HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Ad Astra
Winslow Boy, The
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Arena
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Spear
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Streetwalkin'
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Hustlers
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Ma
Woman at War
   
 
Newest Articles
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
   
 
  Dirty Mary Crazy Larry The Need for SpeedBuy this film here.
Year: 1974
Director: John Hough
Stars: Peter Fonda, Susan George, Adam Roarke, Vic Morrow, Kenneth Tobey, Eugene Daniels, Lynn Borden, Janear Hines, Elizabeth James, Adrianne Herman, T.J. Castronovo, James W. Gavin, Al Rossi, Ben Niems, George Westcott, Tom O'Neill, Roddy McDowall
Genre: Drama, Action, Thriller
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Larry (Peter Fonda) should have said goodbye. This morning he rushed out of the motel room he had spent the night with Mary (Susan George) in and jumped into the car of his best friend Deke (Adam Roarke), whereupon they both drove off to set about the task in hand. That being a supermarket robbery, which they orchestrated by taking the wife (Lynn Borden) of the manager (Roddy McDowall, uncredited) and holding her hostage until her husband handed over the cash, collected by the laidback Larry. However, on emerging into the street he finds someone in the getaway car: it's Mary, and she isn't going to get lost no matter how much Larry tries to persuade her...

Ah, the seventies car movie. There's a certain je ne sais quoi about them, isn't there? You could watch a serious one, like Vanishing Point or Two Lane Blacktop, or you could go for a light-hearted one, like The Gumball Rally or Smokey and the Bandit. This is one of the more serious ones, as although there may have been comedic elements it wasn't particularly funny and more of a drama as it played out - a drama with frequent action sequences thanks to director John Hough's implementation of an expert stunt team which saw plenty of excellent car chases as Larry takes the wheel and tries to elude the cops, whose own patrol vehicles are no match for the power of what these three have for an engine.

So what if the "naturalistic" dialogue sounds pretty phoney now? Judging by the script, the film didn't care one jot if you liked the central trio whatsoever as not one of the actors made any moves to be at all sympathetic: Fonda is arrogant, George is irritating and Roarke is cold. Except that wasn't quite true, as for all their hard to ignore faults the viewer may have found themselves oddly warming to them, purely thanks to the cops, as was typical in these efforts hailing from this era, being even less likeable. They were led by Vic Morrow, who in a spot of uneasy foreshadowing for how he would end his life spends most of the movie, too much in fact, as a passenger in a helicopter, even winding up dangerously buzzing the criminals.

But it was those chases which contained all the right elements: flash manoeuvres, loud engines, lots of dust, property being destroyed and police cars frequently run off the road, all set in those huge wide open spaces between the lives of others, where you can live as you pleased albeit with the threat of The Man hanging over you and to be negotiated with should you take that theme of freedom too far. Larry treats fleeing from the law as a race, and the taciturn Deke is there for the equivalent of pit stops when his partner in crime grows overly reckless. By turning this into a game of sorts, a sport if you will, Larry lifts the burden of his lawbreaking and encourages us in the audience to regard this similarly, as something exhilarating with the wind in your face and the chance you could be sent flying off the track at any second only rendering it more vital.

Yet there was a price to pay, and that was summed up in one of the most memorable endings in all of seventies car chase cinema. On second viewing you're anticipating it all the way through and it colours your perception of the characters' lives, something in the first watch you were expecting to be more carefree, even blithely immoral for all its championing of the outlaw glamour they inhabit. That revisit reveals more than you might have expected; listen for the lack of incidental music, not one note is played other than the occasional song we hear over the radio, which could be ominous when an exciting tune might have enhanced the edgier aspects, but without it reveals an almost eerie, watchful quality as if we are biding our time waiting for some denouement or other. For all four of the main players, this was one of their defining cult movies, and as a late night television staple it has been drawing viewers in for decades; you might not like them here exactly, although George and Roarke share a tender scene late on, but they are compelling, as is the film.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 17634 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

John Hough  (1941 - )

British director who began work as a director for 60s TV show The Avengers. Directed a wide variety of mostly genre movies over the last 30 years, the most notable being Hammer's Twins of Evil, The Legend of Hell House, Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, Incubus and Biggles. Also turned in Disney pictures Escape to Witch Mountain and The Watcher in the Woods, plus straight-to-video turkey Howling IV.

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: