Location: Redstone Theater
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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