Hardcore

I watched “Hardcore,” the movie directed by Paul Schrader and starring George C. Scott.  This film was like a bridge between “Taxi Driver” and “Auto Focus.”  Scott is a religious man from Grand Rapids, Michigan whose daughter runs away from home.  Peter Boyle is a private detective.  Dick Sargent is in the cast, too, and he was quite good, making me forget that he had ever been Samantha’s husband.  Season Hubley was a prostitute who becomes the guide for Scott to find his daughter.  I had recognized Hubley from somewhere, and it was a while before I realized that she played a princess in a Partridge Family episode.  I thought this was one of Scott’s best acting performances.  He even had a few humorous moments, as when he pretends to be a director of pornographic films.  It is disturbing to watch this movie and realize that just about everyone has access to pornographic images almost forty years later.  Jake and Niki start to have a relationship, although it was reminiscent of Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster in “Taxi Driver.”  The ending of the film has problems.  It seems that there was no real way to end the story.  There would forever be doubt about the daughter, and Niki had nowhere to go.  The ending evokes “Taxi Driver” and a bit of “Chinatown.”  I think I wanted to know how it was determined that Boyle, or Andy Mast, was a good private detective.  When Jake talked about his religious beliefs to Niki, it all sounded so wacky and weird that it was almost unsurprising that his daughter fled the scene.  It’s a shame that we don’t really see much of the daughter.  It’s been said that this movie is like “The Searchers” set in the world of the late 1970s.  I thought that as a story of a father’s love, “Hardcore” was a compelling movie.  It has all sorts of flaws, but it stays with you.  I thought that George C. Scott was fantastic.  I couldn’t see this movie with Warren Beatty in it.  Paul Schrader is 70 years old now.  His last film was “Dog Eat Dog” with Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe, which I did not see.  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for April 11, “Marty,” starring Ernest Borgnine, had its premiere in New York in 1955.  In 1966, Buffalo Springfield made their live debut at the Troubadour in Hollywood.  In 1997, “Anaconda,” starring Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, Jon Voight, and Eric Stoltz, was released.  In 2013, Jonathan Winters died of natural causes in Montecito, California at the age of 87.

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