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A Gun, a Car, a Blonde (1997)

Unrated | | Drama, Thriller | June 1997 (USA)
The story's hero (played by Jim Metzler) has lost much of his spine and the love of his life, due to cancer. He's in remission; but decimated in body, shattered in mind, and separated from ... See full summary »


Stefani Ames

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Complete credited cast:
Jim Metzler ... Richard / Rick Stone
Victor Love ... Bobby / The Black Chinaman
Kay Lenz ... Peep / Madge
Norma Maldonado ... Adele / Bunny
John Ritter ... Duncan / The Bartender
Andrea Thompson ... The Blonde / Jade Norfleet
Billy Bob Thornton ... Syd / Monk
Paul Parducci ... Bear / Petrovich
Paula Marshall ... Deborah / Girl In Photograph
Vann Johnson Vann Johnson ... The Singer
Time Winters ... Ed / Catalina Eddie


The story's hero (played by Jim Metzler) has lost much of his spine and the love of his life, due to cancer. He's in remission; but decimated in body, shattered in mind, and separated from inner\spiritual peace. Richard uses "object therapy" suggested by his lifelong pal (John Ritter)to project his consciousness into an alternative reality, where he becomes "Rick Stone" - a soft-hearted, tough acting, Private Dick (P.I.) It is here that he works through his existential fight to survive and transcend life. Written by DRory

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Believe nothing. Trust no one.


Drama | Thriller


Unrated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

June 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ase, auto ja blondi See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Black and White | Color (Eastmancolor)
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Richard: [voiceover] You think it looks kinda modest for the house of a nastily rich young widow. But you're just a low-rent flatfoot with whiskey breath and holes in his socks. What do you know about the rich?
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A Gun, a Car, a Blonde
Original Title Song by Frank Palmieri
Music & Lyrics by Frank Palmieri
Performed by Vann Johnson
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User Reviews

Thank your lucky stars you stumbled upon this gem
15 November 2012 | by rooprectSee all my reviews

Take a pinch of "The Man Who Wasn't There", add some "Misery", a dash of "Police Squad!" and a hint of "Rear Window"... I'm not sure what you'll get, but it'll probably be as unusual as "A Gun, a Car, a Blonde".

I'll forewarn you, this movie is for fans of plays. By that I mean the pacing is natural (i.e. slow), and the presentation is pretty minimal (half the movie happens in 2 rooms of a house while much of the other half happens in a Cadillac). But like a good play, the dialogue is well-written which makes up for the lack of exploding cars and space robots. The dialogue ranges from the philosophical, such as discussing Milton's thoughts on the human soul, to the hilariously absurd, such as:

Jade: Boys will be boys.

Rick: Not me, I like to be a girl.

Jade: I find that difficult to believe.

Rick: Want to see my garter belt?

With such bizarre changes in tone, it can be pretty challenging to keep up. But for the most part (if it's not obvious in the example above), much of this movie is tongue-in-cheek and not to be taken seriously. The black & white scenes are meant to be a spoof of the old 40s detective thrillers. And while this is not a side-splitting comedy, it has a satirical feel to it which is good for some good lol moments.

The story is about a cynical man who, suffering through a painful ordeal, finds momentary distractions in imagining himself as the hero in an old film noir. As the movie progresses, we see his fantasy world mimic his real world, and the parallels create some interesting revelations for both the main character as well as us, the audience. Some parts are deliberately obvious while others pack a few interesting surprises.

What makes this film work, aside from the excellent script, is the great acting all around. The playful yet profound banter between Jim Metzler and John Ritter is priceless, and the crazy characters played by Billy Bob Thornton and Kay Lenz are fun to watch. Incidentally, if you don't immediately recognize Kay Lenz, here's a hint: she was the hippy chick Breezy in the 1973 flick "Breezy" directed by Clint Eastwood. Suffice it to say her role here is nothing like that. More like Peg from "Married with Children".

It should also be noted that the director/writer Stefani Ames is an accomplished photographer and sculptor. That means there are some nice artistic scenes throughout the film. It's odd that this is her only film credit, but apparently she's been focusing on sculpture for the last few years.

Another note: The music is excellent and, as far as I'm concerned, the title song "A Gun, a Car, a Blonde" sung by sultry jazz singer Vann Johnson, is worth the price of admission.

Final note: there's some nudity (full frontal female & rear male) but it's done artistically and has symbolic visual significance. Probably more shocking than that is hearing John Ritter saying the f word. I'm not sure I've ever heard that come out of Jack Tripper's mouth!

Don't miss the opportunity to see this film or even own the DVD so you can watch multiple times. There aren't a lot of films I can compare this to because it's so unusual. But if you liked the Coen bros film "The Man Who Wasn't There" (2001) or possibly "Phoebe in Wonderland" (2008) and such fantasy-blends-reality films as "Fisher King" & "Brazil"... and along with the stage plays "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" and "Long Day's Journey into Night" I think you'll really like this.

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