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The Big Bounce (1969)

R  |   |  Drama  |  July 1969 (Austria)
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 271 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 11 critic

A Vietnam veteran and ex-con is persuaded by a shady woman to rob a $50,000 payroll account on a California produce farm. But who is playing who?



(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast overview:
Sam Mirakian
Bob Rodgers
Cindy Eilbacher ...
Noam Pitlik ...
Sam Turner
Victor Paul ...
Kevin O'Neal ...
Boy in dune buggy
Charles Cooper ...
Paul Sorensen ...
Senator's associate
Girl in bikini


Jack Ryan is a young Vietnam veteran with a criminal record, who gets fired from his job as a migrant laborer on a California produce farm run by the mean-spirited camp manager Bob Rodgers. Ryan then meets and teams up with the seductive Nancy Barker the secretary and mistress to the unscrupulous owner Ray Ritchie. When Ryan takes another job as a cleaner at a local motel owned by Sam Mirakian a local justice-of-the-peace, Nancy again approaches Ryan to help her rob Ritchie's safe in his house which allegedly has $50,000 of payroll money. Ryan reluctantly agrees to help with the heist, but becomes highly distrustful of Nancy, suspecting she may double-cross him to keep all the money for herself, and vice versa with her over him. Written by Matt Patay

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

July 1969 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

La perversa  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Actors Ryan O'Neal and Leigh Taylor-Young were a married couple at the time of filming. See more »


Nancy Barker: That's part of the fun of it, isn't it? The risk involved.
See more »


Version of The Big Bounce (2004) See more »


The Big Bounce
Written by Mike Curb and Guy Hemric
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User Reviews

Another Case of the Remake Being Better Than The Original
20 September 2004 | by (Whitehall, PA) – See all my reviews

Out of curiosity, I rented the 1969 film version of THE BIG BOUNCE from Netflix, and it proved the underrated 2004 edition (which I reviewed elsewhere on the IMDb) to be another example of a remake that's way better than the original! The two versions of TBB are fairly close in plotting, but this year's model captures source author Elmore Leonard's loopy, cynical sense of humor much better, skipping the original film's mawkish asides and heavy-handed attempts at poignancy and psychodrama. For instance, the self-pitying, self-destructive, male-afflicted single mom played by Lee Grant in 1969 is rebooted in the latest edition as a cheerfully coquettish tourist played by Anahit Minasyan, whose fate is much more upbeat than poor Grant's. Also, TBB Mark 2's Hawaiian setting and George S. Clinton's playful score combining rock and Hawaiian-style music appealed to me more than TBB Mark 1's been-there-done-that Los Angeles locales (by the way, I seem to recall that Leonard's book is set in Detroit) and syrupy soft rock by Mike Curb, of all people. Next to The Mike Curb Congregation, The Brady Bunch's album sounds like the Rolling Stones' greatest hits! Even if it didn't sound hilariously dated to early 21st-century ears, Curb's score is still all wrong for a downbeat crime drama like the '69 model (not that the first film is completely humor-free; Van Heflin's eccentrically-decorated home was one of the film's few bright spots). I almost got the feeling Curb originally composed the music for an entirely different kind of film, perhaps some perky, inspirational heart-warmer starring the folks from Up With People which never got off the ground, so someone decided to graft Curb's score onto TBB v. 1 instead of letting it go to waste. While both films have great casts overall (the original includes Heflin, James Daly, and Robert Webber in the roles played this year by Morgan Freeman, Gary Sinise, and Charlie Sheen), in the starring role of ex-con Jack Ryan, Owen Wilson's wisecracking slackertude in TBB Mark 2 is much more engaging than Ryan O'Neal's personality in TBB Mark 1. While I've enjoyed O'Neal in comedies, particularly 1972's WHAT'S UP, DOC?, I've never liked him in dramas. To me, O'Neal has always come across as moist and mewling when he's supposed to be tender and sensitive, and surly and petulant when he's supposed to be tough and hard nosed, and his performance in TBB #1 is no exception. However, both films have terrific leading ladies playing thrill-seeking kept woman Nancy: the current version marks Sara Foster's screen debut, while the original starred the lovely and beguiling Leigh Taylor-Young, then O'Neal's real-life wife and former co-star on TV's PEYTON PLACE. (Fun Fact: Leigh Taylor-Young was nominated for a Laurel Award for Best Female New Face for her performance in TBB.) The chemistry between O'Neal and LT-Y is one of the film's few saving graces; they sure seem to enjoy tearing their clothes off, and they look good doing it, too! :-) Alas, except for the occasional memorable line (for example, here's Heflin slyly commenting on O'Neal's phone chat with LT-Y: "You look like the mouse that got swallowed by the pussy."), Robert Dozier's screenplay can't seem to decide whether Nancy is a victim of callous men, a calculating femme fatal, or a plain old homicidal psycho. The critics who panned TBB Mark 2 obviously never had to suffer through Mark 1! If you've got your heart set on an at-home Elmore Leonard film festival, rent GET SHORTY, OUT OF SIGHT, even the overlong but still exceptional JACKIE BROWN, and include THE BIG BOUNCE -- but unless you lust after Ryan O'Neal and Leigh Taylor-Young in their prime, make sure you get your mitts on the superior 2004 version!

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