Freebie and the Bean (1974) – The Daily Movie Wallpaper – Richard Rush

Richard Rush on the set of Freebie and the Bean 1974

The Daily Movie Wallpaper
Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Love this rare behind the scenes shot of filmmaker Richard Rush with its added reflection of him on the left! Be sure to read the rare press release below sent out to promote Freebie and the Bean.

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, producer-director of Warner Bros.’Freebie and the Bean,” is responsible for leading a corps of new young film workers to the forefront of their chosen specialties. Alan Arkin and James Caan star in the outrageous action comedy film. Screenplay was by Robert Kaufman from a story by Floyd Mutrux.
Warner Bros. Studio (Press Release)
During the chaotic 1960’s, when Hollywood studios were not turning out enough films to satisfy the appetite of theaters and audiences and were groping in confusion in search of a lost audience or a new one, a number of young filmmakers, working outside of the established Hollywood community, were imposing style and substance while satisfying the demands of the independent, exploitation market and doing it with new methods and ideas to accomplish their ends on a budget.
One who supplied the requisite action, as well as rich characterization by new young players and thematic purpose to buoy the thrills-chills-spills, was Richard Rush, who managed to mount social satire on a motorcycle for a trilogy of bike epics which finally brought him to the attention of Hollywood studios. His latest and most ambitious offering is Warner Bros.Freebie and the Bean,” an outrageous action comedy which stars Alan Arkin and James Caan.
If Rush managed to overlay greater content than the market asked and finally earned the budgets and shooting schedules and properties that major studio financing would make available to him, those who served their apprenticeship with him on tight budgets and schedules have also found that the experience leads often enough to stardom, the opportunity to director or to add their credit to quality assignments.
Jack Nicholson was an actor who seemed destined to serve out his career in films whose life expectancy was no more than a week on a drive-in double bill. Working with Rush as the star of “Hells Angels on Wheels” and “Psych-Out,” Nicholson developed the enigmatic smile which was to become a trademark in some of the longest running hits of the seventies.
When Dennis Hopper and producer Bert Schneider were preparing “Easy Rider,” they viewed Rush’s motorcycle trilogy. Impressed with the screen values Rush’s crews captured with mobility on a budget and tight schedule, they secured Rush’s cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs, his astute production manager and associate producer Paul Lewis, and many of his technical personnel, like sound man Leroy Robbins, script girl Joyce King and still photographer Peter Sorel. That film brought Nicholson his first Academy Award nomination.
Henry Jaglom, an actor in “Hells Angels on Wheels,” learned enough from auditing that demanding job to make his own directorial debut with “A Safe Place,” one of the cult films of recent years. Another Rush actor, Adam Roarke, went on to star in “Play It As It Lays” and is now producing. Jack Starrett also moved from acting to directing.
Max Julien was inspired by his acting assignments in Rush films to add writing and producing to his filmmaking chores on such successes as “The Mack” and “Thomasine and Bushrod.”
Leon Ericson, Rush’s art director, once constructed a complete frontier town in record time for scarcely less than a four figure budget for the film, “The Savage Seven.” Robert Altman, who frequently used Rush crews when they were available, borrowed Ericson for “That Cold Day In The Park” and made him associate producer on “M*A*S*H” and “McCabe and Mrs. Miller.”
Francis Ford Coppola was one of Rush’s earliest allies, brought in by Rush to do the screenplay of Tennessee Williams’This Property Is Condemned,” a project which would finally be made by another director at another studio.
Chuck Bail, Rush’s continuing stunt coordinator, soon graduated to second unit direction on Rush films, a dual capacity he again performed on “Freebie and the Bean.” He credits Rush with the graduate course which resulted in his recent ascension to full direction with Warners’ “Black Samson.”
Rush, whose shrewdly timed pairing of Elliot Gould and Candice Bergen in “Getting Straight” brought Columbia one of its highest grossing films of the year, also introduced in that film was John Rubenstein and Jeanne Berlin, the latter the daughter of Elaine May and now a star in her own right.
Freebie and the Bean” reunites Rush with his “Getting Straight” screenwriter Robert Kaufman, whose special brand of far-out comedy, threaded with moments of tenderness, well suits Rush’s stylistic blend of realistic action adventure stretched to limits of absurd black comedy which delivers a reverberation of disturbing thought in a salvo of guffaws. Rush and Kaufman are presently at work on a number of future collaborations.
Rush is proudest of the off-beat casting in the present film, which finds Alan Arkin in his first physically demanding action role and television’s Valerie Harper in a tart and tempestuous role which will come as a surprise to those who know her work only in video series.

Image Source:
Official still that was used in the original US release of the film.


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