Monday, September 8, 2014

Ailing from "Boogie" Fever...

There are good movies, bad movies and movies so bad they invert on themselves and are good for reasons different from the ones intended. The Boogie Blunderland we're profiling today belongs in the latter category. It's not possible for anyone to think it's good, yet the hellaciously craptastical film Roller Boogie (1979) is so bad that it's one can scarcely look away lest he might miss a moment of the parade of colorful lycra, lamé and leg warmers that dot the screen incessantly!
Conceived as a way to cash in fast on the success of disco-themed Saturday Night Fever (1977) via the then-hot fad of roller skating, a swift eight-week shooting schedule was planned so that the movie could figure-eight its way into theaters and claim its share of the teen market pie. Two things stood in the way, though.

One was that Skatetown, U.S.A. (1979) had opened in theaters only two months prior (and featured a far more familiar soundtrack - something that has allegedly kept it out of the home video market - and a bit more notable cast.) The other was that a few months prior to that, the genre of disco music had been publically pronounced dead in a massive demonstration/record destruction publicity stunt at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois. Practically all roller skating/disco movies' fates were sealed after that as far as widespread appreciation was concerned. (See Can't Stop the Music and Xanadu, both 1980.)
Somehow, nevertheless, while Roller Boogie couldn't hope to win critical praise, it wound up being a modest success (raking in around $13 million compared to Skatetown's $2.5. Music only made $2 million and while Xanadu collected $22 million, it COST $20 million to make!) Boogie's budget was low and one way it got that way was by convincing its leading lady to take a cut of the profits in lieu of a hefty up-front salary. That leading lady was Linda Blair, once the Oscar-nominated child star of The Exorcist (1973), now grown up and spinning her wheels instead of her head.

Blair plays a very well-to-do young lady preparing for college. She lives in a luxurious California mansion with her father, a successful lawyer (Roger Perry), and her socially-fixated mother (Beverly Garland), both of who ignore her with a numbing regularity. Trained to be an expert flautist, she is all set to attend Julliard, though in her heart she is reluctant to exist in such a serene and sterile environment.
She goes about dressing for the day in a goofy sequence that surely had to inspire either Richard Gere or director Paul Schrader when they made American Gigolo a year later. Her mirror is dotted with clippings of all the hot teen idols of the day such as John Travolta, Shaun Cassidy, Leif Garrett and the recently-departed Robin Williams. Duding herself out in all the latest spandex and faux-satin accoutrements that she can lay her hands on, she pulls out of the driveway in her deluxe Excalibur roadster.

Since she has to drive and, thus cannot wear her skates right away, she opts for sensible spike-heeled slip-on shoes that really set off her pert 5'2” figure and give her a bizarre silhouette... By the way, there is ALWAYS a primo parking spot at the crowded beach for her, though at no time in the film does she come anywhere close to actually parking within the painted lines on the tarmac!
Before we even get to any of this, though, there are the opening credits, with the song “Hell on Wheels” belted out on the soundtrack by Cher (yes, that Cher!) as oodles and gaggles of roller skaters wend their way all around Venice Beach, California. One guy is decked out for his day of skating in, I kid you not, a wrestler's singlet, even performing gymnastic poses prior to scooting off with the others. (Perhaps the biggest surprise to be found in all of Roller Boogie is that neither Allan Carr nor Randall Kleiser had anything to do with it!)
The clear mover and shaker in all this (and the costar of Boogie) is Jim Bray, a reed-thin, real-life amateur skating champ with hundreds of trophies, who, in a Herculean acting challenge, plays a young amateur skater with lots of trophies. He weaves and wiggles his way through the area with throngs of people in his wake. (Apparently in Venice Beach at this time no one dared to WALK anywhere. The streets and sidewalks are clogged with folks whose feet all have four wheels attached to each of them!)
After the extended opening sequence, filled to the brim with gyrating, stunt-performing skaters (some of who toddle along slowly and tentatively carrying a wind-surf type of contraption!), we get to know more about Bray and his friends. They include Albert Insinnia, who is ever on the make for any girl, Jimmy Van Patten, who never stops eating though he's in tip-top shape, and Stoney Jackson, who is never without an unwieldy tape player/recorder and ginormous headphones that he wears during 98-44/100ths% of his screen time.

Soon, this gang meets up with Blair and her equally wealthy, but generally more sensible, friend Kimberly Beck. Bray has his eyes on Blair while Beck fends off Insinnia and Van Patten the best she can (which isn't easy when they just climb on to and into the open air car that Blair drives!)

Speaking of open air, Ms. Beck is a very generously endowed young lady whose breasts are almost contained in her skimpy halter top (much to the delight of the seven straight men who found themselves at the cinema for this back in '79, I'm sure!)
After an initial encounter/brush-off from Blair, Bray gets another shot at her inside a local roller rink called Jammer's, run by one-time roller derby champ (Sean McClory.)
The place is packed to the gills, natch, and people are showing off all their wild moves in an endlessly undulating circle until clumsy Rick Sciacca (the only human being in the vicinity who isn't adept on skates) flails around to the point of causing a near calamity. Bray “saves” Blair from certain doom (or maybe a bruise or two) by grabbing her and spiriting her off the rink floor and into a food service area.

She tells him that he is the best skater she's seen and that she wants to hire him at $10/hour to show her how to skate well. It seems that for some reason she has decided that she wants to win the Roller Boogie competition that is approaching rapidly. In only one of several plot inanities, Bray has no immediate partner for this competition to shove aside and was apparently just going to not have one until Blair whizzed by? (The contest is, quite appropriately, promoted on the dingy door to a bathroom.)
Back at home, Blair has to contend with her parents' unwavering quest to have their daughter become a concert flute player and thus she prepares for a recital with Perry on the keyboard and a trio of aged string players to go along with. One day after practice, she is sitting on the patio (with a skirt slit up to THERE) next to a young suitor her parents have chosen as well as the guy's rather haughty mother.
The guy (Chris Nelson) is what we used to call a preppie (destined to be a yuppie) and is thus ripe for picking on in this film dedicated to free-spirited fun and frolic. (In a later "ha ha!" moment, he has his nose broken!) During this elegant afternoon at the mansion, the maid is serving, no lie, a silver tray of what look like large Dunkin' Donuts and Little Debbies (with doilies for people to rest them on between bites!) Blair has her mitts on the tray when enraptured Nelson decides he has no choice but to run his hand up the slit of her dress.

She flops the tray of cream-filled and chocolate-covered doughnuts all over his sportcoat and pants, making a huge mess of him. Later, she has gone upstairs to change into another atrocious get-up and as she leaves for the roller rink, Nelson is waiting in the garage for her, clad only in a shirt, tie and bath towel.
As he tries to force himself on her again, she whips his towel off, tosses it in the back of her car and speeds off, leaving him bottomless in the front yard just in time for his shocked mother to come out the door.
In a movie focused on braless boobs encased in snug Danskin sportswear, round buns hugged in flimsy shorts and female crotches trussed up in French cut leotards (forever and always I will hate anything French cut!), the only example of true nudity to be found in this PG film is the shot of Nelson's behind, which suits me just fine!
Now, to this point of the movie, Blair has had her hair done up in a tightly-fixed side twist or otherwise drawn up and away from her face. Finally, she is seen with her locks down and free and it's only nanoseconds until we miss the more wound-up styles and understand why that is her usual M.O. Her down 'do recalls a love child between Chewbacca and Pia Zadora.
Things between Blair and Bray begin to look romantic. They start a teen-level Burt Lancaster-Deborah Kerr beach-front smooch that soon ends just as it is about to heat up (though from the looks of Bray's burgeoning pup tent, things were at least warm during filming!) He has hilariously asked her if she's going to pay him by the hour for lovemaking, too!

After this little spat, Blair confesses to her mom that she doesn't want to attend Julliard, but instead wants to have fun and skate her way to the Roller Boogie championship. This news sends Garland rooting through her purse (which is a mini-pharmacy) searching for Valium, which she only finds after having pulled out three or four other bottles.

Blair, in a fit of pique over her mother's reaction, decides to run away from home. (Fortunately, her car and credit cards help ensure that she won't be destitute.) After driving around, she finds herself in the parking lot across from Bray's apartment and spends the night there, eventually calling him from her car phone the next day as her parents begin to fret over her whereabouts.
Bray and Blair make up and then set out on her day-long series of lessons, with him twirling her around and attempting to lift her and dip her (with predictably dire results.) Her faux-cute giggle as he drops her to the ground or strains to load her onto his slight shoulders does not provide the delight for audiences that it may have been intended to, but rather points out the dichotomy of bouncing, braless, headlight-nippled, made-up-to-the-streets Blair emitting baby doll sounds more cutesy than she did when she was playing a young kidney-impaired airplane passenger in Airport 1975.
Now Bray has talked himself into training her for no money at all, rather than be her paid flunky. About the same time as they are working on their plan to win the big contest, they discover that rink owner McClory is under tremendous pressure from shady real estate developer Mark Goddard to sell the place. Goddard wants to level it as part of a new shopping mall plan for the district.
While Goddard is threatening McClory with burning the place to the ground, even if it's full of kids, Bray, Blair and Jackson are listening in at a conveniently-placed window that looks as if the movie's art director just went and cut a hole in a wall and stuck chicken wire over it! Even more conveniently, Jackson's ever-present boom box happens to get stuck on “record” mode and is picking up the threatening conversation, though Jackson doesn't know it (and though there is no humanly possible way that the location of the mic on the boom box could clearly record the conversation softly taking place next door. Even further, anyone who knows about old cassette devices can see that the tape is playing, NOT recording... the red button is up, not down.)
The gang struggles to figure out how they can save McClory from this threat and Blair comes up with the idea that they could ask her father, a high-profile attorney, for advice. She invites them to her recital, held poolside at her family's estate. Naturally, a foursome of skating buddies show up in idiotic clothing and waste no time making fools of themselves all over the place.
In a convenient contrivance, we then learn that bad guy Goddard is actually a valued client of Perry's and is in attendance at the event as a friend of the family! He sets his two ever-present goons toward finding out what the skaters are up to, resulting in plenty of avoidance in the throng of dressed-up guests. (Beck gets her own upswept, '40s-inspired 'do for this one occasion.)
Naturally, all hell breaks loose and, one by one, half the guests wind up tossed into the swimming pool! Practically any late-'70s/early-'80s comedy with a pool in it dictated that a splash-filled melee would take place sooner or later. As the young men depart in fear, one of them, of course, has to land right on a huge, iced layer cake. Innovative comedic pratfalls everywhere... not!
Bray heads to McClory's now-closed rink to find the owner drunk and despondent. Trying to rouse the depressed man, he offers up a tribute in the form of a dramatic solo routine around the rink while sporting a tacky top with (we hope!) his character's initials (“BJ”) sewn on it.

Blair's parents don't believe her story about Goddard's shady dealings, but fortunately there is proof. When Jackson gives up his boom box to become a Hare Krishna (I'm serious...), he gives it to Van Patten who, while playing songs on it, discovers the heretofore unknown recording of Goddard threatening McClory. They want to turn it over to a policeman friend of theirs (a beefy guys who sidles around the beach on a bicycle in shorts that would make the folks of Reno 911 sit up and take notice!)
First, though, they go to McClory to implore him not to leave town as he has planned, but to stick it out, use the tape as evidence and hold the big Roller Boogie contest after all. He is reluctant to stay, but when faced with the hangdog expressions of Bray and Blair as they stick their forlorn pusses into the front seat of his car, he acquiesces. (I mean, you you resist this....? That's a rhetorical question.)
But wait! Goddard's heavies have found out about the tape and pull up in a limo to extract the tape from them! Fortunately, the kids have driven Insinnia's produce truck there and so the three mob-like, gun-toting bad guys are able to be driven back by hunks and chunks of tomato, watermelon, lettuce and so on!
During this distraction, Bray and Blair are able to don their skates, helmets and kneepads in order to break away with the cassette tape. (Bray suggests to Blair that she take off her long skirt, so she does without pause, for she has a long shirt on with tights under it!) They careen off onto the streets, down steep hills and even over makeshift ramps.

Following the produce assault, the mobsters proceed to chase Bray and Blair in order to retrieve the tape. They wind up at a skate park (a place that would soon be more likely to feature skateboards, but at this juncture it was still all roller skates.) While jaw-dropping electronic music and sound cues bleat on the soundtrack, Goddard and his pals are knocked around and tossed into the pits.

This is followed by one of the truly lunatic moments of the film as Goddard's car pulls away and our intrepid skaters each secretly grab ahold of a taillight and hang on, being towed down the street as Bray screams for Blair to keep her head down! (The only driver who couldn't see their two red helmets in the rearview mirror during this is Stevie Wonder...)
They let go of the car at McClory's rink and after a confrontation, a mass playing of the tape on the rink's sound system and the arrival of their cop friend, Goddard is disposed of and the climactic title event can unfold as planned. What follows is an eye-popping, amusingly-photographed series of routines with Bray and Blair finally getting to do their hastily put-together act which, of course, is a smash!
They decide to pursue their original dreams, she as a concert flautist and he an Olympic champion. (Poor guy... no one ever thought to tell him - or the screenwriter - that there is no such thing as an Olympic roller skating competition even though Bray sports a crudely-sewn jacket with the Olympic rings depicted on it!!)
Anyone with a low threshold of tolerance for the '70s or for disco is going to have a very rough go of it if he or she attempts to watch Roller Boogie, but for those who enjoy kitsch and camp, it ought to be a delightfully agonizing experience. The director, Mark L. Lester, actually went on to helm some successful films such as Firestarter (1984), Commando (1985) and Armed and Dangerous (1986), and still works today, but in low-budget action fare.
The house which serves as home to Perry, Garland and Blair was used many, many times in movies over the years, though, to me, it will always be the mansion of The Colbys (1985-1987) with adulterous Charlton Heston and Katharine Ross settling into the pool house while John James and Maxwell Caulfield took turns Speedo-ing around in the distinctive pool...

As noted above, Blair skyrocketed to fame with 1973's The Exorcist after having done a few prior parts. She won a Golden Globe for that, but had to watch Tatum O'Neal accept the Oscar that year for Paper Moon. Despite a couple of gritty, well-received TV-movies, her only other movie role before the inept Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977) was Airport 1975.

After the Exorcist sequel, things went decidedly downhill, not helped by an arrest for drug possession (which she strenuously denied, though she admitted to an alcohol addiction), resulting in fines and probation. She in fact went from filming Boogie straight to a Florida courtroom. (Relating to nothing, I suppose, her ersatz counterpart Maureen McCormick of Skatetown U.S.A. and fellow costars were bogged down in so much coke on that set it's a miracle that anyone's skates could gain any traction on the ground!)

Continuing to appear in projects of varying quality in the years since she went from “white-hot” to “I think not,” she has turned much of her attention to animal welfare causes. Occasionally surfacing briefly in the news (such as when she startled sympathetic fans of Christopher Reeve by publically announcing that his paralyzing riding accident was his fault and not the horse's), she is now fifty-five and has found work in several reality/documentary television programs.
Non-actor Bray had been hired on as a skating double for the movie's initial choice David Kennedy, a Canadian actor who had been dating Blair. Once they split, Kennedy found himself off the project and with no one else viable (reportedly Peter Gallagher was considered), Bray was given some acting lessons and elevated to the lead! (He then, for insurance reasons, had to have his own skating double for some of the more daring feats of the movie.) He never stepped before the cameras again as an actor. He is fifty-three.

Garland and Perry both enjoyed long careers as movie and TV character actors. Garland toiled as a scream queen in several 1950s sci-fi flicks, was employed steadily as a television guest star and enjoyed regular runs on My Three Sons and Scarecrow and Mrs. King. She also appeared in Airport 1975 as Dana Andrews' fretful wife, sharing no scenes with Blair in that one. She died in 2008 at age eighty-two of undisclosed causes.

Perry's career got started about a decade after Garland's (he was seven years her junior), but was also very prolific. He's known to Star Trek fans for a guest role he did there, but his face was everywhere in the 1970s. He's still around today at age eighty-one and is married Joyce Bulifant (having been wed previously for twenty-five years to Jo Anne Worley! He likes 'em funny.)

Van Patten is one of three actor sons of Dick Van Patten (of Eight is Enough and many other projects.) A couple of years before Boogie, he appeared in Freaky Friday (1976) with Jodie Foster and continued to work in various movies and TV shows (with roles in Saw IV, 2007, and Saw VI, 2009, among his more recent acting “achievements.”) He is fifty-seven at present.

Beck was a child actress (appearing in Marnie, 1964, Yours, Mine and Ours, 1968, and on Peyton Place, 1965-1966, among other things) who proceeded to a busy TV career in the '70s and '80s. Her role in Boogie came about because original choice Beverly D'Angelo departed the film in order to accept a major role in Hair (1979.) Beck is now fifty-eight and has not appeared on screen since 1999.

Irish actor McClory entered films in his twenties with small roles, eventually working four times for legendary director John Ford, beginning with The Quiet Man in 1952. He costarred on the series The Californians (1957-1958) and was put to use on many other series as a guest. He worked up through the late-'80s before retiring. In 2003, a heart condition lead to his death at age seventy-nine.

Goddard has been profiled here (and is a treasured friend of The Underworld thanks to his generosity - described here.) This can't be counted as a career high point (he thought acting opposite giant vegetables on Lost in Space was bad until he was pelted with them in this drek!), but he looks nice and tan and at least gets some okay lighting during his primary scene. He is seventy-eight at present and had spent his most recent years as a teacher.

Insinnia had done some stage work on Broadway (appearing as a replacement Sonny in Grease) prior to this as well as having had a role in Corvette Summer (1978.) He was briefly considered for the lead before Bray was promoted. Though he didn't work in the movie Grease (1978), he did costar with that movie's Stockard Channing in her series Stockard Channing in Just Friends, though after 13 episodes, the show was retooled without him and several others. Off screen from 1981 to 2004, he made a minor return until about 2007. His current age is unknown to me.

Jackson had a busy year in 1979, his first as a screen actor. He had bit parts in Young Love, First Love, The Return of the Mod Squad and even The Concorde... Airport '79. Later he had recurring roles on Eight is Enough, The White Shadow and 227 along with a role on Santa Barbara and even danced in the video for Michael Jackson's “Beat It.” Currently fifty-four, he still works in movies and on TV today.

Whereas most of the young cast of Roller Boogie were near the start of their careers, Nelson had been appearing as a young actor on TV in shows like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Shazam!, Adam-12, Emergency! and The Six Million Dollar Man and would soon depart. After three more movies, the last one coming in 1982, he and his wife (who he married in 1979) ran a theatre in the Catskills for about a decade. Nelson's father is the star of Peyton Place, Ed Nelson, who, like others in Roller Boogie, also had a role in Airport 1975. He is sixty now.

A few more tidbits... Look at this atrociously stiff and cheesy pre-release poster (who in the hell is behind them? The Rockettes Wheelettes?)
Check out this amusing artwork from a Japanese souvenir program for the film, in which Blair's glamorous up 'do is rendered more like that of a gray-haired octogenarian! In fact, both stars look like seniors here. I didn't realize it was possible to make an already tacky project seem that much tackier!

At least the film proper does afford a fair amount of leg & chest on display. The crowd scene shown below (made up of some of the 50 skating extras recruited for the project) is partly cheesy, but also partly yummy!
Bray and friends also workout at the beach, as shown here. A highly unfunny gag has Jackson and his pal Sciacca putting extra heavy weights on Van Patten's barbell, but at least the scene has a fleeting up the shorts camera angle.
And in a clear case of the background extras being more interesting than the featured players, we have the muscleman on the far right doing some exercises behind Bray and wearing the flimsiest dusty rose (a huge color in the '70s) silky briefs conceivable. These sort of things make watching bearable when one is overly-saturated with roller skates and disco music.
Despite all our carping, Roller Boogie is nevertheless highly recommended... The End!

19 comments:

Knuckles Girlyskirt said...

Not sure what it is about Linda Blair...but I really enjoy watching her in all of her post-Exorcist super-cheesy mega-bombs ("Chained Heat" being a particular fave.)

It's just too bad she didn't star in "Can't Stop The Music" T'would have been a perfect addition to her filmography!

I also think she would have been a great addition to Season 5 of "Charlie's Angels", instead of poor Tanya Roberts...not that she was up for the role or anything! Just my own personal take...Ah! If I could turn back time!

Dave in Alamitos Beach said...

Phew, I was really worried until the end there that you were going to advise NOT to see this movie. I only recently saw this movie and enjoyed every minute of it. It's truly terrible and yet, sorta sweet and sexy.

Both leads are hopelessly amateurish. Bray is at least believable but Blair looks about as realistic in her skating as Jennifer Beals does in her dancing in Flashdance.

The best part of the movie is by far the hair and fashions. What a time capsule. I graduated from High School in 1979, and yes, I can attest to the fact that a lot of people wore really tight short shorts and very little else. It was much better than today's saggy pants combined with three pairs of underwear.

The hair looks absolutely real to me, and the non worked out bodies seem innocent and period correct.

I would love to see this with other people in the room because there are major dead spots that require talking back to the screen, and/or a drinking game to make them bearable.

Scooter said...

I remember this movie - mostly I remember wanting to like it more than i did! Blissful kitsch.

rico said...

Did you know that Cher really was Hell on Wheels? She and BFF back then, Kate Jackson, would rent a roller rink on Monday nights and invite their pals to roller boogie! I wonder if they ever invited Jim Bray to boogie with them ; )

Gingerguy said...

WOW! I made my Dad take me to see this in a theater. Poor guy. "Spinning her wheels instead of her head" -it doesn't get any better than that. Oh yes it does, I forgot about Kimberly Beck! Awesome post Mr. Poseidon

rico said...

Also, you can enjoy this on YouTube ;)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olCoGGQ6mAc

Narciso Duran said...

There is a lovely interview with Bray, skating and talking, with an Australian chat show host in 1980. He was a real charmer and quite attractive. Some of the comments are interesting. Search YouTube for "Jim Bray on Don Lane." I was sixteen when the movie opened, and Jim Bray was just my sixteen-year-old style. In the interview, Bray claims he has three movies in the works.

Poseidon3 said...

Hey, everyone! Thanks so much for posting your remarks and recollections.

Knuckles, I have yet to see "Chained Heat." I'll have to get around to that. (Is that the one that caused a brouhaha over her being sexually abused in the clink with a broom handle?!) I think ANYONE would have been more advisable than Ms. Roberts for that last season of "Charlie's Angels"...

Dave, I agree with every single thing you said. I will never understand the current trend towards layers and layers of underwear, shorts, etc... especially when swimming!

Rico, thanks much for the link to the film on youtube.com. It looks like a great copy of it, too! As for Cher, I so often find that female singers have a tendency to dip out of (major) popular favor right when they are looking so great physically! Cher was in amazing shape at this time. I also think of Olivia Newton-John who could hardly get arrested in the mid-to-late '80s, though she looked incredible.

Gingerguy, every once in a while I will suddenly turn a phrase that makes even me smile and that happened to be one! Thanks for catching it and noting it. ;-) I can't say for sure, but I think if Ms. Beck had somewhat different front teeth, she'd have had a far more significant career. She certainly had the body and such pretty eyes. I recall her popping up on "Dynasty" briefly in a role that didn't take.

Narciso, to my eyes anyway, Bray looks so much better in that interview you mention than he ever does in "Roller Boogie!" He almost has a Jack Scalia thing going on and it wasn't THAT long after filming... Seeing that, I can understand your interest whereas I didn't with just RB as a reference point. But to each is own as the saying goes! I try to supply this site with all types of men to ogle whenever possible. :-)

joel65913 said...

Poseidon, I received more enjoyment reading your take on this mess of a movie than I did watching it!

Blair has always struck me as a nice woman with some too much, too soon syndrome problems that she's hopefully worked out but she's not much of an actress and never has been not that this film wouldn't have defeated Stanwyck, Davis, Hayward or any other quality actress.

My main take away from it was how Beverly Garland managed to walk away from this dignity still intact. She was one of the few, if not the only one!

Knuckles Girlyskirt said...

The broom handle scene is, I believe, a plunger handle scene...and was in the made-for-TV movie "Born Innocent" (available on YouTube)

Poor Linda...Devil possession, teenage alcoholism, kidney failure, prison humiliation,...

What this young actress didn't have to go through on screen!

She must have been thrilled to a roller-disco movie.

Poseidon3 said...

Joel, Beverly BARELY escaped with her dignity. She did, after all, end up in the swimming pool and had some really idiotic lines to spout in the movie, but fortunately as you say, she made it. I recall one of my friends laughing hysterically at her in "Airport 1975" when her husband Dana Andrews asks about the weather. "Well, the moon's out, but there're some clouds around." My friend said "WHAT does any of that have to do with weather?!?!" but I knew she was referring more to sky/flying conditions versus temperature. Even in that small, thankless part, she injected caring and warmth beyond what was even expected or deserved.

Knuckles, sorry about that! I have never seen it (and sort of don't know if I ever want to!!) :-)

Narciso Duran said...

I actually met Linda Blair! It was at a juvenile diabetes tennis-a-thin held in an obscure tennis club, in an obscure neighborhood in Fremont (as in Northern) California, some 35 miles east of San Francisco. It was 1981 and she was playing with/against Andrew Prine and Peter Reckell who was on "As the World Turns' at the moment. The tournament must have ben a charity bust because there could not have been more than twenty people watching. I remember her being normal and down to earth, and kind of pudgy. I was staring at Reckell the whole time.

Alan Brickman said...

Great post! Hopefully you will add a profile to facebook!

Poseidon3 said...

Narciso, lovely to see you here again! What a great middle-rung celeb sighting you had! I had totally forgotten that Peter Reckell did time on ATWT, he's so closely associated with DAYS. Was there another female in addition to Linda? (Don't ask me why these obscure things interest me!) I can never think of Andrew Prine without recalling those eye-opening nudes he did back in the '70s. I think just out of morbid curiosity (because I never found him handsome), I'd have had to stare at his tennis shorts just to see were everything went!

Ken Anderson said...

I'm looking at these images and reading the synopsis and wondering how it is I actually saw this when it opened...in a theater...paying for it. I think I blocked it all out but this fun piece is bringing all that Southern California 80s roller mania back to me.

Taylor Maddux said...

Reading your synopsis on this "epic", Poseidon, as well as commenters' comments, has made me so happy, if not also a little nostalgic about the passage of time.

I just watched the opening credits of "RD" on youtube, and have to say that Mr. Bray's skating was fun to watch, as was the whole number. Will definitely watch the whole movie now.

Many thanks.

Taylor Maddux said...

Sorry, I wrote "RD" when I meant to write "RB." RD standing for Roller Derby, which I used to be a big fan of.

Poseidon3 said...

Taylor, I hope you enjoy it. It's really hooty and is certainly undemanding fun. Thanks!

Taylor Maddux said...

Poseidon, thanks. And yes, I did watch it and did enjoy it. And "undemanding fun" describes it to a "t."

One line I got a kick out of was "Bobby" saying to "Terry" during their make-out on the beach: "You're not no bimbo from the boardwalk." Up to that point Bobby'd been nothing if not very well-spoken, so to hear him come out with that corker of a sentence really threw me. But in a good way.

And I think that we twice see the same guy jogging past Bobby and Terry during a scene between them. He was an adonis, however, so no complaints here!