Mmmm, Karen Black!

(Posted by Ron Hogan)

Well, okay, I think maybe John & Brian were the only people who demanded it… and I suppose “demand” is really sort of an overstatement. Nevertheless, here is pretty much what the cover of The Stewardess Is Flying the Plane will look like when it comes out this November:


The bottom row features Alec Guinness, Sissy Spacek, Paul Newman, Tommy Chone, George C. Scott, Richard Roundtree, Marlon Brando, Gene Wilder, Dennis Hopper, Raquel Welch, and Henry Winkler–and, no, that’s not a TV reference thrown in at the last minute.

As I get closer to the actual pub date, I’m starting to get excited about the book again. I have to admit there was a period just after I’d turned in the manuscript when I didn’t even want to think about ’70s movies for a while. It’s still a little difficult for me to work up the energy to actually watch stuff that comes up on cable that I didn’t manage to see when I was doing all the research. But I think I might finally manage to make it through Detroit 9000 today, if I can transcribe enough interview tapes for the magazine article I’m writing (about the somewhat less sexy subject of test prep and college admissions guides…)

Anyway, I pretty much want to just open up the floor here, so start telling me all about your favorite ’70s films, the ones you’re going to beat me over the head with my own book at my signings if they’re missing from it…

27 Comments on “Mmmm, Karen Black!”

  1. OK, did you discuss The Devils (1971) aka The Devils of Loudon?

    It was a real crowd pleaser, for the time.

  2. Demanded? Well, sure – if that’s what you want to call it. I must admit, I kind of like the idea of people acquiescing to my demands (sounds better than “answered my question” any day).

    At any rate, the picture you provided is, IMHO, much more flattering than the one in IMDB.

    Favorite movies of the 1970’s? Off the top of my head: Star Wars, Airplane, Animal House (not so much in the theater, but later as a VHS tape at college parties, etc.). Interestingly, most of the movies I would have named were done in the very early 80’s (E.T., Raiders, etc.) I don’t know if that’s because I was getting into my teen years, or if the movies just starting getting better… Probably the former.

  3. My husband and his brothers have a serious thing for “Death Race 2000”. It always surprises me when I find somebody else who is familiar with it.

    FWIW, I just checked IMDB and “Airplane” came out in 1980. I was going to mention it, too, partly because we just watched it Sunday night (thanks, AMC, for the “enhanced” version; now, I’ll be able to impress folks at parties by knowing that Harriet Nelson was offered the Barbara Billingsley role first, but turned it down).

  4. You can’t talk 70s movies without my favorite comedy of that decade, “What’s Up, Doc?”

  5. I’m almost positive that’s Roger Daltrey in WOODSTOCK, not Robert Plant in THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME, but I’ll doublecheck.

    But otherwise, I should remain relatively assault-free, since I have a great photo from THE DEVILS, chock full of naked nuns no less, a pretty decent shot of one of the DEATH RACE 2000 racecars, and, yeah, I would’ve gotten WHAT’S UP, DOC? in there even if Bogdanovich hadn’t agreed to do the foreword. I’m missing an actual photo from ANIMAL HOUSE, but I do mention it…

  6. My favorite movies from the 1970s tend to be “small” movies that might not be the type you would include in your book: Paper Moon, Harold and Maude, Breaking Away, and particularly Junior Bonner.

  7. What about “The Devil’s Rain,” a star-studded sacrifice to MST3K featuring Ernest Borgnine as a minion of Satan?

    And then there’s that classic “KISS Meets the Phantom.”

  8. Wow, Patrick – nice catch. I bet 90% of the people who look at that picture don’t see that…

    And speaking of good catches, thanks Sue – I would have sworn Airplane was a 70’s movie (in fact, it very much feels like a 70’s movie, doesn’t it? Even though it came out in the 80’s).

    I guess that validates the point I was making about all the good movies coming out in the 80’s…

  9. Jette:

    Given that Peter Bogdanovich directed Paper Moon, and also wrote the introduction to the book (and the movie won atleast one Oscar), I’d guess it’s a fairly good bet that movie will be in there.

    The question should be: Will “At Long Last Love” be in there?

  10. I mention AT LONG LAST LOVE in the musicals chapter, yes, but no photos. We already had shots from three other Bogdanovich films, and I really wanted pics from AMERICATHON and PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE… And Jette, I have every one of your films covered picture-wise, never fear! There isn’t a DEVIL’S RAIN photo, but I do mention it (Anton LaVey makes a cameo, after all!), and sadly the KISS film falls victim to the no-TV-movies rule.

    I actually do mention AIRPLANE! at the end of the disaster films chapter, just to talk about how it succeeded where THE BIG BUS and a few others had failed, and also because it’s essentially a remake of an earlier film that was written by the man who wrote AIRPORT.

    That’s an old mockup of the cover, so we’ve caught the “Is Is,” yes. Another change from the version you see here–the intro is now “a conversation with” Bogdanovich, basically a Q&A.

  11. Three Days of the Condor

    Amazing cast. Brilliant camera work. Tight editing. Captured the seventies cold war energy crisis paranoia beautifully, plus Robert Redford plays a nerd-turned-superhero and they have a PDP-11/45 with front-panel switches and an LA36 printer. What could be better?

  12. Network, Taxi Driver, Harold and Maude, Network, the first 2/3s of the Godfather movies, Annie Hall, Blazing Saddles, Network, Star Wars, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Nashville, and Network.

  13. Yep, got all that. Whew. So far I’m feeling pretty safe.

    To give you an idea of how far I tried to drill down, my Mark Hamill picture isn’t from STAR WARS, but from CORVETTE SUMMER.

  14. This will probably sound corny, but I absolutely love “The Paper Chase.” And, having just looked at the cast list on IMDB, I now need to watch it again to see what a much younger Edward Hermann looked like.

    Oddly enough, a quote from “Airplane” was an answer on “Jeopardy” yesterday, in the category ’80s Movies Quotes.

  15. Leaving aside the obvious candidates like A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, STAR WARS et cetera, my picks would be:

    DEAD PEOPLE (a.k.a. MESSIAH OF EVIL) was a great seventies zombie flick… and not just because it co-starred Joy Bang.

    BEYOND THE VALLEY OF DOLLS — perhaps the trippiest of Russ Meyer’s films.

    Blaxploitation classics like ACROSS 110TH STREET, FOXY BROWN and of course, SHAFT. I can’t tell anymore whether I actually like the movies themselves, or just the idea of them.

  16. oh, and let’s not forget “willy wonka and the chocolate factory” or however they trashed the title. wasn’t that seventies?

  17. Nobody mentioned Smokey and the Bandit? Burt Reynolds, a Trans Am, a truck full of beer and a blood hound? What more could you ask for?

  18. For all those who are looking at the cover now and wondering about the “Is Is” thing–I found the final version, scanned it up, and replaced the image you see here. That’s also why you can’t see Roger Daltrey OR Robert Plant anywhere on the cover.

    I think DEAD PEOPLE may have finally stumped me. But just about everything else is there–the only one I’m not sure about is PAPER CHASE, and I know I watched it, so I hope I remembered to write a sentence or two about it.

  19. “I think DEAD PEOPLE may have finally stumped me.”

    It’s also gone by the titles REVENGE OF THE SCREAMING DEAD and THE SECOND COMING, if that helps. Definitely worthwhile if you haven’t seen it; anticipated a lot of what came later and had a truly original take on its zombies which I don’t think has ever really been matched.

    Of course I’m having my “I stumped John Scalzi and all I got was this lousy T-shirt” merch printed as soon as possible!

  20. Love the cover…thanks to Karen Black some 30 years ago, I have been a flight attendant for the past 17 years, and no, I don’t want to have to fly the plane.

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