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  C.C. & Company Gives Motorcycling A Bad NameBuy this film here.
Year: 1970
Director: Seymour Robbie
Stars: Joe Namath, Ann-Margret, William Smith, Jennifer Billingsley, Mike Battle, Greg Mullavey, Teda Bracci, Don Chastain, Sid Haig, Bruce Glover, Kiva Kelly, Jacquie Rohr, Robert Keyworth, Alan Pappe, Ned Wertimer, Bill Baldwin, Shirley Eder
Genre: Action, Thriller, Romance
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: C.C. Ryder (Joe Namath) is a biker who today is having lunch at the supermarket he is passing through. He's not supposed to, but with all this food on display why not make a sandwich, help himself to a carton of milk and cupcakes, and only pay for a pack of gum? He's a man who plays by his own rules, but the gang he rides with can be far less noble, as later on when C.C. is out with two of them and they notice a limousine parked by the side of the highway. On investigation they see Anne McCalley, (Ann-Margret) a photographer waiting for her chauffeur to return - and trouble looms.

The name Joe Namath might not mean much to those outside of the United States, but in 1970 he was one of the most famous men in that country, although not thanks to an acting career. This was one of those movies which banked on the box office potential of a star name no matter that they were not best known for their acting talents, and Namath, a celebrated football player, was recruited for the most obvious type of film he could have been in this year: the biker movie. It was all there, the humour, the toughness, the rebel mindset, perfect for this celebrity.

Well, that was the idea, but actually what Namath was being used for was a prop for his co-star, Ann-Margret, whose husband Roger Smith was keen to help out his wife's career which was starting to dwindle. The real movie renaissance for her would not be this, however, but Carnal Knowledge the following year, and as a result her efforts here were largely forgotten - once you see this you will not be hugely surprised. Biker movies at the turn of the sixties and seventies were seen as a replacement for the ailing Western genre, especially because they were cheap to make and adhered to an easily imitable formula.

So C.C. saves Anne from being raped by his companions, which wins her heart but forces a wedge between him and the other members of the gang, known as The Heads and led by the inevitable William Smith, the most popular biker the screen had ever seen (or at least the most prolific). Smith played Moon, who likes his team to do things his way, so when C.C. goes against him, a fist fight erupts which allows them to let off steam. However, when they visit a motocross race who should be there but Anne? She's snapping photos of fashion models (presumably for women who like dusty clothes) and C.C. is keen to strike up an acquaintance.

Well, he's keen to get her into bed, really, but after proving himself worthy of her at one of the races on his new bike she sees that he would be a good partner: cue the tender love scene, plus a montage right after it as if this were a sensitive romance rather than a drama about a two-fisted hardman. Needless to say this kills the movie stone dead, so when Moon draws up plans for revenge you welcome a respite from Namath and his leading lady gazing into each other's eyes. Certainly there was some camp appeal to all this, particularly as neither Namath's acting ambitions or the biker movie genre lasted to any great degree, but the latter had potential at least, and mutated into styles such as the post-apocalypse action flick. For the sports star, appearances in The A-Team awaited, for Ann-Margret, Las Vegas beckoned, and for everyone else, B-movies were on the menu, but with such cult performers as Sid Haig and Bruce Glover, that was no bad thing. Music by Lenny Stack - bet you can't guess what they play over the titles.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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