Friday, September 08, 2006


Well, it's Friday. Which means that a short week is over, a short weekend is upon us, and most importantly, it's time for the Friday Silly Movie Of My Youth Of The Day (or FSMOMYOFTD, as Thrillhous has dubbed it). We've done Thank God It's Friday, we've done Gus. What could possibly be worthy of a follow-up?

Not sure anything qualifies, but goddamn it, I'm gonna try. So, with no further ado, without fanfare, without a red carpet, without so much as a ratty rug on the floor of a '73 Nova, I present to you, for your coffee-supping enjoyment, the always ridiculous, the always redundantly-named, but always entertaining, Friday Silly Movie Of My Youth of The Day for today:

Dirty Mary Crazy Larry

As described under "plot" on the IMDB page:
Mary and Larry are two lovers who, with Larry's ace mechanic, kidnap the daughter of a grocery story owner, and make off with the ransom. They are chased over hill, over vale by the cops, who deploy everything from 426 Hemis to helicopters to stop Larry's Dodge Charger.
That's about it. And what, may I ask, could possibly be wrong with that? Send yourself back to 1975, about a year after the movie came out. I was 7 years old, and like most kids I rode my bike everywhere. I lived on a block with a huge number of young children. It was the era of Evel Knievel, of ludicrous spectacle on Wild World of Sports: jumping over buses, jumping over fountains, jumping over the Snake River Canyon in a rocket.

I had an Evel Knievel lunchbox. And that should just about set the scene, right?

Ok. So what were we doing every day on our bikes? Jumping over stuff, of course. Jumping our bikes over other bikes, over blankets serving as bodies of water, over dogs, over my friend John's sister Sharon, over garbage pails. Jumping, jumping, jumping. We were usually Evel Knievel himself, and that suited us just fine.

But one day, this "older" kid Mark, who must've been about 11 came to ride and jump with us. Mark, looking back, must've been a little . . . uhhhh, let's say, slow, and also a bit rough. I can say I hated playing football with him because . . . well because he always fucked me up. Anyhow, Mark did crazier jumps than the rest of us, and he kept saying, over & over again, "Crazy Larry. Look at me, I'm Crazy Larry." Occasionally, because I guess it was the 70's and all, he'd call someone else "Dirty Mary."

Needless to say, the next day we weren't Evel Knievel anymore.

Now, jump to 1976, a random Sunday night, and what should be on the Sunday Night Movie (it's the time before cable for all you youngsters out there)? You got it: "Dirty Mary Crazy Larry." I can actually remember begging, pleading, with my mother to let me stay up and watch the whole movie. Actually trying to explain to her that when we were little (all 9 month earlier), we used to "play" Dirty Mary Crazy Larry. I won her over, and stayed up to watch the whole thing.

And I loved it. Absolutely loved it. How could I not?: Souped-up Dodge Charger. Car chases galore. Pretty blonde girl riding shotgun. Helicopters. The guy from the Bad News Bears playing a mean cop.

What's that you say? Who played the mean cop? Why, none other than de riguer Hollywood tough guy, Vic Morrow. And the rest of the cast?

Peter Fonda, still playing post-Easy Rider roles. Susan George, continuing to leverage her "hot, blonde chick thing" she started 3 years earlier in Straw Dogs. Adam Rourke. No, I have no idea who he is, but he deserves notice for appearing in one of the All-Time Skinamax flicks, The Beach Girls. If you were a guy in high school during the early-to-mid 80's, you know that one.

And, uncredited, but appearing nonetheless: Roddy McDowell.

I have no idea. It's too long ago to remember, I couldn't even guess what he was doing there. An ape on the lam? A stodgy Brit to balance the redneck flavor (like a car-chase version of English Bob?). A random vampire hunter (c'mon, you know what I'm talking about. Could that be an entry in a future FSMOMYOTD?).

Finally, to leave you smiling, or snickering, of whatever s-ing you'd like as the weekend beckons, here's a snippet of dialogue from this cinematic gem:

Larry: Hey, Deke, it turns out Dingleberry here's a joke after all.
Mary: [quoting book] "The murderer, is not unaccountable for his own murder. And the robbed should not be blameless for being robbed. For it is the cornerstone of the temple, that is no higher than the lowest stone in its foundation."
Larry: Now, don't start speaking in puns to me woman.
Mary: That is from a book, bozo! And, if you'd read once in a while, perhaps you'd know what I'm talking about!
Larry: Oh, books, Europe, Lear Jets, Sam Baker, shoplifting... you're pathetic!
Mary: Oh, I am, am I? Do you know what you are? A case of eye and hand co-ordination, and you're really not very good at that!

And there you have it. All we needed was Mary calling him "turkey," and we'd have been set.


Blogger Thrillhous said...

Haven't seen the movie, but thanks for the trip down memory lane to the glorious 70s. I'm slightly younger, but I remember the glory that was Evil Kneivel and all the bike jumping he inspired in us.

Vic Morrow! Another great memory.

This movie may make it onto my netflix, if it's available.

10:07 AM  
Blogger DED said...

I think I've seen the end of this movie. Without spoiling it for those who want to see it, there's a scene with a train at the end of the movie right?

11:22 AM  
Blogger Otto Man said...

I've never seen this, but you better believe it just made the Netflix cue.

Sounds like they should've pitched this as a sequel to Straw Dogs. The victimized housewife is mad as hell, and she's not gonna take it anymore!!!!

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

DED knows his car chase flicks.

Without Dirty Mary Crazy Larry what's the bridge between Gumball Rally & Smokey & the Bandit, I ask?!


Straw Dogs is Milton combined with Dostoyevsky compared to this flick.

11:32 AM  
Blogger Otto Man said...

Straw Dogs is Milton combined with Dostoyevsky compared to this flick.

Awesome. Too bad it doesn't have a sassy orangutang sidekick. Then it'd be perfect.

11:32 AM  

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