March 31

Slap Shot , 1977

The boys are back and this week J. Blake and Dion Baia are celebrating the 40th anniversary of a film that is lauded as one of the best, if not THE best sports movie of all time- Full stop. That’s a very high standard. But the guys are going the distance in this installment as they take on the Paul Newman/George Roy Hill classic Slap Shot, from 1977.

Slap Shot

The fellas dive right into the deep-end this go around, with the resident hockey expert at SNMS, J. Blake. They start with Blake‘s background with the sport, having played growing up, also being on the High School team, and taught kids ‘hockey skills‘ classes afterward while in school and college. Now the paradox within is that the boys aren’t really into sports anymore- now they may attend a sporting event or two and enjoy a good thrilling game, but really don’t actively seek it out now in their adult lives. But they love themselves a good sports film, and Dion and Blake are head over heels for this all-American classic! First they discuss the true events that were the inspiration for the script. They chat about the world this film creates and the real-life people this story spoke to. Set in the Northeast, the boys get into the ‘regional’ sporting events and circuits of the era and the enjoyment this form of entertainment gave to the local town and city audiences who, by day worked in the factories, the mines, or the mills that kept these local bergs afloat in the 1970s. So how was the original concept of Slap Shot conceived and in what other format was the original idea considered, other than comedy? How many real actors were actually in this movie? Through all the controversial foul and surly language, what truths does this film actually present in a brilliant and completely realistic manner? And what’s Blake‘s connection to director George Roy Hill and how does the story involve cult Horror director Jeff Lieberman?! Well you better lace up those skates (and make sure those laces are tight!) because we’re going on the ice in this all new, exciting episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

Extras!

Check out Part 1 & Part 2 of this very informative 25th Anniversary special about Slap Shot!

Slap Shot presented Ogie Ogilthorpe as a fictional character, but he was real. Bill “Goldie” Goldthorpe was known as one the most outrageous goons of all time and here is a neat little documentary on his exploits, called I Am Ogie.

Take a look at some behind the scenes footage shot while Slap Shot was being filmed.

Here’s the Hanson Brothers on Hockey Night In Canada: February 25th, 2017, talking about the game today versus the old days, courtesy of YouTube!

August 19

SNMS Presents The Side Cast: An Evening with Jurgensen

Jurgensen and Sinatra

Due to the astounding popularity and success of our last series of interviews with retired NYPD Homicide Detective Randy Jurgensen that aired here last December in 2 parts, and because of the content of last week’s SNMS episode on the 1980 film Cruising, we decided to reissue our first groundbreaking interview which originally ran in February of 2012 on our now defunct sister site, The Podwits.com.

So the name Randy Jurgensen doesn’t sound familiar to you? Well, SNMS Side Castbelieve it or not you know him. The retired NYPD Homicide Detective and film icon has acted in and produced dozens of films, and has worked on some of New York City’s most famous cases. His book, Circle of Six, is his real-life tale of going against the system and practically the entire department brass in order to bring to justice the murderer of a fellow brother-in-blue, in what turned out to be one of the city’s most notorious cop killings. This passed April marked the 44th anniversary of the killing of Officer Phil Cardillo at Mosque #7 in Harlem, and the case that forever changed the seasoned detective as well as the fabric of the entire New York City Police Department. In this SNMS EXCLUSIVE, Randy sits down with Dion Baia and talks about his very colorful career as a homicide detective and his unlikely segue into the cinema. The NYPD veteran gives his opinion of the mindset of the police hierarchy that made it so hard to be a policeman in New York City in the 60’s and 70’s. He recounts his involvement in the Patsy Fuca case, Randy Jurgensenwhich became the 1971 film The French Connection. Perhaps for the first time, Jurgensen goes into detail of the sequence of events of the case he was assigned to, having to go underground into the gay leather-bar scene in the 1960s which eventually because the Al Pacino film Cruising. The Homicide Detective also discusses a crime scene that to this day still haunts him, and how he learned how to deal with ‘the job’. He then explains why it was so easy for him to make the gradual transition from detective to film consultant, actor and producer, examining his career in cinema. Mr. Jurgensen goes into his close friendship with legendary director William Friedkin, and actor Joe Spinell among others, and his memories working on films like The French Connection, The Godfather, Maniac, Cruising, Superman, and Sorcerer, among others. So what famous person was Jurgensen temporary pulled out from undercover to then go and arrest? What did his old childhood friend, legendary comedian George Carlin have to say about that notorious arrest? And what special message (through Dion) does actor Ed O’Neill have for Randy? Well come on and listen to a groundbreaking and highly educational episode of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers’ Side-Cast!

Here are Randy and Dion in 2012 after recording this interview.

Have look at Randy in Cruising, interrogating Al Pacino, as Paul Sorvino and Ed O’Neill look on. 

A young Ed O’Neill and Randy share a scene together in Cruising.

Gene Hackman in The French Connection, with Randy over his right shoulder.

July 17

The Towering Inferno, 1974

The summer is here and with it comes the big-mega blockbusters! And as a tribute to First Responders and to Firefighters specifically (and fittingly to the NYFD who turn 150 this year), Dion Baia and J. Blake are taking on a classic ’70’s epic, back when Special Effects weren’t just Computer Generated Images with actors in front of green screens, but when practical effects were the norm. Oh yes, once upon a time stunt men did it all for real, detailed miniatures and matte paintings expanded our world. No one did it better than legendary producer Irwin AllenSaturday Night Movie Sleepovers takes on arguably his quintessential film in his hugely successful series of disaster flicks… We’re of course talking about The Towering Inferno, from 1974.

The Towering Inferno

Blake and Dion analyse the film within the context of the mid-70’s, in a pre-Star Wars era, where the hottest thing going at the time were disaster movies and various procedural shows on television which spawned toys, action sets and board games. The boys also consider the film in the context of a post-911 world… is the romanticism of these movies forever lost? And is there actually a longer cut of the film made for television? Is composer John Williams‘ most sought after piece of music actually in this film? How do those practical effects hold up today verse modern CGI? And did Steve McQueen actually have a lisp when pronouncing “S’s”?! Well all these questions and many more will be answered in this brand new, epic edition of Saturday Night Movie Sleepovers!

 

(Dion misspoke when referencing to the source material and said the The Glass Tower, when in fact he meant The Glass Inferno.)

 

(Check out the an entire site dedicated to this film, called The Towering Inferno Archive!)

(Have a look at the 1982 Atari 2600 Game Edition of The Towering Inferno!)

(Here’s Irwin Allen‘s NATO Film Presentation for The Towering Inferno)

(Take a look at this vintage interview with screenwriter Stirling Silliphant speaking about writing for disaster films, and specifically The Towering Inferno)