6.0/10
2,458
32 user 11 critic

The Coca-Cola Kid (1985)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 14 July 1985 (USA)
An eccentric marketing guru visits a Coca-Cola subsidiary in Australia to try and increase market penetration. He finds zero penetration in a valley owned by an old man who makes his own ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (additional dialogue) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
8 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Montenegro (1981)
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A bored wealthy housewife on the verge of insanity cuts loose with some lively Yugoslavian immigrants who delight in their bohemian lifestyle.

Director: Dusan Makavejev
Stars: Susan Anspach, Erland Josephson, Per Oscarsson
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A homage to the work of psychologist Wilhelm Reich, matched with a story about a Yugoslavian girl's affair with a Russian skater. Sexual repression, social systems and the orgone theory are explored.

Director: Dusan Makavejev
Stars: Milena Dravic, Ivica Vidovic, Jagoda Kaloper
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A major of Red Army is late for the train that takes Soviet's forces from Berlin. He telephones to Moscow and finds out that his wife has left him and that someone has moved in his ... See full summary »

Director: Dusan Makavejev
Stars: Svetozar Cvetkovic, Anita Mancic, Alexandra Rohmig
Documentary | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Documentary about the famous Serbian athlete and movie enthusiast who made a feature film during the Nazi occupation of Belgrade and had some problems after the liberation because of that.

Director: Dusan Makavejev
Stars: Dragoljub Aleksic, Bratoljub Gligorijevic, Vera Jovanovic
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A love romance between older, respectable engineer that came in the industrial town to do some expert job and young hairdresser in whose house he stayed in and the consequences of that ... See full summary »

Director: Dusan Makavejev
Stars: Milena Dravic, Janez Vrhovec, Eva Ras
Sweet Movie (1974)
Comedy | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The intercut story of two women: a nearly-mute beauty queen who descends into withdrawal and madness, and another who captains a ship laden with candy and sugar, luring men and boys aboard ... See full summary »

Director: Dusan Makavejev
Stars: Carole Laure, Pierre Clémenti, Anna Prucnal
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

After many adventures, a young female switchboard operator starts a love relationship with a serious young man. But while he's away on business, she gets lonely and succumbs to her ... See full summary »

Director: Dusan Makavejev
Stars: Eva Ras, Slobodan Aligrudic, Ruzica Sokic
Star 80 (1983)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A successful young model finds trouble when her obsessive manager-turned-husband becomes dangerously jealous. Based on the true story of 1980 Playmate of the Year Dorothy Stratten.

Director: Bob Fosse
Stars: Mariel Hemingway, Eric Roberts, Cliff Robertson
Manifesto (1988)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In a small European country, the king is scheduled to visit a small, quiet and "safe" village. It turns out that while the village may indeed be small, it's neither as quiet nor as safe as it's expected to be.

Director: Dusan Makavejev
Stars: Camilla Søeberg, Alfred Molina, Simon Callow
Nobody's Fool (1986)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Cassie has a miserable job in a bar, is lonely and depressed. Her boyfriend left her when she told him that she's pregnant. After several failed suicide attempts she'd given away her baby ... See full summary »

Director: Evelyn Purcell
Stars: Rosanna Arquette, Eric Roberts, Mare Winningham
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Charlie and his troublesome cousin Paulie decide to steal $150000 in order to back a "sure thing" race horse that Paulie has inside information on. The aftermath of the robbery gets them ... See full summary »

Director: Stuart Rosenberg
Stars: Eric Roberts, Mickey Rourke, Daryl Hannah
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Directors: David Blair, Susanna Edwards, and 16 more credits »
Stars: Judi Martin Clark, Lis Dam, Sofie Gråbøl
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Terri
Bill Kerr ...
T. George McDowell
...
Kim
Kris McQuade ...
Juliana
Max Gillies ...
Frank
Tony Barry ...
Bushman
Paul Chubb ...
Fred
David Slingsby ...
Waiter
Tim Finn ...
Phillip
Colleen Clifford ...
Mrs. Haversham
Rebecca Smart ...
DMZ
Esben Storm ...
Country Hotel Manager
Steve Dodd ...
Mr. Joe
...
Marjorie
Edit

Storyline

An eccentric marketing guru visits a Coca-Cola subsidiary in Australia to try and increase market penetration. He finds zero penetration in a valley owned by an old man who makes his own soft drinks, and visits the valley to see why. After "the Kid's" persistence is tested he's given a tour of the man's plant, and they begin talking of a joint venture. Things get more complicated when the Coca-Cola man begins falling in love with his temporary secretary, who seems to have connections to the valley. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A movie felt never so refreshing!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 July 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Coca Cola Kid  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was made and released about thirteen years after its source short story "The Americans Baby" and around eleven years after its other source short story "The Electrical Experience", had both been first published in 1972 and 1974 respectively, both were written by Frank Moorhouse. See more »

Goofs

Just after Becker takes the old lady from the Tiger Moth and carries her over to his Jeep, the airplane has turned around by itself and moved over to the side of the road. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Cabin Steward: G'day ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Australia.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Catering: 'Kaos' (Highly recommended by the whole cast & crew) See more »

Connections

Referenced in Coca Cola Kid (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen
(uncredited)
by Thomas Payne Westendorf
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

About Two-Thirds of a Really Fine Movie and Then an Awful Mess of a Last Act
23 February 2001 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

The opening titles for The Coca-Cola Kid make it clear that the film is in no way sponsored by Coca-Cola or the Coca-Cola bottling company. Obviously the company felt comfortable enough with the final product to let the film use their name, but it's hardly a glowing picture of the soft drink giant. In The Coca-Cola Kid, Coca-Cola is the face of American Imperialism. When company trouble shooter Becker (Eric Roberts) declares, "The world will not be truly free until Coke is available everywhere," he's speaking without irony. This film, then, is about Becker's attempts to help Coca-Cola colonize Australia, but what starts off as a film of comic promise and originality becomes bogged down in convention and cliché to the point that it's difficult by the final reel to remember what was so appealing at the beginning.

The Coca-Cola Kid fits nicely in the genre of American Corporate Fish Out Of Water tales. If you've seen the delightful Local Hero, for example, you'll know that no matter what kind of tough American goes off to the rural wasteland, he'll change, enlightened by the small town quirks and wisdom he was meant to subvert. That's not really giving anything away in this film, because the last act doesn't play out as you expect. In fact, it hardly plays out at all.

Becker arrives in Australia to help boost lagging sales. It turns out that there's a whole region of the country where no Coke is sold at all. Becker, a former marine with the proverbial "unorthodox way of doing business," discovers that that region is ruled over by T. George McDowell (Bill Kerr) a gruff man of homespun wisdom, but more importantly, homemade soft drinks, made from real fruit. Even though their first encounter is rough, Becker is determined to fight off the advances of his secretary-with-a-secret (Greta Scacchi) and the hotel waiter who mistakes him for an arms dealer to do the job he was sent to do.

Directed by Dusan Makavejev, The Coca-Cola Kid develops a wonderful momentum early on. In fact, the first hour of the film is an absolute gem. Eric Roberts's performance to that point is perfect. His presentation to the bemused Coke officials is comic gold, as he waxes poetic about the fizzy beverage, even holding it up to the light bathing the room in its brown glow. Roberts's early scenes with Scacchi have a nice screwball touch and his interactions with Scacchi's moppet daughter provide a nice depth for the character, hinting at something beyond his intensity. There's a nifty sequence where Becker enlists a studio band to try to come up with the "sound of Australia" where they go through several absurd suggestions before coming up with a truly catchy jingle.

I'm not sure how far it is into the movie, but for me things begin to go south immediately after that recording session. For reasons completely unclear to me, the secretary has Becker invited to a party to catch him in an awkward position. This involves completely random intimations of homosexuality and ends of feeling both forced and pointless. The scene is so clumsy that it leaves a bad taste that begins to spread.

It rapidly becomes clear that The Coca-Cola Kid isn't going to omit a single convention of Australian culture. You want an old bushman with a diggerydoo (inevitably misspelled, but my dictionary is letting me down)? You've got it. An adorable wounded Kangaroo? Bingo! And a slightly inbred man singing a rousing chorus of "Walzing Matilda?" Yup-Yup. In fact, the vision of Australia put forth by the film is so cookie-cutter that it's hard to feel bad about the culture being overrun by American interests. You support Coke because you figure they're at least putting forth a good product.

Eric Roberts's performance finally ends up being a little infuriating because he's not given any opportunity or reason to be anything other than amusingly scary. The film falls apart at just the point you wish Roberts would go through the obligatory character alteration, but there's just no chance. He's stranded. Ditto Scacchi. She adorable and makes the sexiest Santa in the history of cinema, but her character's payoff is weak. Bill Kerr is excellent for the most part, but you can't help but feel that his cagey old Outback Vet is a character we've seen a thousand times.

The Coca-Cola Kid's best and most consistent feature is its cinematography by Dean Semler. The Oscar winner (for Dances With Wolves) does what the script and director can't do -- he creates the ironic counterpoint between the Outback, the big city, and Eric Roberts. The film has a dynamic look which, unlike the narrative, doesn't fall apart at the end.

I do feel bad about only giving this movie a 6/10, but I guess I should have just turned it off early. Off to drink a Coke...


20 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?