Theme: shockwaves. each theme answer reveals a shocker from a classic film. sorry for the spoilers if you haven't seen any of these movies.
17A. "Soylent Green" shocker : IT'S MADE OF PEOPLE. 1973 science fiction film starring charlton heston, in which the planet and it's population are suffering due to overpopulation and dwindling resources. 'soylent green' is a rationed food wafer, in short supply. here's the shocker:
28A. "The Sixth Sense" shocker : HE'S ALREADY DEAD. 1999 psychological horror film starring bruce willis and haley joel osment. bruce willis portrays a child psychologist, working with a young patient who sees "dead people, walking around like regular people," who don't know they're dead. the shocker revealed at the end, bruce willis's character was unknowingly dead all the time.
46A. "Psycho" shocker : NORMAN IN A DRESS. 1960 hitchcock suspense horror film starring anthony perkins and janet leigh. perkins's character is norman bates, owner and manager of the bates motel, whose mother apparently lives in the hotel. a motel guest is murdered (the famous shower scene), and it is believed that bates's mother is the murderer. the shocker is when bates's mother's mummified body is discovered in the hotel, and norman has been keeping her alive by dressing in her clothing.
61A. "The Empire Strikes Back" shocker : LUKE IS VADER'S SON. 1980 space opera film, the second of the six star wars series to be released (fifth in chronological order). luke skywalker and darth vader engage in a light saber duel during which luke's hand is severed, and vader reveals the shocker, that he is luke's father.
melissa here. c.c. interviewed bruce back in november, where he mentions he likes movies, and puzzles in which "the entries aren't just entered in the 'usual' way." this puzzle qualifies on both counts. i've highlighted additional clues that (could) have theatrical connections in blue.
1. "As you wish" : FINE.
5. Plot that's "pulled" : SCAM
9. British racecourse : ASCOT. in ascot, berkshire, the world's most famous racecourse.
14. Sooner than thou thinketh : ANON. fresh and fun clue.
15. Glissade garb : TUTU. did not know this, glissade is a ballet dance move, literally meaning to glide.
16. Yawning fissure : CHASM. yawn, meaning, to open wide, gape.
20. Like some pains : ROYAL. haha.
21. __ tai: rum drink : MAI
22. In the know about : UPON. not sure i've heard it used this way, anyone have an example? (correction: UP ON, thanks marti and c.c.)
23. Attempt : STAB. take a stab at a glissade across a chasm while drinking a mai tai.
26. Put on the market : SELL. speaking from experience, not necessarily the same thing.
34. Campaign staffer : AIDE. interns are sometimes on, um, staffs, too .... (boo hiss)
35. Really irritate : VEX
36. Reinspire, as troops : RALLY
37. Auto dealer datum: Abbr. : MPG. miles per gallon.
38. It's read at registers : BAR CODE
41. Struggle : VIE
42. Amazon's milieu : E-TAIL
44. Barcelona gold : ORO. spanish.
45. Headliner : LEAD
50. Partner of if : THEN
51. Burglar's haul : LOOT
52. Toll lane choice : CASH
55. Eloped, say : WED
57. It's not heard by other characters : ASIDE. a dramatic device in which a character speaks to the audience, unheard by the other characters on the stage. sometimes called 'breaking the fourth wall.' anyone remember it's garry shandling's show on showtime?
65. Gussy up : ADORN
66. Pound using feet : EZRA. poet.
67. Meas. of how high you are : ELEV. elevation.
68. Western Union transmissions : WIRES
69. Break in the music : REST
70. "Calm down!" : EASY
1. Ferris wheel locale : FAIR. this is what i thought of.
2. Division preposition : INTO. arithmetic. two goes into four ...
3. Showing unwelcome interest : NOSY
4. As a group : EN MASSE
5. Time zone word: Abbr. : STD. standard, as opposed to daylight.
6. Prompt to enter : CUE
7. Basic unit of matter : ATOM
8. Simba's father in "The Lion King" : MUFASA. james earl jones is the voice of both darth vader and mufasa.
9. Powerful club : ACE
10. Slangy word of regret : SHOULDA. coulda, shoulda, woulda.
11. Abner drawer : CAPP. al capp, cartoonist best known for the comic strip li'l abner.
12. 1952 Olympics city : OSLO. norway.
13. Feds who caught Capone : T-MEN. Treasury agents. T-Men is also the name of a 1947 film noir classic shot in black and white.
18. Utah ski resort : ALTA
19. Like calico cats : PIED
24. The "A." on many a patent : ALVA. thomas alva edison filed 1,093 successful patents.
25. Rabbit's title : BRER. according to wikipedia, The name "Br'er Rabbit", contraction of "Brother Rabbit", has been linked to both African and Cherokee Indian cultures. The Walt Disney Company later adapted this character for its animated motion picture Song of the South."
27. Instrument played with a plectrum : LYRE. plectrum is latin, an instrument for striking the lyre.
28. In the know about : HIP TO
29. Award named for a mystery writer : EDGAR. this year's nominees and winners.
30. Former pen pal? : EX-CON. penitentiary.
31. Middle-earth residents : ELVES. fictional setting of tolkien's the hobbit and lord of the rings books (and movies).
32. John Smith may be one : ALIAS
33. Turned blue, maybe : DYED
34. Prayer period? : AMEN
38. No great shakes : BLAH
39. Like some exams : ORAL
40. Extinct bird : DODO
43. "Count me in" : I'M THERE
45. "Hmm ..." : LET'S SEE
47. It might be late-breaking : NEWS
48. "What nerve!" : I NEVER
49. Crowd cacophony : ROAR
52. Feline weapon : CLAW
53. TT automaker : AUDI. from wikipedia: The Audi TT takes its name from the successful motor racing tradition of NSU in the British Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) motorcycle race. The TT name has also been attributed to the phrase "Technology & Tradition".
54. Toffee candy bar : SKOR
56. Bewildered state : DAZE
58. One of las Canarias : ISLA. spanish for island.
59. Sees to : DOES
60. Emotion akin to jealousy : ENVY
62. Officeholders : INS
63. House and Watson : DR'S
64. Down a hero, say : EAT. sandwich.