Let It Loose

The hippie humanism of Hal Ashby
by Rob Nelson   posted Jun 26, 2008

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COMMENTS (2)

"The Landlord, seemingly written at the Movieola..." Great line, one that sums up Ashby's inside-out methods as well as any I've read.
Matthew Seitz   posted 09.04.09

I am extremely sorry you're (apparently) unfamilair with Second-Hand Hearts. Written by Charles Eastman as The Hamster of Happiness as an example of how to creat e low-budget movie that would connect with audiences, this tale of two bums (male and female respectively) who get married and then fall in love, drifted around town for years. Ashby finally shot it just prior to his big hit Being There. It starred the great Barbara Harris and equally insane Robert Blake. The late Antony Holland (of original Chicago Second City fame) was a good friend of mine and he told me of how every day the company would call him to see if he could get his dear friend Barbara to leave her trailer and go to the set. She was convinced that her co-star was trying to kill her. As the film was made by the boutique company Lorrimer it became something of an orphan when Paramount lost interest in Lorrimar producr and the boutique went bell-up. Second-Hand Hearts played a weekend in Westwood then vanished into the abyss, occasionally turning up on cable. It is a mad masterpeice of the sort only Hal Ashby could make.
David Ehrenstein   posted 09.07.08

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THE AUTHOR

Rob Nelson is a member of the National Society of Film Critics and an adjunct instructor of film studies at Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

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