Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Dirty Mary Crazy Larry |
Actors: Peter Fonda, Susan George, Adam Roarke, Kenneth Tobey, Eugene Daniels
Director: John Hough
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Mary and Larry are two lovers, who , with Larry's ace mechanic, kidnap the daughter of a grocery store owner, and make off with the ransom. They are chased over hill, over vale by the cops, who deploy everything from 426... more »
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"Hold on baby, this is a rollercoaster ride..."
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 07/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Saddle up, motor heads, because someone finally (thankfully) saw fit to release one of the classic high-speed car chase films of all time onto DVD in that of Dirty Mary Crazy Larry (1974)...and who doesn't love 93 minutes of high octane, exhaust pumping, tire squealing, rubber burning, celluloid muscle car mayhem? Well, probably any number of people, but who cares? There's plenty out there to keep them happy...like The Piano...one of my girlfriends favorite films...shudder...anyhoo...this wonderful bit of Americana was directed by...an Englishman named John Hough, who made his initial mark directing the very popular early 60's spy show `The Avengers', before moving on to such feature films as Twins of Evil (1971), The Legend of Hell House (1973), and Escape to Witch Mountain (1975)...I think this was actually the first American film he directed...starring in this film is Peter `Heavenly Blues' Fonda (The Wild Angels, Easy Rider, Race with the Devil), Susan George (Fright, Die Screaming, Marianne, Straw Dogs), and Adam Roarke (Nam's Angels, Frogs). Also appearing is Kenneth Tobey (Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, X-15), Roddy McDowell (Planet of the Apes, The Poseidon Adventure), and Vic Morrow (The Bad News Bears, Humanoids from the Deep).
As the film begins we see a character named Deke (Roarke) arriving at a roadside motel, picking up another character named Larry (Fonda), who is indeed the `Crazy Larry' portion of the title. As Larry leaves his motel room we see yet another character, named Mary (George), sprawled out on the bed...and, if you guessed her character was the `Dirty Mary' portion of the title, you'd be right...we'll learn later how they were blessed with these particular modifiers attached to their names...anyway, Larry and Deke proceed to rob a grocery store, but not in the usual way one would go about it, you know, with guns and such, but in a unique way that allows Larry to stroll in, pick up a load of cash, and stroll back out...their method appears to be the result of a great deal of planning, but the plans goes slightly awry when Mary shows up, annoyed by the fact that Larry left her after their one night stand without saying goodbye (you can begin to get a sense as to why she's called `Dirty Mary'). The trio takes off, and soon afterwards the police get involved, particularly Captain Everett Franklin (Morrow), who, for some reason, seems to take the robbery a bit too personal. After some close calls and fast escapes, the group transfers to a souped-up 1969 limelight yellow Dodge Charger and the real fun begins as the police employ any number of tactics, including a bear in the air (that's tactical surveillance using a helicopter), but Larry, who's fearless behind the wheel) and Deke have a few tricks up their sleeves and under the hood...
I remember seeing this film way back in the mid 1970s on television, but I couldn't recall much except for the Charger and the spectacular ending, which I won't reveal as its quite a kick in the guts, and I'd hate to spoil it...the plot is pretty simple, with some rather complex characters. The reasoning behind the robbery involves Larry, who's a racecar driver, and Deke, his mechanic, wanting to get back on the racing circuit desperately in need of a car, which costs money. Conventional methods have failed, so they resort to theft by means of an elaborate and well thought out plan. The character of Larry is interesting as he's not what one would consider a `people' person, but put him behind the wheel and he'll drive the hell out of a car, which, for some reason, seemed a perfect match for that of Peter Fonda, at least back in 1974. It's not that he's intentionally mean, but he lives within the moment, his head filled with visions of NASCAR grandeur, and his relationships with others seem to only extend far enough as to not interfere with his real passion, that of driving, and driving fast...his mechanic Deke understands this, and allows Larry a certain amount of leeway in terms of taking the verbal pot shots offered up by Larry. Mary, on the other hand, takes exception at the verbal abuse directed towards her by Larry (at one point her called her `Supercrotch', and it wasn't meant in a positive manner) as she desperately wants his attentions, resorting to various annoying, obnoxious, smart mouthed tactics to get it (by the way, the `Dirty' part of Dirty Mary comes from the sense that she's gotten around quite a bit, if you know what I mean)...apparently she's hooked on Larry due to the fact that she sees him as a means to get out of the probable humdrum life in the small town, and also because he has the qualities a strumpet like herself admires (I get the feeling she's not terribly particular when it comes to men). I was surprised how well Ms. George (I have to admit, I'm not her biggest fan) did in her role, especially being able to mask her English accent...but then I read where some of her dialog was dubbed, so I guess she didn't hide it as well as I thought. And then there's Captain Franklin, played by Morrow...I really liked how he wasn't presented as an idiotic buffoonish type, but as a smart, no-nonsense agent of law enforcement with a bit of a vindictive side. From what I've said so far, you may be thinking `What's all this junk about characters and such? I thought this was a chase film.' Well, don't let my jibber jabber put you off...it is...and there's plenty of action throughout the film. One aspect I really liked about the stunts were that they were all kept within the realm of reality...there weren't really any overly spectacular car flips, wipeouts, or explosions...what I mean is the stuff you find in other films where the filmmakers really try to go over the top to impress the audience. Here there's a feeling of plausibility that comes from honest to goodness stunt work sans all the pyrotechnics. One could almost smell the burning of the rubber, feel the force within the cars as their engines surged forth, and taste the dust kicked up as the pursuit leads down unpaved, backwoods California roads. All in all, a well-crafted, exploitive actioneer from the mid 70's with some good acting, excellent direction, a trim and amusing script (a good deal was improvised), and a whole lot speed.
Anchor Bay entertainment provides an excellent looking widescreen (1.85:1) picture, enhanced for 16 X 9 TVs, on this `Supercharger edition' DVD release, along with three audio tracks including Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0, and PCM Mono. There are a number of special features including a newly made documentary titled `Ride the Wide Side' (30:26) with interviews from director John Hough, Peter Fonda, and Susan George, along with a commentary track with Hough moderated by DVD producer Perry Martin, two theatrical trailers, two TV spots, three radio spots, a commercial for the 1969 Dodge Charger, talent bios, poster & still gallery, previews for other Anchor Bay releases like Race with the Devil (1975), Butch & Sundance: The Early Years (1979), Moving Violations (1985), and License to Drive (1988), and a six page booklet inside the DVD case chocked full of interesting information about the film, with the cover displaying an reproduction of the original poster for the film.
My top end in unlimited
H. Stowe | 03/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Its about time that this film was released on DVD. I first watched this movie in 1979 while babysitting a bunch of kids. This movie depticts a bygone era of cool cars, fast driving and almost cool cops.
This movie is not about synthetic Hollywood dialog or about slick special effect. Its not about a bunch of punk kids racing around in souped up Hondas, or Mitsubishi Eclipses doing their front-wheel drive burnouts and trying to outrun some Crown Vic cop car. NO. This movie has real cars, real people and real chases. Behind the somewhat bad scripting, you get to see the best of what was America. A 1968 Chevy Caprice, a 1969 Dodge Charger, and a cop car whose top end is "unlimited".
Peter Fonda and Susan George make a good couple He's callous, uncaring, and the type who would tear the arms off a baby to get the "cubic money" that he needs to complete his racing career. Susan George is a prevaricating, bibbling ditz who is out for some adventure. Fondas cohort Deke, is an honest guy who finally "gets the girl" although not literally, because of the rather negative ending.
Most people will hate this movie. Some, apparently enough of us love it enough to buy it. I give it 5 stars because of the dry humor and some of the best car chase scenes ever on TV. I look forward to purchasing mine, as fast cars and fast women are my thing. Its also fun to watch while you're drunk."
One of the ultimate chase movies
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 08/30/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
": Chase movies were all the rage during the 70's but this action B movie probably is the ultimate in the genre. Larry (Peter Fonda) and his partner Deke (Adam Roarke) rob a major supermarket and hold the manager's (Roddy McDowall in an uncredited role) family hostage as part of a scheme to finance their dream NASCAR vehicle. They end up on the run with Mary (Susan George) who had a one night stand with Larry.
While "Dirty Mary and Crazy Larry" isn't a great drama, it's a fun free wheeling chase movie that helped redefine the genre with its hair raising stunts. John Hough's sharp direction keeps the film from becoming just another low budget exploitation flick. 30 years on it's astonishing that many of these dangerous stunts were accomplished. While many of the newer films (the remake of "Gone in 60 Seconds") that mine the same genre cave may have more flash, they can't compare to this film for sheer inventiveness when it comes to the outrageous stunts performed for this film. As a low budget "Bonnie & Clyde" crossed with "Bullitt" "Crazy Mary & Dirty Larry" can't be beat.
A spectacularly transfer from Anchor Bay makes this one of the best releases I've seen of a mid-70's film on DVD. The print appears flawless and there's little to no digital artifacts. Yes, there's grain but that's due to the film stock used and that's to be expected. The grain isn't any more noticeable because of the transfer and that's a tribute to the care that's gone into this transfer. The mono sound doesn't offer much for Anchor Bay to work with but the mono sound has nice presence with no problems with compression or other issues.
Once again Perry Martin does an outstanding job with the extras included here. Martin writes and directs the nearly 30 minute documentary on the making of the movie. Martin interviews Fonda, George and director Hough discussing the making of the movie. Hough mentions that it's one of his favorite films he's directed (the other is "Hell House") and there's good reason to see why; Hough broke a lot of the rules in the genre and also set amazingly high standards with his stunt co-ordinators/drivers in creating the chase sequences and crashes. While you wouldn't think that acting would be a highlight of a film like this, the cast does an amazing job considering how thinly written the roles are bringing elements of their own personality to their roles. Hough points out that 30 years on the film holds up. He's right. Hough deliberately cast Vic Morrow and Ken Tobey in the film because they were actors he admired and both do a great job considering the limitations of the script. It's an example of a great "B" movie before "B" movies became "A" movies.
In addition to the documentary on the making of the film we get the original theatrical trailers, TV spots and radio spots advertising the movie. There's also a vintage commercial for the 1969 Dodge Charger that plays such a big part in the movie. We also get posters from around the world, behind-the-scenes stills and promo shots for the movie. Talent bios round out the presentation with three devoted to director John Hough, actors Peter Fonda and Susan George. We also get trailers for four other Anchor Bay releases "Race with the Devil", "Moving Violations", "License to Drive" and "Butch & Sundance: The Early Years".
A great commentary track featuring director John Hough moderated by DVD producer Perry Martin is a highlight. Hough shares lots of the behind-the-scenes stories we've come to expect plus insights into the success of "Dirty/Crazy" and why 30 years on it still works really, really well as a movie. He discusses the casting of Roddy McDowall in the film in an uncredited part. Evidently Hough wanted to work with McDowall again but the only part was a small one and McDowall took it but just asked that he not be credited. There's also a discussion on the casting of British Susan George as an American girl. Hough mentions that he had no interference from the studio when it came to casting (outside of Fonda who was already attached to the project) or even with the making of the film. When he wanted George (with whom he had worked on "Eyewitness") nobody balked or suggested that she might be able to play the part. She does a marvelous job bringing considerable depth to a sketchily written character.
A terrific presentation from Anchor Bay, "Dirty/Crazy" receives the deluxe treatment it might not if it had been released by a major studio. I'd love to see studios like Universal that don't provide a lot of extras for their older movies license more of their films and TV shows to Anchor Bay like Fox has done with this film, "Race with the Devil" and "Profit". The films and TV shows get the deluxe treatment they deserve and the audience for the film gets the extras that they deserve as well. Great job Perry!
Finally preserved on DVD
Ross P. Hyland | Stanwell Tops, N.S.W. Australia | 03/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of those small classics that demonstrates it's worth as a sort of time capsule. Thank goodness the DVD format is being used to preserve such great old films that would otherwise simply deteriorate in a film vault..... and this looks like a nicely done transfer with good picture quality. If you enjoy such films as "Bullitt" / "The French Connection" / "The Seven Ups" (finally to be released on DVD!) / "Charlie Varrick" / ETC, then I'm sure you would be delighted to add "Dirty Mary Crazy Larry" to your collection. (Yes the car chase sequences are brilliantly done and very real.)
This film has genuinely exciting action sequences that rival many modern action flicks with their less than involving computer generated images.If one can get over the cringeworthy nature of some of the groovy dialogue and fashions, one finds a window into another era. Exciting, tough, fast paced entertainment...... and what about those fabulous old American Muscle Cars. In the words of Peter Fonda's character.."It's a rollercoaster baby! Whooo!....""