22 JUNE 1974, Page 24


Goldie gets her gun

Duncan Fallowell

The Sugarland Express Director: Steven Spielberg. Stars: Goldie Hawn, Ben Johnson, William Atherton. 'AA' Ritz (110 Trinutes) An Investigation of Murder Director: Stuart Rosenberg. Stars: Walter Matthau, Bruce Dern. 'X' Rialto (112 minutes)

I'm Jumping Over Puddles Again Director: Karel Kachyna. Stars: Vladimir Dlouhv, Karel Hlusicka, Zdenka Hadrbolcova. 'U' Paris Pullman (90 minutes)

Capricious and hysterical dumb blondes have been Goldie Hawn's fortissimo from the beginning and with a name like that who can wonder. This is her first part to adorn the cliche With something akin to flesh, which is to say that she has grown up a tiny bit and been given a gun, not quite into Faye Dunaway's class yet but it beats blowing gum bubbles into 'television cameras or doing the bedspring creak. So here she is, having sprung her inadequate husband from prison, hi-jacking a police car complete with policeman and persuading him with a barrel in the neck to drive across state to collect baby. This the authorities have confiscated while Miss Hawn too was inside. Maternal instincts on an heroic scale. The cop is a good guy and nobody wishes him dead, hence. the central visual joke of the entire picture: an ever-lengthening caravan of vehicles honking along the Texan highways, cheered by well-wishers, augmented by the curious.


Spectator June 22, 191 by two girls whose names, 111; turally enough, are Gwendnle and Cecily), the significance 0; which eluded me, though I folitl; it so diverting that I hardly care' and anyway, as Carr observe5 disarmingly, "constant digress is the saving grace of see'k reminiscence." Carr is played by John W1311! and if there were no other reas°' for seeing Travesties — and there are, as you must guess, mare, his performance would provide! rceoamlpeellding one. It is a supe is cbrilliantly cent complished with the casual eoi hriapreataainsdatiosoci: fortlessness that is the hallmark style. I have no complaint, eithe' with the rest of the companY; Tom Bell as Joyce, John Hurt„ Tzara, Frank Windsor and bara Leigh-Hunt as the Lenin'4 Maria Aitken and Beth Morrisjai the girls — nor with Peter WoSs zestful direction, which gliu,c through the play's complexities; gracefully as John Wood rrie):10, from reality into memory, Poi ding twenty-odd years superannuated seediness merel by discarding hat, slippers dressing-gown.

baTseh cla baTseh cla de bibebb i as bsiimbcpilde p e, batpfraornientt: legendary sixties, but perhaY8 director Steven—Spielberg Ov „et: estimates the mileage to be ; tracted from it even if TV Oed cover the event and the number:8 automobiles runs into tPoi hundreds. Speilberg himself is 114 new to the road. Some years al'e, he made Duel, a tersely 5114 taphorical struggle between lorry and little car. Machwo, paranoia is again the film's eirity tional core, as much h, machinery of justice as of nology, and when the devero, ment flags you can alwaYs edo gineer a prang spectacular or aor ,on a'dozen more units or brine a portable latrine so that Goiv can answer the call of nature.• In a week which once ag:gli testifies to the continuing triiT'cri of the mediocracy this ,le acquires an appeal it might otP51, wise not enjoy, a tragi-coM01 the in which our modern beasut"eir burden ultimately exact Pile, revenge with horrific panae Ben Johnson, by the waY'sti rapidly becoming the Americief, screen's archetypal police cligcie abetted by a physiognomY (51:10 from old saddles and gunsmok,'00. him the mythology of virile, Ire tier and fair-minded law 0,1 forcement lives on, an attrac'd counter poise to the depraved„Aer disillusioned fuzz of more rry nistic productions. „ate( Walter Matthau, with a g'-118( reputation and playing a siraoi figure in An Investigati°

TeCtatOr Time 22, 1974

1,!19 rder, cannot compete with him. e American title for this film Is, The Laughing Policeman h,71,,ch,. thanks to Uncle Mac, has uaistic connotations over here,Matthau with his chair-ridden luPt loses out in the funnies to bLee Dern as his more sardonic, 'e-eyed junior. The film is tresting for what it shows of Francisco's undertown but its tchology is lame, the plot an 4gical mess, and Stuart Rosen 's feebly voyeuristic in his 17,0f drugs and homosexuality to hnt up the spirits. ha'resumably Czech film makers live many restrictions placed on itelY1 with regard to subject matt and so to choose a theme as poakUously appealing as possible aid seem the wisest thing to do ,0Y0u wish to be experimental in treatment of it. Kachyna's rlies constantly reveals the Lain of trying to give more than 1Z story line will allow. Sen rtal tales do have moments of iY however. This one about a rs love of horses and riding not cancelled by polio is unObly pretty at times, 'unttearrably because so much of its \„gY is dissipated in a decoraC superstructure that for all its ■ (!teriuity borders on the irritant. irehrriany of the surreal sequences

'taught off but the whole has

Oblique, disengaged perkroahlitY, like summer seen stoh,"gh the wrong end of a tele Which is something special. kinnarticularly liked the brass It may sound like falling tre,eulterY but it clinches the Aus glingarian mood. As horsey he°InPoser in search of an tiri,1 the usual Walt Disney trots. e the kids for once.