Newest Reviews
Bruce Lee & I
Doraemon The Movie: Nobita's Dinosaur
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
Invasion Planet Earth
Buddhist Spell, The
Steel and Lace
Reivers, The
Angel Has Fallen
I Lost My Body
At First Light
Free Ride
Blank Check
Mad Monk, The
Wind, The
Holly and the Ivy, The
Now, Voyager
Wolf's Call, The
Nightingale, The
Eighth Grade
Irishman, The
Lords of Chaos
Operation Petticoat
Dead Don't Die, The
On the Waterfront
Last Faust, The
Art of Self-Defense, The
Beach Bum, The
Kill Ben Lyk
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
Newest Articles
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
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
  Riding High Beware Of Low Flying MotorcyclesBuy this film here.
Year: 1981
Director: Ross Cramer
Stars: Eddie Kidd, Irene Handl, Murray Salem, Marella Oppenheim, Bill Mitchell, Zoot Money, Paul Humpoletz, Lynda Bellingham, Daniel Peacock, Owen Whittaker, Claire Toeman, Ken Kitson, Vivienne McKone, Saiward Green, Peter Whitman, April Olrich, Patricia Hodge
Genre: Drama, Action
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Dave Munday (Eddie Kidd) lives in a seaside town by the beach in a tiny house with his gran (Irene Handl), and feels he is in a dead end with no prospects to brighten his life. Only one thing makes him happy, and that's his motorcycle which he is very adept at riding, just as well when he's a dispatch rider zooming around the streets delivering documents and packages to local businesses. He has to put up with some uppity behaviour from his clients, such as this lady (Patricia Hodge) who is very short with him, then apologises for being bitchy - Dave observes he'd be bitchy too if he had to work in an office all day. Not for him the confines of the 9 to 5, his heart is set on making the most of his motorbiking, specifically in the sphere of stunts...

There was a time in British cinema for generally non-acting homegrown celebrities where the movie vehicle was part and parcel of the showbiz life, mostly if you were a singer in some capacity, but there were always those efforts which featured current celebs either in cameo roles, support or more rarely a starring part, and Riding High was one of the latter, showing up at the arse end of the nation's film industry that was the nineteen-eighties. By this point much of what audiences wanted to see, aside from the odd prestige production such as Chariots of Fire or Ghandi, was American product, great news for Hollywood as it meant they did not have to invest in British works as they had for some time since the fifties and sixties.

Still, there were a plucky few who tried to make waves in the domestic market, and Derek Ford, a survivor from the sex comedies of the seventies, attempted to find a fresh winning formula now his previous area of specialisation was falling away thanks to the burgeoning home video market. Thus he took the popular motorcycle stunt rider Eddie Kidd and plonked him down in a movie that was very much part of the tries at capturing the youth market at the time, from Quadrophenia (which was hit) to The Music Machine or That Summer! (which were less so). Take one wild-eyed loner standing at the gates of oblivion, or at least some young performer who could embody the spirit of wishing to escape the daily grind the audience could potentially identify with, and give him a struggle against the odds.

Kidd's struggles were well-publicised when in 1996 after a successful career, including doubling for James Bond in a couple of movies and countless stunt shows where he would perform daredevil leaps on his bike, he fell during a performance and in a freak accident managed to land himself in a coma. He did awake, but not at the cost of his mental faculties, so never rode stunts again and was landed with the extra humiliation of bankruptcy; he did turn to charity work and the affection the British public held him in meant everyone's heart went out to him, Britain's own Evel Knievel, only Eddie was somehow less brash and more palatable than the American. That difference informed the plot here, as Dave is pitted against Evel-esque rider Judas S. Chariot (voiceover man extraordinaire Bill Mitchell as an unlikely stuntman).

The director was Ross Cramer, whose main claim to fame was comedy short The Waterloo Bridge Handicap which was often trotted out as a filler between programmes on television. Here he penned a script based on Ford's outline where as often with sporting dramas the template of Rocky was used, so there was a lot of local colour, a spot of unpretentious comedy, training sequences (including one where Kidd is dressed exactly as Sylvester Stallone was when doing his Philly jog), though the romance element was rather neglected. He closest we got was one of the employees of Judas's over the top agent (Murray Salem), the oddly-named Zoro (Marella Oppeneheim doing an American accent rather than a Mexican one), who in a very Fordian shot is seen walking naked along the beach with an equally nude Eddie - from behind, as Cramer had an apparent liking for focusing on his characters' rear ends. The grand finale featured a showcase for Kidd as he leapt a disused viaduct, impressive, but it took a long time to get there, though the pop hit-packed soundtrack was a distraction (Eddie sang, too).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 1534 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

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

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart

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


Last Updated: