IMDb > There's Always Vanilla (1971)
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There's Always Vanilla (1971) More at IMDbPro »

There's Always Vanilla -- A young man returns to his home city of Pittsburgh and moves in with an older woman whom he begins to rely on for emotional and financial support.


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Release Date:
11 February 1972 (USA) See more »
Every woman knows why the wrong man is irresistible!
A young man returns to his home city of Pittsburgh and moves in with an older woman whom he begins to rely on for emotional and financial support. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Little seen Romero non-horror film See more (12 total) »


  (in credits order)
Raymond Laine ... Chris Bradley (as Ray Laine)
Judith Ridley ... Lynn Harris (as Judith Streiner)
Johanna Lawrence ... Terri Terrific
Richard Ricci ... Michael Dorian
Roger McGovern ... Mr. Bradley
Ron Jaye ... Fox
Bob Wilson ... TV Network Executive
Louise Sahene ... Samantha
Christopher Priore ... Mr. Manspeaker
Robert Trow ... Ralph
Bryson Randolph
Val Stanley ... TV rug commercial director
Vincent D. Survinski ... Delivery man (as Vincent Survinski)
Eleanor Schirra ... Mrs. Harris
S. William Hinzman ... Drunk guy in bar (as Bill Hinzman)
Mike Marracino
Lee Hartman ... TV Reporter
Thomas Ashwell
George Kosana
Bob Stevens
Dorrit Chase ... Mrs. Bradley
Helen Tumpson ... Actress in TV beer commercial
Donald Neeld
Al Croft
Roger Ray
Ken Peters
Elsie Doughty ... Herself
Richard France ... Broadway producer on TV
Nat Carter
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

George A. Romero ... Beer Comercial Director (voice)
Lane Carroll ... Actress in rug TV commercial (uncredited)
Jack Dutch ... Crewperson (uncredited)

John A. Russo ... Music producer (uncredited)
Russell Streiner ... TV beer commercial director (uncredited)

Directed by
George A. Romero 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Rudy Ricci  (as Rudolph J. Ricci)

Produced by
John A. Russo .... producer
Russell Streiner .... producer
Original Music by
Jim Drake 
Steve Gorn 
Mike Marracino 
Cinematography by
George A. Romero 
Film Editing by
George A. Romero 
Production Design by
Vincent D. Survinski  (as Vincent Survinski)
Costume Design by
Carol Muldoon 
Makeup Department
Luigi Caesar Caruso .... hair stylist
Bonnie Priore .... makeup artist
Sound Department
Gary Streiner .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Carlyle Belland .... grip
S. William Hinzman .... grip (as William Hinzman)
Paul McCollough .... assistant camera
Greg Treleaven .... grip

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
93 min
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

This is 'George A. Romero''s second film, and according to him, his worst. He stated that the writer was "very lazy" and showed little interest in the production, leaving halfway through the shooting.See more »
Chris Bradley:Dad, I just don't want to go to work in your baby food factory. And, I don't want to sell vacuum cleaners. I don't want to sell little toy plastic aircraft carriers. I don't wanna... I don't know what I want.
Mr. Bradley:Chris, I think I understand what you're talking about. A little bit anyway. But these problems are a little bit like going to Howard Johnsons for some ice cream. You can get all kinds of wild, exotic flavors. But somehow, you always wind up with vanilla.
Chris Bradley:Oh, Jesus Christ, Dad, I could cry!
Mr. Bradley:You get what I mean? Now one thing, just once in a while...
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The Dead Will Walk (2004) (V)See more »
Wild Mountain ThymeSee more »


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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
Little seen Romero non-horror film, 7 September 2003
Author: matt-282 from United States

There's Always Vanilla (AKA: The Affair) (1971) was the first of George A. Romero's films after Night of the Living Dead (1968) and probably the least seen. I guess after making Night... Romero feared being pegged as a horror film director and launched himself after the release of Night with this Graduate-type romantic drama, written by his associate Rudi Ricci. But sadly it's not one of his best, and it's quite obvious that the director's heart just wasn't in making it. It does not exist on video or DVD, only on crude bootlegged VHS copies here and there.

As for the plot, it could have been better if done on a higher budget. It opens with a guy named Chris Bradley (Ray Laine who appeared in Jack's Wife (AKA: Season of the Witch)) who returns to his home city in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania a year or more after his discharge from the U.S. Army and serving a tour in Vietnam. Chris has drifted from town to town, and city to city making money from playing his guitar in bars, to pimping for prostitutes. Chris' stern but benevolent father (Roger McGovern) wants him to abandon his new lifestyle and return to the family business of making baby food in a local factory which Mr. Bradley owns. But Chris refuses, wanting to make a new life for himself. On the street, Chris meets a beautiful young woman named Lynn (Judith Steiner) whom is about 10 years older than him and makes a living by modeling in local TV commercials. Chris charms Lynn into letting him move in with her.

For a time, Chris and Lynn's relationship is good with both of them sharing their love of of lovemaking, pot smoking, and rock and roll music. But she is supporting both of them as he plans to write a book based on his life, whereas he just lays around doing nothing. She motivates him to get a steady job and he lands one in a small advertising agency, which he grows not to like it with each passing day. Then Lynn finds out that she's pregnant and keeps the news from Chris knowing that despite his wits and charm, he is not responsible to be a father or a husband to her and her unborn baby. For the rest of the film, it does downhill from there and for Chris heading towards ruin and misery.

If it was restored by Anchor Bay or Blue Underground, it would be an interesting look at late 1960's early 1970's life with lusuous visuals (the grainy color of the aging VHS tapes is the disadvantage). Sad to say that even Romero himself disavowed this film for its not all bad despite the bleak storyline. I hope one day, someone will restore this movie for the public to once again view for themselves.

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