Thursday, April 1, 2010


SCHEIDER FEST. It almost always includes the traditional viewing of Steven Spielberg's JAWS, Which is an ALL-TIME FAVORITE, but for this SCHEIDER FEST we're talking up what I will now call, THE BAADASSS SCHEIDER COMPLEX. Which refers to the conscious craziness of the characters. Characters like Scanlon'Dominguez', Buddy 'Seven-up', and Harry Mitchell. Characters who say things like, "I'll get you, you fucker", and step on peoples heads, or carry crates of nitro while suffering from exhaustion and a bad case of the blues.

Let's start with Harry Mitchell.
Harry has it all. Action Slacks, a great haircut, an amazing pair of sunglasses, a wife and a mistress. Harry is in big business. Metallurgical business. With a big fat government contract. His wife Barbara (Ann-Margeret) was once the belle of the ball and is entering politics in an attempt to regain control of her own life. She knows her husband and holds out hope while further pursuing her new found independence. Only, she doesn't really know him. Sure Harry digs his fast classic cars, his Jazz, and his reckless drives along the coast. But he also digs 19 year old prostitutes/porn "stars" (Kelly Preston and Vanity). Like, a lot...and it gets him in trouble.

Trouble in the form of razzamatazz sleezeball pimp, pornographer, blackmailer, murderer, Alan Raimy(The amazing John Glover). A real piece of shit, who loves calling people "sport" and "slick" along with his gang of douches, Leo and Bobby (Robert Trebor and Clarence Williams III)Who pimp, murder, and blackmail their way into Harry's life. For 52 grand.

But that's not clear....

And like all scumbag fucks, they underestimate Harry, his fast cars, his Jazz, and his love for Babs. Raimy doesn't realize because he has fucked with Harry at a point in his life where all things have bottomed out, where the result of Raimy's scheme would more often than not go in one direction, will restore something in Harry Mitchell. Something that swings the pendulum wide in the other direction. A direction of resilience. Of survival. Of redemption.
As Harry reaches his wits end he rediscovers his edge, his cool, his "I'll get you, you fucker" side, and at the pick-up finds a proper way to spend that 52.


52 is much more than a story about rich assholes and sleezy prick fucks. There are themes about partnership, trust, and second chances. The plot is driven through and re-enforced by these themes and makes for rich character conflict. Everyone is lost at it's start. And each and every character has their own ideas about freedom. And it's through the understanding or betrayal of these themes they pursue it. Most expect Harry's 52 to help them get it.

Every ones acting chops shine in this one. And the chemistry between Scheider and Margeret is very natural. I believe their marriage. What it once was, what's happened to it, and what they're holding on to. It's a truly great pairing.

And if Scheider and Margeret aren't enough for you...

Elmore Leonard.

John Frankenheimer.

And Clarence Williams III......I mean, dude.

This one ROCKS on every level and it chokes me the fuck up in some moments.

So what are you waiting for?


  1. It's been so long since I've seen 52 PICK UP. I really need it for my collection. Great piece JL!