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Electra Glide in Blue (1973)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 3,089 users  
Reviews: 58 user | 56 critic

A short Arizona motorcycle cop gets his wish and is promoted to Homicide following the mysterious murder of a hermit. He is forced to confront his illusions about himself and those around ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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Title: Electra Glide in Blue (1973)

Electra Glide in Blue (1973) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
John Wintergreen
...
Zipper (as Billy 'Green' Bush)
...
Harve Poole
...
Jolene
...
Willie (as Elisha Cook)
...
Coroner
Hawk Wolinski ...
VW Bus Driver (as David J. Wolinski)
Peter Cetera ...
Bob Zemko
Terry Kath ...
Killer
Lee Loughnane ...
Pig Man
Walter Parazaider ...
Loose Lips
Joe Samsil ...
Sgt. Ryker
Jason Clark ...
L.A. Detective
Michael Butler ...
Truck Driver
Susan Forristal ...
Ice Cream Girl
Edit

Storyline

A short Arizona motorcycle cop gets his wish and is promoted to Homicide following the mysterious murder of a hermit. He is forced to confront his illusions about himself and those around him in order to solve the case, eventually returning to solitude in the desert. Written by Martin H. Booda <booda@datasync.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An American Movie - By A New Director - James William Guercio See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 October 1973 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Legend of Big John  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Todd-AO)|

Color:

(final scenes)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie's title refers to the "Electra Glide" police motorbike that give's the film its Electra Glide in Blue (1973) title. The "In Blue" phrase of the film's title is a reference to the police force (policemen wear blue uniforms). The title of the movie is also a reference to the Harley-Davidson Electra Glide series motorcycles ridden by Patrolman John Wintergreen (Robert Blake) and his partner Zipper (Billy Green Bush). During the 1970s and 1980s the Electra Glide was in fact a staple of police departments both in the US and abroad. The make and models seen in the film according to the IMCDb are 1970 Harley-Davidson Electra Glide motor-bikes. See more »

Goofs

As Jolene attempts to make out with Big John in front of jukebox, there's a bearded man visible in the mirror behind the jukebox. See more »

Quotes

John Wintergreen: You listen to me, hatchet artist! You're tampering with evidence and if you put your finger on one more thing in this room, I'm going to bust your ass! That's right... the officer in charge is talking to you and he's saying that you're going to be arrested as an accessory, after the fact, in a murder case!
Coroner: Now you listen to me. I have had had a lot of patience with you. You want to be a policeman. You want to stay on the force. Well you just get the hell out of here and get on that motorcycle ...
See more »

Connections

Featured in TCM Underground: Electra Glide in Blue (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Tell Me
Big Elk Music ASCAP
James William Guercio
Sung by 'Terry Kath (I)' (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Electrifying Ending
27 March 2009 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

With those evocative images and that emotionally charged music, the final fifteen minutes are electrifying. It's all about America, and a terrible ten years of assassinations, Viet Nam, and countless other cultural strife. The film's ending is saying ... enough is enough. Let the healing begin. And as American culture bled in the late 1960s and early 1970s, so too did the emotional lives of individuals, like the hodgepodge of aggrieved characters that come and go in this story.

Seeing some of these people and listening to their individual stories of pain and suffering is John Wintergreen (Robert Blake), a by-the-book Arizona motorcycle cop, short on stature but tall on dreams. Sometimes with his partner Zipper (Billy Green Bush), "Big John" encounters these tormented souls, on the road mostly. That's his job. The film's story is an ode to the courage and nobility of ordinary Americans pained by reality with only their dreams to comfort them.

The film's disjointed plot begins with a killing. And this incident keeps the plot moving. But "Electra Glide In Blue" is mostly a character study, not a crime film. Color cinematography is quite good. Interior shots have lots of close-ups, even extreme close-ups. There's a lot of diffuse lighting. Exteriors are shot like a modern-day Western. Indeed, the look and feel of the film is similar in some ways to the old John Ford Westerns, like "The Searchers".

The plot is the main weakness of the film. Some parts are overplayed, like the chase scenes. There's a lack of continuity both in storyline and in visual elements. It's as if many scenes were shot impromptu, on the rush. And some of the acting is way over the top. However, Robert Blake does a fine job as America's everyday cop with his sense of principles.

This film reminds me in some ways of "Zabriskie Point" (1970), a counter culture film which has a powerful ending that helps to make up for earlier plot problems.

Based on a real-life event, "Electra Glide In Blue" gets off to a slow start. Even midway through, one wonders whether this film is going anywhere or has any point to it. It is, and it does. You just have to wait for that powerful ending and its cinematic message of a tormented America, from the point of view of one lonely cop, just doing his job.


16 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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anyone see the Hi Def version?(unbelievable ) LEBAZ
Bob Zemko??? cultusatanas
Incentive of becoming a Motor Cop hwy505
Was Frank's death really a suicide after all? tommymax
Where did this version of the soundtrack come from? At_The_Drive_In
did anyone notice something odd about the volkwagon vans art work mike-2620
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