The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 31, 1973, Page page 8, Image 8

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Desert, hopelessness mark tale of 'good cop'
Elt.rtni Glide in Blue the intelligent and
well-crafted directorial cebjt of 27-year-old James
William Guercio. It is also c : cf the better American
films of the year.
Guercio's film is about the loneliness of a 5 ft-4
inch motorcycle cop named John Wintergreen on the
long, empty stretches of the Arizona desert highways.
Robert Blake (you may remember him as the
nervy little killer from In Cold Blood), as
Wintergreen, and a fellow patrolman called Zipper
(Billy Bush) work a desert beat where stopping
overloaded trucks and vehicles without bumpers are
often the most exciting things that happen.
Zipper spends most of his time sitting on his bike
h the shade1 reading comic books. Wintergreen longs
f jr the day when he can be promoted to a position as
a homicide detective and thus escape a job where
there simply "ain't no action."
Guercio maintains a fine sense of style throughout
most of the film. He has a liking for extreme
close-ups of variojs objects i,nc; the film's opening
sequence is nothing less than biilliant.
The constant use of tight close-ups in a film can
often become irritating but Guercio's shot selections
are not o.ily fascinating but they are edited so there's
no difficulty in following the action.
They form an effective err tret to the long shots
cf the vast Arizona desert and miles of straight,
endless highway. Veteran academy award winning
cinematographer Conrad H.ill (Cool Hand Luke, In
Cold Blood, Butch Cassidy d ihe Sundance Kid) has
done his usual masterful job.
I couldn't help seeing
though unlikely, paraliVi ;
with a similar form of i
paranoia felt toward C::.
the establishment in vv
motorcycle policemen by 1
We see Wintergreen o
the film taking pot no"
Hopper and Fonda o i
of both films are n ..
reversed. Easy Rider
far trj Gli'Jo as a close,
E;::,y Ihdr Cjth deal
-.ip( !:;-. -V v'tid the
; Ann rlc, jr.. i Hilly by
,rr :f, r ,,),.; 'f( toward
:.-!. i i t'lnctrj Glide.
;(.! ii u r.irigt: early in
: :',.!t olossir: poster of
,'.!.'. We endings
'".;.:.' '.' the roles
. ; - :. : ' VVyatt
t. (
and Billy by .,
establishment, whil
destruction of one
two scared, misuncler
Guercio uses iwc
character actors in sl
stubborn, local corci k
bug-eyed, slobbei r
performances. And E.
and hard-nosed in the '
r it
'. jpdinq
. ; S the
.!,-.-.'v,nt by
'olo-t senior
:l D-.1MO, as a
) Jr. as a
give good
iy iolti kind
, : Cuercio
and screenwriter Robert Boris.
We know he is a good cop and a nice guy, yet we
see he still cannot escape the stereotyped role of an
unpopular traffic cop.
Elcctra Glide is a well paced, reflective film, with
biting, often bitter, contrasts between both the
dangerous jobs and the quiet moments in a
motorcycle cop's life. It is only during the middle of
the movie, when Wintergreen is promoted to assistant
to a fiustrated homicide detective that Guerco seems
to let this control and quality slip through his grasp.
Except for a well staged motorcycle chase scene, this
section seems disjointed, tense and even
I actually thought for a while that Guercio had
lost it, but the latter part of the film finds
Wintergreen back on his bike. Blake plays a good
traffic cop, yet we realize his limitations. Even
the irn he helped solve a murder case, he st'M was a
ier ;:: detective.
We would have liked to see him get a break from
his world on the desert highways, but we realize that
it ($ probably where he is at his best.
G.,ercio might have tried to be a bit too artistic at
thr Pit's end. A backward shot along an end'ess
st .' 'i .f highway just keeps going on and oie and
on 'v.Ji nothing to back it up other than a song with
ihe emiic refrain of the words "God Bless Arnoi ica."
Gijcf-io also composed the music for the fil ii.
li:it despite ifs flaws, Electra Glide In Blue
'f-n a a worthy contribution from a new cirecor
to present
A young teacher at a girls' schoo: v.
pupils in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodiv
Wesleyan University this week.
The story is set in Scotland in the 19
the teacher, is in her prime as awomar,
young charges to approach their own matu
"Brodie really has some fantastic teac!
uses them in the wrong way," said Henry
the Wesleyan production. She tells the
truth, goodness and beauty, but really she
and shallow, Blanke said. Brodie'
l,:e. h" sr,
, ! t ! Ii
' ' P'
.;ri e n,.i; i '
'( s c,
: ii :':
. i i
!:n n:v out they aren't they bc oiTit
' ' en's adept on of Muriel Spark's novel the
;. :"-'M',t'. j! of flashbacks.
- -;o i !! i i jpidlv with u rnir i i.
' ; .-r. I . into tin: iil'ii "
, !.( ev I no .n.lcrs move fron ret
,i it-. Thiesciiiy-Saturday, and 2 p.m. Siiti'.ui,'
Tickets are Si. a; i'. v;.;ts must b; reserved through the box office,
Aliich is open lioiv 2 to 5 o.m. at 4G6-2374. All performances are
in the E nid Miller Theater on the south edge of the campus. ,
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11 UT
Fiddler on the roof
A big chjti'je is in store for opera goers this season. University
( pera students vi!l b ; frosi nting the University's first musical,
I iddlur on the Root, t.s their fall production.
Roger Stephen,, r irector and choreographer for the musical
and assistant vuir.e pie fessor, said that during his interview for the
teaching position, both Melvin George, dean of the College of
Arts and Sciences, and John Moran, director of the School of
Music, expressed interest in his experience in acting and directing
"I hey were interested in getting away from doing only operas
at the School of Music," he said.
Stephens said he thought some students, accustomed to
pet toi nary :n opei i ., night feel they are "lowering" themselves
by being in a musical, but said he thought musicals could be
ailistic endeavors as well.
He said he questions how much easier a musical will be to
stage. It will give tho students a different type of production
experience, he said.
"The singers not only have to have a good singing voice, but a
good speaking voice and some acting talent," he said.
Fiddler on the Roof is the tale of the struggles of a family and
community of Russian Jews at the turn of the century. The
fiddler, a symbol of Jewish tradition, follows them even as they
ate forced from their Russian homeland.
The musical opens Thursday, Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. and plays
through Dec. 4, when there will be an additional 3 p.m. matinee.
All seats must be reserved; for tickets call 472-2506.
Photos by Mike Theiler
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daily nebrdskan
Wednesday, October 31, 1973