58 user 69 critic

Electra Glide in Blue (1973)

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Bored with his highway traffic duties, Arizona motorcycle patrolman John Wintergreen is assigned to Homicide where his polite investigative style irks his macho boss.


Robert Boris (screenplay), Robert Boris (story) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Blake ... John Wintergreen
Billy Green Bush ... Zipper (as Billy 'Green' Bush)
Mitchell Ryan ... Harve Poole
Jeannine Riley ... Jolene
Elisha Cook Jr. ... Willie (as Elisha Cook)
Royal Dano ... Coroner
Hawk Wolinski Hawk Wolinski ... VW Bus Driver (as David J. Wolinski)
Peter Cetera ... Bob Zemko
Terry Kath Terry Kath ... Killer
Lee Loughnane ... Pig Man
Walter Parazaider ... Loose Lips
Joe Samsil Joe Samsil ... Sgt. Ryker
Jason Clark Jason Clark ... L.A. Detective
Michael Butler ... Truck Driver
Susan Forristal Susan Forristal ... Ice Cream Girl


A short Arizona motorcycle cop gets his wish and is promoted to Homicide following the mysterious murder of a hermit. He is forced to confront his illusions about himself and those around him in order to solve the case, eventually returning to solitude in the desert. Written by Martin H. Booda <booda@datasync.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Did you know that me and Alan Ladd were exactly the same height? See more »


PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

4 October 1973 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Legend of Big John See more »

Filming Locations:

Winslow, Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Guercio-Hitzig See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Todd-AO)| 4-Track Stereo


Black and White (final scenes)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Lead actor Robert Blake disliked the movie's Electra Glide in Blue (1973) title and preferred the picture to have been instead called "Chopper Copper". See more »


As Jolene attempts to make out with Big John in front of jukebox, there's a bearded man visible in the mirror behind the jukebox. See more »


Jolene, Harve's Girlfriend: [to John Wintergreen] Well, now let's see, you got your hat, your badge and your boots! You got it all, don't you Johnny? You got everything! You're happy, aren't you Johnny? Well, I got just the tune that will fit you!
[she deposits a coin in the jukebox and starts dancing in a flirtatious manner]
See more »

Alternate Versions

John Wintergreen is called John Winterberg in the German version. See more »


Featured in TCM Underground: Electra Glide in Blue (2006) See more »


Free from the Devil
Performed by Madura
Written by Alan De Carlo
Big Elk Music ASCAP
See more »

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User Reviews

An American anthem - Several films in one
1 August 2000 | by Brewski-2See all my reviews

Blake, as Big John Wintergreen, is the idealized American who is a Marine Corps veteran from Vietnam, comes back and wants to do the right thing: enforce the law fairly and not give favors to other cops nor hassle the hippies. He is "chopping the wood before him" by riding his Harley, working traffic and the concert and hoping to be a Detective. He tries hard and provides info to the lead Detective but he just can't bring himself to be brutal to the hippies at the commune or hassle the hippie VW Bus drivers. And he is a man, and hence tempted by the delightful Jolene. His traffic partner, Zipper, wants more but doesn't want to work for it like Wintergreen. And amidst all these human dynamics is a murder and theft of cash. Aside from being a great story, there are many specifics that will make you want to watch this film. The 70's flavor is a fun retrospective. The Police Bike vs. dirt bike chase scene is the greatest ever done. The desert scenery never looked better and the Monument Valley morning scene is a real treat. The soundtrack is perhaps the biggest star. You have Du-Wop, Country, Rock and jazz. Sadly, only parts of some songs are in the movie (or are spoken over) and the soundtrack is not available on CD. If you are ever in an old record store, look for the LP in a silver colored cover. You may even be lucky enough to get the posters and picture book that came with the album. I would love to see Rhino records give this soundtrack the same treatment they gave to Casablanca. You will like John Wintergreen and feel his joys and sorrows as his personal and professional life take their ups and downs.

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