THE NICKEL RIDE, 1974, 20th Century Fox, 99 min. Dir. Robert Mulligan. A superb neo-noir with Jason Miller (THE EXORCIST) as the can-do man who holds keys to stolen-goods depots in downtown Los Angeles. Charged by his syndicate boss, urbane John Hillerman, with buying up an unused block of warehouses for more storage, Miller starts to encounter problems. Like an unraveling ball of yarn, trivial difficulties snowball out of control, threatening not only his career but his life. Beautifully realized, from the low-key performances to the evocation of a dying-on-the-vine downtown - whole blocks of which have not changed much since the making of this film. The gradual building of suspense and the aura of impending doom - a feeling so borderline were not sure if Millers just being paranoid - is intensely disturbing. Bo Hopkins is the friendly good ol boy apprentice Miller gets saddled with and Linda Haynes is Millers understanding girl. Screenplay by Eric Roth (THE INSIDER, MUNICH, FORREST GUMP).
40th Anniversary! THE OTHER, 1972, 20th Century Fox, 108 min. Dir. Robert Mulligan. This creepy adaptation of Tom Tryons best-seller is set on a New England farm in the mid-1930s, where strange happenings begin to swirl around twins Niles and Holland Perry. With their mother (Diana Muldaur) reduced to a recluse by her husbands recent death, the boys gravitate to their grandmother (played by famed acting teacher Uta Hagen).