The Grasshopper (1970)
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The plot is completely implausible, but in a nutshell it has Jackie starting out as a fresh-faced farmgirl and, after being used and betrayed by gigolo boyfriends, horny old businessmen and the Mob, ending up an embittered prostitute. And all within the space of one year! The final skywriting scene would have become a classic had an audience of any size actually seen this film. Definitely worth a look!
In a time when films had presented gay and lesbian characters as victims and victimizers, Christine's gay friend Buck (Roger Garrett) is her joyful sidekick who is accepted by his coworkers, at least until a friend's little boy reveals what his mother says when Buck is not around, to which Buck replies with a rebuttal which is sensitive to the child but conveys his true feelings to the mother.
Speaking of Julia Roberts, The Grasshopper was written by Garry Marshall, who went on to direct Roberts in Pretty Woman. While Pretty Woman was justly criticized for its message to girls that if they run away to Hollywood and become a hooker they will find the man of their dreams, The Grasshopper is a realistic portrayal of how women who gamble on financial security provided by men can ultimately suffer severe consequences.
Leaving her hometown Kingman in Canada Christine travels to L.A to live with her banker boyfriend Eddie, Tim O'Kelly. When her car breaks down she get a lift from comic Danny Raymond, Corbett Monica, who instead takes Christine to Las Vegas where he's doing a gig at one of the hotels.This single event in her life sets the stage to what happens to Christine during the entire movie with her getting hooked on the wild life-style of swinging Vegas. Christine leave her boyfriend Eddie and a job at the bank that she had with him in L.A and goes back to Vegas to become a showgirl. Later on she gets involved with this band, the Ice Pack, and one of it's members Jay, Christopher Stone, who turned innocent and pretty Christine on to drugs.
Later Christine meets and falls in love with former football super star Tommy Marcott, Jim Brown, who works as a greeter at one of the Vega hotels and
the two get married. Things turn sour for the happily married couple when a construction tycoon with mob connections Roosevelt Dekker, Ramon Bieri, makes a move of Christine. Bieri getting Christine in his hotel room to discuss her husband Tommy's career ,yeah right, brutally beats her up when she refuses to go to bed with him; what on earth did Christine expect by being alone with this creep. This gets Tommy real mad and he later rearranges Dekker's face when he chases him down and traps him in a sand trap at a local golf course.
Tommy & Christine end up leaving Vegas in fear of mob retaliation and go to L.A where Tommy is offered a high paying job from former football player and friend Marion "Movin Marion" Walters. Having a talk with "Movin Marion" about his new job and playing a game of basketball with him at a local park Tommy is later gunned down by mobster and henchmen Aaron, William H. Bassett, of the Dekker mob; did "Movin Marion" set Tommy up?
Christine just falls apart after Tommy's murder and gets heavily involved on to drugs with Jay being her supplier as well as her live-in boyfriend. Christine's luck turns around when, as a call girl, she meets the very wealthy Richard Morgan, Joseph Cotton, who's crazy about her and wants to marry her.
Even though Richard offered Christine everything that she longs for, financial security, she turns him down for the creepy violent and drugged out Jay, love is strange isn't it? Jay getting her to sell her body as a streetwalker poor Christine is just about burnt out and useless to that sleazily lowlife when he leaves her and takes whatever money that she had left.
Broke alone and dejected Christine come up with an idea that's pure genius who with the help of Elroy, Bill Callaway, a mechanic as well as pilot at the airport where Richard keeps his plane who, like everyone else in the movie, fell for the beautiful Christine. The two skyjack a plane for a ride and sky afternoon riding adventure. Now airborne Elroy with Christine spells out or sky-writes over the friendly and innocent skies of L.A for the whole city to see just what Christine thinks of life as well as those of us watching in the theater or on TV think of the movie "The Grasshopper".
This is a story (which SHOWGIRLS; already "cult classic") which achieved this kind of status for "seemingly" glorifying a beautiful young woman taking advantage of the System. Nobody ever saw this film (even the Frat boys with the J. Bissett poster from The Deep LATER). She was always looked in a very generic way (that's why she teamed with Candice Bergen in that Cukor film) that NO ONE every respected. This is a gritty early 70's film about (I think she's from Canada) just trying to get happy (IN A VERY STRANGE TIME PERIOD), while adjusting to circumstance, without becoming a whore, or a scumbag, or a yuppie, or a cheat. It's a real story! Even if you don't think Ms. Bissett is attractive (I pity you) She could act and this wasn't the only one, but....it was early, although she'd worked in films with Polanski and Audrey Hepburn and used to have a cool boyfriend back then (Michael Sarrazin; he probably cheated on her..who knows?), she made an effort in 1970 and watch her now in Sleepy Time Gal (couple of years ago) and you'll see she was never a "Bimbo" and is very interesting. A 7 out of 10. Best performance = Jacqueline Bissett. Joseph Cotten is also very involved and performs. Try to find this flick!