Electra Glide in Blue - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Electra Glide in Blue Reviews

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May 17, 2016
I was at home in my living room a few weeks back, watching a film, as fairly usual. I'd seen the film before, so I wasn't paying it full attention. In fact, when my uncle Eric came in and started a conversation about his favourite movies, it was rather welcome, and infinitely more interesting.

Through the course of our very enjoyable chat, I discovered that Eric and I share a taste in movies. He said his favourites were Grease (which, it's impossible not to love); Pulp Fiction (well, obviously); Hairspray (the original, understandably, because it's genius); Every Home Should Have One (the Marty Feldman comedy); and Electra Glide In Blue.

Now, of course, I'd heard of it, but I'd never seen Electra Glide In Blue. As luck would have it, very soon after the chat with my uncle, I was looking though the programme guide, trying to find something interesting to watch, when - would you Adam n' Eve it? - there it was, about to start! Of course, I settled down to watch.

I found the movie pretty good. The plot's thin as a cigarette paper, and some character development, especially of the protagonist, is a bit befuddling. He's shown as a good, empathic cop one minute, and the next, he lets his colleague get away with doing something that he finds morally wrong. I don't get that. This flip-flopping personality trait does have a point, but it's clumsily done.

The movie's shortcomings don't really matter, though. The way I see it, the piece is a contemplation of disillusionment and unfulfilled potential, which is rather a depressing thought, but that's nothing compared to the pay-off to the main character's earlier moral unevenness, which is thoroughly cynical and bleak.
May 7, 2016
A little uneven in terms of character development and paper-thin in terms of plot, but pretty good as an exploration of fulfillment and disillusionment.
August 25, 2015
Before this James William Guercio produced the albums of Chicago and many thought he should have continued doing just that. The film is beautifully shot and Robert Blake gives a fine performance but I know that when I exited the theater I thought it was more of an ad for Harley Davidson, first and foremost. Often grouped in with the far superior American Graffiti, Badlands and Mean Streets.
May 14, 2015
One of the best Harley Davidson or crime dramas of the early 1970's All current bike cops love it.
June 11, 2014
I'm gonna do for you, in six weeks, what it took someone six months to do for me: nothin'.
½ November 30, 2013
Frustratingly uneven.
June 23, 2013
Minimalist but Effective Character Piece
April 12, 2013
The shots were spot on for the most part, but besides that, there's nothing else about the movie that is worthwhile... That is of course if you discount the amount of classic babes in the movie.
Super Reviewer
December 11, 2012
recommended by a trusted colleague
August 28, 2012
A good Road Movie, with themes of honesty, integrity and duty--A Cult Cop Movie!!
May 16, 2012
Robert Blake as a motorcycle cop vs. Chicago (yes, "If You Leave Me Now" Chicago) armed with shotguns. Altho the story is interesting, it's also needlessly confusing. Watch it anyway for the cast!
½ April 27, 2012
A cult classic! A must see if you liked Robert Blake in "Baretta"!
December 7, 2011
Ain't no Dirty Harry :)
½ November 16, 2011
I can see all of the reasons that this is considered a classic, but as with many films from it's time period it has aged badly.

Beautifully directed with a solid perfomance from it's acting talent, it's the dialogue that occasionally lets it down, sometimes coming across as quite primitive compared to it's otherwise high feeling production quality. Is also akward to the point of being unbearable at times, but then that's what Guercio wanted us to feel.
½ October 13, 2011
Electra Glide in Blue is a film I saw when I was a kid that always stuck in my mind.

The story is about Vietnam Vet Johnny Wintergreen (Robert Blake), a motorcycle cop, who spends his days patrolling the roads of rural Arizona on his Harley Davidson Electra Glide. Wintergreen is a good cop who does things by the book and this is shown when he refuses to let off a fellow cop for speeding. However, unlike his lazy partner "Zipper", who spends as much time as he can reading comic books in the shade, Wintergreen has ambition and wants to be promoted to the Homicide Squad. He gets his chance to get his foot in the door when he comes across an apparent case of suicide. Unlike the coroner, Wintergreen is convinced that it's a murder. Later on detective Harve Poole from the Homicide Squad arrives and agrees with Wintergreen. He calls for an autopsy. The autopsy confirms Wintergreen's hunch, so Poole invites Wintergreen to be his driver and assist him with the murder investigation. Initially Wintergreen is ecstatic at what he sees as a life changing opportunity, but he gradually becomes disillusioned by the corrupt methods and flawed personality of Poole.

Although the film revolves around a murder investigation it's predominantly a character piece. But the story still crackles along a good pace and there aren't any flat spots.

The cinematography was a feature with the exterior scenes being shot like a western with plenty of coloured saturated shots of the Arizona desert and rolling clouds etc. The interior shots looked more 70s experimental. The soundtrack was also very solid which should be no surprise as director James William Guercio was a musician and a producer by trade(he produced Chicago's first seven albums) But what is surprising is that this is the only film Guerico ever made. He must have decided to focus on his music.

Apparently the film received a very hostile reaction at the 1973 Canne Film Festival with some people branding it fascist. I've also heard it described as conservative America's response to Easy Rider and there's one amusing scene where Wintergreen is using an Easy Rider poster for target practice.
Personally I didn't find it fascist and apparently the film was fairly well received upon its wider release.

If you enjoy classic films from the 70s you'll enjoy this. Also, lookout for the the final shot of the final scene, it's a beauty and one that'll stick with you.
½ October 3, 2011
An odd little 70s movie and Guercio's only directorial effort. It takes the outsider cinema of the 70s movie brats, but gives it an authoritarian spin, with the main character not being a hippy or a liberal rebel but a by the book motorbike cop. Blake's cop wants to be a detective and get out of the boredom of desert patrols, but a short opportunity to prove himself ends quickly after a woman comes between him and his mentor. Conrad Hall's cinematography is stunningly good, notably a seemingly endless final track out shot. Wintergreen may be the opposite sort of character than those in Easy Rider etc but still shows the same spirit and is an interesting addition to 70s American cinema.
August 24, 2011
A good film. While these 70s US indies films tend to make outsiders or counter-authority as protagonists (like Easy Rider), this film sets a traffic cop as the hero. It is a rare film in that way, but still, it has common atmosphere (nihilistic, philosophical, rebellious, etc) to those films. The hero of the film is described as a man before a cop - he is tired of his job and cannot find any meaning in his life. He, a sensitive man, tries to be good and not to hurt people, but things don't go as he wishes. It is completely out of typical depiction of cop in Hollywood films (tough, manly, violent, strong...), but the character is more sympathetic and realistic (and I like it). Stunning performance by Robert Blake.
August 16, 2011
You're not a Real motorcop until you've seen this movie!
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