Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - April 13, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
6 The Cedar Rapids Gazette: Sat., April 13. 1974
‘Conrack’: Little Gem Brilliant in Its Simplicity
"Conrack" w,th Jon Voight, Paul Winfield and Hume Cronyn. A Martin Riff.Irving Ravetch production released by 20th Century-Fox. At the Stage 4 theater.
Hollywood rating-. FG — parental guidance suggested.
By Beverley Duffy
Once in awhile Hollywood throws off its jaded pretentions and creates a little gem brilliant in its simplicity.
“Conrack” is one of these Occasionally awkward dialog and sometime lapses into excessive sentimentality can’t detract seriously from the warm appeal of this story.
True Story “Conrack” is the true tale of Pat Conroy, young male teacher whose charges are the virtually illiterate black pupils of a dilapidated two-room school on a South Carolina coastal island, Yamacraw. The film is based on Conroy’s book, “The Water Is Wide”, and the film title stems from the children's mispronunciation of Conroy's name.
Blond, physical .Ion Voight
COMMUNITY THEATER -“The Tempest” — 8.
PARAMO LNT - ‘Paper Moon” - 2.20, 6:05, 9:55; “Save the Tiger” — 4 IO, 8.
IOWA — “The Great Gatsby”
- 1:30, 3:55, 7:10, 9 35.
WORLD - “The Sting” -
1:50, 4:15, 6:55, 9:30; shorts — 1:30. 3:55, 6:30, 9 05.
TIMES - "The Last Detail"
- 1:40, 3:30, 5:30, 7:25, 9:25; shorts - 1:30, 3:20, 5:15, 7:15, 9: IO.
PLAZA — “Alice in Wonderland” - 2, 3:50, 5:45, 7:35, 9:30.
STAGE I — “American Graffiti” — 2:35. 4 40, 7:45, 9:50.
STAGE 2 — “Blazing Saddles” - 2:40, 4:35, 7:40, 9:35.
STAGE 3 - “The Three Musketeers" — 2:40, 4:45. 7:40, 9:45.
STAGE 4 — “Conrack” — 2;30, 4 35. 7:30, 9 35 EASTOWN I - “The Exorcist” - 1:30, 3 45, 6, 8:15, IO 30.
EASTOWN 2 - “The Exorcist” - 2:45, 5, 7:15. 9:30, 11:35 MARION — Features at ll, I, 3. 5, 7, 9, ll.
COLLINS - “White Lightning ” — 8: IO; “The Outside Man” — IO:20; “Two Lane Blacktop" — 12.
TWIXT TOWN - “All the Way Boys” — 8, 12; “Ace High”
TWIN WEST - “M*A*S*H“
- 8:20; “The Last American Hero” — 10:30; “The Carey Treatment” — 12:10
TWIN EAST - “The Swedish Wildcats” — 8:35; “The
Stewardesses” — 10.25; “Jennifer on My Mind” — 12.
turns in a captivating performance in the title role.
Conroy has traveled the route from bigot to ultra-liberal, he tells the island’s reputedly mad recluse (Paul Winfield), hut “now I'm just teachin’ school.” Tough Obstacle
The enormity of the job before him is immediately apparent. Despite their upper elementary status, many of hts students don’t even know the alphabet. And their experience of life off the island is limited to their taste for Coca Cola. The long, anxious faces as the children ride the launch from Yamacraw across the river to a Halloween adventure on the mainland are both amusing and pathetic.
As might be expected, the toughest obstacle to educational headway turns out to bo Skef-fington, tho conservative superintendent and paternalistic white of he Old South personified Hume Cronyn proves the master of this role, which calls for a veneer of gracious good humor to mask a rigid, self-righteous nature.
Unexpectedly, however, his attitudes are mimicked by tho school’s black woman principal, Mrs. Scott (Madge Sinclair), who has apparently been brainwashed by life. Her talk is tough, but her expectations of the youngsters are no more ambitious than Skeffington’s.
Both Skeffington and Mrs. Scott are alienated by the flamboyant methods Conroy uses to attract the attention and affection of his listless students “Drill in the basics” is their chant, despite the obvious miserable failure of this method in the past.
In addition to the fine cast of principals, the film features 21 charming black children, all non-professionals, skillfully navigated through the picture by Director Martin Rut.
The ending won’t be satisfying to romantics — Conroy fails to beat the system — but that fact reinforces the picture’s honesty.
Brazilian Students Fight Against Political Arrests
SAO Paulo, Brazil (AP) — University students are challenging the power of President Ernesto Geisel, the new leader of Brazil’s authoritarian regime, in a campaign against political arrests.
The protest movement is a major defiance of the political blackout imposed on Brazilian universities in the late 1960s when the military regime purged campus political circles and ordered strict measures against anti-government activities by students.
Last wctk an estimated 1.500 persons met on the campus of the University of Sao Paulo. The meeting set lip a “Committee for the Defense of Political Prisoners in Brazil.”
More such meetings were held this week, and subcommittees are seeking support and distributing leaflets accusing the government of repression.
One leaflet lists 53 persons it said political police have arrested in recent weeks. They include students, professors, economists, Roman Catholic labor leaders and social workers.
A Sao Paulo police spokesman said such arrests are “reserved” matters about which the government does not comment. But local newspapers reported last week that “legal proceedings” had started against nine persons, inc hiding three Catholic leaders of the Sao Paulo metalworkers’ union who were on the students' list of political prisoners.
An official report said the nine had been arrested in connection with an unsuccessful attempt to revive the Popular
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Liberation Movement, a leftist guerilla organization active in the late 1960s.
Political arrests, often made without charges, have been common during the IO years the military has been in control of Brazil.
“Thousands of young students, intellectuals and workers disappear in the jails of the country, are tortured and are killed." said the protest leaflet. In a challenge to Geisel it added:
“All of the conduct of the recent governments, including the* ‘ne w ’ one' —• whose only new feature is the name of the president not even elected by the people — maintains its policy mainly at the expense of super-exploitation, maintaining low salaries and increasing enormously the profits of the companies . .
“In such a situation, the discontent of the Brazilian people is great and increasing, and it tries to show itself. That is why the number of arrests grows.”
Geisel, a former general handpicked for the job by his predecessors, was elected to the presidency by the government-controlled electoral college in January and took office last month.
A female student active in the new protest movement said the committee hopes that because of the large number of persons involved, authorities will not take action against it.
“It is still risky, but 1,500 persons means something,” she said.
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Boyle: Prom Coal Mine to Riches
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MEDIA, Pa. (AP) - VV. A. “Tony” Boyle had eaten the hard rock dust of the Montana coal fields, and he also knew the opulent pleasures that went with the presidency of the United Mine Workers union.
But his once-spectacular career as a labor leader was already over Thursday when a jury convicted him of three counts of murder in the slayings of UMW rebel Joseph “Jock” Yablonski, and his wife and daughter.
The verdict came more than four years after a trio of hired gunmen shot the Yablonskis to death in their beds at their Clarksville. Pa., farmhouse.
Yablonski had once been in Boyle’s inner circle, but his defection over the issues of miners’ health, safety and welfare led to one of the most bitter internal struggles of the labor movement.
The reform movement he spawned eventually toppled Boyle’s regime, even though Yablonski lost by more than 30,000 votes when he ran against Boyle for the union presidency in 1969. Three weeks after the election the Yablonskis were dead.
It was ll years ago that Boyle gained the union presidency as the hand-picked heir of John L Lewis.
Born in Montana in 1901, the son of Irish immigrant parents, Boyle went to work as a coal miner after graduating from high school
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minor union offices, Boyle was elected president of the Western States District 27 in 1940.
Assistant to Lewis
He came to Lewis’ attention and the union president was impressed by the young man with the bushy red eyebrows and folksy speech.
Lewis made Boyle an assistant in 1948 and Boyle worked in the shadow of his boss until Lewis’ retirement in I960.
He inherited a union that would soon be seething with discontent.
In 1964, unrest over union-
company complicity erupted in to wildcat strikes in scattered areas and surfaced again at the UMW’s convention in Miami. In 1968, nearly 80 men died in the Farmington, *v. Va., mine disaster.
Seven months after Farmington, Yablonski challenged Boyle for the presidency. He accused the labor chieftain of running a dictatorship and colluding with coal operators on mine safety standards and other issues.
Yablonski was speedily fired as director of the union’s lobby
ing arm. Shortly after his death, a federal grand jury began investigating the use of certain union funds and the labor department challenged the
In a court-ordered rerun, Arnold Miller, a retired miner and Yablonski supporter, rode to victory on a reform slate and Boyle suddenly was out of a job.
The rapid decline of a once-powerful union boss had begun.
On Sept. 6, 1973, Boyle was indicted on charges of engineering the V ablonski murders.
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