6.7/10
99
7 user 3 critic

The Hard Road (1970)

R | | Drama
A cautionary tale. At 17, Sherman Oaks high schooler Pam Banner has a baby out of wedlock. The baby is adopted, but Pam's too embarrassed to go back to school, so her dad gets her a job as ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Connie Nelson ... Pamela Banner
... Jimmy Devlin
Catherine Howard ... Jeannie
... Leo
... Mrs. Banner
Ray Merritt ... Mr. Banner
William Bonner ... Chad
Bruce Kimball ... Prison Guard
... Max
Karen Lind ... Mrs. Levin
Issa Arnal ... Receptionist
Jay Fineberg ... Mr. Kovas
... Muffin (as Mike Stringer)
Jeff Graver ... Man in Alley
Chuck Hutchinson ... Drag Queen
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Storyline

A cautionary tale. At 17, Sherman Oaks high schooler Pam Banner has a baby out of wedlock. The baby is adopted, but Pam's too embarrassed to go back to school, so her dad gets her a job as the receptionist for a talent agent. A rock star takes her to a party, seduces and abandons her; that starts a spiral of partying, free love, and drug use. Pam becomes friends with Jeannie, a hooker who supports Jimmy, a useless druggie. Soon the three of them are living together, and Jimmy seems appealing to Pam. She's missing work more and more often, Jeannie wants out of the life, Jimmy is going through withdrawal, and Pam is in the middle of a maelstrom. Is there any exit for Pam? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Fed up with the lies about the things young people do? See more »

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Drama

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R
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Connections

Featured in Twisted Sex Vol. 21 (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
For some, the Hard Road may be the Hard Movie to Watch . . .
8 October 2017 | by See all my reviews

As one who grew up in this era, this production is absolutely one of those quintessential "don't do this or else" films that would be shown to the high school (or junior high) class, as a required A/V event.

Of course the production value is beyond ridiculous, and the story, such as it is, is the stuff of endless parodies and cliche's ever produced from the era, but that's not the point. The point is to just go with it, be absorbed in the moment. It really is a classic piece, a sort of permanent time capsule captured on film.

For those who really were "there" and lived in those times, they will be instantly pulled back into that vortex, it will become all too familiar in whatever context happens to resonate with them. For others, who were not even born yet, and would not be until decades later, this will likely seem like a grainy, absurdly bad film about "something" to do with drugs, hippies, and whatever that their parents probably don't want to talk about.

Yes, it does take the viewer down the hard road, as it were, as our seemingly lovely high school student descends and meanders her way down the laundry list of getting pregnant, starting off innocently with smoking a joint, and then from there going completely off the cliff into the abyss of sin, debauchery, and more drugs . . . lots more drugs.

The junkie friend detoxing in jail, and close-up scenes of festering VD sores are just some of the highlights awaiting the hapless viewer traveling this road.

I don't want to inadvertently insert any spoilers here, but the ending is particularly, well . . . classic in its own way.

For some, the Hard Road may be the Hard Movie to Watch . . . but hey, it can be a cultural experience, for some, maybe.

OK, that might be a stretch, but it's still an interesting viewing experience.

For production value, 1 (or less) stars, but as a sort of cultural time capsule piece, well, OK, let's go with a tentative 4 stars.


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