6.3/10
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Nickelodeon (1976)

A lawyer, then a writer, then a film director, is the career path of the bashful Leo Harrigan. But Leo has problems as well, such as being hopelessly smitten with his leading lady, who ... See full summary »

Director:

Peter Bogdanovich

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ryan O'Neal ... Leo Harrigan
Burt Reynolds ... Buck Greenway
Tatum O'Neal ... Alice Forsyte
Brian Keith ... H.H. Cobb
Stella Stevens ... Marty Reeves
John Ritter ... Franklin Frank
Jane Hitchcock ... Kathleen Cooke
Jack Perkins ... Michael Gilhooley
Brion James ... Bailiff
Sidney Armus Sidney Armus ... Judge
Joe Warfield Joe Warfield ... Defense Attorney
Tamar Cooper Tamar Cooper ... Edna Mae Gilhooley
Alan Gibbs ... Patents Hooligan
Mathew Anden Mathew Anden ... Hecky
Lorenzo Music Lorenzo Music ... Mullins
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Storyline

A lawyer, then a writer, then a film director, is the career path of the bashful Leo Harrigan. But Leo has problems as well, such as being hopelessly smitten with his leading lady, who chooses to reward his attentions by getting herself hitched to Harrigan's vulgar leading man, Buck Greenaway. Written by Alfred Jingle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Love. Action. Comedy. Suspense. Excitement. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 December 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aquella locura del cine See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$9,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White (Director's Cut)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Three generations of the O'Neal family appear in this film: Ryan O'Neal, his daughter Tatum O'Neal, his son Griffin O'Neal (the boy delivering the film reels), and his mother Patricia O'Neal (one of the fans outside the movie theatre) See more »

Quotes

Franklin Frank: It's real simple, you'll have no problem.
Leo Harrigan: I won't?
Franklin Frank: Hell, no, any jerk can direct. Now you see over there? Marty & Kingsley putting on their makeup? Those are the actors.
Leo Harrigan: Thank you very much.
Franklin Frank: Okay, now you see over there? That box on the sticks? John's putting a blanket on it. That's the camera. Now the first thing you do is tell me where to put it.
Leo Harrigan: I'm about to.
Franklin Frank: No - I'm the cameraman.
See more »

Alternate Versions

A black-and-white director's cut runs seven minutes longer. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Lady with the Torch (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

I Been Workin' on the Railroad
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Richard Hazard
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Kathleen Cooke"-An Irresistible Screen Heroine
2 February 2005 | by aimless-46See all my reviews

Oddly this is a film that I have always liked and still make a point to watch when it is televised. I say "oddly" because I find Peter Bogdanovich and Ryan O'Neal excellent examples of two people pretty much clueless about their chosen professions. Bogdanovich was a journalist/critic/film theorist turned director (who had the bad taste to be involved with Cybill Shepperd) and O'Neal was a Hollywood personality who occasionally acted (who had the good taste to marry Leigh Taylor-Young).

Jane Hitchcock is the most interesting thing about "Nickelodeon". Hitchcock was a magazine model who Bogdanovich hoped to groom into a star. Bogdanovich historically has had a weakness for beautiful women of marginal talent (Shepherd and Dorothy Stratten's sister come to mind). Unlike the others, Hitchcock was quickly turned off by both Bogdanovich and the movie game-she already had a lucrative modeling career and didn't have to put up with the Hollywood starlet system. Whether Hitchcock would have made it big in movies is hard to tell, but in "Nickelodeon's" "Kathleen Cooke" she found a character she could play with wide-eyed innocence and complete sincerity. While it doesn't hurt that Hitchcock is drop dead gorgeous, her Kathleen Cooke character is more than gorgeous, she is absolutely captivating. Which makes her completely believable as the object of the movie's love triangle and elevates her to the top of my list of the all-time most irresistible screen heroines (even ahead of Fay Wray's "Ann Darrow" and Clara's Bow's "Mary Preston").

But "Kathleen Cooke" is not the only good thing about "Nickelodeon". It has one of cinema's all time funniest sequences. O'Neal arrives by train at a remote shooting location out west. He steps off the train at a watering stop and looks out over the desert to the movie set 500 yards away. The sun is high overhead baking the desert landscape and O'Neal is not enthusiastic about the prospect of walking that far in such heat. A tiny dog with the movie company spots him from that distance and begins running toward him. The dog is making a bee-line for him, as it gets closer we wait for the happy reunion, but when it arrives it immediately bites his leg. The dog hates him so much that it was willing to run that far in the hot sun just for the opportunity to attack him.

It also is an excellent and generally accurate history lesson about the early days of movies and the serendipity that determined who became involved with the new industry. Serendipity is the theme of the film and the source of most of its comedy, as the expanding talent needs of the new movie industry were often met by whoever they happened to encounter at a particular moment and not through any systematic process. Thus Burt Reynolds (in his best comic performance) becomes a stunt man only because at that moment they need a stunt man and he needs a job. A running gag is his boastful declaration with each new job that the job title (whatever it might be) is his middle name. Also a great take on how milestones like "Birth of a Nation" periodically set the bar higher throughout film history and inspired those within the industry to stretch themselves to do better work.

Ryan O'Neal is fairly low-key and therefore tolerable. In addition to Hitchcock and Reynolds, Bogdanovich gets excellent performances from Tatum O'Neal (great negotiating sequences), John Ritter, Stella Stevens and Brian Keith.

The main problem with "Nickelodeon" is that the depth and breathe of early film history is too complicated for a small comedic treatment. As a film historian Bogdanovich was dealing with a subject near and dear to his heart. He appears to have borrowed heavily from Fellini's "Variety Lights" and "White Sheik" to construct his company of players but could not integrate the intimate and light-hearted flavor of those films with the huge historical subject he was documenting. "Nickelodeon" is still entertaining and informative but the whole is less that the sum of its parts.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


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