HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
Sweat
Quiet Place Part II, A
Nobody
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Mandibles
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Triggered
Claw
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
Hall
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Superhost
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
Shorta
Knocking
Bloodthirsty
When the Screaming Starts
Sweetie, You Won't Believe It
Lions Love
Demonic
   
 
Newest Articles
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
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
   
 
  Drive, He Said Hoop Nightmares
Year: 1971
Director: Jack Nicholson
Stars: William Tepper, Karen Black, Michael Margotta, Bruce Dern, Robert Towne, Henry Jaglom, Michael Warren, June Fairchild, Don Hamner, Lynette Bernay, Joseph Walsh, Harry Gittes, Charles Robinson, Bill Sweek, David Ogden Stiers, B.J. Merholz, Cindy Williams
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: Hector Bloom (William Tepper) is a college basketball player, and a good one at that, so good in fact that he could very easily turn professional if he wanted to. But turmoil is brewing in his mind, because this is the era of social unrest what with the Vietnam War sending all those young men caught in the draft to East Asia, a mood which is summed up when Hector is playing an important game one night and his roommate friend Gabriel (Michael Margotta) sabotages the event with his cohorts to stage a heavy-handed protest complete with combat fatigues and guns. So which way should he go? Join the revolution or stick to his vocation?

Drive, He Said (a title taken from the Robert Creeley poem Margotta recites at the beginning) was one of those movies which happened along in the wake of the enormously important Easy Rider. That counterculture classic was so successful the studios wanted a piece of the action, therefore a bunch of talents involved and associated with it were recruited to make their own films, unusually offered carte blanche to do whatever they wanted. But none of them made the impact that the big hit had, and indeed many of them, such as this little item, were utter flops, so the New Hollywood of the seventies may have been well underway, but it was still finding its feet around 1970-1.

Jack Nicholson, however, never really looked back as this was his directorial debut; he didn't go on to a glittering career behind the camera, only helming a small handful of projects, but in front of it he was a megastar from now on, with the seventies a golden era for him as he offered many of the best performances of the era, and not only that but was lauded critically and publicly to boot. Drive, He Said was considered, if it was considered at all, as a minor blip on that rise to adulation, and was very difficult to see for a long time, with only the odd television showing appearing to more often than not baffle anyone wondering idly what a movie directed by Nicholson would look like.

He was a well-known fan of basketball, and that love of the sport is evident in every frame where he shows it being played, which is fairly often, not as interludes but as a way of propelling the story forward as Hector's crisis in confidence leads him to alienate others just as he is alienated. There were a number of campus dramas and comedy-dramas being released around this time which ranged from putting across the impression of the middle-aged squares trying to get with the kids and their revolutionary ways for monetary reasons, to a select few which the target audience truly felt had something to say to them. These efforts are what can easily be dismissed as "of their time" by the less sympathetic, yet such was the strength of feeling, that sense of impending doom and loss of direction, maybe they deserve another chance.

And none more than Drive, He Said, which far from being the out of control mishmash it was accused of, was actually one of the finest movies ever directed by one of the biggest stars. You don't have to have been there to get a strong impression of the milieu Nicholson was appealing to, as the spirit of the age was vividly portrayed: that fear everything was about to collapse around your ears if you didn't stand up to somebody in charge, anybody, since the authorities were more and more appearing to be the enemy, was extremely palpable here. Hector rebels against his coach, superbly played by Bruce Dern in one of his most obsessed performances, and his professor (Robert Towne, who also spruced up the script with Terrence Malick) by sleeping with his just as frustrated wife (Karen Black), as Gabriel tries to dodge the draft by seeming insane, so much so that he actually goes insane. Filled with weird, off kilter scenes, Nicholson updated Jeremy Larner's novel (with Larner himself) to create a terrific encapsulation of those troubled times, funny, unsettling and powerful. Music by David Shire.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2310 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
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
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: