99 and 44/100% Dead


1h 37m 1974

Film Details

Also Known As
99 and 44/100 Percent Dead, Call Harry Crown
MPAA Rating
Release Date
Jan 1974
Premiere Information
not available
Country
United States
Location
Seattle, Washington, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 37m
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

Film Details

Also Known As
99 and 44/100 Percent Dead, Call Harry Crown
MPAA Rating
Release Date
Jan 1974
Premiere Information
not available
Country
United States
Location
Seattle, Washington, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 37m
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Articles

The Nickel Ride & 99 and 44/100% Dead - THE NICKEL RIDE & 99 AND 44/100% DEAD - Action Double Feature from Shout! Factory


The critical work on the American New Wave, it seems, has only just begun. Robert Altman still gets a free skate (although, truth be told, M*A*S*H isn't nearly as substantial as his other '70s films), Hal Ashby has been sanctified but Alan J. Pakula has not, and Robert Aldrich's contribution to the decade are forgotten, while the proper canonization of Monte Hellman and Barbara Loden's Wanda is paperwork still waiting to be filed. Michael Ritchie had a sharp-tongued run no one remembers, and the few fascinating films Peter Fonda directed are still cinema non grata. The era's propensity for desperate road travel and dusty realism and pitiless narrative makes it the match for the meaning of film noir, but as yet it seems more critical and academic thought has been devoted, generally, to Blade Runner and E.T., and to the least of Hitchcock films, and to the oeuvre of David Fincher. There's still so much that's left out of the discussion - for example, the '67-'77 period's genuine, humanizing and startling passion for American subcultures, be it road racing, bar life, cockfighting, country music, grunt military life, farming, moonshining, surveillance work, rodeos, construction, beauty pageants, Little League baseball, and so on. For a span, a very real America thrived on movie screens, a nation we'd never seen before on film, and for that alone the era should be reexamined with an atomic microscope.

Robert Mulligan, one of the era's several Industry lions inherited from early TV and high-profile '60s hits, is certainly one of the forgotten, and his sullen 1974 wisp of a crime drama The Nickel Ride may never have been noticed at all. At the time, the film was one of a pack of nasty, urban-underbelly sagas produced in a flood after the success - d'estime and otherwise - of The French Connection (1971). (Others, so many of them worth finding then and now, include 1972's Prime Cut, 1973's The Seven-Ups, Scarecrow, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, and Electra Glide in Blue, 1974's Busting, and 1975's The Yakuza.) The Nickel Ride's membership in this grungy platoon is in many ways more interesting than the film's particulars; just like noir, the small-boned, texture-intense '70s films are best considered as a cultural event in toto, as a mass expression of social anxiety and doubt. Each individual film is merely a panel in a polyptych. (Think about it: we watch real '40s-'50s noirs not for the possibility of brilliance in a certain film, but to enter into and deepen our experience with noir-ness.) All told, these films comprise a ultra-realistic, unsentimental portrait of our state of being otherwise unheard of in American film.

On board with that program in every way, Mulligan's film is very conscientiously minor, unspectacular, grim, a vignette of underworld fatalism in which not even a doomed last-ditch heist is planned to offer the dubious hope of salvation. Instead, a kind of under-the-table real estate deal is the difference between life or death. Fresh off The Exorcist, playwright-turned-momentary-star Jason Miller plays Cooper, an aging Mob middleman so thorough-goingly "middle" he occupies a seedy office and wears a necktie to work. He is the "keyman" - the manager of local warehouse space holding the Mob's stolen truckloads of whatever - in the old postwar business districts of L.A. that could just as easily be the neglected industrial areas of Detroit or Baltimore. He's got a young, ditzy Southern wife (Linda Haynes), a bar-owning buddy down the block (Victor French), and a neighborhood full of wannabes and friendly lowlifes. He also has a smooth and stone-hearted boss (John Hillerman), according to whom "things change," and who complains ominously about the new "corporate types" running the syndicate, who aren't pleased that Cooper is having a difficult time settling a deal for a large block of warehouses.

Through a way-subtle confluence of exchanges and hints, involving several of the syndicate's henchmen and a boxer that refuses to lie down for the easy money, Cooper becomes convinced he's becoming obsolete and is getting lined up for a fall. Things do change, a mournful and bitter idea that seeps into the film's fabric, and they often change outside of our field if vision; we don't know much better than Cooper what behind-the-scene machinations are working against him. This encourages the movie to slacken and brood, as we all wait for Cooper's fate to catch up with him.

It's really a character study in the New Wave mode - focusing on a lost soul so cagey and emotionally withholding we're left mainly with presumptions and projections. Miller, who in real life had already won his playwrighting Pulitzer and been nominated for an acting Oscar (for The Exorcist), owned a mountainside face only the '70s could love, resembling Harry Dean Stanton's muscly older brother and possessing in his tired eyes the lost look of a pilgrim coming off a decade in the desert. This is not your Dream Factory glamourpuss; Miller was a presence then because he looked and sounded like a real person, not an actor. Mulligan, nothing if not a flexible craftsman, had just come off Summer of '42 (1971) and The Other (1972), tripping from nostalgic romance to hothouse horror to despairing urban grit without a shrug. (They all do share that over-Vaselined soft-focus glow that was one of the hot styles of the '70s.) Certainly, he is awake to the needs of Eric Roth's screenplay - be wary, walk slow, trust no one. Just like Cooper.

The frill-free DVD release comes co-packaged, on two discs, with another '70s studio freak, John Frankenheimer's 99 and 44/100% Dead (1974), a deliberately cartoony mob-war farce in which Richard Harris, wearing huge Randy Newman glasses and a Sally Brown pageboy haircut, is uncharacteristically cool-as-cucumber playing a hired gun caught in the middle. Campy and dated, it's just one dip in Frankenheimer's head-scratching, tempest-tossed '70s filmography.

99 And 44/100% Dead / The Nickel Ride, visit Shout Factory. To order 99 And 44/100% Dead / The Nickel Ride, go to TCM Shopping.

by Michael Atkinson
The Nickel Ride & 99 And 44/100% Dead - The Nickel Ride & 99 And 44/100% Dead - Action Double Feature From Shout! Factory

The Nickel Ride & 99 and 44/100% Dead - THE NICKEL RIDE & 99 AND 44/100% DEAD - Action Double Feature from Shout! Factory

The critical work on the American New Wave, it seems, has only just begun. Robert Altman still gets a free skate (although, truth be told, M*A*S*H isn't nearly as substantial as his other '70s films), Hal Ashby has been sanctified but Alan J. Pakula has not, and Robert Aldrich's contribution to the decade are forgotten, while the proper canonization of Monte Hellman and Barbara Loden's Wanda is paperwork still waiting to be filed. Michael Ritchie had a sharp-tongued run no one remembers, and the few fascinating films Peter Fonda directed are still cinema non grata. The era's propensity for desperate road travel and dusty realism and pitiless narrative makes it the match for the meaning of film noir, but as yet it seems more critical and academic thought has been devoted, generally, to Blade Runner and E.T., and to the least of Hitchcock films, and to the oeuvre of David Fincher. There's still so much that's left out of the discussion - for example, the '67-'77 period's genuine, humanizing and startling passion for American subcultures, be it road racing, bar life, cockfighting, country music, grunt military life, farming, moonshining, surveillance work, rodeos, construction, beauty pageants, Little League baseball, and so on. For a span, a very real America thrived on movie screens, a nation we'd never seen before on film, and for that alone the era should be reexamined with an atomic microscope. Robert Mulligan, one of the era's several Industry lions inherited from early TV and high-profile '60s hits, is certainly one of the forgotten, and his sullen 1974 wisp of a crime drama The Nickel Ride may never have been noticed at all. At the time, the film was one of a pack of nasty, urban-underbelly sagas produced in a flood after the success - d'estime and otherwise - of The French Connection (1971). (Others, so many of them worth finding then and now, include 1972's Prime Cut, 1973's The Seven-Ups, Scarecrow, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, and Electra Glide in Blue, 1974's Busting, and 1975's The Yakuza.) The Nickel Ride's membership in this grungy platoon is in many ways more interesting than the film's particulars; just like noir, the small-boned, texture-intense '70s films are best considered as a cultural event in toto, as a mass expression of social anxiety and doubt. Each individual film is merely a panel in a polyptych. (Think about it: we watch real '40s-'50s noirs not for the possibility of brilliance in a certain film, but to enter into and deepen our experience with noir-ness.) All told, these films comprise a ultra-realistic, unsentimental portrait of our state of being otherwise unheard of in American film. On board with that program in every way, Mulligan's film is very conscientiously minor, unspectacular, grim, a vignette of underworld fatalism in which not even a doomed last-ditch heist is planned to offer the dubious hope of salvation. Instead, a kind of under-the-table real estate deal is the difference between life or death. Fresh off The Exorcist, playwright-turned-momentary-star Jason Miller plays Cooper, an aging Mob middleman so thorough-goingly "middle" he occupies a seedy office and wears a necktie to work. He is the "keyman" - the manager of local warehouse space holding the Mob's stolen truckloads of whatever - in the old postwar business districts of L.A. that could just as easily be the neglected industrial areas of Detroit or Baltimore. He's got a young, ditzy Southern wife (Linda Haynes), a bar-owning buddy down the block (Victor French), and a neighborhood full of wannabes and friendly lowlifes. He also has a smooth and stone-hearted boss (John Hillerman), according to whom "things change," and who complains ominously about the new "corporate types" running the syndicate, who aren't pleased that Cooper is having a difficult time settling a deal for a large block of warehouses. Through a way-subtle confluence of exchanges and hints, involving several of the syndicate's henchmen and a boxer that refuses to lie down for the easy money, Cooper becomes convinced he's becoming obsolete and is getting lined up for a fall. Things do change, a mournful and bitter idea that seeps into the film's fabric, and they often change outside of our field if vision; we don't know much better than Cooper what behind-the-scene machinations are working against him. This encourages the movie to slacken and brood, as we all wait for Cooper's fate to catch up with him. It's really a character study in the New Wave mode - focusing on a lost soul so cagey and emotionally withholding we're left mainly with presumptions and projections. Miller, who in real life had already won his playwrighting Pulitzer and been nominated for an acting Oscar (for The Exorcist), owned a mountainside face only the '70s could love, resembling Harry Dean Stanton's muscly older brother and possessing in his tired eyes the lost look of a pilgrim coming off a decade in the desert. This is not your Dream Factory glamourpuss; Miller was a presence then because he looked and sounded like a real person, not an actor. Mulligan, nothing if not a flexible craftsman, had just come off Summer of '42 (1971) and The Other (1972), tripping from nostalgic romance to hothouse horror to despairing urban grit without a shrug. (They all do share that over-Vaselined soft-focus glow that was one of the hot styles of the '70s.) Certainly, he is awake to the needs of Eric Roth's screenplay - be wary, walk slow, trust no one. Just like Cooper. The frill-free DVD release comes co-packaged, on two discs, with another '70s studio freak, John Frankenheimer's 99 and 44/100% Dead (1974), a deliberately cartoony mob-war farce in which Richard Harris, wearing huge Randy Newman glasses and a Sally Brown pageboy haircut, is uncharacteristically cool-as-cucumber playing a hired gun caught in the middle. Campy and dated, it's just one dip in Frankenheimer's head-scratching, tempest-tossed '70s filmography.

Richard Harris, 1930-2002 - TCM Remembers Richard Harris


Two-time Best Actor nominee Richard Harris, who was also famous for his feisty, off-screen exploits, was once characterized along with Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole as one of Britain's most charismatic and unpredictable leading men during the heyday of their popularity in the '60s and '70s. He died at the University College of London Hospital on Friday, Oct. 25. He had been suffering from Hodgkin's disease, a form of lymphatic cancer, and was 72 years old.

Harris was born October 1, 1930, in Limerick, Ireland, one of nine children born to farmer Ivan Harris and his wife, Mildred Harty. He was a noted rugby player as a youth, but shortly after his move to London in the mid-50s, Harris studied classical acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. After a few years of stage experience, he made his screen debut in Alive and Kicking (1958) and quickly developed a reputation as a talented young actor. His film career became increasingly impressive with such strong supporting turns in Shake Hands with the Devil (1959), The Guns of Navarone (1961) and Mutiny on the Bounty (1962).

Yet it wasn't until 1963 that Harris became an unlikely star after thrilling movie viewers and critics with his electrifying performance in This Sporting Life. His portrayal of a bitter young coal miner who becomes a professional rugby star marked the arrival of a major international talent and won him the Best Actor award at Cannes and an Oscar nomination.

Strangely enough, Harris' next projects were multimillion dollar epics and he went largely unnoticed amid the all-star casts; he had a small role as Cain in John Huston's production of The Bible (1966) and in Hawaii (1966) he played a sea captain who falls in love with a married woman (Julie Andrews). He also tried his hand at a mod spy comedy opposite Doris Day - Caprice (1967). A much better role for him was playing King Arthur in the film version of the Broadway hit Camelot (1967). The movie was not well received critically, but Harris' singing skills proved to be a surprise; not only did he win a Golden Globe for his performance, but the film's soundtrack album proved to be a bigger commercial hit than the film itself. Even more surprising was his unexpected success the following year with the pop hit "MacArthur Park" - that kitsch cornerstone of lounge karaoke. The song just missed topping the Billboard singles chart in the "Summer of 1968;" It was topped by Herb Albert's "This Guy's In Love with You."

The '70s proved to be a mixed bag for Harris. He scored a huge commercial hit with his best-known film of that decade, A Man Called Horse (1970). It became a cult Western and featured him as an English aristocrat captured, tortured and eventually adopted by Sioux Indians. He also showed some promise behind the camera, co-writing the screenplay for the psychological thriller The Lady in the Car With Glasses and a Gun (1970) and directing (as well as starring) in The Hero (1972), a drama about an aging soccer star. But the quality of films in which Harris appeared declined as the decade progressed: Orca (1977) - a terrible Jaws rip-off, The Wild Geese(1978), and worst of all, Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981), in which he had a thankless role as Bo Derek's explorer father.

Based on those films and his general inactivity in the '80s, Harris' comeback performance in The Field (1990) was a wonderful surprise. In that film he played a man who has nurtured a field into a prized piece of real estate only to lose his sanity as the property is taken from him; the role earned him a deserved Oscar nomination and showed that he was still a vital screen presence. Harris took full advantage of this new spurt in his career by committing himself to many fine character roles: the cool, refined gunslinger in Unforgiven(1992), his intense portrayal of a father mourning the death of his son in Cry the Beloved Country (1995), the resident villain of Smilla's Sense of Snow (1997), and as the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius in the epic Gladiator (2000).

Yet Harris will probably be best remembered by current audiences for his portrayal of Dumbledore, the benevolent and wily head of Hogwarts School in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) which will be released nationwide in just three weeks. Harris is survived by his three sons, Jared, Jamie (both actors) and the director Damian Harris.

by Michael T. Toole

Richard Harris, 1930-2002 - TCM Remembers Richard Harris

Two-time Best Actor nominee Richard Harris, who was also famous for his feisty, off-screen exploits, was once characterized along with Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole as one of Britain's most charismatic and unpredictable leading men during the heyday of their popularity in the '60s and '70s. He died at the University College of London Hospital on Friday, Oct. 25. He had been suffering from Hodgkin's disease, a form of lymphatic cancer, and was 72 years old. Harris was born October 1, 1930, in Limerick, Ireland, one of nine children born to farmer Ivan Harris and his wife, Mildred Harty. He was a noted rugby player as a youth, but shortly after his move to London in the mid-50s, Harris studied classical acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. After a few years of stage experience, he made his screen debut in Alive and Kicking (1958) and quickly developed a reputation as a talented young actor. His film career became increasingly impressive with such strong supporting turns in Shake Hands with the Devil (1959), The Guns of Navarone (1961) and Mutiny on the Bounty (1962). Yet it wasn't until 1963 that Harris became an unlikely star after thrilling movie viewers and critics with his electrifying performance in This Sporting Life. His portrayal of a bitter young coal miner who becomes a professional rugby star marked the arrival of a major international talent and won him the Best Actor award at Cannes and an Oscar nomination. Strangely enough, Harris' next projects were multimillion dollar epics and he went largely unnoticed amid the all-star casts; he had a small role as Cain in John Huston's production of The Bible (1966) and in Hawaii (1966) he played a sea captain who falls in love with a married woman (Julie Andrews). He also tried his hand at a mod spy comedy opposite Doris Day - Caprice (1967). A much better role for him was playing King Arthur in the film version of the Broadway hit Camelot (1967). The movie was not well received critically, but Harris' singing skills proved to be a surprise; not only did he win a Golden Globe for his performance, but the film's soundtrack album proved to be a bigger commercial hit than the film itself. Even more surprising was his unexpected success the following year with the pop hit "MacArthur Park" - that kitsch cornerstone of lounge karaoke. The song just missed topping the Billboard singles chart in the "Summer of 1968;" It was topped by Herb Albert's "This Guy's In Love with You." The '70s proved to be a mixed bag for Harris. He scored a huge commercial hit with his best-known film of that decade, A Man Called Horse (1970). It became a cult Western and featured him as an English aristocrat captured, tortured and eventually adopted by Sioux Indians. He also showed some promise behind the camera, co-writing the screenplay for the psychological thriller The Lady in the Car With Glasses and a Gun (1970) and directing (as well as starring) in The Hero (1972), a drama about an aging soccer star. But the quality of films in which Harris appeared declined as the decade progressed: Orca (1977) - a terrible Jaws rip-off, The Wild Geese(1978), and worst of all, Tarzan, the Ape Man (1981), in which he had a thankless role as Bo Derek's explorer father. Based on those films and his general inactivity in the '80s, Harris' comeback performance in The Field (1990) was a wonderful surprise. In that film he played a man who has nurtured a field into a prized piece of real estate only to lose his sanity as the property is taken from him; the role earned him a deserved Oscar nomination and showed that he was still a vital screen presence. Harris took full advantage of this new spurt in his career by committing himself to many fine character roles: the cool, refined gunslinger in Unforgiven(1992), his intense portrayal of a father mourning the death of his son in Cry the Beloved Country (1995), the resident villain of Smilla's Sense of Snow (1997), and as the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius in the epic Gladiator (2000). Yet Harris will probably be best remembered by current audiences for his portrayal of Dumbledore, the benevolent and wily head of Hogwarts School in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) which will be released nationwide in just three weeks. Harris is survived by his three sons, Jared, Jamie (both actors) and the director Damian Harris. by Michael T. Toole

Quotes

Trivia

'Harris, Richard' married his leading lady Ann Turkel after this one wrapped.

The title parodies the Ivory Soap advertising slogan "99 - 44/100% Pure"

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1974

Director John Frankenheimer died July 6, 2002 of a stroke at the age of 72.

Released in United States 1974