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Electra Glide in Blue (1973)

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Electra Glide in Blue (1973)
Electra Glide in Blue (1973)

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Reviews (12)

12 reviews for Electra Glide in Blue (1973)

4.2 out of 5
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  1. tom morrow

    I couldn’t watch the movie; I made a mistake when ordering and accidently bought Blu-ray. I don’t have a Blu-ray player, and I did open the package, so no need to try to return it. That is my mistake.
    Probably a great movie- anyone want to buy an unused copy?

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  2. Lightfoot

    EGIB got overlooked in my teenage years way back in the 1970’s, overshadowed as it was by Vanishing Point, Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, Thunderbolt & Lightfoot etc for the simple reason that I’ve always been into cars rather than bikes. However, I really enjoyed it now that I’m older and can see past my earlier prejudices. It’s wonderfully re-mastered and just epitomises 1970’s USA (as all these films did) which is a time in American history of which I’m extremely fond.

    It’s mostly filmed in the great American outdoors and it is beautifully done. The lead character is pretty solid while his partner’s character is under-developed and, truth be told, rather ‘flaky’ – makes you wonder what the key element of their friendship is all about since it’s evidently not just a working friendship based on simply being fellow police officers.

    Then, if you watch the extras feature, you find out that the director, James William Guercio, almost made the film single-handedly and under extreme budgetary pressure from the studio behind it. It obviously ended up not being the ‘full’ film he would have wanted but, for a first directorial effort, I think he did a fine job in actually getting the film finished in any sort of coherent form at all.

    I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to people with the proviso that they understand the problems faced by Guercio before they sit down to watch. In all fairness you do need to cut the film a little sympathetic slack but it’s still an extremely watchable and involving movie.

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  3. AGAD

    Electra Glide in Blue (1973) is another wonderful film from what I look back on as being from the fabulous 1970’s.
    The film was directed by James William Guercio, who essentially is from the music background, being involved with such bands as ‘Blood Sweat & Tears, Chicago and even The Beach Boys.’ He also acts as a producer and composer of the musical soundtrack for this film.
    The film stars Robert Blake (playing the part of John Wintergreen) and Billy Green Bush (Zipper). Both Blake and Bush are part of the Nevada State Police Department, and ride ‘Electra Glide Harley Davidsons’ along the desert highways with amazing mountain background settings which the Nevada State Tourism office should be proud of.
    Wintergreen dreams of becoming a police homicide detective, which is where he feels his talents would be best served, and asks how his latest transfer application is doing. Whilst physically small in stature compared to the majority of his police colleagues, he even compares himself to Alan Ladd whilst flirting with a young girl as they’re waiting in a queue to be served, he is a big stickler for up holding the laws of the land. He manages to pull over an off duty LA detective exceeding the speed limit, when shown his police badge, he acts rather nonplussed and continues to write out the speed ticket.
    So when there is the discovery of a dead body, which at face value seems to be a suicide case, Wintergreen senses something is not right with this death and that he feels that this is a murder and not suicide, and he makes his opinion known to the doctor and to the lead detective running with the case Harve Poole (played by Mitchell Ryan).
    As the film plays out Wintergreen stumbles on the fact that not only is Zipper, his colleague, involved in police corruption, that his dreams of transferring over to the homicide department end up in tatters when he realizes that his earlier sexual frolics with Jolene, the local bartender, has greatly upset Harve Poole, who happens to be her official boyfriend.
    The film is described as a modern day western by the director but is also a road movie with stunning background scenery.
    The blue ray edition is good and is filmed in panavision, with wide panoramic settings. There is bonus material with this release, including a commentary by the director throughout the film.

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  4. S. Karl

    I have been looking for this great movie to come out on BluRay. I remember this film from it’s original showing in theaters in 1973. I was surprised by the performances. I mean, let’s face, Robert Blake is not the first name that pops into your head when you think of great actors. But his performance in this film is powerful. He plays a disillusioned motor-patrol cop in Arizona. He wants to make a move to being a homicide detective, but this only sours him that much more.

    This film is filled with a number of fantastic character actors such as Elisha Cook and Mitchell Ryan. There are even cameo appearances by Terry Kath and Peter Cetera, former members of the band Chicago. This only makes sense, since James William Guercio directed this film, his only directorial outing. Guercio was also the producer for the band Chicago. Another Guercio produced band, Madura, appears in the film.

    All in all, this is a movie that is well worth the watch. It was generally panned by the critics, even though Robert Blake was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance. However, it has achieved cult status and continues to please new viewers and old fans alike.

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  5. Movies Are Cinema

    Loved Robert Blake in this flick as the young cop who wants to advance his career. Exposed to all types of corruption, including on the blue side, his heart is in the right place but dealing with realities check his yearnings. Absolutely amazing cinematography, solid direction, terrific performances make this a WINNER for me. Then toss in awesome music from the time period when this was shot and…. BONUS! This has become one of my all time faves!

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  6. Barry Lees

    I used to own and operate large motorcycles on the twisty and often snowy roads of Scotland the ’70s (OK – NOT exactly the ’60s and none were Harleys, but it was close enough to IMAGINE the wide, flat, straight, dusty roads of Arizona. Being a biker often means you NEED imagination to ignore the harsh climate, but – especially in the better weather – it pays you back with a sense of freedom. That’s some – but not all – of what EGIB is about: the sunshine and the freedom of the open road. However, it’s not all a ‘biker film’ by any means: most of the story follows the traffic cop’s passion to be a detective; he even proves he’s good enough early on in the film only to be thwarted by the internal politics of his department. Sure, some bikers will like it for its action scenes (if you can call Harleys ‘action bikes’), but there is a decent murder story there, too.

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  7. Billy Jack

    This Blu-ray was listed as “Multi-format”.
    I’m not sure what that was supposed to mean, as it contained one Blu-ray disc.

    This is not a perfect film, but it is a great character study, accompanied by gorgeous, wide, landscape shots. Robert Blake is outstanding in his role, but some of the other characters suffer from over-acting. (Pay no attention to the cheesy motorcycle hoodlums and the cliché ’70s-era chase.)

    The transfer is very nice allowing full enjoyment of the film with few distractions.

    So why am I only giving this Blu-ray 3 stars? Just two “little” production problems.

    The first is with the dynamic range of the DTS-HD Stereo soundtrack, which is so wide that the viewer strains to comprehend much of the softer-spoken dialog, unless the volume is raised to the point that the louder scenes are irritating. This translates into a lot of volume jockeying and rewinding while viewing.

    Mysteriously, unlike the DVD, there are no subtitles, which would allow the viewer to catch the more unintelligible vocals. I don’t understand how this came to be, since it’s a given that a Blu-ray should be superior in every way to a DVD.

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  8. bluegrass2012

    Many will remember Robert Blake for TV series “Beretta” & movie “Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here”. I feel this little southwestern motor cycle cop movie is probably his best work! Blake & Billy Green Bush are a fine pair of cops stationed on lonely desert roads just trying to get by. The movie is set in the early 1970’s with Blake just out of army special forces Vietnam with eyes full of ambition & trying to do the right thing! A van drives by & Blake tell Billy let’s go check them out! Billy says “NO I’m gonna set here in the shade!” Blake says, “There’s girls in the van”. So they run them down!! Hippies, dope deals, murder & Blake trying to solve the murder & become a great detective. AAA+++

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  9. Leo-Neferuaten Boyle

    I first hear about this film in the early 1990’s. I was already influenced by the TV series, “C.H.i.P.s” in the late 1970’s/early 1980’s and was curious as to how this compared. I’d heard it was a “cult classic” and that it was hard to get hold of. I was fortunate to track down a VHS video version of it and found it to be an interesting film. Where as “C.H.i.P.s” is family friendly TV viewing, this is more in a similar vein to “Easy Rider” – more adult, seedy and “serious”. The acting isn’t the best, but the look of the film’s portrayal of the Police motorcyclists is terrific (From a fetish point of view, it is all very easy on the eyes – the bikes and gear do all the work!). I don’t think it’s a film that has aged well, so it really has to be taken into context (I think “The Wild One” is still far superior to it, even though it is different subject matter). The motorbike chase scenes are nicely filmed and I think if you like this type of film already, then you will love it, although modern audiences may be disappointed (I personally, still like it though, which is why I gave it 5 stars). Having it now on DVD is great – thank goodness it’s still available!

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  10. Torino

    This review is for the blu-ray import. Movie is 112 minutes, widescreen, no subtitles, only special features are a trailer and a ten minute intro by James Guercio. Picture quality is excellent except for some occasional sprinkles in the middle. Great movie, waited for a blu-ray release, and despite the high price I am satisfied with it, at least until something better comes along. The widescreen hi-def picture really brings out the beauty of the desert in the outdoor vista scenes. Another scene is in the beginning when John sneaks up on Zipper with his magnum, you can make out the lettering on the gun barrel, try that with VHS tape or a standard DVD. The colors are vibrant, no apparent fading. The sound is great, didn’t notice any defects. Love the music, bought the soundtrack separately on CD. What can I say about this movie except that if you saw this in your youth, it must of made quite an impression for you to try to find it again. Motorcycles, good and bad cops, hippies, bike chases, great acting by most of the stars, and iconic 70’s jazz/rock music that make this a very enjoyable film. Guercio in his intro talks a little about the making of this movie and what he had to do to keep it under budget. Maybe in retrospect it was a labor of love for him to put up with all the constraints and to persevere and try to create an important American film (his words). A very 70’s movie touching on the social changes America was going through for better or worse.

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  11. Pyke Bishop

    Electra Glide in Blue is a murder mystery, in which a high-principled Arizona motorcycle cop discovers the death of an old recluse and, against all odds, finds out who killed the man and why.

    An old man turns up dead in his desert shack. It looks like a shotgun suicide, but Wintergreen suspects otherwise: why would a man shoot himself in the chest and not the head? This mystery isn’t really the driving force of Electra Glide in Blue; this is more of a leisurely character study following Wintergreen as he works his arse-off to get promoted to homicide. This case could do it for him, but increasingly he sees little point in rising in the ranks of the hopelessly corrupt. A detective (Mitchell Ryan) who hires Wintergreen as his driver is violent and unstable. Wintergreen’s cop buddy Zipper (Billy “Green” Bush) likes to push hippies around and plant weed on them so he can bust them. The movie may take a cop as its hero, which cost it dearly at the box office back in 1973, but its view of the police in general is quite skeptical.

    The weight of the film rests on Robert Blake, as John Wintergreen. He’s just a guy trying to do good, and Blake is low-key and likable. Wintergreen flirts with young women who tower over him; he does a fellow Vietnam vet a favor by not cutting him any slack; he dances around in a Stetson, a cream-colored jacket, and no pants. He’s supposed to be pushing forty, but a lot of the time he comes off like a little kid, or at least like an innocent. He doesn’t seem to have a violent bone in his body. He’s almost apologetic when handing out speeding tickets, and when he and the corrupt detective visit a commune in search of a person-of-interest, Wintergreen so desperately fails to exude any authority that the detective has to step in and kick some ass around.

    Blake provides the still center, with a lot of overacting going on around him (Elisha Cook who must project senility as the murder victim’s only friend; Jeannine Riley as a bar waitress who gives a big speech about her dashed Hollywood dreams). It’s far from perfect, but it’s often moving (and frequently gorgeous).

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  12. D. Fancher

    This is a Great Movie. It is the of the “Answer” to “Easy Rider” in following the great American Dream from the other side of the coin , while on motorcycles, but this time around , it’s ex-vietnam war vets who have started working as Cops, instead of drug peddling Hippies, with the same all too human of the need to aspire to thier own version of the “American Dream”. . If you seen “Easy Rider”, you’ll want this movie in your collection side-by-side. Once oyu’ve watched this, Like Easy Rider , you’ll find your self in the end sympathizing with the charectors. I feel, just like “Easy Rider”, it is something i’ll want to “Dust off” and pop it in my player, again and a Again, which is why us movie lovers collect movies in the first place! 🙂

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