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“Dirty Mary and Crazy Larry”
Reviewed by: Wayne A. Klein
Genre: Action
Video: 1.85: 1 Anamorphic widescreen
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0
Languages English
Subtitles English
Length 93 minutes
Rating R
Release Date 6/28/05
Studio Anchor Bay Home Entertainment
Commentary: Director John Hough
Documentaries: “Ride The Wild Side”
Featurettes: None
Filmography/Biography: Text biographies
Interviews: None
Trailers/TV Spots: Trailer, TV spots, radio spots plus trailers for “Race with the Devil”, “Butch & Sundance: The Early Years”, “Moving Violations”, “License to Drive”
Alternate/Deleted Scenes: None
Music Video: Photo galleries, 1969 Dodge Charger Commercial
Other: Peter Fonda, Susan George, Adam Roarke, Kenneth Tobey, Vic Morrow, Roddy McDowall
Cast and Crew: Leigh Chapman and Antonio Santean based on “The Chase” by Richard Unekis
Written By: Leigh Chapman and Antonio Santean based on “The Chase” by Richard Unekis
Produced By: Norman Herman
Directed By: John Hough
Music: Jimmie Haskell
The Review:

Chase movies were all the rage during the 70’s but this action B movie probably is the ultimate in the genre. Larry (Peter Fonda) and his partner Deke (Adam Roarke) rob a major supermarket and hold the manager’s (Roddy McDowall in an uncredited role) family hostage as part of a scheme to finance their dream NASCAR vehicle. They end up on the run with Mary (Susan George) who had a one night stand with Larry. ***

While “Dirty Mary and Crazy Larry” isn’t a great drama, it’s a fun free wheeling chase movie that helped redefine the genre with its hair raising stunts. John Hough’s sharp direction keeps the film from becoming just another low budget exploitation flick. 30 years on it’s astonishing that many of these dangerous stunts were accomplished. While many of the newer films (the remake of “Gone in 60 Seconds”) that mine the same genre cave may have more flash, they can’t compare to this film for sheer inventiveness when it comes to the outrageous stunts performed for this film. As a low budget “Bonnie & Clyde” crossed with “Bullitt” “Crazy Mary & Dirty Larry” can’t be beat. ---

Image and Sound: A spectacularly transfer from Anchor Bay makes this one of the best releases I’ve seen of a mid-70’s film on DVD. The print appears flawless and there’s little to no digital artifacts. Yes, there’s grain but that’s due to the film stock used and that’s to be expected. The grain isn’t any more noticeable because of the transfer and that’s a tribute to the care that’s gone into this transfer. The mono sound doesn’t offer much for Anchor Bay to work with but the mono sound has nice presence with no problems with compression or other issues. ---
The Extras:

Once again Perry Martin does an outstanding job with the extras included here. Martin writes and directs the nearly 30 minute documentary on the making of the movie. Martin interviews Fonda, George and director Hough discussing the making of the movie. Hough mentions that it’s one of his favorite films he’s directed (the other is “Hell House”) and there’s good reason to see why; Hough broke a lot of the rules in the genre and also set amazingly high standards with his stunt co-ordinators/drivers in creating the chase sequences and crashes. While you wouldn’t think that acting would be a highlight of a film like this, he cast does an amazing job considering how thinly written the roles are bringing elements of their own personality to their roles. Hough points out that 30 years on the film holds up. He’s right. Hough deliberately cast Vic Morrow and Ken Tobey in the film because they were actors he admired and both do a great job considering the limitations of the script. It’s an example of a great “B” movie before “B” movies became “A” movies. ***

In addition to the documentary on the making of the film we get the original theatrical trailers, TV spots and radio spots advertising the movie. There’s also a vintage commercial for the 1969 Dodge Charger that plays such a big part in the movie. We also get posters from around the world, behind-the-scenes stills and promo shots for the movie. Talent bios round out the presentation with three devoted to director John Hough, actors Peter Fonda and Susan George. We also get trailers for four other Anchor Bay releases “Race with the Devil”, “Moving Violations”, “License to Drive” and “Butch & Sundance: The Early Years”. ---

Commentary: A great commentary track featuring director John Hough moderated by DVD producer Perry Martin is a highlight. Hough shares lots of the behind-the-scenes stories we’ve come to expect plus insights into the success of “Dirty/Crazy” and why 30 years on it still works really, really well as a movie. He discusses the casting of Roddy McDowall in the film in an uncredited part. Evidently Hough wanted to work with McDowall again but the only part was a small one and McDowall took it but just asked that he not be credited. There’s also a discussion on the casting of British Susan George as an American girl. Hough mentions that he had no interference from the stuio when it came to casting (outside of Fonda who was already attached to the project) or even with the making of the film. When he wanted George (with whom he had worked on “Eyewitness”) nobody balked or suggested that she might be able to play the part. She does a marvelous job bringing considerable depth to a sketchily written character. ---
Final Words: A terrific presentation from Anchor Bay, “Dirty/Crazy” receives the deluxe treatment it might not if it had been released by a major studio. I’d love to see studios like Universal that don’t provide a lot of extras for their older movies license more of their films and TV shows to Anchor Bay like Fox has done with this film, “Race with the Devil” and “Profit”. The films and TV shows get the deluxe treatment they deserve and the audience for the film gets the extras that they deserve as well. Great job Perry!

 

 
 
 
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