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Roddy McDowell

Class of 1984

I’ll admit it.  Many of the films I enjoyed as a child were supremely influenced by a PBS show called “Sneak Previews” with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, who left the show in 1982 and went to network syndication with “At the Movies”.  “Sneak Previews” continued without them and never really clicked with me.  Siskel and Ebert were it. 

If they liked a movie, I was seeing it.  That made for some odd requests from an 11-year old asking to go see “Halloween” or “My Dinner with Andre”.

Fright Night

This is one of those stories where a studio head says “What the heck.  Let’s make a movie.”

Scriptwriter Tom Holland was a successful writer and wanted to direct his next script, a horror film.  Horror was in during the 80s, but vampire films were in short supply (this was two years before “The Lost Boys”, and vampires were the topic of this script.

The Poseidon Adventure

If there was a time when the world was turning upside down, it was the 60s and 70s.  The turmoil from Vietnam to Watergate made many question the things Americans relied on for decades.  That anti-establishment arc found its way into many films.  Sometimes it was overt, like in films like “Dirty Harry” and “Death Wish.”  Charles Bronson could do what the entire police force couldn’t – confront crime and defeat it.  Clint Eastwood had to defy police orders to get the bad guy, and he threw his badge into the river to put an exclamation point on it.