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Southern Hospitality (1973)

William Mackie

Sound | 1973

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  •  Television commercial foreshadows what is to come with, “Entertaining guests tonight...”    
  •  Strangers in the dark look inside the house 
  •  The doorbell rings and two strangers, introduced as Lazlo and Renee, enter the house 
  •  Joe and Lazlo converse in the living room, while Lazlo displays off-putting and strange behavior 
  •  Betty accompanies Renee as she explores the upstairs 
  •  Renee breaks a glass in the kitchen 
  •  Joe catches Lazlo eagerly looking outside 
  •  Renee and Lazlo convince Joe and Betty to entertain them longer 
  •  Joe calls the police 
  •  Renee spills coffee on Joe’s blueprints 
  •  The adults suddenly hear Suzie’s cries from upstairs 
  •  Joe demands an explanation for Renee and Lazlo’s behavior 
  •  A loud crash interrupts Joe’s interrogation  
  •  Joe opens the door to a shocking scene 
  •  The mob of refugees lock Joe and Betty outside the house 
  •  To no avail, Joe seeks shelter within the neighborhood 
  •  The White family enters one of Joe’s model homes 
  •  A family bangs on the door, begging for shelter 
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Written, directed, and edited by University of Texas at Austin student Theodore Nicolaou, this 1973 narrative film dramatizes the experience of the White family as they house two suspicious guests on a night of severe weather. In the short, the White family eagerly opens their doors to Lazlo and Renee Tartantua, who complain of car trouble. As the night progresses, however, Joe and Betty White begin to notice troubling behavior from their guests. Although the Whites earnestly attempt to get the Tartantuas out of their house, the Tartantuas overstay their visit. Finally, Joe forces them out of the house, only to be bombarded by a mob of homeless hurricane refugees. Forced and locked out of their own house, the Whites unsuccessfully search the neighborhood for shelter. Many members of the cast and crew went on to have successful careers in the film industry. Nicolaou worked on numerous sci-fi and horror films, including the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Ghoulies (1985), and The Dungeonmaster (1985). Makeup artist Dorothy J. Pearl worked on Tootsie (1982), for which she won the BAFTA Award for best makeup and hair; Groundhog Day (1993); Big Fish (2003); and Miss Congeniality (2000). Bill Mackie was a professor in the Radio-Television-Film Department at the University of Texas. He now works as an independent broadcast media professional.