Monday, December 12, 2011

The Black Marble (Harold Becker, 1980)



I have vague memories of seeing this movie on HBO back in middle school. Well, mostly I remember one scene, involving Harry Dean Stanton, a phone booth and a fire hose. The scene wasn't quite as funny as I remembered it from when I was 12, but still a good larf. The only other thing I remembered about it was that there was a blonde with huge tits, which was true enough:



It's your basic buddy cop movie, with the two lead performances both far too broad, but Harry Dean Stanton as the villain is just fantastic (is he ever not? No, seriously, can you think of a bad H.D.S. performance?), totally scuzzy and repulsive. But what I really enjoyed about it was the footage of L.A. from 30 years ago, a good 15 years before I'd ever set foot here. My hometown in South Florida developed so quickly that I could barely recognize the town of my 70's childhood when I went back to visit through the early 90's. As Atlanta expands it's metro-reach, Bobbie's hometwon has gone from being a one-horse, middle-of-nowhere town to basically being a suburb of Atlanta. But so little looks as if it has changed in L.A. since 1980. Throughout the film, I recognized buildings, stretches of freeway, Highland Park Police Station, all looking pretty much like they look today. The opening credits feature a shot of Hollywood from somewhere above the 101. The camera does a slow, 360-degree pan, showing us the Hollywood Tower, the Hollywood Sign and mansions in the hills.






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