HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Adrift
Never a Dull Moment
McQueen
Ugly Duckling, The
Apostle
Distant Voices, Still Lives
Hereditary
Cup Fever
Peril for the Guy
3 Days in Quiberon
Club, The
Best F(r)iends: Volume 1
Pili
Suspect, The
Baxter!
Dead Night
Thoroughbreds
Ghost and the Darkness, The
Strike Commando
Molly
Full Alert
Up the Academy
Darling Lili
Tehran Taboo
Follow That Bird
I, Olga Hepnarová
Finders Keepers
Breadwinner, The
All About Steve
Bad Samaritan
   
 
Newest Articles
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 2
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 1
I-Spy Scotland: The Thirty Nine Steps and Eye of the Needle
Manor On Movies--Black Shampoo--three three three films in one
Manor On Movies--Invasion USA
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
Gaining Three Stone: Salvador, Natural Born Killers and Savages
Right Said Bernard: Cribbins on DVD
1969: The Year Westerns Couldn't Get Past
A Network Horror Double Bill: Assault and Death Line on Blu-ray
The Edie Levy: Edie Sedgwick, Andy Warhol and Ciao! Manhattan
   
 
  Electra Glide in Blue Highway PatrolmanBuy this film here.
Year: 1973
Director: James William Guercio
Stars: Robert Blake, Billy Green Bush, Mitch Ryan, Jeannine Riley, Elisha Cook Jr, Royal Dano, Hank Wolinski, Peter Cetera, Terry Kath, Lee Loughnane, Walter Parazaider, Joe Samsil, Jason Clark, Michael Butler, Susan Forristal, Lucy Angle Guercio, Melissa Green
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: John Wintergreen (Robert Blake) is an officer in the Arizona Highway Patrol, and he likes to start his day, as he does today, with a strict exercise regime, spending time with the woman he bedded last night, and swallowing a couple of raw eggs. Vietnam War veteran Wintergreen is shorter than the average police officer, but likes to boast that he and film star Alan Ladd were exactly the same height, yet he has his sights set higher than spending his days travelling the highways of his home state and picking up ne'erdowells: he wants to be a detective.

The producer, director and composer of Electra Glide in Blue was James William Guercio, a music producer who had happened upon the chance to direct his own film, from Robert Boris' script (Rupert Hitzig helped with the story). As a matter of fact, Guercio belonged to that exclusive club of directors who create one cult movie then never direct anything else, although not always because they didn't want to. This film was an homage to the John Ford epics of his youth, and is, along with being a mystery thriller of a kind, a modern western with Wintergreen the principled hero.

Like Jon Bon Jovi, on a steel horse he rides, but he's not happy about it and when he and partner Zipper (Billy Green Bush) notice a crazed figure wandering the desert they go to pick him up. Wintergeeen recognises the wildman as Willie (Elisha Cook, perfectly cast), and he's jabbering about finding his equally elderly friend Frank dead of a gunshot wound, an apparent suicide. The two cops check out the reclusive Frank's shack and indeed he is dead, but Wintergreen is not convinced it's suicide and sees this as the opportunity he needs to get a promotion.

This he does, and is now sidekick to Detective Harve Poole (Mitch Ryan), but soon realises he is not any better off. Wintergreen is a man of integrity in a world where people are giving up their morals for a life of cynicism about each other - look at the scene early on where Zipper stops a hippy in a camper van just to harrass and plant drugs on him; the hippy is under no misconceptions about what is going on. This leaves our hero in a quandary, one of the good guys but between two stools of police corruption and civilian dismissal of authority and even lawbreaking.

Electra Glide in Blue spends its first half hour as a low key drama, and although the discovery of the body happens after that tension isn't really part of the film's makeup. As it turns out, Frank was murdered, and Poole thinks the local bikers are to blame, but is he just falling back on lazy stereotyping? There is humour here, but mainly the tone is melancholy and despite Wintergreen's investigation working out the real story behind the death, he doesn't draw any satisfaction from it, as his illusions are steadily shattered.

This would be great stuff if it wasn't for that ending that is one step too far into misery, and many have pointed out its similarity to a certain other biker movie of a few years' previous. It might provide a memorable final shot of Monument Valley for Conrad Hall's superb photography, but it feels too fashionable for its time, and therefore dated and verging on the flippant, although in its defence this aspect was based on a true life incident. Besides, as he's well-played by Blake as a genuinely nice guy, we don't want to see this happen to Wintergreen. Watch out for members of the band Chicago, who Guercio managed for a time, in small roles, and in an even tinier appearance, Nick Nolte.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2931 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Shrimpton
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
  Patrick Keenan
Enoch Sneed
Ian Phillips
  Afra Khan
   

 

Last Updated: