Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - November 2, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
J I Harrowhouse': Fresh Approach to Caper Films
The Cedar Rapids Gazette. Sat.. Nav. 2, 1974
“ll Harrowhouse" with Charks Grodin and Candlee Bergen. An Elliott Kastner production rebated by 20th Century Fox. At the Stage 3 theater.
Hollywood rahng. PG _
Parental guidance suggested.
By Bac Halliday
We seen* to'be faced with shortages everywhere these days: Oil, food, jobs, government integrity. One thing we have not been short of. however, is caper movies For some reason, Holly wood never seems to tire of making these things They are always charactered by a band of eccentric criminals who sneak past a super-sophisticated security system to steal a fabulous fortune.
‘‘ll Harrowhouse” hits us with another caper picture but, surprise of surprises, it turns out to Im* a marvelously fresh and entertaining film.
It is the story of a young American diamond dealer named Chesser (Charles Grodin) who is forced by market conditions to buy his diamonds from a monopolistic london firm run by a snobbish Englishman named Meecham (John Gielgud).
While suffering under Meecham’s snubs, Chesser is approached by multi-millionaire Clyde Massey (Trevor Howard) who wants him to purchase a large custom-made stone. Chesser fetches the stone but is robbed before he can deliver. Massey claims
Theater Time For Saturday
WORLD — “The Girl from Petrov ka” — I 30 . 3:35 . 5:20, 7:25. 9:30; shorts — 3:10, 5: IO, 7.10. 9:15.
TIMES — ‘American Graffiti” — I .30. 3 .30, 5 30.
7 30. 9 40; shorts — 3:20, 5:20, 7:20, 9:25.
EASTOWN I — “California Split” — 1:30, 3 .30, 5:30 . 7:30. 9 30
F.ASTOW'N 2 — ‘‘Jeremiah Johnson” — 1:15, 3:15, 5:15. 7:15, 9:15.
MARION — Features at ll,
I. 3. 5, 7. 9. ll.
TWIN WUST - “Buster and Billie” — 7:50; “F.asv Rider” - 9 45; “The Mechanic” - 11:25
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Japanese Borrow MacArthur Memorabilia for National Exhibit
Mmharn pulled the heist and is hoarding diamonds to keep world prices up. Massey proposes a theft.
Chesser and his girl, Maren (Candice Bergen), puzzle over Meecham’s elaborate security system - heat sensors, electric eyes, lasers, mirrors. (he whole bit - and think they find a way in through Mee-• ham s humble employe. Watts (James Mason).
I his is ail pretty standard stuff for caper movies but Grodin, who also adapted Jeffrey Bloom’s screenplay, elevates the entire proceed-ings with a subtly ironic narration. It is deliciously wry. dry and understated, but exuberantly funny, giving “ll Harrowhouse’ an entirely new direction.
Grodin gets an able assist from the rest of the cast. ( andice Bergen complements his low key approach handsomely, although she allows herself to become a bit shrill towards the end Howard, Gielgud and Mason are all actors of impeccable quality and give the entire film a foundation of bedrock solidity Gielgud especially manages to fold his face into a mask of lizard-like malevolence and portrays the ultimate in British snobbery.
Director Arain Avakian does a fine job with the direction although one senses an attempt to imitate Richard laster in some of the chase scenes.
All in all. “ll Harrowhouse” gives us a new approach to a tired genre and offers us more than just another caper movie.
Say Puppies Stolen To Use in Dogfights
VANCOUVER, B C. (AP) — Thefts of purebred Staffordshire bull terrier and Rhodesian ridgeback puppies have soared, according to shelter authorities who say they are being sold in the ti. S. for use in dogfights
“The puppies are being trained to fight to the death in illegal battles with other dogs.” Jack Holmes, secre-tary-manager of the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said.
He said Staffordshires and Rhodesian ridgebacks are noted for tenacity and refusal to relinquish a hold on a victim.
The purebred puppies sell for $200 or more in Canada, but a fully-grown, trained fighting dog can bring upward of $10.INN) in the U. S.. Holmes said.
There are no regulations to prevent puppies from being taken across the border, except that each must have a rabies certificate.
By B«h (onsidine
NEW YORK - I have been able to obtain through a secret source an exchange of correspondence having to do with a classy — not classific! — deal between the ll S. and Japan The Japanese may not agree on having our atomic subs pull into Japanese ports to fill the subs’ rice bins and sake tanks, but we see eye to eye, on Gen. Douglas MacArthur’* famous hat and corncob pi|x*
Last August 3, the general director for cultural affairs of the great Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun. Yutaka Tsuji, wrote to ( apt Robert Alexander (USN, ret ), director of the MacArthur Memorial, Norfolk, Va., as follows:
“As one of those who hold your institution in respect, that performs the function of preservation of the articles and materials related to General MacArthur in memory of the general, who is your country’s
great hero, we take pleasure in writing to you
’The Asahi Shimbun have decided to hold an exhibition for the reminiscence of the past 50 years to begin around October. 1974. in various cities all over Japan and would like to request your institution special considerations in loaning us objects for exhibit. As you might know the coming year of 1975 is the 50th year of ‘Showa’, our current era. In other words, the reign of the present emperor is recording half a century, which is epoch-making in the history of Japan.
“These 50 years have* been for us Japanese full of excitements and changes that are unprecedented in our history.
In this view the Asahi Shimbun have decided on the exhibition prepared and considered to commemorate the 50th year of Showa, first to take place in Tokyo and then taken
around to various other cities nationwide towards May. 1975 “In order to make perfect the list of exhibits, it is absolutely necessary to have some items preserved and kept in custody abroad added there Among them, special mention should Im* made of the articles related to General MacArthur, who contributed to democratization of Japan during the H years from 1945 to 1951. which is at once important and decisive in the history of this country, and we are convinced that adding to the list of exhibits of the general s
mementos is of vital importance.
“You are probably aware that General MacArthur’* reputation and the sympathy that the Japanese public maintained of him are still vivid in our mind. There are two objects that we would like to display at the exhibition regarding the general, that corn pipe and the serambled-egg cap, for the loan of which we entreat your special considerations These two objects are cherished in the memory of the greater part of the Japanese population, as the most symbolic of the general.”
( apt. Alexander sent the letter to G. Robert House, city manager of Norfolk with a memo which made two interesting points:
"I. Since it was MacArthur who saved the emperor’s life (the USSR and Australia wanted him tried as a war
criminal), it is highly appropriate that the general be prominent in anything pertaining to the history of modern Japan and Hirohito’s reign.
"2. As to valuation. Hoffman
Galleries appraised the cap at $750 and the pipe' at $500 I have arbitrarily raised these amounts.”
City Manager House replied cordially to Tsuji, said the cap and pipe could be picked up. and told him the cap was now valued at $2,WHI and the pipe at $1,400. The Japanese would have to pay for all transportation charges, insurance, protection, etc., and return the objects next May.
Everything worked beautifully. None other than Satora Yamanita, an exporter for the Nippon Express Co., picked up the goodies from ( apt. Alexander, and off they flew on Japan Airlines. Tsuji cabled
him enthusiastically “RECEIVED CORN PIPE AND CAP SAFELY . . MANY THANKS.” ( apt. Alexander wrote back, asking for appropriate pictures of their arrival and display,
So two of the nation’s most familiar military props will be on tour until next spring in a land the general crushed. raised to its feet, and started
on the way to a spectacular regrowth. But don’t let that deter you from visiting the memorial where he is buried amid the trophies of his long life in the service of his country. The memorial has several “back-up” MacArthur hats and spare corncobs. Besides it has the solemn word (cabled) of Mr. Tsuji: THE TWO MEMENTOS OE THE GENERAL WILL CERTAINLY MAKE THE HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR EXHIBITION. WE WILL PROTECT ”
Vital Issue at Stake in Blank Furor
Bradley: Spread Vet Information
NEW YORK (AP) — Retired Gen. Omar Bradley, the last of the nation’s five-star com-
LAFF - A - DAY
(flanders, was cited as one of the greatest living Americans during a luncheon kicking off a year-long veterans oppor tunity program.
Bradley, HI, was praised by New York Mayor Abraham Beanie. Bradley said many veterans, particularly those who served in Vietnam, did not know which benefits they are entitled to and urged government agencies to give veterans more information.
The city’s veteran sapper tunity program is being run by the division of veterans affairs of the mayor’s office.
By Dirk West
WASHINGTON (UPI) -When a New York publishing house brought out a volume of blank pages called “The Nothing Book”, it was accused cf plagiarism by the Belgian publisher of a blank book called “The Memoirs of an Amnesiac”.
The American firm rejected the claim, contending that blankness was in the public domain and therefore not subject to copyright restrictions.
This issue may strike* you as being rather vacuous, but there
Tee Shot Hits Crop Duster
FRESNO, ( alif. (UPI) — A tee shot on the 12th hole of the Fort Washington golf course beaned a crop dusting pilot who was spraying the fairways.
“I was dazed for a minute,” said David Hughes, the pilot. He said the ball soared through the plane’s windshield and bounced off his helmet.
“I circled a few times and when my head cleared, set down on this little airstrip in Papagni’s Vineyard." the veteran flyer said
is a lot at stake here. When you consider that 73.000 copies of “The Nothing Book” already are in print, you can see that the financial ramifications are enormous.
Empty Pages And more is involved than the question of whether anyone can publish empty pages without fear of being sued for literary piracy.
For one thing there is the matter of movie rights. In the absence of copyright restrictions. a Hollywood producer presumably could make a blank book into a movie without paving royalties to the publisher.
And what of foreign editions? Already in certain countries, American publishers have trouble collecting payments for translations of their biMiks.
Since a blank book loses nothing in translation, it would be particularly easy for
foreigners to appropriate. Not to mention what would happen with paperback and book club editions.
Beyond that, the dispute could have tremendous bearing on political campaigns, such as the one now in
More than ever this year, the candidates have been going around saying nothing. Should it turn out that nothingness can he copyrighted, getting elected to congress will he far more difficult.
Presumably, if one candidate made, say, a foreign policy speech in which he said nothing, his opponent would have to include something substantive in his foreign policy speeches.
The upshot may depend on whether the courts make a distinction between nothingness, such as a campaign speech, and blankness, such as an empty page. I believe there is a subtle difference.
Blankness, in the proper
hands, can he creative. Is not the blank stare a bona fide and meaningful expression’’
Would anyone deny the existence of blank checks, blank walls, blank verse or mental blanks? Have not most of us at times drawn blanks, shot blanks or blanked out.
Blankness can ever serve as an expletive, as in “blankety-blank.” Saying nothing, on the other hand, requires no creativity. And, in the case of politicians. it may already Im* protected by the First Amendment.
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“I guess there s something to the rumors they’re not getting along well ”
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