IMDb > Best Friends (1975)
Best Friends
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Best Friends (1975) More at IMDbPro »

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Best Friends -- Mature, stable Jesse, his nutty and impulsive best friend Pat, Jesse's caring fiancee Kathy, and Pat's fragile gal pal Jo Ella all decide to embark on a cross country road trip in a Winnebago prior to facing the challenges of encroaching adulthood.
Best Friends -- Two young couples taste the "free and easy" life on a cross country motor-home tour until love backfires and tragedy follows.


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Doug Chapin (additional dialogue)
Arnold Somkin
View company contact information for Best Friends on IMDbPro.
Best Friends ... until they crossed the wrong border See more »
Mature, stable Jesse, his nutty and impulsive longtime best friend Pat, Jesse's caring fiancé Kathy... See more » | Add synopsis »
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Great! See more (12 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Richard Hatch ... Jesse
Susanne Benton ... Kathy
Doug Chapin ... Pat
Ann Noland ... Jo Ella
Renee Paul ... Dancer
Ralph Montgomery ... Bar Boss
Roger Bear ... Kola
John McKee ... RV Salesman
Bonnie Erkel ... Doreen
Julienne Wells ... Brenda (as Julie Clinch)
Michael Gordon ... Truck Driver
Ray Wilinski ... Band
Richard Trees ... Band
Wade Wilson ... Band

Directed by
Noel Nosseck 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Doug Chapin  additional dialogue
Arnold Somkin 

Produced by
Paul Cowan .... associate producer (as Paul D. Cowan)
Noel Nosseck .... producer
Original Music by
Rick Cunha 
Cinematography by
Stephen M. Katz 
Film Editing by
Robert Gordon 
Casting by
Jack G. Roberts 
Art Direction by
Jodie Lynn Tillen  (as Jodie Tillen)
Makeup Department
Peter R.J. Deyell .... makeup artist (as Peter Deyell)
Sound Department
Dennis Jones .... boom operator
Craig Stewart .... sound effects editor
Jeff Wexler .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Bill Hankins .... second assistant camera
Skip Karnas .... gaffer (as Albert Karnos)
Jack O'Reilly .... best boy
Leslie Otis .... first assistant camera
Harry Rez .... key grip (as Harry R. Davis)
Music Department
Rick Cunha .... musician
Transportation Department
Robert Decker .... transportation
Other crew
Jill Baker .... assistant to producer
John Dorr .... script supervisor (as John Door)
Sascha Schneider .... production assistant
Robert Stein .... production assistant
Crew believed to be complete

DistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
83 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Plot holes: After Pat buys a motorcycle, he is usually seen riding separately from the other characters, presumably because there is no readily apparent way to carry the bike aboard their RV. However, after the group visits the Indian ruins, Pat is seen driving the RV cross-country. His motorcycle has apparently vanished, yet it inexplicably reappears later in the film.See more »
Movie Connections:
Best FriendsSee more »


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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Great!, 22 December 2009
Author: IcyRoses from Bayside, San Andreas

I usually like films that focus on a few characters rather then many or even a lot. And "Best Friends" focuses exclusively on 4 characters.

Jessie (Richard Hatch) and Pat (Doug Chapin) have been friends since perhaps childhood. And they've done everything together. In the beginning we get a montage of pictures showing they've been through everything to the prom to the war. And this is how the movie gets it's edge. Jessie came home from Vietnam before Pat did, and it's pretty obvious the war has affected Pat, not Jessie. But, anyways, Jessie and his girlfriend Kathy (Susanne Benton) decide to drive to California to meet Pat when he gets off the airplane. See the thing is they want to take a cross country trip/vacation, and along comes Pat's estranged girlfriend Jo Ella (Ann Noland).

The movie starts off perfectly normal, when everyone see's each other again, it seems like this is going to be a fun road movie. But, soon tension starts to amount. Kathy is clingy to Jessie, and Pat is jealous. Plus, Kathy and Jessie has a much better, loving relationship, then Pat and Jo Ella. Pat is stilted and wants to enjoy life, Jo Ella wants to settle down and be married.

Things get even more heated when Jo Ella makes a fool out of herself by taking her top off at an Indian bar and a fight emerges with the group. Pat wants to protect Jessie (who was hit) but Kathy won't let him. It seems like Pat is becoming more and more obsessed with getting Kathy completely out of the picture and having Jessie to himself.

Then, the film takes a hard left turn. Pat sits Jo Ella down and tells her he has no intention on marrying her. Her life is immediately shattered. He then lies to her and tells her Jessie has been interested in her all this time and she should try to sleep with him. And then another turn comes when Pat sees Kathy alone and tells her Jessie would be a horrible husband and would probably cheat on her.

Jessie and Jo Ella sleep together, Pat tries to rape Kathy, and Jessie beats the holy hell out of Pat. This sets up the last half of the picture where Pat and Jessie try to regain their friendship, through what else, trying to find younger girls to have sex with.

In an ultimate turn of events in the movie (which I won't reveal for you loyal readers out there who will go see this), each one of the four's life are effected by the horrible tragedy that occurs at the end. It's a moment full of empathy, regret, and sadness. Pat ends the picture by saying "We've been together for so long.....we can have it all....." "Best Friends" was mismarketed as a grindhouse/drive-in film in 1974, so the company that released it decided to release it in theaters in early 1975, and I'm sure if it had the proper advertisement and some Academy members actually took the time to see it, it would have got some kind of Academy recognition.

The part of "Best Friends" that keeps coming up is, Ann Noland. She easily gives one of my favorite performances of all time as Jo Ella.

Ann Noland's Jo Ella is multi-layered. She is seemingly happy and carefree, yet she worries about her future nearly every day. She stays "Best Friends" most interesting character. The scene right before her and Jessie have sex where she throws leaves on him and seems playful, then starts crying and says "We're not getting married..." She is heartbreaking! For it's mellow and tense atmosphere, hippie soundtrack, and surprisingly great acting, including Ann Noland's shattering Jo Ella, makes "Best Friends" one of my favorite movies!

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