“Did you know that me and Alan Ladd were exactly the same height?”
Time now to share one of the 70’s great undiscovered films – an undiscovered masterpiece that uses a murder mystery to reveal greater truths about America…
Electra Glide In Blue!
This classic action film is the story of a young highway patrolman who finds himself caught between the past and the new, uneasy future that lies ahead…Now on blu-ray!
Check out the trailer:
Robert Blake is dynamic as a short Arizona motorcycle cop who gets his wish and is promoted to Homicide following the mysterious murder of a hermit.
He is forced to confront his illusions about himself and those around him in order to solve the case…
“Incompetence is the worst form of corruption.”
The name of the movie stems from the Harley-Davidson Electra Glide motorcycle issued to traffic cops.
The movie was filmed in Monument Valley and Fountain Hills, Arizona, in the area around Shea Boulevard and the Beeline Highway (SR 87), which at the time, was undeveloped desert.
The film was entered into the 1973 Cannes Film Festival. Robert Blake was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance and the film garnered a great deal of critical acclaim upon its nationwide release, but wasn’t a hit – now, you can re-discover this classic film…
The “Chicago” Connection!
“Electra Glide In Blue” was produced and directed by James William Guercio – at the time, best known as the producer of rock band Chicago’s first eleven albums. that is why the soundtrack is populated with band members.
Because of Guercio, several members of the band Chicago appear in minor roles, including Peter Cetera, Terry Kath, Lee Loughnane and Walter Parazaider.
Bassist and lead vocalist for the group “Chicago”, Peter Cetera, plays a character named “Bob Zemko”. A real actor who plays a bit part is also in the cast. His actual name was Bob Zemko.
“Electra Glide In Blue” is more than a murder mystery – the film explores the rising tension between “the establishment” and America’s youth, who reject the old ways.
In the film, Blake has several run-ins with old-timers who don’t want him sticking his nose in where it doesn’t belong…
John Wintergreen: “You listen to me, hatchet artist! You’re tampering with evidence and if you put your finger on one more thing in this room, I’m going to bust your ass! That’s right… the officer in charge is talking to you and he’s saying that you’re going to be arrested as an accessory, after the fact, in a murder case!”
Coroner: “Now you listen to me. I have had had a lot of patience with you. You want to be a policeman. You want to stay on the force. Well you just get the hell out of here and get on that motorcycle and start tagging automobiles… ’cause if I hear one more peep out of that goddamn yap of yours, I’m going to see that you get sent to Siberia!”
First time director James William Guercio wanted the great Conrad L. Hall to photograph this film, but it was not in the budget. Guercio reduced his own salary to one dollar so he could secure Hall as the cinematographer. Shots like this show why…
“Electra Glide In Blue” turned out to be the only film that Guercio ever made…which is a shame, as it is a tight thriller with a much larger message to share…
“Electra Glide In Blue” is a great action movie – well acted, a terrific plot, nicely directed, and dealing with more important social issues of the time as well…it is now available on DVD, so check it out!
I mentioned that members of the rock band Chicago were in the film – did you know they also had a hugely popular protest song around this time?
This song is as relevant today as when it was released – see a terrific live performance and all fo the lyrics to this anti-war song by clicking on my story here:
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