Wednesday, May 1, 2013

TV Bites: The Wanderers

City Island Clam Fritters

I'm still slowly recuperating from my herniated disc, which has kept me from doing much for the last month other than laying in bed, popping pain killers, and getting acupuncture. But now I'm off the pain killers, I'm on to physical therapy, and hoping to rejoin the human race soon.

But here we are with part two of "The 70's Looks Back at the 50's" double bill.

I initially chose this film because I've always been fond of it, and I thought it would make a good double-bill with American Graffiti. But in putting this post together, I got to watch it several times, and I've come to really fall in love with it. Also, I was quite surprised by how much they were connected. I see the movies like cousins, one from California and the other from New York. American Graffiti takes place in 1962 and Richard Price's book The Wanderers also takes place in 1962, though the Kaufmans bumped it up a year for the movie to 1963. Rolling Stone magazine said of Richard Price's book The Wanderers, from which the movie is based, that it is "the flip side of American Graffiti."

But there's more connections. Between 1973, when American Graffiti was made, and 1979, when The Wanderers was made, George Lucas and Philip Kaufman worked for a while on a screenplay together. If you follow this blog (or are just a movie fan) you'll know that movie was (previous Chef du Cinema pick) Raiders of the Lost Ark (which, like today's pick, costars Karen Allen). Also in Price's book (but didn't make it into the movie), there's a somewhat older character whom the lead character (Richie) seeks out for advice known as "The Wolfman." In American Graffiti, there's Wolfman Jack who offers up advice for Curt, the lead character.