Tom C. (tc) from WALTHAM, MA Reviewed on 1/29/2011...
I didn't know anything about this movie until I saw it on Swap and picked it up on a whim. So glad I did. Nice to see Fonda & Sutherland together again. And for M*A*S*H fans (the movie, not the series) there's a great bit part by Roger Bowen. But the stand-out is definitely Peter Boyle. Eagle is a great character for Boyle and really lets him show off his talent.
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Brian Brownell | Longwood, Fl | 11/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Steelyard Blues, with Fonda, Sutherland, and Boyle (C1973) was arguably one of the most hysterical cult movies ever made. I saw it several times when it first came out. Unfortunately, Jane Fonda was having problems with her North Viet Nam excursion at that time and the movie never was promoted as it should have been. If you think Peter Boyle is great on Raymond, please availe yourself of his talent over a quarter of a century ago. An absolutely must see."
"When this film was released on national teevee, the network, in its infinite wisdom (or something) decided that we wouldn't want to watch a film with a title so irrelevant to what they perceived as the main thrust of the film, and so they retitled it "The Final Crash" -- i assume it was because the main character (Donald Sutherland as Veldini) is a demolition derby driver when he isn't in jail (he was in jail for robbing gas stations in order to pay for the demolition derby driving habit...).This, of course, is almost irrelevant to the main themes of the film, except as it is to be seen as one more example of a free spirit trammeled 'round by petty mundanity, i guess.That aside, this is a nice little surreal comedy about a group of non-conformist types who want to fly away and a society that cannot tolerate their oddnesses nor grant them the freedom to opt out, as personified in Veldini's brother, DA "Veldin" (Howard Hesseman, against type as an uptight Establishment politician), who hopes to run for Governor and *doesn't* need his wacko brother making his name a laughingstock again.Representing the Forces of Freedom (or at least Absurdity) along with Sutherland as Veldini are Peter Boyle as Eagle, a self-defined lunatic who does a wicked Brando impression, and Jane Fonda as Iris Caine, childhood friend of the Veldinis, now a high-priced callgirl (keep an eye on her highball glass full of ice...).Symbolising the dreams of the free-spirited is the PBY Catalina seaplane that the three plus friends plan to refurbish and fly away to a desert-island paradise in.Actually, the film is a pretty loose framework for various bits of outrageous comedy, including a non-violent commando raid on a Navy base for parts, and an opening jail-house scene in which Veldini attempts to convince a cellmate that he is, indeed, dangerous.The main problem that this film has, for me, and, i suspect for others (aside from the fact that some people still reflexively spit when they say "Hanoi Jane" Fonda's name) is that Donald Sutherland (like, say, Bruce Dern) can be, shall we say, a bit wearing as a lead actor primarily carrying a film. I, in this case, at least, don't have that problem, and i really like this movie.Some classic bits: Eagle sneaking out of the mental institution where he is a voluntary commitment in the dead of night -- not because he *has* to; he can sign himself out anytime he wants -- but because it *feels* right.The afore-mentioned Brando imitation that is so right and so wonderfully satiric.Fonda, Hesseman and the ice cubes.Veldini's obsession -- there is only one model and year of post-war car he hasn't destroyed at least one of, and he's determined to get one before he goes.And so on.The "twist" in the end is fun, too."
Finally a cult I want to join
T. J LeClair | Franklin, NJ USA | 04/15/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fonda, Sutherland, and Peter Boyle make this an unforgettable cult film. It captures the wacky counter- cultural sixties-seventies anti-hero perfectly - an urban Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Liondrops keep falling on my head (see film to get reference)."
Stawski | Newfield, NY | 05/15/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A film not for everyone. Early previews of stardom to come, Donald Sutherland is great as an off-beat criminal genius on a quest. Howard Hessman as one of his brothers, the "Good" brother, and John Savage as the little brother. Jane Fonda is great as the love interest. And the Great Peter Boyle as "The Eagle". Black comedy at its best!"
Not so bad.
Stawski | 08/09/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Not a bad movie. Donald Sutherland plays a clumsy, cocky, and abnoxious man. His character ( Jesse ) lives in a scrapyard with some of his friends. He has a love for destroying beautiful cars, and having fun at everyone elses exspence. Fresh out of jail, he is forced by his paroll officer to have a normal life. But he seems determined to live his life on his terms. It's definantly worth checking out."