Buster and Billie (1974) Poster

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9/10
An underrated film
DepartmentStoreLover20 February 2004
I also subscribe to the views of other IMDB writers concerning this film. BUSTER AND BILLIE made an enormous impression on my consciousness as a film viewer. I first saw it years ago, very late at night. Being teenaged at the time, this story of unconventional love in 1948 Georgia proved to be thoroughly eye-opening. This film affected me so much that, as I did not have a copy of it, I actually advertised in a newspaper for it, and someone forwarded a dubbed copy to me!

The excellent acting of Joan Goodfellow (Billie) and Jan-Michael Vincent (Buster) made watching this film a great experience. Their belief in the love of these two characters is reflected in their acting, reactions, and the little moments that these characters share. I have to admit that I have seen the film many times, but it is never a boring or predictable experience, even though one has knowledge of how it ends.

While this film has been described as cliched and a film with only a desparate appeal to oversexed teenagers, this is simply not true. It tells a good story beautifully, with great acting, and period atmosphere. If only the films of the 1990s and the 2000s could be like this.
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10/10
A very touching bittersweet love story.
fixerup2 July 2000
(Story takes place in Georgia 1948) Very touching bittersweet love story. If you have not seen this movie then don't read this review and comments, instead go get a copy. Beg, barrow or steal it and watch it as I wouldn't want to spoil it for you.

I recommend seeing this movie in one sitting because it is a movie that slowly builds your feelings for the characters which will impact you more at the end of the movie.

Buster Lane (Jan-Michael Vincent) is a typical country boy with maybe a little more scruples then the average southern country poke. Buster is engaged to be married to Margie (Pamela Sue Martin) in the upcoming June and he has been playing touchy feely with her but she wants to wait until they're married to have intercourse. Buster's main friend is Whitey (Robert Englund--"Freddy Krueger") and they hangout and drink beers together and take a trip to the ocean and we get an idea where Buster's friends minds and morals are at and this suffices as the story comes to a close later in the movie. I little more about these friends in the next paragraph.

In the meantime Billie (Joan Goodfellow) who is a very very shy country girl from a very poor family has been having sex with several of Buster's friends in a way of getting some attention. You are never made to feel anything but compassion for Billie, you never think of her as a slut. Her performance radiates innocents and loneliness and sadness and then joy and happiness later in the movie, you can feel all her feelings as the movie progresses.

When Buster can't holdout any longer for sex with Margie his attentions turn to Billie and are not honorable at first. He finds her to be very very innocent and sees the beauty in her and finds himself falling in love but is not sure of his feelings reflecting his own youth and lack of experience to this new feeling called love.

Before Buster even realized what his feelings are he acts on his basic instinct and feelings and breaks off his relationship with Margie and is seeing Billie exclusively. You feel their new found love and see it as a rosebud just beginning to form. Billie is taken to her first movie with Buster to see a Tarzan movie, and you can see her elated joy at this new experience. When Billie and Buster go swimming Buster looks over at her to see if she is taking off all her clothes before he strips to the bare-ass as if to not offend her. It's little moments like this throughout the movie that all add up. The getting up in the middle of the night and waiting for the sun to show itself at the horizon and they jump up and down and then hold each other in a very very loving manner is touching as well. There are exchanges of gifts to one another and they both realize they love one another. Billie is taken to a dance with Buster and you again feel her joy. Billie is lit up like a Christmas tree by this time and you can actually feel her and his joy and happiness. but especially hers.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, the boys that were getting laid by Billie before her self-esteem got elevated by her new love comes for some more poontang. Of course Billie resist and fights back but is beaten, raped and killed by these boys.

Buster finds her body shortly after the killing and ends up killing two of the boys who had the evidence literally written on their faces. Buster is released from jail just after Billie's funeral and she was buried with only Buster's parents and the preacher being present, her parents weren't even there. The movie closes with the opening song and you get a big lump in your throat in the closing scene at the cemetery with Buster at Billie's graveside.

I have seen reviews that see this movie as a sweet movie that turns into a sadistic mean spirited movie and was rated as a poor to fair movie because of it. I do not subscribe to this view. We live in a world where ugly things happen every day. We can be sure of two things, it was inevitable that these boys were going to come back for more poontang and that she would refuse them. I'm not sure how else this outcome might be played out. I suppose she could have been assaulted and then just told Buster about it and he could deal with it in a nonviolent manner. We all like happy endings and I love a good Cinderella story as much as anyone. American Beauty is a great movie and didn't end on a very happy note for the main character either, but these same reviewers don't knock that, go figure?

Bottom line is this is one of my favorite movies. I seen it at a drive-in movie theater as the second feature back in 1974 when it was released and just bought a copy last month from an e-bay seller. It was sweeter then I remembered from 26 years ago. Joan Goodfellow doesn't seem to have done any visible acting since 1984. She gives one very sweet performance in this movie. I give Joans performance an 11 and the movie a 10. This movie will always have a soft spot in my heart.
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Loved it...
Tamminator24 April 2004
Buster and Billie touched my heart i was twelve the first time i seen it at our small town drive-in i'm forty-two now. It was a true love story i remember crying so much and thinking Billie never had ever hurt anyone in her life or Buster. I loved it when he bought her that beautiful dress because she had never had anything. Buster was so in love with her and treated her so very special like Billie deserved. I would love to see it again if i could find it. I would for sure need tissues if i watched it again it was so very sad. I'm so glad they found one another and had a wonderful time together even though it was a short time. I hope all of you who enjoy a great movie get to see it. Tam from Indiana
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10/10
A very beautiful but bittersweet love story
fixerup29 June 2000
(Story takes place in Georgia 1948) Very touching bittersweet love story. If you have not seen this movie then don't read this review and comments, instead go get a copy. Beg, barrow or steal it and watch it as I wouldn't want to spoil it for you.

I recommend seeing this movie in one sitting because it is a movie that slowly builds your feelings for the characters which will impact you more at the end of the movie.

Buster Lane (Jan-Michael Vincent) is a typical country boy with maybe a little more scruples then the average southern country poke. Buster is engaged to be married to Margie (Pamela Sue Martin) in the upcoming June and he has been playing touchy feely with her but she wants to wait until they're married to have intercourse. Buster's main friend is Whitey (Robert Englund--"Freddy Krueger") and they hangout and drink beers together and take a trip to the ocean and we get an idea where Buster's friends minds and morals are at and this suffices as the story comes to a close later in the movie. I little more about these friends in the next paragraph.

In the meantime Billie (Joan Goodfellow) who is a very very shy country girl from a very poor family has been having sex with several of Buster's friends in a way of getting some attention. You are never made to feel anything but compassion for Billie, you never think of her as a slut. Her performance radiates innocents and loneliness and sadness and then joy and happiness later in the movie, you can feel all her feelings as the movie progresses.

When Buster can't holdout any longer for sex with Margie his attentions turn to Billie and are not honorable at first. He finds her to be very very innocent and sees the beauty in her and finds himself falling in love but is not sure of his feelings reflecting his own youth and lack of experience to this new feeling called love.

Before Buster even realized what his feelings are he acts on his basic instinct and feelings and breaks off his relationship with Margie and is seeing Billie exclusively. You feel their new found love and see it as a rosebud just beginning to form. Billie is taken to her first movie with Buster to see a Tarzan movie, and you can see her elated joy at this new experience. When Billie and Buster go swimming Buster looks over at her to see if she is taking off all her clothes before he strips to the bare-ass as if to not offend her. It's little moments like this throughout the movie that all add up. The getting up in the middle of the night and waiting for the sun to show itself at the horizon and they jump up and down and then hold each other in a very very loving manner is touching as well. There are exchanges of gifts to one another and they both realize they love one another. Billie is taken to a dance with Buster and you again feel her joy. Billie is lit up like a Christmas tree by this time and you can actually feel her and his joy and happiness. but especially hers.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, the boys that were getting laid by Billie before her self-esteem got elevated by her new love comes for some more poontang. Of course Billie resist and fights back but is beaten, raped and killed by these boys.

Buster finds her body shortly after the killing and ends up killing two of the boys who had the evidence literally written on their faces. Buster is released from jail just after Billie's funeral and she was buried with only Buster's parents and the preacher being present, her parents weren't even there. The movie closes with the opening song and you get a big lump in your throat in the closing scene at the cemetery with Buster at Billie's graveside.

I have seen reviews that see this movie as a sweet movie that turns into a sadistic mean spirited movie and was rated as a poor to fair movie because of it. I do not subscribe to this view. We live in a world where ugly things happen every day. We can be sure of two things, it was inevitable that these boys were going to come back for more poontang and that she would refuse them. I'm not sure how else this outcome might be played out. I suppose she could have been assaulted and then just told Buster about it and he could deal with it in a nonviolent manner. We all like happy endings and I love a good Cinderella story as much as anyone. American Beauty is a great movie and didn't end on a very happy note for the main character either, but these same reviewers don't knock that, go figure?

Bottom line is this is one of my favorite movies. I seen it at a drive-in movie theater as the second feature back in 1974 when it was released and just bought a copy last month from an e-bay seller. It was sweeter then I remembered from 26 years ago. Joan Goodfellow doesn't seem to have done any visible acting since 1984. She gives one very sweet performance in this movie. I give Joans performance an 11 and the movie a 10. This movie will always have a soft spot in my heart.
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Great, offbeat youth angst movie
For all his faults, JAN MICHAEL VINCENT certainly made some great movies in the seventies (be it, THE BIG Wednesday, HOOPER, THE MECHANIC, VIGILANTE FORCE) including this (little seen) gem. VINCENT plays Buster, a tough, high-school loner, who against the wishes of his (childish, rather ugly) friends, dates the local good-time girl (of whom, most of busters friends have been casually 'involved' with) But these two opposites find love, but as in all classic love tales, their romance is doomed. To give anything else away, would ruin this highly original period piece(set in 1948.) Needless to say, it does continue the ever growing trend of seventies movies, and features a downbeat ending. Long after the viewer shakes off initial images of sexist, drunken teens, several scenes of true beauty, shine through this great movie. The period details are spot-on, and there's not one bad performance (look out for a young ROBERT ENGLUND) but as with most other JMV movies, Hollywood soon moved onto bigger (although, not always better) actors, and he soon became a tragic casualty of cinema. He certainly had the 'look' (predating the 'tom cruise' boyish-good looks) but unfortunately ended up, in bad TV movies or low budget dreck (ENEMY TERRITORY aside) Too bad, because he had the makings of another JAMES DEAN (and gives a similar performance in this movie) Hunt this movie out (if you can, it's quite rare) but you'll be glad you did. Another notable aspect, is the fine (and rather haunting) musical score, including the main theme (sung by HOYT AXTON) which never fails to bring a lump in my throat, and made all the more lyrical, by the movies tragic (yet strangely, touching) ending.

A fine unseen gem, and well worth hunting down piece of 70's obscure 10 out of 10
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Pretty decent
stevenfallonnyc18 April 2004
This is another movie I remember watching on cable in the late 70's. Jan-Michael Vincent is great to watch, here in his mid-70's prime. The rest of the cast is decent as well, and it is interesting to see a young "Freddy Kruger" act all dorky before he became a horror icon.

The film sets up nicely, a small town in the 40's where everyone knows everyone else and the local teenage boys screw around with a slut named Billie, who is a pretty girl but who seems to have some sort of problem. Buster always refuses to participate with the gang in having sex with Billie, mainly because he has his own girlfriend, who is plans to marry. But he becomes attracted to Billie on his own, and eventually starts dating her, even breaking up with his own girlfriend in the process. All this leads up to a very violent ending (where we all no doubt cheer on Vincent).

The film is decent enough but it does lack in some areas, especially in explaining a few certain things. For instance, just what started this fascination with Billie in Jan-Michael's character in the first place? Especially since he had the prettiest girl in school already? It really doesn't make much sense. Was it because she slept with all the guys? That she was quiet? Maybe he knew she had some sort of "problem?" And even that, the film never gets around to examining what Billie's problem really was. We can see that she is a little slow and extremely introverted, is the problem a head problem? Was she beaten as a child by abusive parents? Maybe she was raped? Who knows.

The ending of the film definitely is unsettling and sad. But even as Vincent loads his truck full of flowers, you are left wondering just what it was that made him go so crazy over that girl.
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10/10
Wonderful and tragic, all the things a teen-age girl loves.
pstanton13 December 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I first saw this movie at the Jericho drive-in near Albany, New York, probably around 1974.

It was shown at least once every summer after that for at least 5 years, sometimes as the second movie, but always the most popular one. (And not just for the skinny-dipping scene!)

Buster was the most popular boy in school, but not because he went along with the others,but because he wouldn't... so they usually had to go along with him. He considered Whitey to be a real friend, and not just fun to have around to make the butt of all their jokes.

Billie was different, too, and, yes, at first Buster just wanted some real action (he was a male, after all), but he liked her differences, and her shyness. He obviously wasn't like the other boys who would "visit" her at night, and then ignore her in school.

He was intrigued by her, because she gave everything and asked for nothing. Just about every scene his "real" girl-friend is in, she's pouting, or demanding, or trying to make him toe a line she sets. That's what he was used to, and expected, because she was a "nice" girl.

After a few dates with Billie, the demands of his girl-friend pall, he breaks up with her, and he sees Billie in public.

A scene at their church underscores the public hypocrisy of their friends when Buster brings Billie to church and his ex-girlfriend flounces past, making a rude remark, while clinging to the arm of one of the "better" boys in town (who is one of Billie's night-time visitors).

Apparently his guy friends felt it was OK to screw Billie, (and they were annoyed he wouldn't go with them, but went by himself to see her), but to BRING HER OUT IN FULL DAYLIGHT! TO CHURCH!! Completely unacceptable, according to their superior standards. Oh, yeah, and she wasn't putting out anymore for them. Obviously that wouldn't do.

So his "friends" took advantage of a situation and did what they wanted with Billie.

Buster took care of her, and then took care of them.

Most women don't want to have fighting around - but if it's FOR them - well, that's a different matter. (Think of the fight scene at the end of Footloose.)

Now, ladies, be honest - if you'd been treated like Billie, wouldn't you want your boyfriend to defend you? And who cares if he gets a little carried away bashing their heads in?

And stealing all those flowers for her grave was wonderfully romantic.

My only complaint is I haven't been able to find it yet on DVD. I only have an old videotaped copy from the late show one night. Blurry, dark, and chopped to shreds by the editors. It's still a great movie.
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10/10
one of the best from my younger days
sjsampson-116 January 2007
While doing a search on your website to find out what other movies Robert Englund was in besides A Nightmare on Elm Street I came across a movie that I haven't thought of in years, Buster and Billie. I immediately felt this wave of emotion. I was 20 when this movie was released and although I couldn't remember right away the whole plot of the movie I remembered it as one of my favourites. After reading some of the story line and talking to my husband who has a much better memory than I do I realized why my feeling at the mere mention of the title was so extreme. It was wonderful albeit very, very tragic. My husband also remembers it as being one of his favourites. I don't know if I want to ever watch it again or just keep the memory of a film that touched me deeply years ago.
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6/10
full frontal JMV
ptb-85 August 2004
How's that full frontal scene with JMV walking towards the camera! The audience at the cinema that session went absolutely ballistic as they realised has taking it ALL off and was about to display the full monty python! It was an audience of 18 year olds and they were just blown out of their seats, so to speak. Then of course, we all settled down to the awful raping and the usual bashing and walked out crying. A big surprise in its day and a lot of peoples almost favourite teen experience movie. Also a good JMV film and a great memory of 70s cinema. Probably his best along with BIG Wednesday in 1978. Incredible to know JMV is now over 64 years old and not in good health. He was then, and is still so popular and well remembered.
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8/10
Someday They Will Remake This JMV Flick!
Ralph29 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
First, if you are going to see this flick, do not see an edited version on TV, see the uncut video version (if there is one, which I doubt). I don't want to sound like a copycat of Matchstick's review but I wanted to write about when I saw this flick first (and only one time since). I was 10 years old, my family situation was a horrific mess that summer of 74. I was actually living with people I had never met before (not even distant relatives) who were taking care of me for the summer and it was a screwed up time needless to say (although thank God they were good (?) people). They took me along with them to see a double feature of Buster and Billie and Easy Rider, in that order. Man what a movie to watch at 10! Well, I guess nowadays kids are exposed to more adult stuff but I'm glad it was run before Easy Rider cause man I was noddin off on my own trip when those cats were in New Orleans! After the films were over you should have seen the looks those adults who brought me in to the movies got when people saw that I was watching both those films! Spoilers... I definitely remember the skinny dipping and the full frontal stuff (Jan Michael from what I remember didn't suffer from the George Castanza "shrinkage" from the water, lol only in the movies right, guess thats the difference between the Big and little screen, eh?), and the double murder in the bar (or was it a triple?) caught the entire audience by surprise I think. Classic Ending that really made the movie special too. Highly recommended in the uncut version, (probably not a wise choice to show a 10 year old, but I think I turned out OK despite it).
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8/10
crying and crying
ethylester12 February 2004
If you are at all sensitive or a person who cries at movies, do not watch this unless you have prepared yourself with a box of kleenex and only the closest of friends who you know will not make fun of you. (or watch it alone.)

I first watched this movie at a time when I was having "boy troubles" and the object of my desire happened to look exactly like Jan Michael Vincent, the star of this movie (yeah, he was hot). This just added to the pain.... I bawled my eyes out for about 10-15 whole minutes AFTER the movie had already ended and was turned off. I wept so loudly and couldn't control my crying eyes whatsoever. My housemates laughed at me, but it was an affectionate laugh. They had also been affected by the movie, but not to my extent. The story is SO SAD. SO SAD!!! The saddest story EVER!

As much as I loved the movie, I will never watch it again, even though I taped it. It is just too sad and I don't want to go through all that bawling and crying again.

This is most emotionally draining, saddest movie I have ever seen. Be prepared to cry your eyes out with this one.
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10/10
One of the best movies I've ever seen- it will haunt you!
robespierre930 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I was not able to get this movie out of my head days after seeing it. Buster and Billie is a powerful and poignant coming-of-age story, but also just very stark tale of how brutal and cruel people can be sometimes. This film takes place in the 50's I believe, but it's almost hard to determine the year. It's set in rural Georgia, so it has a very back-woods atmosphere about it. High-school buddies gather around to exchange girl and car stories, and the talk of the town is 'Billie' (Joan Goodfellow), a very shy, poor girl who lets this gang of upper-class boys do what they will to her. They basically come knocking at her door late at night (she lives in a run-down shack with her 2 negligent parents), take her out into the woods for gang-sex! Billie goes willingly, but with obvious sorrow. She's a lonely girl with no friends and 'this is the only way she knows how to find affection', (as Buster later tells his father). Buster (Jan-Michael Vincent) is a care-free, cocky young man who seems to have a penchant for taking odd-ball people under his wing. He drives his truck like a maniac, and annoys the heck out of the local school bus driver. His best friend is Whitey, played by a very young, awkward Robert Englund of Nightmare on Elm Street fame! Whitey apparently was a tortured 'geek' when he first arrived at school, but ever since Buster became his friend, Whitey became popular. Buster is also a 'lone ranger' among his friends – he never joined the group visits to Billie's house late at night. He remarks to Jake the bartender that two things in a man's life should be private..."Taking a s___ and getting laid." Buster is also engaged to marry Margie (Pamela Sue Martin), his high-school sweetheart. Because his girlfriend doesn't let him go 'all the way' when they park at night (she's waiting until the wedding night, of course), Buster starts to lose patience with her. At school, after a physical beat-down with the grumpy bus-driver, Buster notices Billie smiling at him. His friends steer him clear of her, saying he shouldn't be seen with her at school. Buster introduces himself to Billie at lunch-hour, and invites her on a date. She accepts, very, very shyly. She obviously has a crush on him, and the fact that he speaks to her like a human being is something totally new. So Buster takes Billie out on a date. It's still a sexual encounter, but the fact that he takes her in his own truck and treats her very gently is something she has never experienced. So as their dates continue, Buster starts to fall in love with her as well. He breaks up with Margie and takes Billie with him to church, nonetheless, in front of the whole town! It's scandal - his friends and his parents are shocked. Even the bartender Jake is offended that Buster would break up with a 'nice girl' like Margie, and start taking up with a 'bad girl' like Billie. But Buster doesn't give into all the pressure from his friends or family. He continues to see Billie, and Billie starts to show her real personality- she's a bit of a free spirit like Buster. She loves to be in the truck when Buster drives fast. They jump in the river together, naked (this is the infamous JMV full frontal scene – where he looks like an Adonis!). Fatefully, all is not meant to be so idyllic. One rainy, stormy afternoon Billie innocently encounters the car-load of Buster's so called friends. A horrifying chase and rape scene ensue, and Billie's fate is sealed. Buster finds out – he just knows something has happened –and he discovers her body in the dark, damp woods behind her house. His rage is insurmountable, and he tracks his friends down in local bar. In a frightening display of physical violence (as only JMV can display), he swiftly kills two of them, and seriously maims the others! The movie ends with Buster at Billie's grave site…sadly saying goodbye.

Wow, it's some movie! Anyway, the performance by Jan Michael Vincent is great. It wouldn't call it great acting, but his gentle manner combined with his ability to threaten physical violence form a unique blend in this movie. His sheer beauty is also just staggering to see – he was truly one of the most beautiful actors to even grace the silver screen. Joan Goodfellow is heart-wrenching in this movie—too bad she didn't appear in more films! And any fan of Robert Englund will enjoy this as well – he's such a funny geek in this!!
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5/10
Intentions are sincere, but there's hardly an authentic moment...
moonspinner552 January 2016
High school senior in rural Georgia community in 1948 develops genuine feelings for the town squeeze, a fellow student whose bad reputation belies a shy, insecure girl with a good heart. More teenage reminiscences set in the past from a 'sensitive' screenwriter (in this case, Ron Turbeville, working from Ron Bartron's manufactured plot and his own childhood memories). Jan-Michael Vincent is terrific as Buster, a rather benign hell-raiser who trades in nice girl Pamela Sue Martin for Joan Goodfellow, an easy target for the horny guys just looking for a good time. Vincent admirably doesn't rely on his matinée good looks to get his character across; striking a nimble balance between an uninspired, ordinary kid and a young man dealing with mature emotions, the actor nearly keeps his lady-killer smile in check (he also doesn't duck the camera self-consciously--he gives what is needed). Vincent is the only reason to see the film, the other kids seeming like leftovers from "Summer of '42" and beyond. Tale of teen tragedy has strong moments, but not an unerring eye for detail nor an ear for natural conversation. There are also the obligatory scenes: the drive-in movie date, skinny-dipping at the lake, the father-son chat, the showdown at the local pool hall. It's stilted and soapy and familiar--like an R-rated revamping of "Claudelle Inglish". Director Daniel Petrie engineers the pathos with workmanlike skill. ** from ****
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7/10
Flawed, Dated, Nostalgic, Heartbreaking, Unforgettable
kateharrah31 August 2015
Like many reviewers, I saw this in a drive-in 1974. I never forgot it, found it on YouTube (uncut version!), and watched it today.

This film has numerous flaws: questionable writing, some very stilted acting, over-long scenes in dire need of editing, clichéd tropes, occasional sub-standard camera work, but...

There is something unforgettable about this film. Perhaps it has a nostalgia factor for us Baby Boomers, and I don't know if first-time younger viewers would find it equally as moving. But I'd like to think there is a poignant timelessness to this underrated film that could be appreciated by many.

Part of the appeal is the childlike, naive character of Billie (played on-pitch by Joan Goodfellow, who's fallen into obscurity). She has a quiet, luminous quality that's rarely captured on screen. She barely speaks throughout the film, yet brings so much emotion via body language and expressive use of her eyes. For me, she is the soul of this film.

This tragic love story is not a new or unique one, but if you remember "Buster and Billie" from your old drive-in-days, I suggest you give it a second viewing. I did, and found it a rewarding experience.
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10/10
Buster And Billie
hinds19856 July 2013
One of my favorite movies. If you have not seen it, you should put it on your list of flicks to see. Jan Michael Vincent is wonderful as Buster. And Billie, you just fall in love with her character. I give this movie a 10. The story is much more than a love story. It is a story about a time, about life in the deep south and the bias's that existed in the 1940's. There are plenty of strong words used, but they seem to belong in the movie. There is violence, love, revenge, and just about every other emotion that you can expect to find in a good movie. I strongly suggest that you make a big bowl of popcorn, grab your favorite soda, and sit on your favorite spot and enjoy this movie in the dark and completely immerse yourself in it. It is that good.
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7/10
Bittersweet teen story
bkoganbing25 August 2012
Buster And Billie has come down in legend as the film where Jan-Michael Vincent bore all for art and titillated more than a few women and gay men with what they saw. But past those few seconds people who saw this film in 1974 got to see a tender and sensitive story about teen love between two opposite type of people.

Buster is the teen idol of the school, popular and handsome, and the child of some pious church going parents in his rural Georgia small town in the post World War II years. He's going out with teen queen Pamela Sue Martin and they're considered a golden couple in the town. Joan Goodfellow is Billie, a sweet girl of easy virtue raised by some real white trash parents. She's popular too in a different way as the boys her town get to bleed the old lizard with her help.

Vincent and Goodfellow in a most improbable romance fall for each other. In the best scene in the film Vincent tells his parents that she's the way she is because all she wants is people to like her. Both grow as individuals until tragedy for a lot of the cast strikes.

Buster And Billie had one element of the plot I didn't really care for. Goodfellow's parents are not churchgoers and it's implied that she's the way she is because of her lack of religious upbringing. This film was set around 1948 and made in 1974 and that still might have been something you could sell the movie-going public then. I think too much has happened in the interim that dates that portion of the film. If it is ever remade you may be sure that that part of the film's story will be toned down or even eliminated.

But both Vincent and Goodfellow are a fine pair of leads and Buster And Billie has a cult status of sorts with Jan-Michael Vincent bearing all for art.
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10/10
a true love story
thedanaburger13 May 2008
This movie was an excellent story about teens and what happens when there is no commutation. I lived this story. Only I'm still alive to talk about it. Thats the way it was in the south even in the sixties.Jan Michael Vincent did a great job.I think it was one of his best performances.It's been a long time since I've seen the movie. I wish I could find it to buy. I would like my daughter to see it. At the time this movie came out things weren't quite as bold so it wasn't well reviewed at that time.But now it would fit in just write!!! I think they should try to remake it.I think Brad Pitts would make a good Buster and not sure who Billie would be.
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10/10
I finally found it!!!
Sassytime200429 July 2006
Thanks IMDb! I saw this movie as a teenager and was very impressed. This was my first viewing of a male naked and I must say...Jan-Michael Vincent never left my memory. I have searched for years for a copy of this movie. I could not remember the names of any of the other actors. Jan-Michael Vincent is the one that I could never forget. I now realize that one of the problems was that I was spelling Billie with a y and had no luck with my search, until now. I am trying to rent this movie but I am gathering it is only available VHS and not DVD. Is this information correct? Any information that you can provide me with will be greatly appreciated. Thanks again!! I will truly enjoy viewing this movie again!!! Sherry
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10/10
Good movie that could have been great.
seattletman12 December 2003
This is the kind of movie that hard-core movie fans watch again and again and talk about endlessly. I have seen it a dozen times and there is more to it each time. But we have to ask how it narrowly missed greatness.

The chemistry between Jan Michael Vincent and Joan Goodfellow works as it is; but Hollywood was so intent on making JVM a "star" that much stronger actors were passed over. The biggest imponderable is this: Roberta Pedon read for the part of "Billie"; if she had been chosen for the role (despite her well-known drug problems and troubled past) and a stronger male actor cast as "Buster", this movie could have become a downbeat version of "Casablanca" for the baby-boom generation. Joan Goodfellow plays the "Billie" role in an intentionally understated and professional manner; but Vincent can't seem to decide whether he is playing a tormented lover or a kung-fu fighter. He fails at both.
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6/10
Not a great drive-in flick for kids, but a great tragic movie for adults.
Matchstick24 October 2006
I happened to see this movie at a drive-in when I was 6 yrs. old. I don't know what the hell my parents were thinking taking a 6 yr. old (me) and my 4 yr. old sister in an Oldsmobile Vista-Cruiser station wagon. Sure, we were real comfy with the seats folded down lying on blankets and pillows munching on popcorn, but wow, this movie really had an effect on me, and it wasn't real good. As a young child, I was able to grasp the concept of a deep love between Buster and Billie but when things began to get ugly, it really freaked me out. All I remember after Buster's full frontal shot was Billie getting raped and then her being wrapped in cloth or mummified in some way (this was 28 yrs. ago so the visual details elude me) and then Jan Michael Vincent doing some kind of crazy karate move where he flips some dude with his arm on a pool table and killing a few guys. I have to tell you this shook my 70's innocent Disney perspective on life to the core! When we got home and I was in my pajamas, brushing my teeth, I started crying my eyes out. My mom came in and said, "Oh, sweetie, why are you crying? Was it because Billie died at the end of the movie?' I said, "No". But...umm ya...hell ya, it was because you subjected me to this terrible rape and murder that would be hard even for an adult!! Again, WTF were they thinking (incidentally, I will make them both read this review). Wow, glad I got that out of my system! BTW, hope I don't seem too harsh on my parents, after all, they seemed to think it was "OK" to let me stand up in the middle of the front seat in the blue Chevy Chevelle whilst speeding away and lie down in the back window when I was "sleepy". WTF was up with my parents and most parents who owned automobiles until the early 80's!?!? LOL. Anyway, don't let your 6 yr. olds see this movie (and don't let them sleep near the back windshield) sheesh!
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2/10
great storyline
reilly3321 December 2004
I saw this movie late one night on TV, when i was only about 13 it has stuck in my mind ever since, because of the graphic rape scene and it was such good acting-well i thought so at the time anyway! They seemed to be so much in love. No other movie has stuck in my mind as much as this movie-very thought provoking-another great movie i saw Jan Michael Vincent in was white line fever (not as good as this movie though). I can't remember who the girl was in Buster and Billie, but she was so innocent and sad, it still makes me feel sad now. great movie but a little depressing!! Probably not compared to some of the movies out in this day and age. Its a wonder someone hasn't remade this movie wouldn't it be great with Brad Pitt or someone like that in it! I will definitely be getting the DVD when it comes out!
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1/10
Campy entertainment in its absurdity
MdmBadenov28 December 2013
Absurd and silly with as much sense as dream-logic, it's hilarious watching for pure camp value and complete abandon of concern for constructing a cohesive plot. Billie is a mentally slow high school outcast and object of scorn and ridicule who will let a boy do anything with her. Buster, a popular jock at the school, loses a bet to friends, costing him the humiliation of taking Billie on a date. He follows through on his penalty, only to find Billie is a sweet girl he falls for, hard, on the date. Why or how this could come about is never explained. The audience is expected to buy all the nonsensical premises of the movie without questioning any of it. Needless to say, Buster becomes the laughing stock of the whole school when he romances Billie unabashedly. The highly implausible situation goes from bad to worse when the jock's ex- buddies decide to make Buster sorry. Teenage drinking and mob mentality drive ordinary schoolyard bullying far over the line. Buster finds out and goes all "Billy Jack" on the movie. The movie is full of clichés and cardboard cut-out characters. If you have absolutely nothing better to do, it's worth a watch for a few laughs.
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2/10
Weak movie with good performances and atmosphere
drystyx26 February 2007
This is one of those rare breed of weak movies that still have some appeal because of the atmosphere. The plot was supposed to be "the guy all the girls wanted, and the girl who wanted all the guys.". This is more than a little misleading. It involves young love in a rather rustic mid 20th century America setting. This was obviously an era just before the peace movement. The boy, Buster, is a mean snake to say the least. He doesn't have any likable characteristics. He's just mean and rotten, but most American film characters have been that way, so that's no surprise. The girl is more likable, and has what is called an easy reputation. The banter between the characters gives the feel of teenage 'hijinx" and juvenile delinquency. A lot of people may want to see it just to see a future horror celebrity in an early film role, and I don't think they will be disappointed. The performances are solid. Everyone tried to make a good movie. The plot just isn't there, mostly because the lead character has no qualities that a viewer can identify with or find likable.
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