Saturday, January 17, 2009


Image: Copyright (C) United Artists
On Friday, January 16, the American Cinematheque held a screening of the 1974 Richard Dreyfuss film, Inserts, at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. I had never seen this film before but I was curious to see a young Richard Dreyfuss and a young Bob Hoskins (in his first film)acting in a period film set in the 1930s. The movie did not dissappoint.
This X rated film has a pre-"Jaws" Richard Dreyfuss playing the part of "Boy Wonder," a former silent film directing star turned porno film director. When "talkies" started replacing silent films, Boy Wonder refuses to adapt to the changing times. Instead, Boy Wonder confines himself to his Hollywood mansion where he shoots silent porn films.
Bob Hoskins plays "Big Mac," Boy Wonder's producer. Big Mac and his girlfriend Cathy Cake stop by Boy Wonder's home to see how filming is going and to supply Boy Wonder's actress, Harlene (Veronica Cartwright) her payment of heroin. Harlene, to get ready for her next scene, takes her payment of heroin and runs to another room to inject herself. When Boy Wonder gets ready to start filming again, Harlene is found dead on the floor. Big Mac, with the help of Boy Wonder's clumsy actor Rex (Stephen Davies), takes Harlene's body away. Cathy Cake is left alone with Boy Wonder who teachers her some things about "Inserts."
Writer/Director John Byrum had been reading the controversial book Hollywood Babylon at the time of writing the screenplay for Inserts and clearly incorporated many tidibits from the book into the film. Old Hollywood fans will enjoy picking up on the many references to old Hollywood lore, including a running gag about a young Clark Gable. Old Hollywood references aside, the film is also worth seeing for the hilarious performances by Richard Dreyfuss, Stephen Davies, and Veronica Cartwright. Dreyfuss especially gives an entertaining performance.
After the screening of Inserts, director/writer John Byrum and stars Veronica Cartwright and Stephen Davies participated in a discussion of the film. Below are some videos I filmed from the discussion.
Here is a video of John Byrum explaing how he got to filming an X rated movie (now adjusted to NC-17):
In this video John Byrum discusses how he got to casting Richard Dreyfuss for the film. Byrum was lucky to get Dreyfuss who was already shooting a big budget film. Watch the video to hear the full story:
Here's a video of actress Veronica Cartwright (The Witches of Eastwick, Alien) telling a funny story about the first time she meet Jack Nicholson:
And here is one final video of actor Stephen Davies explaining the casting for Inserts:
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