Moving Violation (1976) Poster

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The Chase
jotix1005 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Not having a clue about this film was about, we decided to take a chance. It was produced by legendary Roger Corman, a man who knew how to pack his films with a lot of action. "Moving Violation" is a film that will not disappoint fans of that genre as there is no let up from the start.

The young drifter, Eddie, meets a bored Dairy Queen attendant, Cam, and asks her out. She decides to take him to a secret place where they can access the swimming pool in the estate of the rich Mr. Rickfield. They witness as the corrupt sheriff of the town shoots one of his deputies. That triggers a chase across the state as Eddie and Cam are followed through highways and small towns because they know what the sheriff did. They enlist the help of Alex Warren, an attorney that believes them, but ultimately can't do much for them.

Charles Dubbin directed with an eye for the action. Stephen McHattie and Kay Lenz play the couple being chased. Lonny Chapman is perfect as the criminal sheriff and Eddie Albert makes a great Alex Warren.

The film is non-stop car chasing and will delight the viewer who doesn't expect anything but just pure action.
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A very solid and satisfying 70's "don't go down to Dixie" redneck exploitation flick
Woodyanders2 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Scruffy, mischievous smartaleck Detroit drifter Eddie (rangily personable beanpole Stephen McHattie) and his sweet, plucky gal pal Cam (a winning performance by the ever pert and appealing Kay Lenz) witness a murder committed by a growly, profane, corrupt, vicious, irritable, just flat-out no-count and reprehensible cracker sheriff (a stand-out scurvy portrayal by Lonny Chapman). The couple go on the lam; Chapman and his hilariously inept deputies give hot pursuit. While the compact script by David R. Osterhout and William Norton offers nothing new and the story never springs any fresh surprises or novel twists, this film nonetheless still sizes up as a really solid and satisfying affair. In other words, the trite narrative gets redeemed by the briskness and vibrancy of the commendably spirited and unpretentious execution. Directed with galvanizing aplomb by Charles S. Dubin, further energized by Donald Peake's exuberant banjo-plucking, pile-driving country swing score and Charles Correll's splendidly agile, mobile, crisply handsome and polished cinematography, jam-packed with more auto-wrecking, metal-smashing, cars smacking into each other and flipping over in glorious slow motion vehicular carnage than you can shake a rusty tire iron at, and topped off with nice acting from the immensely likable leads, plus nifty cameos by Eddie Albert as a friendly, sympathetic lawyer, Will Geer as a crusty, snappish, nasty old oil baron, and the ubiquitous Dick Miller as one of Chapman's pernicious flunkies, "Moving Violation" tears ahead with such speedy breakneck velocity that it ultimately comes through as a giddy slice of dynamically enthusiastic Southern-fried demolition derby cinema.
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Not Bad Drive-In Fare
G-Man-2524 June 2000
A wildly uneven but watchable combination of violent melodrama and car-chase comedy, about an unassuming young couple who stumble onto a murder and end up on the run, framed by the redneck sheriff who actually committed the crime. This is a 1970's drive-in picture, made to order. The comedy and violence tend to clash and cancel each other out, but the performances are good and the action well-staged for such a low budget film. Worth a peek on a slow night, but nothing to stay up for.
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A must-see for 1970s car chase fans.
lightninboy6 April 2005
This is a typical 1970s car chase movie (Eat My Dust, A Small Town in Texas, Vanishing Point, etc.). You might think movies like that aren't worth watching, but they're better than 80% of the stuff they call movies today. This movie shows an airbag being deployed back before airbags became standard in cars. It's a public service movie! And you get to see the top ripped off a car back before Buford T. Justice got the top ripped off his car. And you get to see what happens when you don't put all your lug nuts on tight. People in the 1970s rural America liked these movies because they could relate to the setting and the plot and the cars.
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Not bad for a "drive-in" type movie
TC-46 April 2001
I had my doubts about this movie because it was a Roger Corman production. This usually means very low production values. I was surprised as to how good it was. What helped was that it was on a preminum channel with no cuts, edits or commercials. The only thing that I did not like was the car chases because they were speeded up way too much. I was almost like the Keystone Cops. I don't mind chases that are slightly speeded up but these were like a cartoon. The performances by Steven McHattie, Kay Lenz, Lonny Chapman and Eddie Albert were all first rate. I recommned it as a Sat. afternoon movie.
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The Sheriff shot the deputy… and I swear it wasn't self-defense!
Coventry14 July 2015
This drive-in/exploitation movie from the almighty producer Roger Corman was filmed during the mid-seventies and takes place in a small town in the deep south. You know what that means, right? It means plenty of wild car chase action, crashes, lone heroes and dumb coppers, gratuitous violence and – of course – a lot of banjo music! But please don't expect another brainless comedy like "Smokey and the Bandit" or a carsploitation classic like "Death Race 2000" or "Cannonball". "Moving Violation" actually has a story to tell and the tone & atmosphere are often quite grim and disturbing. The best contemporary film to compare it with is probably the 1973 flick "White Lightning" starring Burt Reynolds and Ned Beatty. Both titles theoretically qualify as straightforward and undemanding 70's hillbilly car-chasing movies, but there are sober sub plots and characters with depth and background. The cops here might have big sweaty bald heads and clichéd names like Bubba, but they are vicious psychopaths instead of dim-witted losers and don't hesitate to cruelly execute innocent people. The charismatic drifter Eddie and his brand new ice-cream selling girlfriend Camille find themselves in a world of trouble when they accidentally witness how the corrupt Sheriff Rankin kills off one of his deputies because he wasn't satisfied with his share of palm oil. The nasty Sheriff naturally accuses the young couple of the cowardly murder and mobilizes his entire precinct to hunt them down. The virulent chase quickly leads to other counties, but the authorities there are also eager to stop them because they are signaled as cop killers. "Moving Violation" feels very familiar, what with its superficially stereotypical characters and predictable plot, but the scenario holds several surprises in store and manages to remain suspenseful. The chase sequences, which pretty much cover 75% of the running time, are extremely spectacular and adrenalin-rushing. You'll witness the total demolition of approximately 25 vehicles and plenty of other scenery like billboards, gas stations and even entire farmhouses! I have tremendous respect for the very bleak finale that is very atypical for such a movie and that I personally never would have predicted. "Moving Violation" features good roles of Stephen McHattie (still at the beginning of his career), Eddie Albert and the astonishingly beautiful Kay Lenz, but the most memorable roles are for the bad coppers Lonny Chapman and Jack Murdock. B-movie favorite and Roger Corman regular Dick Miller has a brief but remarkable supportive role as the over-enthusiast bounty hunter Mack. Highly recommended for fans of the seventies in general, but particularly drive-in fanatics and Roger Corman admirers.
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The presence of Kay Lenz makes it worthwhile.
Scott LeBrun11 August 2014
Eddie Moore (Stephen McHattie) is an amiable drifter passing through the town of Rockfield. Predictably, he gets harassed by the snake-mean local sheriff, a man named Rankin (Lonny Chapman). His day is brightened, however, when he meets lovely young Dairy Queen employee Cam Johnson (Ms. Lenz). They hit it off and go sneaking onto the estate of the local bigwig (Will Geer) after whom the town is named. From their vantage point they are able to see the sheriff - who, naturally, is also flat out corrupt - shoot and badly wound a greedy deputy (Dennis Redfield) who wanted in on the action. So Eddie and Cam have to spend the balance of the movie on the lam, dodging bullets fired by the sheriff and his cronies, while trying to find a sympathetic pair of ears.

As one can see, this is very much formula-driven drive-in car chase and car crash fare. The characters are for the most part clichés, especially the one-dimensional villainous sheriff. Fortunately, the good thing that can often be said for exploitation entertainment of this variety is its unpretentious nature. It *does*, ultimately, show its viewers a reasonably good time, with plenty of pedal to the metal action and enough explosions to keep a persons' attention from wandering too much. McHattie and especially Lenz are watchable as the hero and heroine, and Chapman is just right as their persistent, nasty nemesis. Geer is too briefly seen, and under-utilized, but does a fine job nonetheless. The supporting cast includes such familiar faces as Jack Murdock, the ubiquitous and always welcome Dick Miller, and Paul Linke, but the movie really belongs to the excellent Eddie Albert, playing attorney Alex Warren, who decides to take the kids' case.

Executive produced by Roger Corman, and produced by his wife Julie, this features a flavourful bluegrass score by Don Peake and a catchy ditty titled "Detroit Man" sung by Phil Everly. It's pretty much average for its genre, but still proves to be engaging enough to watch.

Six out of 10.
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jprice-431 March 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Moving Violation is about a man named Eddie Moore(Stephen McHattie) who is a drifter from the motor city who meets a small town waitress(Kay Lenz) who saw Sheriff Rankin(Lonny Chapman) killing his Deputy(Dennis Redfield) at the Rockfield mansion that Mr. Rockfield(Will Geer) saw and Sheriff Rankin chases them , and Eddie Moore was shot in the arm during one of the chases.

Then the next day, they call a lawyer named Alex Warren(Eddie Albert) who helps them and dislikes Rankin. until following day when they supposed to go to the courthouse and there was a shooting outside the courthouse and Alex was shot and killed. Then Eddie shoots and blowing up the patrol cars and shoots Rankin. At the end Eddie and Cam talk and Cam climb the fience.

It was a good movie.

I give it ***1/2.
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Filming Location
mpkct28 August 2006
While watching "Moving Violation" I wanted to know where this movie was filmed. There wasn't any reference to filming locations on the IMDb web site. In the process of watching the movie Moving Violation, I saw street signs for HIGHWAY 23, POINDEXTER AVE and also some railroad tracks. Going to Google, Highway 23, Poindexter Ave and the railroad tracks for Southern Pacific are all in Moorpark Caifornia. At the end of the movie at the court house scene when they were going to give themselves up, there was a miniature oil well derrick next to the steps to the court house. Moorpark has some oil wells, as were visible in some of the movie scenes. Does anyone know where the fruit grove scenes were filmed ?
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Smoky and the Two Ersatz Bandits.
Robert J. Maxwell4 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
My aunt used to paint these oils of things like Maine lighthouses. The canvas boards came with the outlines of all the objects already on it. Each space was filled with a number. If a given space on the canvas, say the sky, was labeled "9", she'd fill in the space with a color from the little tube labeled "9. Blue." She was very precise. No golden, end-of-summer wheat field ever shimmered indistinctly against the hazy horizon. The Number 6 paint ended sharply and the Number 7 paint began.

Aunt Olga could have directed this movie. There may not be a single convention or cliché neglected. McHattie and Lenz are falsely accused by Lonnie Chapman, as Sheriff Rankin, of murdering a deputy in a small California town. The town and its boss, Will Geer, make a federal case out of it, as if the two fugitives were mass murderers. They even draw in a "gang of terrorists" and "commies".

The movie is almost entirely one long car chase. Bullets fly. Lenz grits her teeth behind the wheel. McHattie, in the shotgun seat, purses his lips and looks bemused, as well he might. Eddie Albert is in here but doesn't appear until the movie is half over -- and don't blink.

Every car chase is undercranked, meaning the cars are filmed in accelerated motion. They zip around curves, plow through stop signs, have their tops surgically removed by the eighteen-wheelers under which they slide. This convention dates back to the Keystone Cops but was almost uniformly observed in car chases. The first time I realized that a car could roll off the road at an ordinary speed was when the Volkswagon tips over in "Wild Strawberries." But when there is a motor accident of any kind, the film toggles into slow motion so the viewer can enjoy the spectacle of a cop car tumbling into a ditch, snapping off the open door of a parked vehicle, or smashing into a brick wall.

I don't see much reason to get into the plot or many of its elements, such as the rollicking smith-kicker banjo and fiddle tune that goes with the action. If it's not Number 9 Blue, it's Number 2 Earth Brown. You've seen all the hues before.

Stephen McHattie is an actor of slight talent. Kay Lenz, ditto, but Lenz has something going for her -- an odd beauty, a big grin set in a wide jaw that inspires admiration and a little trepidation. (Those teeth.) She has a fine figure too, sassy where it ought to be, and it reassures me that I'm not a woman trapped in a man's body, only a perfectly normal human being. Huck. Huck. Excuse me. HACK. Whew! That was a fur ball from hell.

Don't miss it if you can.
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Drive-in co-feature only for indiscriminate action fans...
moonspinner555 November 2015
Pretty-boy hitchhiker and a small town waitress witness a shooting between the redneck sheriff and his deputy; they take it on the lam, with the crooked law in hot pursuit. Everything in "Moving Violation" seems misplaced: the actors, the milieu, the music. Despite a screenplay by David Osterhout and the estimable William Norton--plus a potentially strong cast of actors including sexy Kay Lenz and Eddie Albert as a lawyer--this shoestring production from Roger and Julie Corman gets off on the wrong foot and never finds its balance. Leading man Stephen McHattie blithely zips through the whole abysmal shebang on cruise-control, emitting no discernible sparks. * from ****
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Unexceptional drive-in product
Wizard-818 July 2012
In the 1970s, just about nobody understood the drive-in audience like movie producer Roger Corman. So it should come as no surprise that several times in the 1970s, major Hollywood movie studios hired Corman to make drive-in movies for them. "Moving Violation" was one of those movies, but despite the resources of a major studio at hand, it isn't very successful for the most part. The movie does look slicker and more expensive than Corman's independent movies of the time, but not by much. There's almost no effort in writing a story or characters with depth - we don't even learn the name of one of the lovers before the two of them go on the run! As a result, the actors for the most part aren't able to do much with their characters, though Eddie Albert does shine in his somewhat brief role. As for action sequences, it's mostly car chases done in standard mode, so they lack excitement. If you're desperate, this may help 91 or so minutes to pass by, but even then you might wonder if this is a good way to use your time.
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