Movie Diary 11/13/2013

McQ (John Sturges, 1974). The Duke tears it up in Seattle, doing a Dirty Harry knock-off, albeit one with a reduced sense of urgency. There’s professionalism on display here (especially from John Wayne), but quite a bit of half-heartedness, too. Swell 70s-jazzy score by Elmer Bernstein. If you’re curious about stuntwork, the movie has a flipping-car stunt on a beach, about which there’s a hilarious story in the late Hal Needham’s memoir – he practiced the gag and broke his back and six ribs when his car went 30 feet in the air after an explosive device proved a little too potent. At this screening (a tie-in with the Museum of History & Industry’s “Celluloid Seattle” exhibit) we had some nice memories offered by the family of Dick Friel, who played a supporting role in the film.

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