Man, What a Trip That Was
In 1969, the tie-dye year that gave us Woodstock, the inauguration of Richard Nixon, the Manson murders, the Miracle Mets, the walk on the moon, the Chicago Eight conspiracy trial, Chappaquiddick, Altamont and “Abbey Road,” Hollywood finally discovered the youth culture. Taking their cue from rock ‘n’ roll, the movies were suddenly awash in sex, dope and cheap thrills.
In the period from April to December, a string of groundbreaking films opened in Los Angeles, including “Easy Rider,” “Midnight Cowboy,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “The Wild Bunch,” “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice,” “Medium Cool,” “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?,” “If . . . ,” “Take the Money and Run” and “Goodbye Columbus.”
A spirit of rebellion reigned as the crumbling studio system gave way to a maverick generation, full of lofty ideals and a mad passion to topple the old order--Hollywood’s version of the street protests against the Vietnam War. The movie business was in dire need of a face lift. Film lots looked like decaying junkyards. Ticket sales had reached all-time lows. Each week in Variety, there were headlines like: “Showbiz Stocks Skid.”
By summer’s end though, it became evident that a seismic generational shift was sweeping through the business. “Kids were kings. After ‘Easy Rider,’ everything was exploding everywhere,” recalls Sony Pictures Chairman John Calley, who was producing “Catch-22" in 1969. “We were all young, it was our time, and it was very exciting. The founders were no longer in charge: Jack Warner had sold Warner Bros., Disney was moribund, MGM was being bought and sold, Fox suffered from years of turbulence. What had been this rigid, immobile structure had completely come apart, and what was left was a lot of freedom.”
A host of young unknowns became stars overnight: Jack Nicholson and Peter Fonda; Dyan Cannon and Elliott Gould; Robert Redford and Jon Voight and Ali MacGraw. But the film that really shook the system was “Easy Rider,” which cost $360,000 and broke house records everywhere. Directed by Dennis Hopper, who’d been in so many scrapes at studios that he was virtually unemployable, the film went on to bring in $20 million, a king’s ransom compared to the losses studios suffered on such big-budget fiascoes as “Dr. Dolittle” and “Krakatoa, East of Java.”
Made by Raybert Productions, a maverick company headed by Bert Schneider--whose partner, Bob Rafelson, went on to direct “Five Easy Pieces” for the company--"Easy Rider” inspired the aged studio chiefs to rush out a host of low-budget counterculture imitations, most of which never made a dime. But its success also opened the doors for a scruffy new generation of filmmakers, including Martin Scorsese, Peter Bogdanovich, Hal Ashby, William Friedkin, Robert Altman, George Lucas, John Milius, Brian De Palma, Terrence Malick, Paul Schrader and Steven Spielberg, whose early films brought a burst of new energy and vitality to Hollywood.
The Young Turks did not venerate their elders. When Hopper was seated next to esteemed director George Cukor at a swank Beverly Hills dinner party, he poked a finger in Cukor’s chest and snarled, “We’re gonna bury you. You’re finished.”
“There was no middle ground, there was this huge consciousness gap between the studios and the young filmmakers,” recalls director Henry Jaglom, who helped Hopper and Nicholson edit “Easy Rider” on the Columbia lot, where Schneider’s father, Abe, ran the studio. “When we’d go eat at the executive dining room, it was like the 1950s. Until the movie came out, they thought we were all a bunch of strange weirdos. And then suddenly when it made all this money, the studio guys started wearing Nehru jackets and beads and became very friendly, asking all of us what kind of movies we wanted to make.”
The studios quickly got the message. In August, the 39-year-old Calley was installed as president of production at Warner Bros. Richard Zanuck, then 35, was named president of 20th Century Fox. By year’s end, Paramount had named 29-year-old Stanley Jaffe, who’d produced “Goodbye Columbus,” as its new chief operating officer. Announcing the move, Gulf & Western chief Charles Bluhdorn said, in what has since become a Hollywood mantra: “To me, Mr. Jaffe epitomizes what the motion picture business is all about today, appealing to the youth market.”
It all seems so long ago and far away now, a distant time before multiplexes and opening weekend box-office charts, when the cool car was a Corvette Stingray, hot young actors got $50,000 for a movie, and the hip club was called the Daisy, where starlets did the frug in go-go boots. It was 1969, a year of grand illusions and mesmerizing movies. Here, in their own words, are the memories of the people who helped change the face of the movie business and shape the attitudes of a generation.
I. ‘I Put On Two Pairs of Jockey Shorts’
Paul Mazursky, director of “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice”: I’d seen a story in Time magazine about Fritz Perls sitting naked in a hot tub at Esalen, so my wife and I went to a marathon 48-hour encounter group, and after we came back, Larry Tucker and I wrote the movie. The business was very open then. If you were a hot young guy, you could get almost anything made. When we’d have a studio meeting, we’d show up wearing velvet pants, granny glasses and as many beads as possible because we wanted everyone to know we were far-out. Of course, the first guy who read the script said it was too dirty. And I said, “What if we had Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward?” And he said, “Well, then it wouldn’t be so dirty.”
Dyan Cannon, co-star of “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice”: The day we had to do the scene where we all got in bed together, we were all a wreck. Elliott Gould was on a diet, but he started stuffing food in his mouth; Bob Culp was so nervous that he talked a mile a minute; and Natalie Wood--at first she wouldn’t even come out of her trailer. It was my first big movie, and I was panicked about having to take my bra off. I kept thinking, “People are going to see me without my clothes on this really big screen.”
Elliott Gould, co-star of “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice”: I was very inhibited. I didn’t want to get naked or interact sexually with the other actors. In the scene where I have to take my underwear off under the covers, I was so shy that I put on two pairs of jockey shorts before I got in bed.
Mazursky: We all smoked pot and did crazy things. We had a New Year’s Eve party that year where it was really two different parties--the 50 people who were straight and the 50 people who were on acid. I think five marriages broke up that night.
Gould: I thought Bob Culp was this incredibly smooth and sophisticated guy, because he’d already been a star on shows like “I Spy.” So after we’d shot the scene where we all smoke pot together, I asked him after work if he wanted to smoke some real pot with me. And he got so high that he passed out. He’d never actually smoked pot before.
Cannon: Natalie Wood and I became friends working on “Bob & Carol.” I was in awe of her because she had it in her contract that she got an hour off to see her psychiatrist. I always wondered--when I’m a star, will I need to see a psychiatrist too? She helped show us the ropes. One day Barbra Streisand came by and had lunch with her so Natalie could give her tips about what to put in her movie contracts.
II. ‘I Was in My Tyrant Phase’
Bill Hayward, producer of “Easy Rider”: If you see anybody in “Easy Rider” smoking marijuana, it’s not a prop. I saw cocaine for the first time in my life during post-production on that movie. But when Hopper went down to shoot the Mardi Gras in New Orleans, he wouldn’t let anybody bring any drugs. He was scared that we’d all get thrown in jail.
Dennis Hopper, director of “Easy Rider”: Peter Fonda had the wrong month for Mardi Gras, so we had only two weeks to prepare. I had no script, so I got five friends to go down there with 16-millimeter cameras--of course, only one guy actually stayed--and we made it up as we went along. We shot more footage in New Orleans than for the rest of the movie.
Hayward: Dennis was incredibly difficult, tactless and mad as a hatter. For years I had the tape that the crew recorded of him down in New Orleans, throwing a tantrum, just going on for hours, ranting and raving. He kept shooting film; he would shoot hours and hours of the white line on the road under the motorcycles.
Hopper: I was in my tyrant phase. I came out of working with screamers like John Ford and Henry Hathaway. Whether I was paranoid or not, I was the only one who knew how to make the movie. Peter and Bill wanted to replace me--that’s why they played that tape of me ranting and raving for Bert [Schneider] and Bob [Rafelson]. But Bert said, “I’m sticking with him.” He didn’t back down because a bunch of debutantes were worried about me.
Bob Rafelson: For months and months, Dennis kept screening his four-hour version of the film. He invited his friends and their friends and anyone else they knew, and they’d get stoned and pile into a theater we rented on the Columbia lot. I got worried that by the time it came out, everybody who could smoke a joint in L.A. would’ve already seen the movie.
Henry Jaglom: Having a father who ran Columbia Pictures gave Bert great security and an even greater desire to rebel. I’d known him forever--he was my counselor at summer camp--and he’d liked the editing I’d done in a 8-millimeter home movie, so he hired me to help edit “Easy Rider.” Everyone was smoking a lot of dope in those days, so everything went on too long.
So Bert got Dennis to go off to Taos, N.M., and then he assigned Jack Nicholson and me adjoining editing rooms, and Jack took the movie from the rear and I took it from the front and we spent eight weeks cutting this four-hour film down to 95 minutes.
Rafelson: When we screened the finished film at Columbia, 50 executives were in the screening room. And they all walked out--there was only one guy left at the end of the movie. The studio thought we’d gone off the deep end. It was only after we took it to Cannes and it was a sensation that they wanted to release the film.
Bert Schneider: After the screening I remember riding in the elevator with my father and my brother Stanley, who was an executive at Columbia. And my father said, “Who got us into this mess?” And Stanley, who’d been our biggest supporter, said, “I did.” My father hated the movie so much he forbid my mother from seeing it.
Hopper: The movie made Jack Nicholson a star, but I didn’t see him in my movie. I wanted Jack Starrett, who was an old drinking buddy of mine from Texas. But Bert insisted that I use him and finally I said, “Bert, I’ll do it for you, but he’s gonna ruin my movie.” Bert wanted Jack because he needed a watchdog to make sure we weren’t pissing away all his money.
Schneider: Maybe a week before the movie opened, I was walking down Park Avenue and there was this foxy girl on a bicycle. And I don’t know if I was waiting for the light to change or if I was hitting on her, but I started to tell her about this new movie and she went nuts--she knew all about it, all her friends knew all about it. And I got these big-time goose bumps because I thought, if this 16-year-old girl knows about our movie, and we haven’t even started our ad campaign yet, then we must really have something.
III. ‘It Seemed Like Paradise’
Sydney Pollack, director of “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?”: When I came into the business, there was no such thing as a young filmmaker. All the old guys who’d been there at the beginning were still there making pictures. But in 1969, it seemed like there was a great new movie every month. You look back from today and it seems like it was a different world.
Ned Tanen, then-Universal Pictures executive: The studio people were shocked to see everyone smoking dope in “Easy Rider” and everyone in bed in “Bob & Carol.” They couldn’t believe these movies were hits in Erie, Pa. But what really made them crazy was having to deal with some punk in their office in long hair and beads. They were almost praying these movies would fail so they wouldn’t have to deal with these crazy schmucks in sandals. When George Lucas, who had a beard, would come to my office, Lew (Wasserman) would run away down the hall. When Hopper came in, Lew tried to jump down the elevator shaft.
Rafelson: When Dennis went off to make “The Last Movie” after “Easy Rider,” Ned Tanen called me, saying, “Jesus Christ, he’s down in South America, stoned out of his mind. How do you talk to him?” And that was the difference between Bert and the studios; he shared the filmmakers’ sensibility. He recognized talent and had the skills to manage the talent.
John Calley, then-head of production at Warner Bros.: It got to the point where everybody started to believe in magic. We made “Woodstock,” which worked. But the shelves were full of films that were so terrible they were never released.
Bob Evans, then-Paramount production chief: It was a terrible year for the studios. The porn business was killing us. “I Am Curious (Yellow)” made more money than most studio films. We even moved our executive offices to Canon Drive and used the lot as a rental facility to generate extra income. When business is bad, you get a real hunger mentality, you’re willing to make movies like “Medium Cool” and “Goodbye Columbus.” We were all looking for something new.
Polly Platt, production designer of “The Last Picture Show” and then-wife of director Peter Bogdanovich: We were at Paramount preparing “Last Picture Show” and we’d never seen an executive like Bob Evans. He was sexy, incredibly rich and handsome, and he was tan and dressed impeccably--the David Niven of studio executives. He dated gorgeous women and had these fabulous parties. The first time I had caviar was at his house. It didn’t matter that the Paramount lot was decrepit and the paint was flaking. It seemed like paradise.
Peter Bart, then-Paramount production executive: There was a real energy and excitement. I remember reading the script for “Goodbye Columbus,” and four months later, we were shooting the movie. If two people showed up for a production meeting, that was a lot. We just had a lot more freedom, down to the ads we did. When “Goodbye Columbus” came out, our entire campaign was a poster that said: “Every father’s daughter is a virgin.”
Haskell Wexler, director of “Medium Cool”: Bob Evans said my movie almost got him fired. We challenged the FBI and the government, and the Paramount board of directors, who were the kings of capitalism. They brought in an insurance company that said I had to have releases from all the demonstrators at the Chicago Democratic convention before I could show them on film. I had to go to [noted lawyer] Arthur Goldberg and pay him $1,500 to get a statement that blew a hole in their argument. They still got me back--they charged all costs for “Paint Your Wagon” against my movie and claimed it’s never made any money.
Bart: The then-chairman of the Democratic Party was on our board, and even though he was a self-styled liberal, he thought the film was so antagonistic toward the party that it should be suppressed. We took it to [Gulf & Western chief] Charles Bluhdorn, and he sided with us. Being European, censorship really appalled him, especially when it was on purely political grounds. So he said, screw ‘em, let’s put it out.
Pollack: Freddy Fields, who ran CMA [Creative Management Agency] was my agent then, and he was the original Michael Ovitz, the guy who reinvented being an agent. CMA represented Streisand, Newman, Redford, Sidney Poitier--all the major stars of that era. Freddie and David Begelman had an amazing collection of agents, from stars like Sue Mengers to young agents like Mike Medavoy to Jeff Berg. It was impossible to put together a picture without them.
IV. ‘Why Dustin, You Do Fit Right In’
Dustin Hoffman, co-star of “Midnight Cowboy”: I hadn’t worked after “The Graduate.” I was so broke, I was actually on unemployment. I remember Life magazine, without my knowing it, shooting me in the unemployment line, and I was so embarrassed that I stopped going even though I had some more checks left. But I loved the “Midnight Cowboy” script. After “The Graduate,” I’d gotten all this press that I was really just playing myself. So I thought, let me do Ratso Rizzo, that’ll show ‘em. But John Schlesinger didn’t think I was right for the part. I made him meet me down on 42nd Street, and I didn’t shave and wore an old raincoat and there I was with all the down-and-outers and John said, “Why Dustin, you do fit right in.”
John Schlesinger, director of “Midnight Cowboy”: We got an X rating, which was exactly what I thought it should get. It didn’t mean the film was pornographic, it meant it was an adult film. United Artists totally left us alone. They were very nervous. We’d had difficulties editing the film, and I’d brought in a new editor, but they never came to see anything until we were ready.
Hoffman: Jon Voight and I wanted the characters to be gay, because it was obvious that was the intent of the story if you’d read the book. But Schlesinger, who was openly gay, said, “Oh God, no. We’ve got enough trouble getting the audience to sympathize with you without having to see the two of you in bed together.”
Schlesinger: I remember having our first screening at the Directors Guild and I sat next to Julie Christie and Warren Beatty, and I was so nervous that I got up and left and went to have a coffee at Schwab’s Pharmacy. It was only afterwards, at the party, that I knew we’d gone over quite well.
Hoffman: We had a lot of walkouts at the early screenings. . . . People thought it was very self-destructive for me to play that part, because he was so unattractive and I wasn’t even the lead. But we weren’t into making it in those days. The truth was, I saw “The Graduate” as a setback, because I was determined not to be a star. I just wanted a great part.
V. ‘OK, I’ll Be Butch’
Freddie Fields, then-head of CMA: We put together “Butch Cassidy.” Paul Newman was the lead, but [Steve] McQueen and Beatty and even [Marlon] Brando were jockeying back and forth, wanting to do the Sundance Kid. I thought McQueen and Newman were the best combination. But even when McQueen agreed to do Sundance, he wanted to be billed ahead of Newman. When he finally passed, we got Redford, who was just a young New York actor, but he had a buzz. Even with him there was a billing problem, because Paul didn’t want to share co-star billing. So to keep Redford below the title, we had to come up with a crazy poster that read like a sentence: Paul Newman is “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” is Robert Redford.
Paul Newman, co-star of “Butch Cassidy”: For a long time I thought I was playing Sundance. I remember just before we started rehearsals, I was talking to [director] George Roy Hill about all these character issues, and finally George said, “Why are we talking about Sundance? You’re playing Butch.” I said, “I’m Sundance.” And he said, “No, you’re not.” And I said, “George, I was here first--I’m Sundance.”
But I went back and read the script that night and thought, hell, the parts are really about equal and they’re both great parts. So I said, “OK, I’ll be Butch.”
VI. ‘Boy, Is Julie Christie Beautiful’
Buck Henry, writer and co-star of “Catch-22": I had a house up above the Strip and I could look down on about a dozen houses, which all had swimming pools, and not a day went by when there weren’t naked people in those pools. There was a lot of dope-inspired, orgiastic behavior. It was like Hollywood was this pond filled with drugs and hippie girls. Half the producers in town had moved a teenage hippie girl into their house, conveniently leaving their wives back in New York or leaving them altogether.
Plus, everyone had a cause. It was hard to go to a party then without seeing Timothy Leary or Huey P. Newton, smoking dope, scoring chicks and talking some immense b.s.
Platt: You had to be beautiful to be a woman in Hollywood then. Women were considered unnecessary unless they were pretty or potential starlets. I’d talk to men at parties, and it was obvious they weren’t interested in what I had to say, their eyes were always roving around the room. I once got so mad that I told Bert Schneider that I’d decided not to even talk to any men in Hollywood unless I really wanted to go to bed with them.
Newman: Joanne and I had gotten a house in Beverly Hills because our kids were in school in L.A. at the time, but we moved out of the house as soon as we moved in because we discovered that it was on the movie-star-map circuit. We even put a big sign outside that said, “They’ve Moved: The Pearsons.” But it didn’t help--the tour buses kept coming.
Hoffman: The first time I met Warren Beatty was at Eric Roth’s, which was the “in"-place clothing store in Beverly Hills. A salesman was showing me belts, and when I didn’t see any I liked, he said, “Oh, you can’t relate to them?” That was the word everyone used then--"relate.” And suddenly there was Warren with Julie Christie and they were eating ice cream cones, and right away, he started making fun of me.
I didn’t like him--he was cocky and fencing with me and making Julie laugh, saying things like, “You really think you look good in that shirt?” I remember thinking, “Boy, is he tall and, boy, is Julie Christie beautiful.”
Gould: I remember going to Eric Roth’s to buy a Nehru jacket. I wore it to the set of “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever,” [starring his first wife, Barbra Streisand] which Vincente Minnelli was making at Paramount. And Minnelli introduced me to Jack Nicholson, who was playing this bohemian character [in the film], and he points to my new jacket and says to Jack, who’d just made “Easy Rider,” “See, this is what I want you to look like.” I had no idea what Jack thought, but I never wore a Nehru jacket again.
Schlesinger: Hollywood was changing, but it was still Hollywood. One night I’d have dinner with Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy, the next night with George Cukor, who kept very early hours, so you had to be there at 6:45 or go hungry. Everyone had screening rooms in their homes, which I found fascinating, so after dinner some huge painting would slide away on the wall to reveal a projector. And people would talk during the film. One night we were watching “Reflections in a Golden Eye” and I vividly remember during one of Elizabeth Taylor’s scenes, someone saying quite loudly, “That’s not her ass, that’s a double.”
VII. ‘Let’s Slow Down’
Jaglom: The Daisy was the place where all the young stars and executives went. It was on Rodeo Drive and it was like a private club. You might see Mia Farrow or James Caan or Warren Beatty or Joan Collins and sometimes Judy Garland. I used to bring my sketch pad and I remember drawing two guys playing pool, one dressed as a cowboy and the other dressed as Jesus, and then a minute later, Dean Martin would come by and say, “Hi, pally.”
Hopper: I was at the Daisy the night of the Manson murders [Aug. 9], because I was supposed to meet Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring there. When we heard they’d all been killed, we freaked out. No one knew who did it or why they did it.
Calley: The murders were paralyzing. I’d produced a film with Sharon and introduced her to Roman Polanski, so it hit close to home. Mike Nichols was renting Jennifer Jones’ house and we were all there afterwards--we could see the house across the canyon. It was a terrifying time, because drugs had gotten weird then, dealers were being killed, people were being given hot shots [lethal drug injections]. So a lot of people started hiring guards or buying guns and reappraising their lives.
Henry: It was a line of demarcation. You can date everything to before or after the murders. I remember Bob Towne and I tried to dope it out, figuring who’d done the murders. We almost went to the D.A. with our theory, though, of course, we were wrong. Soon afterwards, I had dinner with Mike Nichols and we were sitting outside when there was this noise in the bushes and everyone froze. We were all about to faint when this security guard appeared, with a gun in his hand. It was a time of intense paranoia when everyone in Hollywood took a deep breath and said, let’s slow down.
Rafelson: It was the first public bad trip. Until the murders, it had been hip to have people like [Charles] Manson over to your house. It was part of the drug phenomenon--you celebrated democratically. If you went to a party and there were a bunch of wackos there, you were expected to respect their presence. Now suddenly the darkest of the dark shadows had entered the chic habitats of Hollywood. After the murders, people became very wary and suspicious, and suddenly it was the ‘70s. *
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Jan. 13: “Catch-22" begins production for Paramount Pictures.
Jan. 20: Richard Nixon is inaugurated as 37th president of the United States.
Feb. 17: “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?,” starring Jane Fonda, begins production.
April 10: “Goodbye Columbus,” starring Ali MacGraw, opens at the Crest Theater in Westwood.
April 14: “MASH” begins production on the 20th Century Fox lot.
May 6: Barry Diller, age 27, is made vice president of production at ABC Television.
May 9: Tricia Nixon invites the Turtles to play a masked ball at the White House.
May 21: The MPAA gives “Midnight Cowboy” an X rating.
May 22: “I Am Curious (Yellow)” opens in Los Angeles.
Joni Mitchell plays the Troubadour.
May 28: “If . . .,” starring Malcolm McDowell, opens in Los Angeles.
May 29: Laura Nyro plays the Troubadour.
Columbia Pictures holds a sneak preview of “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice” at the Crest Theater.
June 5: “Midnight Cowboy” screens at the Directors Guild. Attendees include Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, Peter Fonda, Bob Evans, Michael Caine and Fred Astaire.
June 6: “Easy Rider” screens at the Directors Guild. Variety columnist Army Archerd reports that he is unable to recognize most of the celebrity attendees “camouflaged under buckskin and heavy hair.”
June 13: Brian Jones quits the Rolling Stones.
June 17: Neil Young plays the Troubadour.
June 18: Variety headline: “Showbiz Stocks Stagger.”
June 20: Sam Peckinpah’s “The Wild Bunch” opens in Los Angeles.
July 3: Guitarist Brian Jones is found dead in his swimming pool.
July 8: Variety reports that Dustin Hoffman is learning to ride a horse for his next film, “Little Big Man.”
July 10: James Taylor plays the Troubadour.
July 14: Arthur Penn’s “Little Big Man,” starring Dustin Hoffman, begins production in Los Angeles.
July 18: Mary Jo Kopechne drowns when Sen. Edward Kennedy drives his car off a bridge at Chappaquiddick.
July 20: Astronaut Neil Armstrong sets foot on the moon.
July 23: Sergio Leone’s “Once Upon a Time in the West” opens in Los Angeles.
Financier Kirk Kerkorian makes a bid to buy MGM.
July 25: “Midnight Cowboy,” starring Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight, opens at the Bruin in Westwood.
Aug. 4: John Calley joins Warner Bros. as production chief.
Aug. 9: The Manson Family murders actress Sharon Tate, hairdresser Jay Sebring and three others at Tate’s home in the Hollywood Hills.
Aug. 13: “Easy Rider” opens at the Village Theater in Westwood.
Aug. 15: The three-day Woodstock Festival opens in upstate New York.
Aug. 25: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young make their first Los Angeles appearance at the Greek Theater. Opening act: Joni Mitchell.
Aug. 27: Woody Allen’s “Take the Money and Run” opens in Los Angeles.
Aug. 29: Richard Zanuck is named president of production at 20th Century Fox.
Sept. 2: Paramount Pictures fires 150 employees in a cost-cutting move.
Sept. 19: “Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice” opens in Los Angeles.
Sept. 24: The Chicago Eight conspiracy trial opens in Chicago.
Sept. 26: “Medium Cool” opens in Los Angeles.
Oct. 1: “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, opens in Los Angeles.
Oct. 16: The New York Mets win the World Series.
Oct. 24: Paramount production chief Robert Evans marries Ali MacGraw.
Oct. 30: Paramount names 29-year-old Stanley Jaffe as its chief operating officer.
Dec. 6: A fan is beaten to death during the Rolling Stones set at Altamont Speedway.
Dec. 17: “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” opens in Los Angeles.