Indiana Jones Movie and Karen Allen
Since it's a holiday weekend, let's go off politics for a bit. Has anyone seen the new Indiana Jones movie? I'll see it, but only because Karen Allen is in it. Here's what she's been up to in real life these past years.
It has been 27 years since Ms. Allen, 56, played Harrison Ford’s rugged romantic interest in “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Following breakthrough roles in “Animal House,” “Manhattan” and “Starman,” and more recent work in “The Perfect Storm” and “In the Bedroom,” she moved with her son, Nick Browne, to Great Barrington, Mass.
Today, she owns a knitting shop there and teaches acting at Bard College at Simon’s Rock — but a call from Steven Spielberg, inviting her to join the newest Indiana Jones movie, thrust her back into the spotlight.
Everyone's probably seen The Wanderers, about a Bronx "gang" in 1963, but I'd bet virtually no one remembers Small Circle of Friends. I do, because it came out when I was very pregnant and I ended up naming the TL kid Nic after one of the characters. Turns out Ms. Allen named her son Nick. Probably a coincidence, since her son is now 17, but...[More..]
a piece of advice: Don't name your kid after a movie role if you can't show him the movie when he's old enough to ask how he got his name.
The TL kid was pretty insulted that I named him after a movie character he never heard of. For years, I tried but couldn't get a copy of the movie and it never replayed on TV.
About five years ago, I was at a Lexis Nexis board meeting when one of the execs told me he's a huge film buff and if it was possible, he'd get me the movie, along with one other I couldn't find.
About 6 months later, a VHS tape arrived in the mail -- it was "Small Circle of Friends." The next time the TL kid returned to Denver we watched it.
It's a film about college kids in the late '60's with a Weatherman subplot. Karen Allen was great in it and the character Nick was pre-med, starts out as very prim and proper and changes as the film progresses. It was directed by Arthur Penn.
Brad Davis Karen Allen and Jameson Parker star as three college students transformed by the turbulent 60s in this endearing illuminating and haunting film that delivers a convincing evocative portrait of an unforgettable era. A bright future appears in store for Harvard freshmen Leo (Davis) Jessica (Allen) and Nick (Parker). The dynamic Leo loses no time in wooing Jessica and making a name for himself on the campus paper. But romance and political idealism clash with reality when Jessica takes up with Nick and Leo s draft number comes up. As their small circle becomes an unorthodox love triangle each must face up to events that will change their lives forever.
The TL kid thought it was very dated (of course it was in 2003 and still is) but liked the Nick character and hasn't complained since about how I picked his name.
Two of the most powerful moments are original to the film, and they set the film's time period perfectly: Perry (Tony Ganios) watches in shock as the coverage of J.F.K.'s assassination plays on a TV in a department-store window, and Richie (Ken Wahl), in a coffeehouse, sees a skinny guy with curly hair and a reedy voice singing "The Times They Are A-Changin'." With his "Wanderers" jacket and oily pompadour, Richie is laughably conspicuous among the self-conscious folkies, and he knows it, but he cannot know that his world will be a thing of the past in a year or two.
Now, if I could only find a copy of a 1973 tv movie "Third Girl From the Left" with Kim Novak and Michael Brandon -- it's a "Maggie Mae" type story where she plays an aging chorus girl and he is the grocery delivery boy and they fall in love. It was the second movie I asked the Lexis Nexis exec to find me and he was very chagrined to tell me he failed, even after asking over a hundred of his fellow movie buff friends. (At the link you can click "vote to make it available on DVD.)
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