Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Hail (1972)

Director: Fred Levinson

Writers: Phil Dusenberry, Larry Spiegel

Composer: Trade Martin

Starring: Dan Resin, Richard B. Shull, Dick O'Neill, Joseph Sirola, Pat Ripley, Gary Sandy, Willard Waterman, K Callan, Constance Forslund, Phil Foster

More info: IMDb

Tagline: He was only President of the United States. But he planned to work his way up.

Plot: A presidential advisor discovers that the President has assembled a secret army of vigilantes to suppress dissent and is setting up concentration camps in which to imprison protesters, hippies and other "social undesirables."

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again?  Nope.

Don't you hate it when you watch a comedy and you don't laugh?  This picture probably looked a lot better on paper.  I get the satire and the attempt at humor but the jokes either don't land because there were only funny ideas or they weren't executed well enough.  Hell, or maybe I'm just not digging it. I think there's some good social commentary going on here but it just didn't work as a comedy.  The selection of the cabinet posts by numbered gumballs in a gumball machine was mildly amusing.  And then there's this one sequence where the military/police kill a bunch of hippies camped out in the woods.  That was a horrific moment which felt like it was there to hammer in the harsh reality of what the President was trying to achieve.  I'll say this much, though, the ending was fantastic.  This was made before the events of Watergate so that gives the film even more weight for what they were aiming for.  The President in this film echoes Nixon.  For that it gets points.  I don't know at what point it was publicly known that Nixon had it in for the hippies and protesters like the President in this film but I'm sure Nixon entertained the idea of locking them up in camps or having them put down.  Or maybe not.  When I popped it in to watch I was hoping for some political humor.  With the way things are going in this country right now I could sure use a laugh.

No comments:

Post a Comment