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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5.4/10   272 votes »
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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 »
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  (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 
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
Music Department
Jim Drake .... conductor
Jim Drake .... music arranger
Steve Gorn .... music performer: electronic music
Mike Marracino .... composer: additional music

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
93 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Briefly seen just after the 54 minute mark, the clapboard for the commercial shoot reads "ROMERO."See more »
Chris Bradley:This is my father, he can still cut the mustard!See more »
Movie Connections:
Wild Mountain ThymeSee more »


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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful.

This film reminded me of nothing so much as a John Cassavettes movie. Yes, I mean that as the sincerest of compliments, but whether or not you like it will probably depend upon your feelings about ol' John C. He's a controversial figure even twenty years after his death.

Anyway, despite the video notes from Something Weird, Ray Laine looks and acts just like Russell Crowe. It's almost frightening. While Judith Ridley (here billed as Streiner) is just as lovely as ever and, surprisingly enough in light of her unimpressive turn in "Night of the Living Dead," can actually act.

Okay, so the flick is full of standard issue seventies lingo and some of the most godawful fashion statements since Mrs. Roper, but the writing and direction make up for it. Romero's editing and shot compositions are, perhaps, the best I've seen from him to date. It is odd that George should have excised this piece of work so completely from his opus. Despite its timeliness, it is actually a very accomplished film. The dialogue is crisp and witty. The performances are well delivered across the board. I truly didn't have a problem in the world with this little diamond in the rough. I admit that a few scenes within the first third of the picture were just a bit gag inducing. (Why is it that all these "Love Stories" have to feature a musical montage of the two doe-eyed young lovers going to a play ground, going on a picnic, eating ice cream, etc.?) The final third of the film, as the relationship hits the rocks, however, more than makes up for it with moments truly disturbing. The abortionist sequence in particular was everything I expected it to be and then some. Without resorting to hard core gore or exploitation techniques, Romero manages to provide a real wince inducing air of suspense and danger that will probably be remembered long after the cutesy-poo stuff is forgotten.

All in all, I must say that Romero needs to take stock of his film output over the last few years. Is "There's Always Vanilla" perfect? No, of course not. Is it worlds better than the drek Georgie-Boy's been churning out ever since "Creepshow"? Absolutely! If I were him, I'd bring back "TAV" on a deluxe package DVD replete with audio commentary and plenty of extras and start issuing some damning (or, at least, distancing) statements about "Monkey Shines", "Two Evil Eyes" and "The Dark Half."

Movie Fun: Try and spot all the actors from "Night of the Living Dead" that also made their way into this film. Something Weird Video helpfully points out Ridley (of course) as well as the first ghoul in the cemetery and Judith's husband (Mr. "They're coming to get you, Barbara!") I also found the sheriff lurking here as the abortionist's front man. His turn makes his "Good shot!" comment from "NotLD" seem positively Alan-Alda sensitive. I'm sure there are more familiar faces to be found, but they'll have to wait for repeat viewings.

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