Tuesday, September 9, 2014

For Pete's Sake (1974)

Director: Peter Yates

Writers: Stanley Shapiro, Maurice Richlin

Composer: Artie Butler

Starring: Barbra Streisand, Michael Sarrazin, Estelle Parsons, Molly Picon, William Redfield, Louis Zorich, Heywood Hale Broun, Richard Ward, Ed Bakey, Peter Mamakos, Vivian Bonnell, Joseph Maher, Anne Ramsey, Vincent Schiavelli, Joe Pantoliano, Bill McKinney

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Zany Barbra!

Plot: Henrietta Robins works out of her home and her husband Pete drives a cab to try to support her. When Pete gets a tip from one of his fellow drivers that a deal will be made by the Americans and the Soviets over pork bellies, he decides to invest in the market, but needs to $3000 to invest. Henrietta then goes to extreme lengths to get the money by dealing with first a loan shark, then a madame, then the mob and finally cattle rustlers. All this in the name of love.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? No.

Here's a vehicle that seems tailor made to showcase Streisand's comedy talents.  She's her usual fast-talking, smart-aleck-y self and she's funny but I found the wonderful supporting cast to be even more fun.  This picture's loaded with familiar, and funny, character actors, many of which you've seen dozens of times.  It's one of Vincent Schiavelli's first roles (and he's hilarious) and it's either Joe Pantoliano's first or second movie role (his first two picture were released in '74). 

OMG, look how young he is!  He's even got a little bit of dialogue as an undercover cop.  A lot of the gags work and the first half of the film is pretty damn solid.  It's the second half that starts to drag as Henry (Streisand) gets into more and more 'zany' situations as her debt gets bought out by one seedy character after another.  I was kind of glad when it was over but I did have a good time which sounds kind of contradictory.  I'm not much of a Streisand fan but I did enjoy her performance.  She's clearly got some acting chops for comedy.  The Columbia DVD has the film in anamorphic widescreen (yay!) and it comes with some unexpected extras like a commentary by Yates and trailers for this film (fullscreen), THE MIRROR HAS TWO FACES (fullscreen), THE WAY WE WERE (non-anamorphic widescreen) and THE PRINCE OF TIDES (fullscreen).

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