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When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder? (1979)

 -  Drama  -  1 February 1980 (Spain)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 287 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 3 critic

Marjoe Gortner plays a drug dealer whose car breaks down in a small U.S. town. In turn, the town's people become victim to his unique brand of physical and mental torture.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Cheryl
...
Teddy
...
Angel Childress
Dixie Harris ...
Grandma Childress
...
Rhea Childress
...
Clarisse Ethridge
...
Richard Ethridge
...
Stephen Ryder
...
Lyle Striker
Bill McKinney ...
Tommy Clark
Alex Colon ...
Younger Mexican Man
Joe Hernandez ...
Older Mexican Man
...
Radio Preacher
...
Ceil Ryder
Sherry Unger ...
Bar Floozy
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Storyline

Marjoe Gortner plays a drug dealer whose car breaks down in a small U.S. town. In turn, the town's people become victim to his unique brand of physical and mental torture. Written by Michael A Kortt <mkortt@une.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When this man gets up, be prepared to face the most powerful emotional experience of your life. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 February 1980 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

I epistrofi tou Red Ryder  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,800,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The picture's source 1973 stage-play by playwright Mark Medoff, who also wrote the film's script, won three Obie (or Off-Broadway Theater) Awards in 1974. Obies are given to productions staged Off-Broadway and awarded by The Village Voice newspaper. The play also won a 1974 Drama Desk Award. See more »

Quotes

Clarisse Ethridge: [to her husband Richard]
Clarisse Ethridge: I am NOT your added appendage!
See more »

Connections

References Ben-Hur (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Walkin' Blues
Written by Son House and Robert Johnson
Performed by The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
See more »

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User Reviews

Unexamined lives are not worth living
23 September 2002 | by (Odessa, Texas) – See all my reviews

Most descriptions of this movie read something like "psycho Vietnam veteran terrorizes roadside diner patrons" or "bad movie adaptation of Medoff's stage play" and though these may be accurate surface descriptions, the movie deserves far more comment than that. As the movie progresses, each character's deepest motivations and fears are revealed and what is exposed is the shallow values, ignobleness and dark fears of mankind.

Marjoe Gortner's youthful rage manifest's itself strikingly as he rants on a each of the diner patrons. His cynism is directed at pretentious city intellectuals (Hal Linden and Lee Grant), small town folk (Stephanie Faracy), self-righteous do-gooder (Pat Hingle), bad-ass-wannabe (Peter Firth) and even the protagonist's girlfriend (Candy Clark). The film gives a whole new meaning to the American perception of machismo and much of this can be difficult as well as fascinating to watch.

The most interesting thing about this film however is that it has gone virtually unnoticed since the day it was released. It lasted in the theaters only a few weeks and the edited versions, which have only rarely appeared on non-cable TV, truly ruined the entire effect of RR. The movie was overlooked by the critics and the public for several reasons.

The critics labeled the movie "better as a stage play" and "it's been done before" and "overacted". For reasons that I have never completely understood, movie critics typically dislike stage plays made in to movies unless a lot of flashy camera work and new spirited locations make the play-now-a-movie fit more conventionally into the film art form. What critics fail to realize is that the general public does not have access to good theater and even if a movie is literally a play shot on film, one can now get the subtle nuances of close-up facial expressions and the quality dialogue that stage plays require and movies often go without. Some critics said the film was similar to other films such as The Petrified Forest yet these same critics can never seem to get enough gangster movies, boxer movies or movies about Hollywood professionals. Red Ryder has about as much in common with Petrified Forest as Platoon had in common with Green Berets. And the criticism that Gortner overacted ...... my god that WAS the point !!!

The public overlooked the movie mainly due to the marketing. A long non-descriptive title stunted audience draw and RR lacked the graphic exploitative violence that so often the public looks for in a movie that was touted as "he is getting even with every woman who slapped your face and every man that ....". A more accurate title (possibly "Unexamined Lives") and a descriptive byline like "he is here to prove to you that there is really nothing decent about anyone" may have at least got the right people in the movie house. Of all the mind pap available on video these days, such as Armageddon, it is a crime that this masterpiece has been lost to history.


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