RIP Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds died yesterday at 82.

I love 70s movies, as I have said here before and will say again.  It was a cinematic decade of the auteur.  Post-1960s disillusion left a thick layer of cynicism over cinema that made for some great storytelling.  But, most of all, the 70s was the last decade Hollywood was comfortable telling stories about the working class in flyover country.  And the king of those movies was Burt Reynolds

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Movies: Rush (1991)

I love 70s movies.  This is a topic I will return to.  The most relevant reason for my love of 70s cinema is that it was the last time Hollywood dealt regularly and evenly with the rural working class.  My original choice for this week was the Burt Reynolds vehicle Gator (available to stream for free with Amazon Prime), but I wound up rewatching Rush with my wife’s family, so Rush it is.  Rush was made in 1991, but it is a 70s movie in more than setting.  And it is a period piece that doesn’t commit the usual sin of getting cutesy and clever about it.

Rush takes place in 1975. Rush is based on a largely autobiographical novel inspired by Kim Wozencraft’s stint as a narc in Tyler, Texas, but the movie is set in an undisclosed location that is probably somewhere on the Gulf coast between Houston and Corpus.

Kristen Cates, played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, is a rookie narcotics officer is paired up with veteran officer Jim Raynor, played by Jason Patric.  Jim isn’t old, but after going for early-career Jim Morrison in The Lost Boys, Jason Patric goes for late-career Jim Morrison here, and like late-career Jim Morrison, Jim Raynor wears his years pretty damn heavy.

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