I'd watch anything with the fabulous Karen Black, so I was more than a little excited to catch up with this forgotten film. The plot deals with an "absent-minded" professor who battles civil hall in an attempt to halt the demolition of his apartment complex. On an impulse he takes a U.S. Marshall as a hostage. The situation is exacerbated by a desperate female TV News reporter who becomes embedded with the professor and his family.
Suspend your disbelief at the door for this one, as the motivations of the characters are murky at best. The reason for the professor's obsession for holding on to his apartment isn't clear, although the audience is subjected to a few standard scenes establishing that the building houses some friendly but struggling neighbors.
Richard Harris as the professor is engaging enough, although the dialog is plenty dull at points. And Karen Black as the reporter seems surprisingly restrained, although she does have a couple of moments of histrionics. Quirky Dennis Christopher as Harris's son steals a few scenes with his great yellow mop of 70's styled hair and a pouty expression.
The best reason for taking this one in, is of course the wonderful and wacky fashions and decor of the era. Karen Black's character is enamored of hats and berets, and the clingy flame-red track suit worn by Charles Siebert is a sight to behold!
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