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July-August 1981

Antiheroes in Michael Mann's Thief and Peter Hyams's Outland, Ivan Passer's Cutter and Bone, George Lucas interview, Steven Spielberg, Tom Savini, midsection on Yiddish cinema, Michael Powell's guilty pleasures, Ed Pincus's Diaries

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The End of the American Hero
Movies begin with a bang and end with a boom. We want to be hooked at the start and blow away—out of the film—at the end. The same with many heroes of current movies. David Thomson looks at ThiefOutland, and other films new and old, and finds that the new hero doesn’t end in a clinch with his leading leady. Instead, he screams: “Get me out of here!”

Passer & Fiskin & Cutter & Bone
Cutter’s Way? Somebody said it sounds like an afternoon soap opera based on an A.J. Cronin novel. Richard T. Jameson says otherwise: it’s a fine film (né Cutter and Bone) that deserves its second chance. Jameson also catalogues director Ivan Passer’s other U.S. films, and Joe Leydon talks with Passer and writer Jeffrey Alan Fiskin.

Lucas, Spielberg, and ‘Raiders’
At 25, you made your first Hollywood feature. At 28, you had your first hit: American Graffiti. At 32, you made the top-grossing film of all time: Star Wars. At 35, you produced The Empire Strikes Back. Now you’ve got Raiders of the Lost Ark. What worlds are left to conquer? For George Lucas, plenty—as he tells Mitch Tuchman and Anne Thompson in an extensive interview. But there is another crucial factor in the Raiders equation: director Steven Spielberg. Veronica Geng considers Spielberg’s career.

Midsection: Jews on the Screen 
Out of all proportion to their number, Jews have shaped and dominated the Hollywood film. Why? Carlos Clarens offers a historical overview. J. Hoberman looks at and listens to Yiddish-language films, from Jennie Goldstein’s in the Thirties to the new Brussels Transit. And Lester Friedman re-views the image—scornful or sweet, but usually stereotyped—of Jews in silent film.

From L.A., David Chute reports on The Decline of Western CivilizationEscape from New York, and Paul Bartel’s new film. Harlan Kennedy visits Berlin and finds Lili Marleen. Tom Allen re-sees Mizoguchi in New York.

Tom Savini: Maniac
He makes skin crawl by making flesh peel. He worked on Friday the 13th and Dawn of the Dead. He has the highest artistic ambition: to scare your socks off. By David Chute.

Guilty Pleasures
Michael Powell, the director of The Red Shoes and Peeping Tom, pays eloquent tribute to ten mentors.

This summer The Museum of Modern Art puts Indian film on display. Elliott Stein, back from Delhi, fills you in on Subcontinent cinema.

Camera Man
A 200-minute cinema-verite film called Diaries? Before you return to your Ludlum novel, read what Stephen Schiff says about Ed Pincus’s film.

In Berlin for the festival? Go directly to the Forum. By Amos Vogel.

Bob Rehme has proved so successful at selling low-budget movies at Avco Embassy that Universal has hired him to work his magic there. By Dan Yakir.

Orbits: Raoul Walsh
Roger McNiven on the late director