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 Posted:   May 6, 2021 - 5:17 PM   
 By:   DJS   (Member)

 Posted:   May 6, 2021 - 6:31 PM   
 By:   MRAUDIO   (Member)

Sorry to hear - I always enjoyed his work.

PARADISE ALLEY was always a favorite.

RIP, Frank…:-(

 Posted:   May 6, 2021 - 9:12 PM   
 By:   Mark R. Y.   (Member)

RIP. I always chuckle at his ongoing Mason-Dixon line war with John Candy whenever I watch 1941.

 Posted:   May 7, 2021 - 8:52 AM   
 By:   KeV McG   (Member)

I remember him mainly as the Police Capt in 48 HRS* and the big friendly boxer guy in BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED.
Double Dose of classic/early James Horner right there!

*a role he would go on to parody a few times

 Posted:   May 7, 2021 - 9:22 AM   
 By:   henry   (Member)

I've always liked him, he was also in LOCK UP and ROCKY II.

 Posted:   May 7, 2021 - 11:35 AM   
 By:   Scott McOldsmith   (Member)


 Posted:   Jul 29, 2021 - 2:26 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Following the success of 1971’s SHAFT, the blaxploitation film craze was at full throttle. Producers began searching for any story on which they could put a ‘black” twist, and so while low-budget producers like American International and others looked to BLACULA and BLACKENSTEIN for their releases, M-G-M, in addition to putting SHAFT’S BIG SCORE into production, looked to more established properties. One such property was W. R. Burnett's 1949 novel “The Asphalt Jungle.” Thus it was, that M-G-M’s 1972 release COOL BREEZE became the studio’s fourth film adaptation of Burnett's novel.

The plot of the film concerned a diamond heist pulled off by a gang of thieves headed by smooth, sophisticated criminal “Sidney Lord Jones” (Thalmus Rasulala) who is just out of San Quentin prison. The heist is financed by millionaire real estate mogul “Bill Mercer” (Raymond St. Jacques). Rudy Challenger plays “Roy Harris,” a reverend who cracks safes on the side, and Paula Kelly is his wife “Martha.” In his film debut, Frank McRae plays “Barry,” Mercer's servant.

The film also marked the debut of director-writer Barry Pollack, an American Film Institute graduate. Star Thalmus Rasulala had appeared in one previous film, THE OUT-OF-TOWNERS, under the name Jack Crowder. While the advertising campaign played heavily on the all-black cast, all of the major crew members were white men. In fact, most crew members were young AFI students. COOL BREEZE marked the first film as cinematographer for Andrew Davis, who had acted as assistant cameraman on the 1969 documentary MEDIUM COOL. Davis went on to direct such films as 1993's THE FUGITIVE.

The film was shot during December 1971, and by 22 March 1972 it was in theaters, premiering in Philadelphia. The film’s score was by legendary rhythm and blues artist Solomon Burke, with orchestrations by Gene Page (who himself would provide the score to BLACULA). A soundtrack, primarily consisting of Burke’s vocals, was released by M-G-M Records. The LP has not been re-issued on CD. COOL BREEZE was a box office success, grossing $3.2 million.

 Posted:   Jul 29, 2021 - 11:37 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

SHAFT IN AFRICA marked the third and final entry in the initial "Shaft" film series, with John Guillermin taking over the direction from Gordon Parks, who had helmed the first two films. It was the only one of the films not to be shot entirely in New York City. African sequences were filmed entirely in the Kingdom of Ethiopia. Addis Ababa was the production center, with the Mediterranean scenes being shot at Massawa, inland scenes shot at Harer, and rustic countryside sequences set in Arba Minch. Additional location shooting was conducted in Madrid, with second-unit filming done in New York City and Paris.

The film finds private investigator “John Shaft” (Richard Roundtree) recruited to go undercover to break up a modern slavery ring where young Africans are lured to Paris to do chain-gang work. Frank McRae plays “Osiat,” the bodyguard to “Emir Ramila” (Cy Grant). Shaft and Osiat engage in a battle with large fighting sticks, a scene which is illustrated on the film’s poster.

The screenplay was inspired by an actual incident reported in a French newspaper in which a truck crossing into France from Italy was found to contain approximately thirty Africans who had been smuggled into the country on their way to virtually unpaid work. Several reviews of the film remarked on the picture’s timely commentary on human trafficking in Europe.

Johnny Pate’s score for the 1973 film is one of the most well-regarded of all of the “Blaxploitation” scores. The ABC LP was released on CD by Hip-O Records. SHAFT IN AFRICA had moderate box office grosses of $4.2 million.

 Posted:   Jul 30, 2021 - 1:43 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Johnny Pate’s score for the 1973 film is one of the most well-regarded of all of the “Blaxploitation” scores. The ABC LP was released on CD by Hip-O Records. SHAFT IN AFRICA had moderate box office grosses of $4.2 million

Pate was 40 years old when he scored that film. Amazingly, he's still with us at 97.

Sorry to hear about McRae. I've seen him in bits and bobs over the years, always a familiar face.

 Posted:   Jul 30, 2021 - 11:50 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

DILLINGER told the story of the final year in the life of criminal John Dillinger (Warren Oates) and his gang, as they go on a bank robbing spree across the Midwest. G-Man Melvin Purvis (Ben Johnson) is determined to bring him down. Frank McRae plays condemned murderer Reed Youngblood, with whom Dillinger breaks out of jail.

Frank McRae in DILLINGER

John Milius wrote DILLINGER and made his feature film directorial debut with the picture. The screenplay often deviated from historical fact. Barry De Vorzon’s score was released on an MCA LP, but it has not been re-issued on CD. DILLINGER barely cracked the top 60 films of 1973, with a $6.1 million gross.

 Posted:   Jul 31, 2021 - 12:17 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Twentieth Century-Fox was so pleased with the box-office success of 1972's THE HOT ROCK that they approached producers Hal Landers and Bobby Roberts to develop a sequel from The Bank Shot, an as yet unpublished Donald E. Westlake novel. Fox paid $100,000 for the rights to the novel, and George Segal and Robert Redford were set to resume starring roles, although the characters in The Bank Shot were not consistent with those in THE HOT ROCK.

However, Landers and Roberts ultimately negotiated to produce THE BANK SHOT in association with United Artists. Dancer-choreographer Gower Champion directed the 1974 film, marking Champion’s second and final feature film as a director before his death in 1980.

A voice-over narration by Clifton James in the role of prison director “‘Bulldog’ Streiger,” frames the narrative and is used intermittently throughout the film. Streiger introduces the character of “Walter Upjohn Ballantine” (George C. Scott) at the Streiger Institution prison during the presentation of the opening credits, and, at the end of the film, Streiger tells the audience of Ballantine's fate. Frank McRae plays a member of the robbery team, lock expert “Herman X.” Most of the character names were changed from the original novel; only Hermann X's name is unchanged.

Frank McRae and George C. Scott in THE BANK SHOT

John Morris' score was released by Kritzerland in 2009. The film had disappointing box office returns of $3 million.

 Posted:   Jul 31, 2021 - 10:39 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

HARD TIMES is the adventures of drifter “Chaney” (Charles Bronson), who becomes an illegal prize-fighter during the Depression Era in New Orleans. James Coburn is “Speed,” a slick low level fight promoter. Frank McRae plays a hired thug who smashes Speed’s car with a sledge hammer when Speed fails to pay a debt owed to loan shark “Le Beau” (Felice Orlandi).

Walter Hill made his feature film directorial debut with HARD TIMES. Barry De Vorzon’s score has only been released as an isolated score track on the 2013 Twilight Time Blu-ray release of the film. HARD TIMES sneaked into the top 40 films of 1975, with a $17.1 million gross.

 Posted:   Jul 31, 2021 - 12:36 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In PART 2 WALKING TALL, Sheriff Buford Pusser (Bo Svenson) continues his one-man war against moonshiners and a ruthless crime syndicate after the murder of his wife in late-1960s Tennessee. Frank McRae plays “Steamer Riley,” a huge man whom Pusser encounters tearing up a bar.

Earl Bellamy directed the 1975 film. Walter Scharf provided the unreleased score. The $2 million production made it into the top 30 films of the year, with a $25.2 million gross.

 Posted:   Aug 1, 2021 - 1:03 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

TRACKS finds “Sgt. Jack Falen” (Dennis Hopper) returning from Vietnam on special assignment, accompanying the body of his friend by train to California for burial. During the trip, he falls in love with gentle college student “Stephanie” (Taryn Power). But their relationship is shattered by his flashbacks to combat.

The film was shot by director Henry Jaglom without permission on cross-country Amtrak trains, using many real-life stewards and passengers as inadvertent background actors. Jaglom, Dennis Hopper and the whole crew were regularly ejected. Frank McRae played a train coachman in the 1976 film. The film has no original score. Robert O. Ragland was one of three music consultants who assisted Jaglom in selecting songs to evoke the WWII era, when U.S. citizens were generally united in favor of that war. Jaglom noted his intention to contrast the social accord of the 1940s and 1950s with the cultural divisiveness of the Vietnam War. Although the $1 million production played at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival, it did not get U.S. distribution until 1979, when it earned just $150,000 at the box office.

 Posted:   Aug 1, 2021 - 12:58 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Producer Gene Corman was inspired to make a movie about labor unions after reading some of Joe Eszterhas’ magazine articles. Corman and United Artists commissioned Eszterhas to write a screenplay on the topic. Although he had never written a screenplay before, Eszterhas interviewed workers in the Midwest about their union experiences and submitted a forty-page outline to UA in the fall of 1975.

Director Norman Jewison joined the project later that year. Eszterhas turned that forty-page essay into a 500-page screenplay titled F.I.S.T., which stood for the Federation of InterState Truckers. He and Jewison edited it down to 240 pages in 1976 and, when Sylvester Stallone was hired, the actor helped edit the script down to 150 pages. Jewison clarified that Stallone contributed to the writing of his character, “Johnny Kovak,” and to his dialogue with “Anna Zarinkas” (Melinda Dillon). The director denied that the main character was based on Jimmy Hoffa, the missing leader of the Teamsters union, though several publications drew that parallel, including the 24 June 1978 Saturday Review.

The film begins in 1937 Cleveland, Ohio, where Johnny Kovak leads a small rebellion among his fellow warehouse workers to protest their poor working conditions and the unfair dismissal of one of their co-workers. Later, Kovak is approached by “Mike Monahan” (Richard Herd), the president of the local trucker’s union, which regularly deals with companies run by unscrupulous men. Monahan believes Kovak has a way with men, so he asks Kovak to come work for the union as an organizer. Frank McRae played “Lincoln Dombrowsky” in the film.

F.I.S.T. cost $8.2 million to produce and grossed a decent $21.1 million at the box office. Bill Conti’s score was released on a UA LP and was re-issued on CD by Varese Sarabande in 2005.

 Posted:   Aug 1, 2021 - 2:58 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

THE END is a slapstick black comedy about a man, "Wendell Sonny Lawson" (Burt Reynolds), who finds that he hasn't much longer to live and makes several bungled attempts at suicide. Others around him become involved in his plans, including his girlfriend, "Mary Ellen" (Sally Field); his best friend and attorney, "Marty Lieberman" (David Steinberg); his ex-wife, "Jessica" (Joanne Woodward); his parents, "Maureen and Ben Lawson" (Myrna Loy and Pat O'Brien), and "Marlon Borunki" (Dom DeLuise), a paranoid schizophrenic whom he meets at a psychiatric hospital.

The film was the first major teaming of comedy duo Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise. The two had both appeared in SILENT MOVIE (1976) but were not "teamed" as such. Frank McRae played a male nurse in the film.

THE END was also the second theatrical feature directed by Burt Reynolds. The reviews for the 1978 film were generally poor. The Paul Williams score for the film has not had a release. The $3 million production was the #11 film at the 1978 box office, grossing $44.9 million.

 Posted:   Aug 2, 2021 - 12:49 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

BIG WEDNESDAY was a John Milius-directed film that followed the lives of some California surfers from the early 1960s to the 1970s. The primary surfers were “Matt Johnson” (Jan-Michael Vincent), “Jack Barlow” (William Katt), and “Leroy ‘The Masochist’ Smith” (Gary Busey). Barbara Hale, in her final theatrical film, played Jack Barlow’s mother, a good fit because she was the actual mother of William Katt, who played Barlow.

Vincent's "Matt Johnson" character is based on real-life surfer Lance Carson, who struggled with alcoholism throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Jeff Bridges turned down the role of Matt. Frank McRae played a Sergeant in the film. Basil Poledouris’s score for the 1978 film was released by Film Score Monthly in 2004. The $6 million film was a bust at the box office, grossing just $3.1 million in the U.S.

 Posted:   Aug 2, 2021 - 11:48 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

The setting for PARADISE ALLEY is Hell's Kitchen, New York, in the 1940s. “Cosmo” (Sylvester Stallone), “Lenny” (Armand Assante), and “Victor” (Lee Canalito) are a trio of sad-sack siblings just barely scraping by on their limited wits. Lenny works in a coroner's office, Victor hauls ice, and Cosmo is just an aimless galoot who makes his money however he can.

Cosmo takes Lenny to a private club called Paradise Alley where they learn that anyone who can go one round with a wrestler named “Big Glory” (Frank McRae) will win $100. Cosmo convinces Victor to wrestle Big Glory. After Cosmo introduces him as “Kid Salami,” Victor steps into the ring, beats Big Glory and wins the prize money. Suddenly, Lenny and Cosmo see a way to make some real green. But they will have to deal with bar owner and gangster “Stitch Mahon” (Kevin Conway) who represents a wrestler named “Franky the Thumper” (Terry Funk).


Sylvester Stallone directed the 1978 film. Among the cast, the most consistently positive mentions were for Frank McRae’s performance as Big Glory in publications such as Time, Daily Variety and the 10 Nov 1978 Los Angeles Times. Estimates of the film’s cost ranged from $3 million to $6 million. It grossed $7.2 million. Bill Conti’s score was released on an MCA LP, which was released on CD by Edel (Germany) in 1993.

 Posted:   Aug 2, 2021 - 11:12 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

After hearing union organizer “Reuben” (Ron Leibman) deliver a speech at the textile mill where she works, NORMA RAE (Sally Field) joins the effort to organize workers. Butting heads with management, and alienating husband “Sonny” (Beau Bridges) with her new activism, Norma Rae perseveres and becomes a confident, courageous fighter. Frank McRae plays fellow factory worker “James Brown.”

Frank McRae in NORMA RAE

Martin Ritt directed the 1979 film. David Shire’s score, with its Oscar-winning song "It Goes Like It Goes," was released by Varese Sarabande in 2009. The $4.5 million production was a modest box office hit, with a U.S. gross of $30 million.

 Posted:   Aug 3, 2021 - 8:03 AM   
 By:   zooba   (Member)

Rest in Peace sir.

I did love him as Big Glory in PARADISE ALLEY.

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