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

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

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

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

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

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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