7.2/10
3,614
58 user 67 critic

Electra Glide in Blue (1973)

Trailer
3:25 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

Bored with his highway traffic duties, Arizona motorcycle patrolman John Wintergreen is assigned to Homicide where his polite investigative style irks his macho boss.

Writers:

(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Outfit (1973)
Crime | Thriller | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Earl Macklin robs a bank owned by the mob, serves his prison time and is released, only to start a private war against the crime outfit that owned the bank.

Director: John Flynn
Stars: Robert Duvall, Karen Black, Joe Don Baker
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

In San Francisco, one victim in a mass murder is a police detective. His partner and a new partner investigate in the city's seamy side.

Director: Stuart Rosenberg
Stars: Walter Matthau, Bruce Dern, Louis Gossett Jr.
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An idealistic rookie cop joins the LAPD to make ends meet while finishing law school, and is indoctrinated by a seasoned veteran. As time goes on, he loses his ambitions and family as police work becomes his entire life.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: George C. Scott, Stacy Keach, Jane Alexander
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A man, his wife, and their friend, stage a bloody bank robbery, unaware they are stealing money from the Mob.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Walter Matthau, Joe Don Baker, Felicia Farr
Prime Cut (1972)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A vicious Kansas City slaughterhouse owner and his hick family are having a bloody "beef" with the Chicago crime syndicate over profits from their joint illegal operations. Top enforcer Nick Devlin is sent to straighten things out.

Director: Michael Ritchie
Stars: Lee Marvin, Gene Hackman, Sissy Spacek
Blue Collar (1978)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Three workers, Zeke (Richard Pryor), Jerry (Harvey Keitel) and Smokey (Yaphet Kotto), are working at a car plant and drinking their beers together. One night when they steal away from their... See full summary »

Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel, Yaphet Kotto
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A story of two men drag-racing across the U.S. in a primer grey '55 Chevy. Dennis Wilson is the mechanic, James Taylor is the driver.

Director: Monte Hellman
Stars: James Taylor, Warren Oates, Laurie Bird
The Seven-Ups (1973)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A tough detective who is part of an elite New York City unit is trying to find out who killed his partner, but uncovers a plot to kidnap mobsters for money.

Director: Philip D'Antoni
Stars: Roy Scheider, Tony Lo Bianco, Victor Arnold
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

During the early 1960s, U.S. military advisers in South Vietnam discover the same challenges that plagued the French army in Indochina ten years prior.

Director: Ted Post
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Craig Wasson, Jonathan Goldsmith
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Two New York City cops go after amateur crooks who are trying to rip off the Mafia and start a gang war.

Director: Barry Shear
Stars: Anthony Quinn, Yaphet Kotto, Anthony Franciosa
Fat City (1972)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two men, working as professional boxers, come to blows when their careers each begin to take opposite momentum.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Stacy Keach, Jeff Bridges, Susan Tyrrell
Dillinger (1973)
Action | Biography | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

John Dillinger and his gang go on a bank robbing spree across the midwest, but one G-Man is determined to bring him down.

Director: John Milius
Stars: Warren Oates, Ben Johnson, Michelle Phillips
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
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
...
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:

Did you know that me and Alan Ladd were exactly the same height? See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The credo and philosophy of young Arizona motorcycle cop John Wintergreen (Robert Blake) was: "The most noble thing that a person can do is to do the best he can wherever society places him". 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: I'm gonna do for you, in six weeks, what it took someone six months to do for me: nothin'.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Free from the Devil
Performed by Madura
Written by Alan De Carlo
Big Elk Music ASCAP
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?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Was Frank's death really a suicide after all? tommymax
anyone see the Hi Def version?(unbelievable ) LEBAZ
Bob Zemko??? cultusatanas
Where did this version of the soundtrack come from? At_The_Drive_In
Incentive of becoming a Motor Cop hwy505
did anyone notice something odd about the volkwagon vans art work mike-2620
Discuss Electra Glide in Blue (1973) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?