Movie Watching: April 15th, 1973, Soylent Green and More

Let’s say you’ve got the urge to catch a flick tonight. It’s April 15th…..uh, 1973. Am I right? Let’s take a look at some of the movies you might head out to see this evening at the local cinema. Grab your long leather coat and bring at least $1.65 x 2 for a pair of tickets. This is gonna be fun.

Billy Jack
Directed by: T. C. Frank (Tom Laughlin)
Starring: Tom Laughlin, Delores Taylor, Howard Hesseman
Synopsis: Billy Jack (Laughlin), an American Cherokee Indian and “Green Beret” Vietnam War vet, defends the Freedom School and its counter-culture students from antagonistic townsfolk.
Interesting Factoids: Billy Jack was initially released in 1971 and fared poorly. Re-released in 1973, the film became a huge hit. Howard Hesseman, later of WKRP in Cincinnati, appears in the film as a student.
Billy Jack IMDb, Billy Jack Wiki
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Charlotte’s Web
Directed by: Charles A. Nichols, Iwao Takamoto
Starring: Debbie Reynolds, Paul Lynde, Henry Gibson
Synopsis: A remarkable spider named Charlotte (Reynolds) devotes her life to her friend, Wilbur the pig (Gibson).
Interesting Factoids: Partridge Family stars, Dave Madden and Danny Bonaduce provide voice work.
Charlotte’s Web IMDb, Charlotte’s Web Wiki
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Class of ‘44
Directed by: Paul Bogart
Starring: Oliver Conant, Gary Grimes and Jerry Houser
Synopsis: A sequel to Summer of ’42, Summer of ’44 follows Benjie, Hermie and Oscy upon graduation from high school and onward into college and war.
Interesting Factoids: John Candy appears in a tiny role near the beginning of the movie. His first feature film role.
Class of ’44 – IMDb, Class of ’44 – Wiki
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High Plains Drifter
Directed by: Clint Eastwood
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Verna Bloom, Marianna Hill
Synopsis: A trio of outlaws are headed for the mining town town of Lago. The frightened townsfolk hire The Stranger (Eastwood) to protect them.
Interesting Factoids: An entire town was built on the shores of Mono Lake in California for the shoot.
High Plains Drifter IMDb, High Plains Drifter Wiki
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Soylent Green
Directed by: Richard Fleischer
Starring: Charlton Heston, Edward G. Robinson, Leigh Taylor-Young
Synopsis: In the future (2022), the world is suffering from pollution, over-heating, over-crowding and depleted resources (yikes, too close for comfort). Much of society survives on food rations such as ‘Soylent Green’. In this brutal environment, a detective searches for the murderer of a wealthy business man.
Interesting Factoids: Edward G. Robinson died from cancer on January 26, 1973. Just twelve days after shooting completed.
Soylent Green IMDb, Soylent Green Wiki
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And, oh yes, one almost forgotten to the annals of time:

Walt Disney’s Charley & the Angel
Directed by: Vincent McEveety
Starring: Fred MacMurray, Cloris Leachman, Harry Morgan
Synopsis: In the time of The Great Depression, workaholic Charley (MacMurray) finds out from an Angel (Morgan) that he is soon to die. Charley sets out to become a better husband and father before he checks out forever.
Interesting Factoids: Cloris Leachman was nominated for a Golden Globe award for her appearance in the film. MacMurray, age 64 at the time of filming, played the father of two young boys. That’s virility!
Charley & the Angel IMDb, Charley & the Angel Wiki

(Additional Source: 1)

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