|Index||8 reviews in total|
On the beach, three single guys and Jackie Bissett in her 20's - what
more could you hope for. Tony Franciosa (good actor) plays aging tennis
bum who skirt-chases, Bob Denver as the nebbish who's not dumb, and
Michael Sarrazin (who was Ms. Bisset's real-life love interest back
then) and the stunning Jackie in her beauty prime. Watching this flick
is like hanging out with friends you like for the weekend that make you
want to go home after a while. Furtive glances abound. There's
definitely not enough women in this plot.
A 6 out of 10. Best performance = Tony Franciosa. He works the room in the most shallow 60's way (like Tony Curtis did), but you like the guy because he never gives up. A fun flick with great locale!
A word of reassurance to anyone who's just read Mr. Stockett's plot summary: The character played by Jacqueline Bisset is NOT murdered, although she comes close enough. Actually, she's raped by a cycle gang leader, beaten by a Hollywood producer, then dumped in the street to be run over (a near miss results); the rest of the film unfolds mostly in flashback. This story of assorted aimless young folk who hang out at a tennis bum's beach pad could have been a real pain to sit through, but thanks to a good cast and understanding direction it holds the interest all the way, and accurately captures a certain American lifestyle. (Most critics hated this film, which is always an encouraging sign.) The talented cast makes the characters real and interesting; you really like most of these people, and their interplay is always interesting. And that terrific title song (performed by the late Dusty Springfield) should have been a big hit!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Overall a pretty stupid movie. I gotta admit I really only watched it
for Jacqueline Bisset. Starts off with a lot of promise. Denny and
Vickie meet and its a great underdog story with Denny triumphing
somehow over his smooth talking buddy Collie- he even runs off to buy
wine for them to drink! Anyhow things get physical and Denny acts like
a putts when Vickie wants to slow things down. Vickie's hiding that
she's been sleeping with a producer(Pre-Denny) to get acting gigs and
she doesn't know how to tell Denny what she's been doing. Denny loves
her and wants her to confide in him... how does he go about showing her
his love? Throw her down on the bed, slap her around, then run off like
a little crybaby! He seemed too much like a kid in an adult
relationship. It didn't seem very reasonable that they would be
together. Anyways she goes back to her parents after the hospital and
Denny goes to talk to her. She acts like someone would to a guy that
slapped her around. I didn't understand the whole convo, it was kind of
abrupt. She seemed like she would have gone back with him had he been
able to forgive her, but again he says "i can't" or something like that
and runs out of the house and straight into the hardware store
business. Role credits. What a loser, I think I could forgive
Jacqueline Bisset of almost anything. She's the only reason I would
ever watch this movie again.
As far as the rape and beating goes... I don't think Mr Clean raped her. She was getting slapped around by Caswell in the house and ran out the back to get away and there was the biker gang. She took her top off I think to come on to Clean to get back at Caswell, or possibly for big-biker-guy protection from Caswell. Anyhow it leaves you to assume Caswell beat her and left her in the street, but it never really says how he got her there or how she couldn't get away from Caswell after being with the Biker- Vickie never says what happened to her or who did it which really kinda sux. sucks too Caswell didn't get his in the end, all he got was beat up a little by Denny the whiney brat. I laughed out loud when Denny went in there shooting and Caswell threw some book or heavy looking thing and it caught Denny right between the eyes... funny stuff
Hollywood starlet, beaten down by the high price of glamor and success, is ready to leave her career for a mercurial surfer, who is under the thumb of a controlling tennis bum. Cheesy Twentieth Century-Fox answer to the youth movement in cinema of 1968, complete with swastika-wearing bikers and also a funny buddy (Bob Denver) straight out of the "Beach Party" movies from the earlier part of the decade. Jacqueline Bisset is obviously a beautiful women, but not so much here; the combination of gummy color cinematography and an unattractive part conspire to make the up-and-coming star look haughty and silly. Tanned, muscular Tony Franciosa gives the stilted proceedings a little kick, but Franciosa had already outgrown parts like this smug tennis hustler (it's the type of dumb role which would help kill off interest in him as an actor in the next few years). Although the picture is swill, there is some fascination (for buffs, at least) in seeing a major studio frantically trying to be 'with it'...keeping up with the kids, as it were. ** from ****
****SPOILERS***** The movie "The Sweet Ride" begins with a ride on a
Malibu highway where pretty actress Vickie Cartwright, Jacqeline
Bisset, is dumped on the road from a speeding car and left to die or be
run over and killed by the highway traffic.
The Malibu police round up three persons who knew and lived together with Vickie at a beach front house owned by tennis pro Collie Randsom, Anthony Franciosa. Collie was picked up by the police together with his two room-mates surfer Danny McGuire, Michael Sarazzin, and Choo-Choo, Bob Denver, an on and off professional musician whenever he can find work.
It turns out that Vickie left the trio some two weeks ago at Las Vegas when she had a big fight with her lover Danny over her secret life that she kept from him. Vickie depressed and hurt was even more hurt when Collie, who was Danny's best friend, found her alone in her hotel room and tried to make a play for her. Which showed Vickie just what a heel he is instead of the friend that she thought he was up until then.
Danny finds out from him being interrogated by the police that a local biker gang, The Freaks, were seen on the Malibu beach partying last night and may have been responsible for beating and raping Vickie. Danny going with Collie to the bar where The Freaks hang out to talk to Mr. Clean. Charles Dierkop, the gangs top honcho to finds out what he knows about what happened to Vickie.
Mr. Clean agrees to meets the two at a deserted warehouse but as soon as he shows up he's beaten by having his head smashed through a window and having a number of beer bottles broken over his skull. Mr. Clean tells Danny & Collie that he and his gang did have sex with Vickie on the beach last night but it wasn't rape it was Vickie herself who voluntarily conceded to have sex. Mr. Clean tells them it seemed as if she wanted to die and be killed by him and his biker gang.
Mr. Clean also told Steve & Collie that Vicki was in a big house on the beach that turned out to belong to her agent or producer a guy named Bradly Caswell, Warren Stevens. Caswell may well have been abusing Vickie to the point where death was an option for her. Danny thanked Mr.Clean for the info by breaking another beer bottle over his already cracked and bleeding skull with him, after he kicked Collie out of his station-wagon, driving to the Caswell Estate.
Danny has it out with Caswell as a movie of Vickie's is playing on Caswell's movie screen, this was 1968 before there were VCR or DVD's, with Caswell getting the hell beat out of him. Later Vickie, recovered and out of the hospital, breaks off her relationship with Danny with Danny leaving Collie for a job at a hardware store in Malibu. Choo-Choo also leaves Collie by getting married to his long time girlfriend Thumper, Michele Carey, as well as being drafted into the US Army. Poor and dejected Collie is left alone all by himself at his beach-front house with an unlimited supply of young and curvy beach girls for him to play with.
"The Sweet ride" is an uneven film that never explains just who dropped Vickie on the highway to die as well as beat her to the point where she had a concussion and six broken ribs. Mr. Clean if you believe him said that he and his gang only had sex with Vickie and left her on the beach covered up with a blanket; could it have been Caswell who beat and dumped Vickie on the highway?
I also couldn't understand why Vickie left Danny since he did everything to help her and she was in love with him. Why leave him now when you would think that she would need Danny more then ever? The scene with Mr. Clean and Danny & Collie in the empty warehouse was really insane. Why would Mr. Clean meet with the two alone and end up getting his head bashed in? When he had about twenty tough bikers who could have come to his aid stay in the bar and not at least be within earshot if anything happened to him where they would come to his rescue?
Mr. Clean also came across very sympathetic and it was both Danny & Collie, who are the good guys in the movie, who came across as vicious thugs by attacking and beating Mr. Clean when he came in good faith to talk to them. Poor Mr. Clean didn't even have a chance to open his mouth as he was brutally attacked by the two as soon as he walked into the warehouse!
The only two reasons I can give for watching "The Sweet Ride" is to see beautiful Jacqueline Bisset topless and the movie title song "The Sweet Ride" sung by the late Dusty Springfield.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
there's something of a tolerable movie here. Harvey Hart's The Sweet
Ride is what used to be rated "M" for audiences. It's a soap opera
covered with the thin candy coating of a "youth" movie, and except for
a couple glimpses of Jacqueline Bisset's boobage, and some really
snarky Tony Franciosa dialogue, there's not a huge jump from the suds
to the somewhat-interesting and the superficially-silly.
The Sweet Ride takes itself too seriously, tries to address too many things, is way too artsy for its own good, but danged if you don't start caring about the characters. Franciosa, an alcoholic tennis bum, pushing 40 and telling a cop that he hangs around young people because of their energy, represents lost youth. Michael Sarrazin does his doe-eyed thing, wanting a relationship, winding up in the folks' hardware store. Bisset, a woman who has never been in a movie that she couldn't trip up with a bad performance (but who has gotten a lot of face time on screen for things other than her face), is the object of Sarrazin's desire. Yet, she won't tell her boyfriend that she's a kept woman, an actress being abused by a TV producer.
Oh, and we've got Bob Denver and Michelle Carey as the sort-of married couple that adds some comic relief.
Throw in some nasty biker dudes, a rape, a near-murder, and Charles Dierkop (an actor everyone my age will recognize) getting his head put through a plate glass window.
Mix with a lot of booze, some hookahs, immorality, amorality, and Tony Franciosa growing some moral fortitude for the big showdown with the bikers.
A pinch of bad rock in a night club. A dash of Bob Denver playing a simpering homosexual to get out of being drafted.
You've got a movie that will, maybe, keep the adults in their seats and the young folks thinking that this is a literate film with deeply intellectual underpinnings.
For me, about the thirty-fifth time Sarrazin asks Bisset why she is so secretive, I'm thinking, "For God's sake, Jackie, tell the man that your owner shows movies of you at home to get his No- Restraining-Order-for-Me rocks off!" She keeps talking in riddles until Sarrazin gets fed up and rapes her.
She's so weird that no amount of bouncing Bisset bosom would be worth it.
And yet, once again, the viewer is probably going to want things to work out between the two kids, for Denver and Carey to find married bliss, for the bikers to bathe regularly, for Franciosa to stop hustling tennis matches and get a real job selling used cars (and stop splashing his hungover face with old beer--ick).
I didn't mention the neighbor who hates Franciosa for his wild lifestyle and his stealing the newspaper because that level of comedy is beneath such an intellectually-underpinned and literate youth film.
A heartfelt drama about all the different troubles one is faced with in life, the film is done in a superbly realistic manner. The characters are well developed and the relationships between them are well defined, but it is perhaps the acting of the characters that is the best part of the film, especially from Michael Sarazzin. However, the storyline itself is not all so great, as it is too familiar and too ponderous. The film also feels rather musty and B-grade, like a standard midday movie on television. But for the characters and the acting, the film is worth the watch. Great characters and acting just not such a great plot.
The characters/actors really bring this together. Terrific chemistry all the way. The director was clearly not afraid to hang back and let the actors perform. And Tony Franciosa is great as usual. The film really captures the California beach bum/beatnik lifestyle. Highly recommended.
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