In Southern Spain with a U.S. team, skydiver Fathom Harvill is approached by a Scottish colonel working for a top-secret Western agency. He's after a vital lost atomic device, and wants her... See full summary »
Leslie H. Martinson
Los Angeles: A new law says that the first ambulance that arrives at an accident obtains the contract to transport the injured person. The result is ruthless competition between several companies. Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
Black comedy, about a ragtag ambulance company out of Los Angeles battling their competitors while picking up an eclectic group of needy passengers, could best be described as schizophrenic (quirky boarding on outrageous). It manages to match its silly, yet surprisingly catchy, title with a well-written script and an excellent cast. Bill Cosby, Raquel Welch and Harvey Keitel make up an easy starring trio (another surprise), and Welch in particular seems extremely comfortable in the chaotic surroundings. Supporting players Allen Garfield, Valerie Curtin, and Dick Butkis as the Texan are all fun, though there's perhaps too much of live-wire Larry Hagman (having a permanent meltdown). Peter Yates directed, and while he's quick on his feet he's not always adept at managing the viewer's responses through the morass; these entangled vignettes possibly needed a bit more subtlety and class. Still, there are big laughs in the picture, a few tender moments, not to mention Los Angeles looking bright-and-shiny in 1976. I saw this in the theater when it first came out and the audience--probably having expected a slapstick comedy--filed out looking bewildered. The movie actually plays better today, and was in fact ahead of its time. Remade as a TV-movie in 1978 (with an extra 'g' in Jugs). **1/2 from ****
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