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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:

Dusan Makavejev

Writers:

Frank Moorhouse (screenplay by), Denny Lawrence (additional dialogue) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Eric Roberts ... Becker
Greta Scacchi ... Terri
Bill Kerr ... T. George McDowell
Chris Haywood ... Kim
Kris McQuade ... Juliana
Max Gillies ... Frank
Tony Barry ... Bushman
Paul Chubb ... Fred
David Slingsby David Slingsby ... Waiter
Tim Finn Tim Finn ... Phillip
Colleen Clifford Colleen Clifford ... Mrs. Haversham
Rebecca Smart Rebecca Smart ... DMZ
Esben Storm Esben Storm ... Country Hotel Manager
Steve Dodd Steve Dodd ... Mr. Joe
Ian Gilmour ... 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! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 July 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Coca Cola Kid See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

From working on this picture, actress Greta Scacchi and singer-songwriter Tim Finn formed a personal relationship, which went for around six years. See more »

Goofs

When Terri is getting dressed, she has the pants pulled up and is starting to pull up the suspenders. The shot shifts and she is just pulling up the pants. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

The film opens with the following disclaimer, in this exact way as written heightening the exact words in capital letters. "This FILM is a WORK of FICTION. Neither the FILM nor its MAKERS have any CONNECTION with THE COCA-COLA COMPANY or any of its SUBSIDIARIES or AFFILIATES. THE COCA-COLA COMPANY has not licensed, sponsored or approved of this FILM in any way. All PERSONS, EVENTS and CHARACTERS in this FILM are entirely fictional. The FILM in no WAY purports to present an accurate ACCOUNT of THE COCA-COLA COMPANY, its SUBSIDIARIES or AFFILIATES in AUSTRALIA - PAST, PRESENT or FUTURE. COCA-COLA and COKE are registered TRADEMARKS which identify the same PRODUCT of THE COCA-COLA COMPANY. The DYNAMIC RIBBON DEVICE is also a TRADEMARK of THE COCA-COLA COMPANY." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Coca Cola Kid (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Home For My Heart
Composed & written by Tim Finn
Performed by Tim Finn, Phil Manzanera, Alan Spenner, Charlie Morgan & Guy Fletcher
Produced by Phil Manzanera, Cup/Enz Productions
With the permission of CBS/Mushroom Records, Mushroom Music & Enz Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sneaky like a pigeon drop. (spoilers)
6 September 2005 | by vertigo_14See all my reviews

I started watching The Coca-Cola Kid with the assumption that it would be like other Australian comedies I have seen in which a gung-ho businessman of some sort wants to change a rather dogmatic, traditional industrialist like 'Spotswood' or, in reference to homeowners, 'The Castle.'

And true, that is the initial plot in 'The Coca-Cola Kid.' Eric Roberts plays an efficient Southern businessman who plays a key role for the Australian marketing department for the Australian headquarters for the Coca-Cola Company. While trying to assess the markets and potential successful marketing ploys, he learns that there is a large portion of a rural section of Australia that has no Coca-Cola distribution whatsoever and he wants to know why.

Enter lovable and genuine old-timer, T. George McDowell, who has his own successful and self-sufficient coke company which monopolizes the area. It is the last of its kind and Becker, who cannot simply fathom any section of the world that has no option of Coca-Cola beverages (he even goes so far to say that freedom cannot be established without global presence of Coca-Cola) intends to compete with McDowell. But, McDowell, used to the frequent visits from Coca-Cola marketing executives who try to make deals (and offer to buy him out?), figures that Becker is another lightweight (at least, initially) and is not ready to give in without a fight. This is essentially the crux of the story, the global company versus the independent.

But, the movie takes both an odd and confusing turn at about the time that Becker tries to rain on Mr. McDowell's parade when he shows up at the Rotary Dance with Santa's offering the audience free samples of Coca-Cola. Because, this is about the same time that the story shifts it focus from the main plot to the subplot involving Becker and his eccentric former secretary (played by Gretta Scacchi). Although, I can understand that this is no less essential to the story because Becker, in his involvement with the secretary, is finally pulled from his impersonal role as marketing executive and forced to eventually take on a more humanistic role. But getting there was so weird, and this is especially evident from the sequences where Becker gets drunk and shows up at the drag queen club. And, it is probably Becker's exceedingly weird emptiness that creates such an odd atmosphere and, at least for me, some of the confusion. I don't know if this is how we are supposed to view Becker, or if Eric Robert's strange performance just leads to this.

Nonetheless, after slagging through this rather strange and abrupt shift in mood and, eventually, focus, the rest of the film pulls through rather nicely with a somewhat humorous (especially the events involving the hotel bellhop who is convinced that Becker is in the CIA) and ultimately sad ending that makes Becker rethink his situation. The filmmakers offer both a mix of the happy ending and not-so-happy ending (you have to watch it to see what I mean).

A pleasant, but unusual Aussie comedy/drama that may be worth your time if you can find it. Just don't go into it with the expectations that it is yet another steadily simple narrative or a typical feel-good Australian comedy.


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