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Director John Avildsen had hard-hitting films before 'Rocky'
Director John Avildsen had hard-hitting films before 'Rocky'

John G. Avildsen is best known for his uplifting films about underdogs such as the Oscar-winning 1976 "Rocky" and 1984's "The Karate Kid." But his career didn't start out that way. Long before he won the director Oscar for "Rocky," Avildsen received acclaimed for two dark character studies — 1970's "Joe" with Peter Boyle and Susan Sarandon and 1973's "Save the Tiger," starring Jack Lemmon, who won a lead actor Oscar for the role. The American Cinematheque's Aero Theatre will be screening both films Friday night. In between the films, Avildsen will be in conversation with screenwriter Larry Karaszewski...

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