Friday, May 26, 2017, 7:00 p.m.
Dir. Norman Jewison. 1975. 125 mins. 35mm. With James Caan, John Houseman, Maud Adams John Beck, Moses Gunn. After playing football players in both Brian’s Song and The Rain People, and a famously fist-happy thug in The Godfather, the physically formidable James Caan was asked to tackle two typecast tropes at once for Rollerball. This thoroughly ‘70s dystopian yarn posits a corporate-controlled future in which the world’s most popular sport is a roller derby death match invoking the unholiest elements of gridiron, hockey—even pinball—and anticipating the blood lust fandom of extreme fighting. When a blue-blooded honcho (Houseman) decides that the league’s best player has become too popular, a Spartacus-style, elbow-padded revolt gathers out on the rink.
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