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R.P.M. (1970)

R  |   |  Drama  |  26 April 1971 (Denmark)
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 362 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 4 critic

R.P.M. stands for (political) revolutions per minute. Anthony Quinn plays a liberal college professor at a west coast college during the hedy days of campus activism in the late 1960s. ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Prof. F.W.J. 'Paco' Perez
Steve Dempsey
Graham Jarvis ...
Police Chief Henry J. Thatcher
Alan Hewitt ...
Ramon Bieri ...
John McLiam ...
Rev. Blauvelt
Dean George Cooper
Perry Howard
Norman Burton ...
Coach McCurdy
John Zaremba ...
Ines Pedroza ...
Teda Bracci ...
Linda Meiklejohn ...


R.P.M. stands for (political) revolutions per minute. Anthony Quinn plays a liberal college professor at a west coast college during the hedy days of campus activism in the late 1960s. Radical students take over the college, the president resigns, and Quinn's character, who has always been a champion of student activism, is appointed president. As the students continue to push the envelope of revolution, Quinn's character is faced with the challenge of restoring order or abetting the descent into anarchy. Written by Silents Fan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

26 April 1971 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Bunalim  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The motorcycle ridden by 'Anthony Quinn' is a 500cc T100R Triumph Daytona. See more »


Prof. F.W.J. 'Paco' Perez: "Lickety split"? Where do you get your vocabulary?
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the opening credits roll, the screen flips like a coin-like wipe with the text appearing in the center of the "coin". See more »


Referenced in Eva, limpia como los chorros del oro (1977) See more »


All Night Long
Written by Barry De Vorzon & Perry Botkin Jr.
Performed by Chris Morgan
See more »

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User Reviews

An Idea Whose Time Has Come...and Gone
18 March 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A writer quipped that EASY RIDER was the most expensive movie ever made. Sure, it only cost 400 thousand to make and grossed 60 million. But Hollywood got the idea that it had to produce "youth" movies and so we got THE STRAWBERRY STATEMENT and THE Christian LICORICE STORE and THE MAGIC GARDEN OF STANLEY SWEETHEART and this movie, pretty much all of which are forgotten and got limited or no release.

Woodstock was in August of 1969. Altamont was in December of 1969. This means that the Woodstock Nation lasted barely four months. Elizabeth Taylor has kept husbands longer than that.

What the major studios did was get mainstream directors and told them make movies about youth in revolt. The result was movies like this which were very expensive imitations of movies that American-International had made in the sixties on nonexistent budgets.

RPM is watchable for a fine performance by Anthony Quinn. Lord, but he's a trooper. The script was obsolete before the ink dried on it. I'll be generous and say that Eric Segal's screenplay stinks. Of course, forty years later LOVE STORY doesn't get all that much love anyway.

The story centers on a Sociology professor who is picked to be president of a fictional college after protesting students occupy the administration building. The board has a late night meeting and decides to appoint Quinn president based primarily on the fact that he's sleeping with a graduate student in his department who is young enough to be his daughter.

Imagine trying to sell that to a major studio in today's Politically Correct world. Ann-Margret plays the graduate student and recognizes the script to be crap, so she has fun playing this airhead and wears ridiculous costumes and, in one scene, talks with while chewing food so that audiences won't have to understand the words she's saying.

Incredibly, this is directed by Stanley Kramer. Kramer had become a legend directing films like THE DEFIANT ONES, INHERIT THE WIND, SHIP OF FOOLS, JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG, and GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER, all of which dealt with Big Ideas from a socially progressive point of view. More importantly, they were full of characters that audiences could identify with and were fully realized human beings.

RPM is like a pageant put on by a community college Sociology department. Characters represent Sexual Freedom, Corporate Apathy, Prejudice, Sexual Liberation, Black Power, etc.

At its peak, the student revolution actually appealed to a very small per cent of students and had little support from the mainstream community. Worse yet, this film was released in the middle of Nixon's first term of office. Youthful idealism faded as more students pursued graduate studies in Business Administration.

Thanks to Turner Classic Movies for running this. I'd heard of it, but figured that Columbia Pictures had destroyed all the existing prints hoping nobody would remember it. Somehow TCM found a pristine print in excellent condition. It would have gotten just one out of ten, but I had to recognize Quinn's excellent work trying to make a dead horse run.

5 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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