual year, 162 at last count, with 71 from the U.S. and 91 from other countries, chiefly Japan, Hong Kong, England and Italy, but also from France, Germany, Mexico and the Soviet Union. My 14th birthday was in 1967 and I saw a total of twenty 1967 releases in theaters in 1967 and early 1968 when lots of 1967 releases finally turned up in the Bronx, nearly all of them Hollywood releases. I saw others in theaters in the following years, including some of my favorites of 1967–EL DORADO, THE DIRTY DOZEN, and Sergio Leone’s “Man with No Name” trilogy–and then quite a few more on TV broadcasts and in revival theaters in the 1970s. I would add more favorites from that year in the home video era as I discovered previously unseen titles on video and DVD, particularly from Japan and Hong Kong. For instance, it wasn’t until 1997 that I finally saw the Jimmy Wang Yu Shaw Bros. classic, ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN.

I’ve already written about some of my favorite 1967 movies in several earlier pieces here, including 1967: Action Cinema’s Greatest Year, The Art of El Dorado, James Bond in Japan: 50th Anniversary of You Only Live Twice, and Japan’s Longest Day. I’ll be looking at other films from that year in this piece. All my previous posts on films from 1967 can be found in this archive:

In looking over my list of 1967 movies that I’ve seen, I’m struck by the contrast between the average Hollywood film and those from the rest of the world. Hollywood’s studio system was in the final stages of its decline, desperately hanging on to the old studio assembly line with lightweight potboilers like Elvis Presley musicals (CLAMBAKE), Doris Day comedies (CAPRICE), Jerry Lewis movies (THE BIG MOUTH), spy spoofs (CASINO ROYALE), Disney comedies (THE GNOME-MOBILE) and by-the-numbers westerns that were pale echoes of an earlier era (FORT UTAH, THE WAR WAGON, THE WAY WEST).

Aside from the groundbreaking, controversial releases of the year that everyone celebrates today, e.g. BONNIE AND CLYDE, IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT, and THE GRADUATE, the typical Hollywood studio release was more bloated in 1967 than such films had been in the past, lacking the creative energy and hard-boiled imagination that once infused mid-range genre movies and made the 1950s one of my favorite movie decades. For instance, Phil Karlson, who’d made some of the most hard-hitting black-and-white crime dramas in the 1950s (KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL, 99 RIVER STREET, THE PHENIX CITY STORY, etc.) was now making the weakest of the Matt Helm spy spoof series, THE SILENCERS and THE WRECKING CREW. Gordon Douglas had given us some of the best examples of Hollywood’s diverse genres in the 1950s (BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND DAWN, THE IRON MISTRESS,  THEM!) but was now making yet another spy spoof, IN LIKE FLINT; tired western remakes like RIO CONCHOS and STAGECOACH; and Frank Sinatra vehicles (TONY ROME). Douglas had begun directing in 1935 and the 1960s was his last active decade; he made 16 films in the ’60s, but only two of them really stand out–ROBIN AND THE SEVEN HOODS (1964) and THE DETECTIVE (1968), both covered in my Frank Sinatra Centennial piece two years ago. Anthony Mann, who had made his name in film noir in the 1940s and made some of the best auteurist westerns of the 1950s (WINCHESTER ’73, BEND OF THE RIVER, et al), wound up making spectacles like FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE (1964) and died in 1967 before his final film, A DANDY IN ASPIC, was completed. Sam Fuller had a long dry spell after THE NAKED KISS  (1964).

Frank Sinatra as TONY ROME, directed by Gordon Douglas

On the other hand, Robert Aldrich and Don Siegel continued to thrive, managing to capture some of the anti-establishment zeitgeist of the time with films like Aldrich’s one 1967 release, THE DIRTY DOZEN, and Siegel’s COOGAN’S BLUFF (1968). Siegel’s sole 1967 release was a made-for-TV western with Henry Fonda, STRANGER ON THE RUN. Both directors had good runs up until the late 1970s, when the rise of blockbusters like JAWS, STAR WARS, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, etc., diverted Hollywood’s energies from the mid-range genre films that had kept the careers of Aldrich, Siegel, Karlson and Sam Peckinpah alive.

The one 1950s genre filmmaker whose career really took off in the 1960s was Roger Corman, who managed to key into various subcultures of the time and jumpstart the counterculture cinema of the era through his work for the exploitation film company, American International Pictures (AIP), which had dominated drive-ins since the mid-1950s with Corman’s cheap monster movies, sci-fi, horror, and, in the ’60s, his Edgar Allan Poe adaptations. One of the best exploitation pictures of the 1960s was Corman’s THE WILD ANGELS (1966), a caustic, despairing drama about a motorcycle gang in southern California, which kicked off the whole biker genre. A follow-up produced by Corman but directed by his art director Daniel Haller, DEVIL’S ANGELS, came out in 1967 and starred John Cassavetes, who was also one of THE DIRTY DOZEN that year.

Although AIP supported such controversial films, they gave Corman problems with the one 1967 AIP release he directed, THE TRIP, the first Hollywood wide release to explore psychedelics and the experiences of those who ingested them. Corman even went so far as to take LSD himself before beginning production on the film, which starred Peter Fonda, Susan Strasberg, Bruce Dern, and Dennis Hopper. AIP studio head James A. Nicholson was nervous about Corman’s nonjudgmental approach to the subject and insisted on placing a cautionary message about drug use at the beginning of the film and added an optical effect to the final freeze frame of Fonda to simulate the cracking of glass, giving a negative slant to the ending. Corman was furious about this and eventually broke with AIP and started his own company, New World Pictures, in 1970. It was films like these that paved the way for EASY RIDER, the 1969 “youth” blockbuster that ushered in the 1970s.

Corman’s one other directorial credit in 1967 was THE ST. VALENTINE’S DAY MASSACRE, made for 20th Century Fox and starring Jason Robards as Al Capone, which I’ve written about here:

Ironically, what would have been Corman’s other major studio release of 1967, A TIME FOR KILLING, was completed by Phil Karlson after Columbia took Corman off the production. (Corman, appalled by the wasteful spending of big-studio projects, tried to spend less money than was needed, incurring the suspicions of the studio executives.)

In retrospect, the most significant development on the global cinematic scene in 1967 involved advances in genre filmmaking in other countries. After the sword ‘n’ sandal films with mythical strongmen like Hercules, Goliath and Samson had faded in popularity, Italy started making westerns by the hundreds and changed the look and style of the genre for years to come. The Sergio Leone trilogy wasn’t even the first example of the genre to get released in the U.S. Sergio Corbucci’s MINNESOTA CLAY (1966), starring Cameron Mitchell, came earlier. Italy also expanded into horror, sci-fi, and secret agent movies breathing new life into those genres as well. In England, Hammer Studios was turning out lush color horror films utilizing the monsters from earlier eras of Hollywood horror—Frankenstein, Dracula, the Mummy, the Wolfman, the Phantom of the Opera, etc. with top-ranked casts headed by the likes of Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. In Japan, there were scores of samurai films set in Japan’s storied past and modern-day crime films in the yakuza genre. In Hong Kong there were tons of swordplay films set in Old China as well as a burgeoning series of films centered around hand-to-hand combat, with Jimmy Wang Yu starring in and directing the very first kung fu film in 1970, THE CHINESE BOXER, although he’d laid the groundwork with a series of films starting with the aforementioned 1967 release, ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN, which provided the template for the kung fu genre. Germany weighed in with its own industry of B-movie genres: horror, crime thriller, spy, western, historical epic. Former Tarzan Lex Barker became Germany’s biggest star during this period and appeared with Christopher Lee in the 1967 release, THE TORTURE CHAMBER OF DR. SADISM.

Some of the great directors participating in this wave of overseas genre films were Terence Fisher, Roy Ward Baker, Terence Young, Guy Hamilton, Sergio Leone, Sergio Corbucci, Sergio Sollima, Mario Bava, Dario Argento, Ishiro Honda, Kinji Fukasaku, Kenji Misumi, King Hu, Chang Cheh, Chor Yuen and many more.

One of my favorite science fiction films is Hammer Studios’ FIVE MILLION YEARS TO EARTH, aka QUATERMASS AND THE PIT, directed by Roy Ward Baker, in which Professor Quatermass, whose fictional exploits were a staple of English television and sci-fi movies in the 1950s and is played here by Andrew Keir, gets involved in the discovery of an ancient spaceship and its mummified insect occupants after it is found during an excavation of a London subway station. The British military insists the craft was a Nazi creation planted there during the war, until strange things start happening. It’s a film of bold and controversial ideas presented with great imagination and sincerity, but doesn’t stint on the suspense and thrills required of the genre. I first saw it on a double bill with THE GREAT WHITE HOPE in 1970 and hadn’t even heard of it before then.

We got to see a lot of the films from Italy and England in theaters in the U.S. because the English films were in English, naturally, and the Italian films were not only routinely dubbed into English but also frequently starred American actors, either one-time Hollywood names who weren’t getting as much work as they used to or lesser names who found fame or steady work in Italian genre films. One of the earliest Italian westerns I saw on the big screen was a 1967 release, first seen in the U.S. in 1969, Giulio Petroni’s DEATH RIDES A HORSE, starring two American stars, Lee Van Cleef and John Phillip Law, with a third American performer, Archie Savage, in a supporting role. It’s a classic revenge tale, with Law growing up to seek out those responsible for the murder of his parents, an act he witnessed as a child. It was a key influence on Quentin Tarantino’s KILL BILL, VOL. 1, which even used cues from Ennio Morricone’s score for the film.

The Sergio Leone “Man with No Name” trilogy, A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS (1964), FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE (1965), and THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY (1966), all starring Clint Eastwood, who had just come off a hit TV series, “Rawhide,” were all released in the U.S. in 1967, so I’m including them here. However, I didn’t see any of them until I caught them in Times Square theaters in 1969-70, during my junior year of high school. (My high school was up the block from these theaters—how convenient!) The trilogy, with its baroque camera angles, brutal violence, black humor and innovative scores by Ennio Morricone, was scorned by critics but loved by audiences and their successful release in the U.S. opened the floodgates to many more Italian westerns, which played grindhouses and neighborhood theaters well into the 1970s, as did the Leone trilogy, and influenced numerous American-made westerns as well. It’s doubtful we would have gotten Sam Peckinpah’s THE WILD BUNCH if Leone’s trilogy hadn’t paved the way.

Japanese Godzilla films played theaters in the U.S. in the 1960s, while the Gamera films and some of the Godzillas went straight to TV. The sole 1967 Godzilla release, SON OF GODZILLA, directed by Jun Fukuda, is quite an underrated film and went straight to television in the U.S.

Unlike most previous Godzilla films, SON OF GODZILLA takes place entirely on a Pacific island, where Godzilla and his “son,” a Godzilla toddler newly hatched from an egg, reside. The pudgy offspring is played by an actor in a suit just like Godzilla is. In the scenes where they’re together in the shot, he must be played by a child or a little person. If you can get over his cartoonish look—as I easily did—he’s quite adorable. I loved the film’s mix of actual island locations (shot, I believe, on Guam), massive soundstage sets and lovingly crafted miniatures. The Big G is a good guy here and the antics of him and his son are quite endearing and a welcome relief from the Tokyo-smashing we get in most G films. There are some formidable monsters on hand, too, including giant praying mantises and a deadly giant spider, called Spiga, who shoots out a web that covers and renders immobile dinosaurs and humans alike.

Speaking of Japanese giant monsters, the one 1967 release to feature Gamera, the flying turtle, was GAMERA VS. GYAOS, directed by Noriaki Yuasa and retitled RETURN OF THE GIANT MONSTERS for its American television release. It was the first in the series to involve a child protagonist who idolizes Gamera and I consider it the best of the 1960s Gamera releases. It tells the story of a mountain village involved in a battle with developers trying to clear parts of the village for a highway when the demolition crew opens up the site where a giant sharp-toothed flying reptile has lain dormant for millennia. When the bloodthirsty reptile is unleashed, only Gamera can stop it.

Another Japanese monster film with a famous monster star was released in Japan in 1967 and to theaters in the U.S. in 1968: KING KONG ESCAPES, the only 1967 release directed by Ishiro Honda, director of the original GOJIRA. I didn’t see it then, but it played at a neighborhood theater on a double bill with the Don Knotts comedy, THE SHAKIEST GUN IN THE WEST, and I remember seeing trailers for both. KING KONG ESCAPES featured an American star, Rhodes Reason, and two Japanese stars, Mie Hama and Akira Takarada, along with an unknown, Linda Miller, recruited in Japan to play the blond object of Kong’s affection.

For the most part, however, it took much longer for us to see other 1960s genre films from Japan and almost anything from Hong Kong. I did get to see some samurai and yakuza films at repertory theaters in Manhattan in the 1970s, but there were tons more I didn’t even hear of till the 21st century. And I’m discovering new ones all the time, like this Nikkatsu yakuza film, MASSACRE GUN (1967), starring Jo Shishido, which I found on Amazon Prime this year:

Hong Kong kung fu films began appearing in English-dubbed versions in U.S. theaters in the 1970s, but few were from the 1960s. Of the 20 Hong Kong films from 1967 that I’ve seen, some were first discovered in the late 1990s, while most were first seen by me in the 21st century. Aside from ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN and a handful of others I discovered on VHS tape in the late 1990s, I’d not heard of most of the Hong Kong films I own from the 1960s until I acquired them on R3 DVD after Celestial Pictures began its wholesale release of Shaw Bros. films in restored, remastered subtitled editions in late 2002. Looking at that list of 20, I note the wide range of genres in Shaw Bros. films that year: swashbucklers, martial arts, crime dramas, spy thrillers, fantasies, musicals, melodramas, and historical dramas, some of them modeled on Hollywood styles of the time, while others are uniquely Hong Kong. My favorite 1967 Hong Kong releases are two by Chang Cheh, ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN and THE ASSASSIN, both starring Jimmy Wang Yu, and King Hu’s DRAGON INN, which was a co-production with Taiwan and was filmed there.

THE ASSASSIN stars Wang Yu as a skilled swordsman in ancient China, who’s called on to commit a patriotic act and assassinate a brutal tyrant but asks to wait until he can make sure his sweetheart and aged mother no longer require him to care for them. It’s the closest a Hong Kong swordplay film has come to the thematic complexity of a classic samurai film and the time-honored conflict of giri-ninjo, duty vs. humanity. There’s a long wait till the big action finale, but it’s a compelling, character-oriented story and quite a change of pace from Chang’s usual swordplay adventures. IMDB review:

Here are links to some of my other IMDB reviews of Shaw Bros. 1967 releases:

BLUE SKIES, a musical which gave action star Cheng-Pei Pei a rare opportunity to use her dance training on film:

THE CAVE OF SILKEN WEB, a fantasy about the continuing adventures of Sun Wukong, the Monkey King:

LADY JADE LOCKET, a supernatural romance based on a famous Chinese ghost story:

MY DREAM BOAT, a melodrama about romance and family relations in modern Taiwan and starring Lily Ho:

THE ONE-ARMED SWORDSMAN, Chang Cheh’s masterpiece that made a star of Jimmy Wang Yu:

THE SILENT SWORDSMAN, a swordplay melodrama with action and romance:

THE THUNDERING SWORD, with Cheng Pei-Pei as a conflicted swordswoman:

TRAIL OF THE BROKEN BLADE, another Chang Cheh-directed vehicle for Jimmy Wang Yu:

And let’s not forget the colorful Hong Kong musical, HONG KONG NOCTURNE, starring the formidable trio of Lily Ho, Cheng Pei-Pei and Chin Ping:

In addition to those singled out above, here are other 1967 releases I’ve enjoyed but either haven’t written about here before or were covered only in passing:

Larry Peerce’s THE INCIDENT offers an all-star character actor cast on location in the Bronx for a drama of subway passengers terrorized by two crazed hoodlums played by Martin Sheen and Tony Musante. As the cameras follow the different characters on their way through the Bronx to the elevated train they’ll all wind up on, the streets we see were all located in and around my old neighborhood where I was living when I first saw this on TV. After the first sequence, shot at the old 183rd Street Third Avenue El stop, I called in my siblings and told them to watch and we started to shout out locations: “Tremont Avenue! Crotona Park! The Murphy Houses! Burnside Avenue!” The passengers were played by the likes of Jack Gilford, Thelma Ritter, Ed McMahon, Jan Sterling, Brock Peters, Ruby Dee, Gary Merrill, Beau Bridges, Donna Mills, etc.

Hiroshi Inagaki’s KOJIRO tells the story of Kojiro Sasaki, the swordsman who challenged Musashi Miyamoto to a legendary duel. Most films about this showdown focus mostly on Musashi, who has been the subject of numerous books and novels over the years, thanks to his lifelong devotion to swordsmanship and study and the development of his character. Kojiro was more easily swayed by distractions and motivated more by desire for fame and glory rather than mastering his art, at least according to legend. KOJIRO turns his story into quite an epic, with lots of romantic entanglements (something Musashi tried to avoid), and stars Kikunosuke Onoe as Kojiro, with Yoko Tsukasa and Tatsuya Mihashi in key supporting roles and Tatsuya Nakadai appearing late in the film, quite memorably, as Musashi. This film is something of a companion piece to Inagaki’s earlier SAMURAI trilogy (1954-56), which was devoted to Musashi, who was played by Toshiro Mifune, and was based on Eiji Yoshikawa’s series of popular novels about the swordsman.

As good as Inagaki’s films are, Masaki Kobayashi’s SAMURAI REBELLION is arguably the best samurai film not directed by Akira Kurosawa. Toshiro Mifune plays a samurai retainer who has served his lord loyally for 20 years or so and does the lord a favor by marrying his son off to a disgraced lady of the court. The arranged marriage thrives and a child is born, but soon the lord wants the lady back and Mifune balks, setting up a major conflict and the complete disruption of his household. It’s a samurai drama rooted in character, not action, and offers a unique take on the frequent samurai theme of giri-ninjo.

Directed by Koreyoshi Kurahara, THIRST FOR LOVE “is based on a 1950 novel by Yukio Mishima and deals with the kind of obsessive relationship that Mishima seemed to specialize in. Here it’s about a widow who lives with her late husband’s family on a farming estate outside Osaka and winds up sleeping with her aged father-in-law while at the same time nursing an infatuation for a strapping young man who works the small farm acreage.” In my IMDB review, I discuss the creative and thoughtful manner in which the novel was updated from its postwar setting to the 1960s and translated into film, one of the best literary adaptations I’ve ever seen.

The long-running series of films starring Shintaro Katsu as blind masseur/swordsman Zatoichi saw three 1967 releases: ZATOICHI’S CANE SWORD, ZATOICHI THE OUTLAW, and the best of the three, ZATOICHI CHALLENGED, directed by Kenji Misumi:

CYBORG 009: KAIJU SENSO (CYBORG 009: MONSTER WAR), directed by Yugo Serikawa for Toei Pictures, was a sequel to CYBORG 009 (1966), the very first science fiction animated feature to be made in Japan. Both films were based on a popular manga by Shotaro Ishinomori which has been adapted for film and television many times. Ishinomori also created the long-running Kamen Rider and Sentai live-action franchises.

MISSION STARDUST, directed by Primo Zeglio, is an Italian science fiction film that is, as far as I can tell, the only film adaptation of any of the pulp novels by Clark Dalton featuring interplanetary space hero Perry Rhodan. Rhodan is played by Canadian-born Hollywood actor Lang Jeffries and the plot involves his attempt to aid aliens whom he encounters on the moon, where a powerful energy source has been located. He has to get the ailing alien scientist to Earth to find a cure for his disease while fending off a criminal operation in Africa that’s trying to get the energy source. Action, special effects, a handsome hero, a beautiful alien female and an international cast—what’s not to love?

THREE FANTASTIC SUPERMEN, directed by Gianfranco Parolini (as “Frank Kramer”) and starring American Brad Harris and an Italian cast, offers up a trio of costumed superhero acrobats who try to stop a villain from forcing his former partner to perfect a human duplicating machine. It’s filled with comedy, stunts, action and better-than-average production values.

There are many good Italian westerns from 1967, but here are two of the best:

FACE TO FACE, directed by Sergio Sollima, offers a cast headed by the formidable Italian western trio of Gian Maria Volonte, Tomas Milian and William Berger. It’s got a very good script and a fairly big budget with several large-scale action scenes. It may be one of the best non-Leone Italian westerns I’ve seen. Volonte plays a stuffy, ailing Boston academic who goes out west for his health and winds up riding with outlaw leader Milian and his gang. He becomes an even more ruthless bandit than Milian to the point that he appalls everyone else. Berger plays a Pinkerton man infiltrating the gang.

Incidentally, the score for FACE TO FACE was composed by Ennio Morricone, who did the scores for four other films mentioned here so far. He had a total of 15 composition credits for 1967 alone! Eight got released in the U.S. that year or not long after. These include Sergio Corbucci’s THE HELLBENDERS, Alberto De Martino’s DIRTY HEROES, Alberto Lattuada’s MATCHLESS, Marco Bellocchio’s CHINA IS NEAR, and the aforementioned DEATH RIDES A HORSE.

Tonino Valerii’s DAY OF ANGER has what is probably Giuliano Gemma’s best performance and most fully-fleshed-out character. This recalls a lot of Hollywood westerns with the older gun hand and younger protégé plot line. This script could easily have been done by Anthony Mann, Phil Karlson or John Sturges in the 1950s. The film’s co-star, Lee Van Cleef, who worked for all three of those directors, is not quite a hero in this one, although his opponents are so corrupt that we tend to root for him anyway. But he’s quite ruthless and brutal, possibly his most villainous character in an Italian western after Angel Eyes in THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY. Memorable score by Riz Ortolani and better-than-average production values. I saw DAY OF ANGER in 1973 in a Bronx theater on a double bill with SCREAM, BLACULA, SCREAM.

I’ve seen 29 1967 releases so far this year, with 10 first-time viewings, but I still have a ton of other films from that year in my collection to watch, most notably Alexander Ptushko’s Russian fantasy, THE TALE OF TSAR SULTAN; Serge Bourguignon’s TWO WEEKS IN SEPTEMBER, a French romantic drama starring Brigitte Bardot; the John Huston-directed drama, REFLECTIONS IN A GOLDEN EYE, starring Marlon Brando and Elizabeth Taylor; the Shaw Bros. melodrama, SONG OF TOMORROW, starring Ivy Ling Po; Nagisa Oshima’s JAPANESE SUMMER: DOUBLE SUICIDE; Hideo Gosha’s crime caper, AGE OF ASSASSINS, starring Tatsuya Nakadai; Umberto Lenzi’s WWII film, DESERT COMMANDOS; the Don Knotts comedy, THE RELUCTANT ASTRONAUT; and the Italian western, WANTED, starring Giuliano Gemma.

6 Responses to “Aliens, Gunslingers, Samurai and One-Armed Swordsmen: The Genre Films of 1967”

  1. Brandon November 17, 2017 at 6:15 PM #

    My son is on the Godzilla thing right now. Would you recommend King Kong Escapes? Does it have enough action to hold his attention?

    • briandanacamp November 17, 2017 at 6:48 PM #

      Yes–and it’s aimed at his age group! There’s an English-language DVD that should be available.

      • Brandon November 20, 2017 at 8:50 AM #

        Thanks. Christmas is right around the corner.

  2. thewalkingfool November 19, 2017 at 11:48 PM #

    Hey– excellent website. Always appreciate obscure movie info! I just finished watching “The Incident” today and began my indefatigable pursuit to find as many locations as possible. I quickly ID’ed Tremont Park in the scene with the young lovers and the bickering Jewish couple, but started getting stumped with the other scenes. Then I found this site and was able to match up that 183rd street location you ID’ed.

    Wondering if you remember any locations that go with a specific scene? Any help would be great. Thanks, and keep on keeping on with the blog!

    • briandanacamp November 21, 2017 at 10:48 AM #

      Thanks, Walkingfool. Re: Bronx locations, I can add that we see the Murphy Houses overlooking Crotona Park in the shot that zooms in to the party that Mike Kellin and Jan Sterling are attending. I’ve visited friends in the Murphy Houses and, believe me, the apartment we see was nothing like the apartments in the actual building. At some point the camera zooms into a tenement apartment on 3rd Avenue south of Tremont and there’s a cut to Beau Bridges and his friend visiting someone. One of the couples gets on the train at the Burnside Avenue stop of the #4 train on Jerome Avenue. I forget which couple it was. Ed McMahon and Diana van der Vlis walk through the South Bronx, not sure if it’s near the 3rd Avenue El or the elevated #2 train, not sure exactly where, but I remember thinking it was near 169th Street. I’d have to re-watch to refresh my memory for more.

      • Mark E. Phillips August 15, 2018 at 11:22 AM #

        Hey — sorry for delay in my response but my laptop died back in November and it took me a while to get back on track. Thanks for the response. Been searching for that curved building behind Ed McMahon and Diana van der Vlis, but to no avail. I did find the pool hall (857 E Tremont Avenue) and the bar the alcoholic goes into (1582 Jerome Ave). Will keep searching for that Ed McMahon scene location.

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