Tuesday, November 3, 2009

No Sense in Getting "Too Relaxed"

It is amazing how a song in a movie can really work to capture an era. The Deer Hunter was a 1978 film about a group of young Ukranian-American steelworkers in small town Pennsylvania during the Vietnam era. Some of the people in this scene were called to duty to fight and others were able to get out of it.

You just don't see this many great actors in one movie anymore. Robert DeNiro, Christopher Walken, John Cazale, and Meryl Streep were all so good in this movie. Cazale is an actor who is becoming more famous in the years after his death. Five of his movies received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture. He was in a very good movie about wiretapping called The Conversation as well as Dog Day Afternoon. He also played the infamous Fredo Corleone in The Godfather movies. You remember him as the brother of Al Pacino. He bought the farm at the end in a boat while saying his Hail Mary's. Things like that happen when you betray Michael Corleone. In real life, Cazale had end-stage bone cancer and died before The Deer Hunter was released to the public. He was engaged to Streep at the time of his death.

In this classic scene, the guys are in a bar playing pool the day before Steven's (John Savage) wedding. The song playing in the background is Frankie Valli's "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You." This scene greatly captures the overall blue collar spirit of the film. Once you see this film, you can't hear this song and not think of the movie. Seems like this could have been any South Buffalo bar in the late 1960s.

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