|BACK TO REVIEWS||BACK HOME|
'Electra Glide in Blue' *** 051305
The Work =***
What I have come away with is the appreciation of the skills of Robert Blake’s acting ability. I suspect, had the man been able to somehow keep his personal demons under control he would have had a bigger career and been more appreciated as an actor today. The thing is, he is incredibly good. Blake started in child acting as one of 'The Little Rascals' and his childhood as a young star was reportedly filled with abuse and mistreatment. As an adult star he was able to often rise above the material he was surrounded by (like some of the cheesiness in 'Barretta'.)
Here, in 'EGIB' he is surrounded by a somewhat muddled script, a talented director and the sure handedness of cinematographer Conrad Hall. The result is an entertaining if not somewhat unsatisfactory neo western. Blake plays a motorcycle cop in the dessert that desperately wants to be a detective, the trouble is, he seems too honest. Sometimes his honesty gets him an in, as when he stands firm that a crime scene is a murder and not a suicide. Sometimes his honesty gets him knocked down, as when he gets browbeaten for not strong arming and abusing a group of hippies.
This film supposedly had a reputation as being a fascist sort of anti hippie flic. Looking at the film now I can sort of see how someone could make that interpretation but I don’t agree with it. Actually it seems somewhat surprising considering the poor light it paints the police in. The film shows the dark side of law enforcement. Where the fascism comes in is the hippies in the film don’t exactly get the best treatment either.
I must say, where it not for Blake at the center I’m not sure the film would be as easy to watch as it is. Blake’s somewhat bumbling short motorcycle cop almost instantly became someone I identified with. He has an almost innocent charm in the film and simply seems to be trying to be honest in a world that won’t let him.
SPOILER WARNING: I will say that while I found the ending shot of the film moving, I found it as the end of the film, a little flat. I’m not sure exactly what is supposed to be meant by it. I suppose it is about someone who lives and dies for their beliefs. It was Officer Wintergreen’s honesty that ultimately got him killed. The irony is, had he been corrupt he probably would have been promoted and lived longer. In that regard it is somewhat similar to ' Serpico'. END OF SPOILERS
In the end, I found 'EGIB' to be an enjoyable drama. It is a pretty looking film and has a great performance at its center. James Guerico, in his only film as director, shows he has skill behind the camera and he was lucky to work with people like Blake and Hall who also help this film shine. It is not one of my favorite films but I can definitely see why it has a following. I say I give it a moderate recommendation.
DVD = ***
All Together = ***
'Electra Glide in Blue' Links:
Copyright 2005 - 2012 Nate Bundy. All rights reserved.