Newest Reviews
Quiet Place Part II, A
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
When the Screaming Starts
Sweetie, You Won't Believe It
Lions Love
Night Drive
Toll, The
Last Bus, The
Purple Sea
Newest Articles
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
  Skateboard The Magic Rolling Board
Year: 1978
Director: George Gage
Stars: Allen Garfield, Kathleen Lloyd, Leif Garrett, Richard Van der Wyk, Tony Alva, Steve Monahan, David Hyde, Ellen O'Neal, Pam Keneally, Antony Carbone, Sylvester Words, Gordon Jump, Patricia Hitchcock, Orson Bean, Joe Bratcher, Marilyn Roberts
Genre: Drama, ActionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Manny Bloom (Allen Garfield) is a small time theatrical agent who has fallen on hard times. He is forced to collect his welfare cheque every week, where he is hassled by an acquaintance who tries to sell him marijuana to forget his troubles, but Manny isn't interested: he needs all his wits about him to push through his dilemma. His troubles include not having the cash to pay alimony to his ex-wife, and even more pressing, his bookie (Antony Carbone) is asking for even more money from him, so what could save his skin? How about those kids he saw skateboarding earlier in the day?

If Skateboard had been made in the United Kingdom, then it is likely the Children's Film Foundation would have rustled up an hour-long effort based around a gang of kids wishing to save their skate park from, I dunno, evil land developers or something. However, in America the same subject was more likely to include references to sex, violence and drugs in what was ostensibly a family film, and the kids were not even the focus of the plot. Such was the case with Skateboard, which all looks very curious now, yet still has a following today among those who saw it in their early years, and among those who like to trace the sport back to the seventies.

For some reason, the team of Dick Wolf (who went on to be a powerful television producer) and George Gage chose to concentrate on Manny as their main character, so what should by all rights have been a better film if it were wall to wall stunts and jumps is actually half a drama detailing the last chance at success for a slightly seedy and disreputable agent on one of the lowest rungs of the showbiz ladder, barely a step up from cleaning the elephant cage at the circus. But Manny is a desperate fellow, and is sticking with what he knows in spite of it not providing him with the funds he would like, which leads to the setting up of his skateboarding display team.

Making up this team, who are assembled when Manny approaches them in the street having told the bookie he has had a brainwave which will pay back the debt and make him money in the process, are a collection of actual skaters and a few professional young actors. Most famous among the actors would have been teen star Leif Garrett, who proudly announced that he did all his own stunts on this, although oddly his character is more of a supporting one when you would think that Wolf and Gage might have capitalised on their kid audience's interest by putting him front and centre. So if you're hoping for all the action of the decade, what you actually get for most of the time is Garfield emoting as if he's in a heavyweight melodrama.

Backing him up is Kathleen Lloyd, whose character Millicent appears when the parents of the team ask for a female nurse to accompany their offspring as they drive around the state putting on shows and entering competitions. The footage we see of that is the highlight, with ramps and barrel jumping and whatnot, all supplying the inspiration to the young folks of the day for what they would have liked to fill up their time doing as the skateboard craze really took hold. That's what this was, essentially, a cash-in movie, and taking as its template the sporting clich├ęs that were by set in stone from countless other movies, but for those feeling nostalgic, for all they got wrong in the presentation, they got enough right to make it worthwhile both for the hardcore fans and the casual observers. More comedy would have helped, as grit was not really the correct way to go, yet its vintage montages of those plucky young skaters are very evocative of their era - and please, take heed of the warning at the end, kids. Music by Mark Snow.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2397 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

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

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf


Last Updated: