Easy Rider

(1969)

Genres: Crime, Drama

Classics from the Vault: Movies that Changed the Movies (1979)

Transcript for Classics from the Vault: Movies that Changed the Movies (1979)

Christy Lemire: 
MOVIES THAT CHANGED THE MOVIES. THAT'S THE SUBJECT OF THE SPECIAL EPISODE OF EBERT PRESENTS AT THE MOVIES. HI, I'M CHRISTY LEMIRE OF THE ASSOCIATED PRESS.

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky:
AND I'M IGNATIY VISHNEVETSKY WITH MUBI.COM. WE ARE TAKING A LOOK AT A LANDMARK SHOW FROM OUR VAULT. LET'S GO BACK TO 1979 FOR A VINTAGE SNEAK PREVIEW. 
 
>> WOULD YOU LISTEN TO ME?
THAT IS FIVE MILES WIDE AND IT'S DEFINITELY GOING TO HIT US.
>> IT'S GOING TO GO AT ANY MOMENT.
WE HAVE TO FIND ANOTHER WAY OUT OF HERE AND RIGHT NOW!
>> AT ALTITUDE, YOU CAN'T BREATHE.
UNLESS THEY GET ON OXYGEN IN 45 SECONDS, IT'S GOODBYE.
 
Gene Siskel: 
THEY ARE ALL DISASTER FILMS BUT THE ONE AT THE END, "AIRPORT" STARTED IT ALL. IT WAS NOT A GREAT MOVIE BUT IT WAS ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL MOVIES OF THE '70s. WHY? IT TRIGGERED THE DISASTER FILM. AIRPORT IS A LANDMARK FILM. AND LANDMARK FILMS LIKE "AIRPORT" ARE A SUBJECT WE WILL BE EXPLORING ON SNEAK PREVIEWS TAKE TWO, ONE OF THOSE SPECIAL CHANGE OF PACE SHOWS WHERE ROGER AND I TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT TRENDS. THIS IS ROGER EBERT WITH THE "CHICAGO SUNTIMES."
 
Roger Ebert: 
AND THIS IS GENE SISKEL WITH THE "CHICAGO TRIBUNE."
WHAT WAS THE ONE THING THEY ALL HAD IN COMMON? THEY WERE ALL BIG HITS AND THEY WERE ALL UNEXPECTED MONEY MAKERS AND THEIR SUCCESSES THAT CREATED BIG NEW TRENDS. WE WILL TAKE A LOOK AT "EASY RIDER" AND "VIXEN" THE FIRST SEX FILM TO BREAKTHROUGH TO MIDDLE AMERICA AND "SWEET, SWEET BLACK." AND "JAWS" TO DEVOTE EVERY SUMMER TO SCARE THE HELL OUT OF THEN "BEYOND AND BACK." AND NOW GENE STARTS WITH A MOVIE FOR TEN LONG YEARS OF DISASTER FILMS.
 
Gene Siskel: 
IT WAS THE FIRST DISASTER FILM OF THE DECADE AND THE WHOLE APPEAL WAS THAT FOR $3 WE COULD EXPERIENCE THE TERROR OF AN IMPENDING PLANE CRASH WHILE SAFELY ENSCONCED IN A MOVIE THEATER SEAT.

 
>> THEY NEED YOU?
>> NO, NOT YET.
>> INGRAM KNOWS WHAT TO DO IN THE MEANTIME.
OKAY SO WE KNOW THEY ARE SITTING IN 238.
WHAT IS YOUR OPINION?
>> MY OPINION IS THEY SHOULD GET HERE AS FAST AS THEY CAN.
>> IS THERE ANY CHANCE THE PLANE COULD STAND THE EXPLOSION?
>> WE HAVE ONE BREAK.
HE'S NOT SITTING IN AN AISLE SEAT.
FIRST IT WILL BLOW OUT A HUNK OF THE FUSELAGE RIGHT HERE.
>> AND WHAT STRUCTURAL DAMAGE.
>> THERE'S NOTHING BUT SKIN.
ALL THE CONTROL CABLES RUN ALONG HERE.
SHE MIGHT STILL FLY.
BUT THE SUDDEN DECOMPRESSION AT 30,000 FEET IS SOMETHING YOU HAVE TO SEE TO BELIEVE.
>> HE WILL GET SUCKED OUT, WON'T HE?
>> EVERYTHING WITHIN 20 FEET THAT'S NOT NAILED DOWN OR STRAPPED IN COULD GET SUCKED RIGHT OUT THAT HOLE.
IT TAKES ABOUT 3 SECONDS, DOESN'T IT?
>> 3, 4, 5, EVERYTHING FOGS UP JUST LIKE THAT.
AND AT ALTITUDE YOU CAN'T BELIEVE.
 
Gene Siskel: 
FIRST THEY WHET OUR APPETITE WITH THE MODEL AND THEN WE HOPE THAT THEY GIVE US THE REAL PEOPLE. BESIDES TRIGGERING ALL THE DISASTER PICTURES "AIRPORT" WAS INFLUENTIAL IN ONE OTHER WAY AND HOLLYWOOD WAS ON A YOUTH KICK, MAKING PICTURES WITH YOUNG THEMES AND YOUNG STARS BUT THE SURPRISING OVERWHELMING SUCCESS OF "AIRPORT" AN OLDFASHIONED PICTURE WITH OLDFASHIONED STARS REMINDED HOLLYWOOD THAT ADULTS RAISED ON PICTURES OF THE '30s AND '40s WOULD FLOCK SEE MOVIES THAT WERE OLDFASHIONED ROUSING ENTERTAINMENT.
 
Roger Ebert: 
IT'S ALMOST LIKE THEY TOOK "GRAND HOTEL" OUT OF THE VAULT AND DUSTED IT OFF AGAIN. WHAT WENT UP, IT HAD TO COME DOWN UNLESS IT WAS ALREADY DOWN, IT HAD TO GO UP IN SMOKE, FLAME, FIRE, EXPLOSIONS OR VERY HIGH WINDS. WE HAVE THREE MORE AIRPORT MOVIES, AIRPORT '75, AIRPORT '77, AND NOT TO FORGET THE CONCORD, AIRPORT '79, AND THE TOWERING INFERNO, HURRICANE, EARTHQUAKE, THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, THE LAST THING WE NEEDED BEYOND THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE AND NOW THE LATEST DISASTER PICTURE, METEOR, COULD MUD SLIDE BE FAR BEHIND?
 
Gene Siskel: 
I HOPE NOT. I THINK PEOPLE ARE INTERESTED IN WHY THE '70s WERE THE DISASTER FILM DECADE. MAYBE IT HAD TO DO WITH WHAT WAS GOING ON IN SOCIETY IN THE BEGINNING OF THE DECADE. WE HAD LOTS OF ROTTEN THINGS GOING ON. THERE WAS WATERGATE AND UNEMPLOYMENT AND INFLATION, AND ALSO THE WAR IN VIETNAM. WE FELT BAD ABOUT IT, MAYBE DISASTER WAS COMING UPON US. THE DISASTER FILM. WE ALWAYS SURVIVED.
 
Roger Ebert: 
I LIKE WHAT YOU SAID ABOUT THE OLDER PEOPLE GOING TO THE MOVIE.
THEY WERE REASSURED BY SOMETHING ELSE TOO. THEY WERE REASSURED BY THE FORM OF THIS MOVIE AND THE STORY OF THIS MOVIE AND BY THE WAY THIS MOVIE LOOKED. THEY SAW THIS MOVIE BEFORE IN THE '30s IT'S LIKE THE OLDFASHIONED MOVIES. THEY HAD NOTHING TO GO TO AND THEY WOULD GO AND THEY WOULDN'T RECOGNIZE THE STARS.
 
Gene Siskel: 
THE GOOD GUYS WIN AND THE BAD GUYS LOSE. I TELL YOU ANOTHER GROUP THAT WAS IN LOVE WITH MOVIE. THEATER OWNERS. THEY APPLAUDED AT THE END OF THE MOVIE. THEY NOT ONLY LIKED THE MOVIE. THEY LIKED WHAT IT WAS GOING TO DO AT THEIR BOX OFFICE.
 
Roger Ebert: 
THEY WERE APPLAUDING VISIONS OF THEIR BANK ACCOUNTS.
 
Gene Siskel: 
AND NOT ONLY VISIONS OF BANK ACCOUNT. IT WENT BIGGER. AND THIS IS THE KEY TO ALL OF THESE PICTURES. THEY WERE NOT JUST HITS BUT UNEXPECTED, TREMENDOUSLY BIG HITS.
 
Roger Ebert: 
ANOTHER INFLUENTIAL MOVIES THAT STARTED MORE MOVIES TOO.
IN OLD DAYS "EASY RIDER" WOULD BE A B MOVIE. "GIDGET GOES HAWAIIAN," "EASY RIDER" WAS FIRST B PICTURE TO MAKE BIG MONEY.
IT ONLY COST ABOUT $400,000 TO MAKE AND IT EARNED $40 MILLION AT THE BOX OFFICE. THE ASTOUNDING SUCCESS WAS BASED ON THE PETER FONDA, AND DENNIS HOPPER AND JACK NICHOLSON. AS THEY GO THROUGH THE SMALL TOWNS OF AMERICA. 
 
 
Roger Ebert: 
LATER THAT NIGHT AROUND A CAMP FIRE, THEY FOUND OUT THEY THINGS THEY DIDN'T WANT TO KNOW AND THE DISILLUSIONED KIDS KNEW HOW THEY FELT.

>> THIS USED TO BE A HELL OF A GOOD COUNTRY.
HEY, WE CAN'T EVEN GET TO LIKE A SECOND RATE HOTEL  I MEAN, A SECOND RATE MOTEL, YOU DIG?
THEY ARE SCARED, MAN.
>> WE'RE NOT SCARED OF YOU.
THEY ARE SCARED OF WHAT YOU REPRESENT TO THEM.
WHAT WE REPRESENT TO THEM, MAN, IS SOMEBODY NEEDS A HAIRCUT.
WHAT YOU REPRESENT TO THEM IS FREEDOM.
WHAT THE HELL IS ALL THE FREEDOM?
THAT'S WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT.
>> OH, YEAH, THAT'S WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT, ALL RIGHT.
BUT DON'T EVER TELL NEIGHBOR THAT THEY ARE NOT FREE, BECAUSE THEY ARE GOING TO GET REAL BUSY KILLING TO PROVE YOU TO THAT THEY ARE.
OH, YEAH, THEY WILL TALK TO YOU AND TALK TO YOU ABOUT INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM, BUT WHEN THEY SEE A FREE INDIVIDUAL, IT'S GOING TO SCARE THEM.
>> NO, DON'T MAKE THEM RUN AND SCARED.
IT MAKES THEM DANGEROUS.
 
Roger Ebert: 
THAT MOVIE CAME OUT IN THE FALL OF 1969. THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT THE WAR AND THE GENERATION GAP. TWO THINGS THAT KIDS IN THE AUDIENCE WERE GLAD TO HEAR SOMEBODY FINALLY TALKING ABOUT AT LAST. NOW SCENES LIKE THAT HAD A VISCERAL APPEAL.
THE MOVIE MADE A FORTUNE AND THE WAY THE STORY GOES HALF THE PRODUCERS SENT THEIR NEPHEWS UP INTO THE DESERT WITH A CAMERA AND A MOTORCYCLE TRYING TO DUPLICATE "EASY RIDER"'S FORMULA OF DOPE AND DOOM. IT INSPIRED A REVELATION IN THE MOVIE BUSINESS THAT'S STILL GOING ON.
 
Gene Siskel: 
WHEN YOU SAID A GENERATION GAP. IT WAVED A FLAG OVER THE GENERATION GAP. IMMEDIATELY WE GOT WHOLE BUNCHES OF YOUTH PICTURES TALKING TO YOUNG PEOPLE, AND ALSO THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT, A LOT OF PEOPLE MAY NOT REALIZE BUT THE GUY WHO DIRECTED THAT MOVIE, WROTE AND DIRECTED IT, IS DENNIS HOPPER, GOOD NIGHT WHO IS WEARING THE HAT. HE LOOKED LIKE BUFFALO BILL IN THAT PICTURE. CAN YOU IMAGINE THE SHOCK AMONG PEOPLE IN THE MOVIE BUSINESS WHEN THEY SAW THAT THIS GUY, LOOKING LIKE THAT  LOOKING LIKE A SCRUFFY GUY MAKING A PICTURE THAT MADE $40 MILLION. WHAT HAPPENED? SUDDENLY THE HEADS OF THE MOVIE STUDIOS SAID GET ME PEOPLE IN TOUCH WITH YOUNG PEOPLE. WE HAVE A BUNCH OF OLD PEOPLE MAKING MOVIES. LET'S GET YOUNG PEOPLE MAKING MOVIES.
MARTIN SCORSESE WITH TAXI DRIVER AND STEVEN SPIELBERG WITH CLOSE ENCOUNTERED, THEY GOT THEIR CHANCE TO MAKE MOVIES BECAUSE OF THIS INFLUENTIAL FILM "EASY RIDER."
 
Roger Ebert: 
JACK NICHOLSON, HE PLAYS PART OF THE SOUTHERN ESTABLISHMENT.
THE NEXT MORE THANKING THEY GET OUT TOGETHER AND THERE'S NOTHING MORE FOR THEM. THE NEXT SHOT THEY HAVE, YOU SEE HIM, AND HE HAS A FOOTBALL HELMET ON. IT WAS GREAT FOR THE AUDIENCE, THE ESTABLISHMENT AT LAST HAD CUT INTO THEM.
 
Gene Siskel: 
IT WAS A VICTORY FOR THEM. IT GAVE US YOUNG FILMMAKERS AND YOUNG ACTORS. AND THE NEXT ONE IS "SWEET, SWEET BACK," IT WAS ONE OF THE FIRST ANGRY MOVIES. IT WAS NOT ABOUT BLACKS AND WHITES LIVING NICELY TOGETHER. THIS WAS A BLISTERING STORY ABOUT ONE BLACK MAN, A MAN NAMED SWEET BACK WHO ALL BY HIMSELF, VIOLENTLY TAKES ON THE WHITE ESTABLISHMENT, REPRESENTED BY WHITE COPS AND SWEET BACK'S FURY CONNECTED WITH THE UNSPOKEN FURY OF ITS AUDIENCE. 
 
Gene Siskel: 
TOUGH STUFF. ONE MAN WINNING. IN 1971, THAT PICTURE WAS SOCIAL DYNAMITE. IT WAS LIGHTNING ROD FOR THE MANY FRUSTRATIONS WHO SAW A GORGEOUS SIDNEY PORTIER ON THE SCREEN. BLACK AUDIENCES WERE STARTLED BY SWEET BACK'S ANGER. A CHEAP FILM TO MAKE AND IT MADE MILLIONS IN JUST A FEW WEEKS AND THEN IT SUDDENLY DISAPPEARED. IT WAS FOLLOWED BY LESS TOUGH, AND THEN SUPER FLY, SHAFT AND JIM BROWN AND FRED WILLIAMSON'S PICTURES AND TOUGH BLACK WOMEN'S PICTURES STARRING PAM GREER.
 
Roger Ebert: 
I WAS THINKING ABOUT THE PORTIER FILM WITH "LILIES OF FIELD."
GEE, IT MUST BE GREAT FOR THE BLACKS TO HELP THESE WHITE NUNS BUILD A CHURCH. TEN YEARS LATER, MY OPINION, IT MUST HAVE BEEN GREAT FOR THE BLACKS TO SEE ONE OF THEIR OWN HELPING THEMSELVES.
 
Gene Siskel: 
I THINK THE KEY TO THE SUCCESS OF THIS FILM IS THAT AN AUDIENCE WAS GETTING THE FILMS IT HADN'T GOTTEN BEFORE. NOW THAT'S A THEME THAT HAS RUN THROUGH ALL THE FILMS, AIRPORT, OLDER PEOPLE GETTING AN OLDFASHIONED FILM. EASY RIDER, YOUNG PEOPLE GETTING A YOUTH FILM. BLACK PEOPLE IN SWEET, SWEET BACK GETTING A CURRENT HIT BLACK FILM. DISENFRANCHISED AUDIENCES GETTING THE FILM THAT THEY WANTED.
 
Roger Ebert: 
THAT'S THE ONLY THING THAT STANDS OUT. THE PEOPLE THAT WENT INTO THE THEATERS TO SEE THESE FILMS SAT THERE IN AMAZEMENT AND SAID, THAT'S RIGHT AND I HAVE NEVER SEEN THAT IN A MOVIE BEFORE. AND IN A WAY, YOU KNOW, THAT'S TRUE OF THIS ONE TOO, THE NEXT ONE WE HAVE. BEFORE A MOVIE OF "JAWS" CAME OUT IN THE SUMMER OF 1975, THE MOVIE THEATERS HAD A STRATEGY FOR WHEN THEY OPENED OUT THEIR MOVIES. THEY BROUGHT OUT THE MAJOR MOTION PICTURES IN THE FALL, THE WINTER AND THE SPRING. WHEN THE HOT WEATHER STRUCK, THE BIG GUYS WENT ON VACATION, AND THEY HAD SUMMER STUFF LIKE "BEACH BLANKET BINGO" AND THEN THE PRODUCERS OF "JAWS" WONDERED WHAT WOULD HAPPEN.
 

>> THIS IS A GREAT WHITE, LARRY. A BIG ONE. ANY SHARK EXPERT IN THE WORLD WILL TELL YOU IT'S A KILLER, A MAN EATER.
>> APPARENTLY A GREAT WHITE SHARK HAS STAKED A CLAIM AND IT'S GOING TO CONTINUE TO FEED HERE AS LONG AS THERE'S FOOD IN THE WATER.
>> AND THERE'S NO LIMIT TO WHAT HE WILL DO.
WE HAVE TWO PEOPLE KILLED WITHIN A WEEK.
IT HAPPENED BEFORE.
>> IN ONE WEEK.
>> A SHARK IS ATTRACTED TO THE EXACT KIND OF SPLASHING AND ACTIVITY THAT OCCURS WHENEVER HUMAN BEINGS GO IN SWIMMING.
YOU CAN'T AVOID IT.
IT'S LIKE RINGING THE DINNER BILL FOR CHRIST SAKE!
>> MR. VAUGHN, I PULLED THE TOOTH OF A GREAT WHITE.
 
Roger Ebert: 
IN THAT CASE, IT WAS A PRETTY BIG GREAT WHITE. JAWS WAS A MAGNIFICENT MACHINE FOR SCARING US SILLY. MILLIONS SCREAMED AND THEY LEVITATED OUT OF THEIR SEATS AND JAWS ACTUALLY SURPASSED "GONE WITH THE WIND" TO BECOME THE ALLTIME BOX OFFICE CHAMPION.
IT TOOK IN $215 MILLION EVENTUALLY. AND THE MOVIE INDUSTRY OBSERVED, IT COMPUTED AND IT LEARNED. THERE HASN'T BEEN A SUMMER SINCE WITHOUT A LOT OF BIG BUDGET PRODUCTIONS SET UP TO SCARE US OUT OF OUR WITS EVERY FIVE MINUTES. LAST SUMMER ALONE, WE HAD "ALIEN." THE "AMITYVILLE HORROR" AND WE CAN PROBABLY LOOK FORWARD TO JAWS 3 AND JAWS 4 AND JAWS FOREVERMORE.
 
Gene Siskel: 
YOU ARE RIGHT. THERE ARE MORE THEATERS AVAILABLE FOR THE SUMMER. THAT'S WHY SO MUCH BUSINESS IS OPEN. THE DRIVEINS ARE OPEN. THE KIDS LOVE TO BE SCARED AND HORROR FILMS ARE GREAT PICTURES TO MAKE OUT IN. YOU CAN GRAB THE WOMAN OR MAN YOU ARE WITH. ALSO, THERE'S ONE OTHER REASON JAWS WAS SO INFLUENTIAL AND SO EASILY IMITATED BECAUSE IT WAS EASY TO BE IMITATED. I THINK HORROR FILMS ARE PROBABLY THE EASIEST KINDS OF PICTURES TO MAKE. SHOW SOMEBODY AFRAID. SHOW THE MONSTER THAT THEY ARE AFRAID OF AND SHOW THE MONSTER ATTACKING THEM. IT'S AS EASY AS BUY. A COMEDY IS TOUGHER TO DO.
 
Roger Ebert: 
IT OCCURS TO ME, THAT'S ANOTHER COMMON DENOMINATOR, THEY WERE ABLE TO IMITATE. STANLEY KUBRICK MADE 2001, IT WAS NOT IMMEDIATELY INFLUENTIAL. BECAUSE THEY COULDN'T FIGURE OUT HOW TO DUPLICATE IT BUT THEY DID WITH STAR WARS. AND NEXT, CHECKING OUT THE PLAY MATE OF THE MONTH WAS ROUTINE FOR MILLIONS OF AMERICANS. IN THE MOVIE BUSINESS, WHAT WAS GOING ON IN THE SEX AREA WAS THAT THERE WAS A FILM THAT TRIGGERED A SIMILAR MAIN STREAM ACCEPTANCE OF EROTIC MATERIAL. THAT PICTURE WAS "VIXEN" A LOW, LOW BUDGET SEX COMEDY THAT MADE A FORTUNE. RUSS MYER WAS THE WRITER, PRODUCER, AND EDITOR OF VIXEN ABOUT AN AGGRESSIVE WOMAN WHO LIKED TO HAVE A GOOD TIME WITH MEN.
 
>> IT WAS A LONG DAY.
>> I LIKE IT WHEN YOU ARE IMPATIENT.
>> COME OVER HERE.
>> SHALL I UNDRESS?
 
Gene Siskel: 
WELL, SHE SEEMS TO BE HAVING A TERRIFIC TIME, JUST AS WELL AS THE GUY. ERICA GAVIN HAD SUCH AN UPBEAT ATTITUDE TOWARDS SEX IN VIXEN, COMPARED TO MOST PEOPLE'S IDEAS OF NUDIE FILMS. THIS WAS NOT DIRTY OLD MEN WEARING BLACK SOCKS. THEY WERE HEALTHY, ATHLETIC AND FUNNY AND THE CHEERFUL ATTITUDE TOWARDS SEX BROUGHT COUPLES TO SEE VIXEN. IT WAS A HUGE HIT AND WHAT FOLLOWED WERE SKIN FLICKS SOME THAT IMITATED VIXEN'S HUMOR AND SOME THAT WERE VULGAR.
 
Roger Ebert: 
YOU SEE LONELY HOLD MEN AND HORNY COLLEGE STUDENTS AND YOU SEE GUYS WITH RAIN COATS AFTER VIXEN YOU BEGIN TO SEE WOMEN IN THAT LINE. IT WAS OKAY FOR WOMEN TO GO AND SEE AN X RATED MOVIE.
THEY COULD GO AND SEE IT WITHOUT BEING RIDDEN OUT OF TOWN ON THE RAIL.
 
Gene Siskel: 
IT CREATED THE INDUSTRY OF SEX FILMS FOR MIDDLE AMERICA. ALSO WHAT YOU SAW WAS GOING TO THE PICTURE WERE BUSINESSMEN. VIXEN WAS 68 MINUTES LONG, I THINK. PERFECT FOR A BUSINESSMAN'S LUNCH. THE FILM COST $73,000 TO MAKE AND IT GROSSED $8 MILLION.
A BIG HIT.
 
Roger Ebert: 
AND THERE'S ANOTHER THING. IF YOU THINK ABOUT THE TWO CRITERIA FOR WHAT MAKES AN INFLUENTIAL FILM. PEOPLE WENT TO THE THEATER AND SAID I HAVEN'T SEEN THAT ON THE SCREEN BEFORE AND IN MOST CASES THEY SAY, YES, I'M HAPPY TO SEE IT AND SECONDLY IT CERTAINLY WAS EASY TO IMITATE. I THINK THAT'S ALSO TRUE OF THE NEXT FILM, THAT IT'S EASY TO IMITATE BUT IT DOESN'T TAKE CARE OF THE FIRST CRITERIA. IT DIDN'T SHOW PEOPLE WHAT THEY HADN'T SEEN IN THE MOVIES BEFORE AND WHAT THEY WANTED TO SEE BUT IT WAS SOMETHING THAT THEY WOULD. THE NEXT INFLUENTIAL FILMS.
IT'S THE MOVIE "BEYOND AND BACK" IT WAS SOLD WITH A HIGH PRESSURE, MASSIVE TV CAMPAIGN. THE FILL WILLIAM NO BIG NAMED STARS AND THE HIGHPRESSURE ADS TOLD US THAT "BEYOND AND BACK" WOULD REVEAL THE SECRET TO THE AFTER LIFE.
 
IN 1943, PAUL KELLY DIED OF PNEUMONIA. HE LEFT HIS BODY AND FOR A TIME WANDERED THROUGH THE HOSPITAL AND THEN HE WAS BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE. ON DECEMBER 14th, 1964, ANN FLECK DIED.
SUDDENLY SHE WAS OUTSIDE OF HER BODY LOOKING DOWN ON THE SCENE BELOW. SHE COULD RECOUNT DETAILS THAT HAPPENED IN THE ROOM WHILE SHE WAS RENOUNCED CLINICALLY DEAD. WHAT HAPPENED DURING THE FATEFUL MINUTES THESE PEOPLE WENT IN THE WORLD BEYOND. DON'T MISS "BEYOND AND BACK."
 
Roger Ebert: 
DID IT RING A BELL WITH YOU? I THINK I SAW IT 25 TIMES MYSELF.
WHEN YOU WALKED OUT OF THE THEATER, YOU FELT LIKE A COMPLETE SUCKER. IT DIDN'T REVEAL ANY SECRETS OF THE AFTER LIFE. IT DIDN'T REVEAL ANY SECRETS OF THIS LIFE. IT WAS ABOUT PEOPLE WHO FELL INTO COMAS AND CAME OUT OF THEM. ALL YOU REMEMBERED WERE THE ADS. YOUR TOWN WAS BLITZED BY AN OVERKILL MEDIA CAMPAIGN.
THEY MOVED IN LIKE THE CARNIVAL OPERATORS OF OLD AND THEY SPENT THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS ON A HUGE ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN. AND SUDDENLY IT WAS EVERYWHERE. A MOVIE YOU HAD NEVER HEARD OF BEFORE HAD A SUBJECT THAT IT BELONGED ON THE FRONT PAGES OF "NATIONAL ENQUIRER." THEY REVOLUTIONIZED THE MOVIE INDUSTRY OKAY.
 
Gene Siskel: 
IT WAS A WORTHLESS MOVIE. I HATED IT.
PEOPLE WHO HAD BEEN OUT FOR 15 MINUTES OR A COUPLE OF HOURS. I WANTED THIS MOVIE TO TELL ME ABOUT SOMEBODY WHO WAS DEAD FOR A YEAR AND CAME BACK.
 
Roger Ebert: 
YOU LOVE GOOD MOVIES AND I LOVE GOOD MOVIES. IT MAKES US FEEL GOOD WHEN PEOPLE SAY, HEY, I HAD A GOOD TIME AND I'M GLAD I WENT TO THE MOVIES. THESE MOVIES PUSHED PEOPLE INTO THE MOVIES WITH PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE. THEY ARE HECKLING THEIR PARENTS, I WANT TO SEE "BEYOND AND BACK" OR "CHERRIES OF THE GOD" AND "IN SEARCH OF NOAH'S ARC." THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS, THESE PEOPLE WHEN THEY COME OUT OF THE THEATERS, THEY FEEL BURNT, THEY SPENT, $5, $10, $15, AND THEY WON'T GO TO A MOVIE ANY TIME SOON.
 
Gene Siskel: 
THE MOVIE STUDIOS THINK YOU CAN SELL ANYTHING. THERE WAS A KILLER BABY PICTURE THAT OPENED IN 50 THEATERS IN ONE TOWN.
THE BAD MOVIES LIKE THIS, HYPER AD CAMPAIGNS AND YOU PAY THOSE AD CAMPAIGNS. THE ADMISSION PRICE IS JACKED UP A HALF A BUCK AND YOU GET SUCKERED ONCE GOING IN AND SUCKERED IN THE THEATER AND ALL OF THESE BAD MOVIES CROWD OUT THE GOOD MOVIES. THESE ARE THE MOST HATEFUL FILMS. WE'D LIKE TO GET RID OF THEM.
 
Roger Ebert: 
WAIT A MINUTE, I THINK WE HAVE SOMEBODY ELSE HERE. IT LOOKS LIKE SPOT THE WONDER DOG IS LEAPING INTO THE BALCONY TO SNIFF OUT AND DESTROY BAD FILM.
 
Gene Siskel: 
WHAT IS HE DOING ON THIS SHOW? THE SEARCH FOR INFLUENTIAL FILMS HE'S COME UP WITH THE ONE FILM THAT'S RESPONSIBLE FOR A LOT OF THE ROTTEN MOVIES THAT WE LABEL DOGS OF WEEK ON THE REGULAR SNEAK PREVIEW SHOW. THIS GRAND DADDY OF DOGS IS FIVE FINGERS OF DEATH, WHICH BACK IN 1973 WAS A VERY FIRST KARATE FILM EVER RELEASED IN THE UNITED STATES. THE FILM WAS CHEAP BUT THE FORM OF VIOLENCE WAS FRESH. WOULD YOU BELIEVE FLYING FEET, TRAMPOLINE SOMERSAULT AND POWERFUL MAGIC FINGERS THAT GLOW RED.
 
Gene Siskel: 
VIOLENT AND DUMB BUT FUNNY AND ENTERTAINING. THE LEADING ACTOR WAS THE GOOD GUY LO LEE, NO RELATION TO BRUCE LEE WHO LATER BROUGHT A LOT OF CLASS TO KARATE PICTURES BUT AFTER BRUCE LEE DIED, THE SCHLOCK MONSTERS GAVE US BRUCE LEE'S COUSIN, IN THE GRUNT AND GROWN PICTURES.
 
Roger Ebert: 
KUNG FU FANS HAVE SEEN 100 OF THESE RIPOFFS WHY DO THEY GO BACK? I THINK BECAUSE THEY HAD SUCH A SHOCK OF DELIGHT IN THE BRUCE LEE PICTURES THAT THEY HOPE AGAINST HOPE THAT BRUCE LEE WILL SOMEHOW COME BACK.
 
Gene Siskel: 
LET'S RECAP THE INFLUENTIAL MOVIES. I HAVE A PREDICTION ABOUT A FILM THAT'S OUT NOW THAT WILL BE THE NEXT FILM TO START IN MOVIES AND IT'S "HEAVEN CAN WAIT" WITH WARREN BEATTY.
NUMBER ONE, IT MADE A LOT OF MONEY UNEXPECTEDLY. IT WAS A REMAKE OF AN OLD PICTURE AND IT DID VERY WELL. REMAKES DONE OFTEN DO THAT WELL. NUMBER TWO, AND MUCH MORE IMPORTANT, IT WAS A FILM THAT GAVE PEOPLE A MOVIE, A KIND OF A MOVIE THAT THEY HADN'T HAD IN A LONG TIME.
 
Roger Ebert: 
AND NUMBER THREE TOO, THE THIRD REASON IS BECAUSE IT'S EASY TO RIP OFF. IT'S EASY TO COPY. THAT'S WHAT WE SAID WAS THE THIRD POINT AND WHAT COULD BE EASIER TO COPY THAN ROMANCE, THAN BOY MEETS GIRL? SO THAT'S IT FOR THIS SHOW.
 
Christy Lemire: 
I CAN THINK OF TWO REALLY OPPOSITE EXTREME EXAMPLES ONE IS "SEX, LIES AND VIDEOTAPE" WHICH GAVE ALL KINDS OF ASPIRING VIDEO MAKERS IDEAS AND THE OTHER ONE WAS AVATAR. THEY FELT THAT EVERYTHING SHOULD BE IN 3D. THAT WAS THE SNOWBALL THAT WAS HAPPENING HERE, THE BIGGEST MONEY MAKING FILM OF ALL TIME.
EVERYONE WANTS TO MAKE 3D FILMS IF THEY SHOULD OR NOT.
 
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky: 
IF I WOULD SAY TWO INFLUENTIAL FILMS I WOULD SAY "THE IDIOTS" WHICH WAS VERY CONTROVERSIAL AT CANNES BUT IT MADE UNSIMULATED SEX IN THE FILM. SHORT BUS, AND, YOU KNOW, THE BROWN BUNNY.
 
Christy Lemire: 
RIGHT.
 
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky: 
AND HANDHELD VIDEO, WHICH KIND OF ALSO BRINGS ME AROUND TO THE OTHER ONE WHICH IS RATHER TWO FILMS "THE BOURNE SUPREMACY" IT MADE THE HANDHELD.
 
Christy Lemire: 
EVERYTHING GREEN GRASS DOES. JOIN US NEXT WEEK FOR ANOTHER SPECIAL LOOK BACK AT SNEAK PREVIEWS. ALSO DON'T GET THAT YOU CAN FOLLOW THE DISCUSSION ON FACEBOOK AND ON TWITTER. UNTIL THEN, THE BALCONY IS CLOSED. 
 
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky: 
FOR MORE REVIEWS AND MORE FROM ROGER'S OFFICE, VISIT OUR WEB SITE AT EBERTPRESENTS.COM.