Sunday, 7 April 2013


1977, James Goldstone, 117 mins.

American amusement parks are stalked by a maniac.

Connoisseurs of the art of screen acting sometime have to look in the most unusual places – Rollercoaster for example. It’s a ho-hum suspense movie which is never anything other than predictable and is shot in a flat TV movie style which makes it visually indistinguishable from the average cop show of the 1970s. The supporting performances by the likes of Richard Widmark and Henry Fonda are strictly for the money and Timothy Bottoms is peculiarly mannered as the bad guy who likes to blow up fairground rides. But it’s worth it all for George Segal’s quite sensational performance in the lead. It’s not a great part and the dialogue is generally mediocre but he adds grace notes and gives the character so much wit and style that he stands out as a credible, complicated person in the midst of banality. 

1 comment:

  1. George Segal had a quote where he said he had to reconcile himself with being "bland", but I don't think he is, he's actually very charismatic in a paradoxically ordinary, relatable way. In the 1970s he offered a great run of performances in a variety of styles from comedy to drama and he was never less than compelling in any of them. It's a shame as tastes changed he was relegated to supporting roles and TV, because he really is underrated. Still working, too.