Monday, May 12, 2014

Cisco Pike (1972)

Director: Bill L. Norton

Writers: Bill L. Norton, Robert Towne

Composer: Songs by Kris Kristofferson

Starring: Kris Kristofferson, Karen Black, Gene Hackman, Harry Dean Stanton, Viva, Joy Bang, Roscoe Lee Browne, Chuy Franco, Severn Darden, Herb Weil, Antonio Fargas, Doug Sagm, Howard Hesseman, Allan Arbus

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Gene Hackman and Kris Kristofferson and Karen Black and Viva and a footrace...a crooked cop...a lot of money and so little time.

Plot: Cisco Pike is out of jail for dealing drugs, living with girlfriend Sue in Venice, going straight, writing songs and singing. Trouble is, he's got another court date, so he's vulnerable to pressure from a crooked cop, LAPD Sergeant Leo Holland, who gives Cisco less than three days to sell bricks of marijuana and deliver $10,000. Cisco tries, but it's complicated by Sue's disappointment that he's dealing again, the unannounced arrival of Jesse (Cisco's old singing partner) strung out on heroine and a recent divorce, and a drug sale that almost ends in a bust. Can Cisco avoid a new arrest, make the sales, get the money to Leo, and maintain his self respect?

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again? No.

Man, Kris Kristofferson is so baby faced in this it's crazy.  I never noticed until now but he doesn't have eyebrows.  That only adds to his baby faced look.  It's his first starring role in a feature film (prior, he only had a bit part in THE LAST MOVIE (1971) a year earlier) and he's fantastic.  He's so natural.  Karen Black is awesome as ever and I dig those groovy threads.  It's always a treat to see Roscoe Lee Browne in anything.  Gene Hackman was the big reason I watched it and for a lead, he's got very little screen time.  He's good, though.  No surprise there.  It's a very interesting story made even more so by not really knowing why Holland (Hackman) needed the money.  I found it strange that Cisco (Kristofferson) failed to tell his girl, Sue (Black), the truth.  Maybe that's why the ending happened the way it did.  Kristofferson's performs his own songs and they're pretty good.  He's a great songwriter both with music and lyrics.  It's a nice early 70s easy going picture and it's worth a look.

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