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“Speed’s expensive…How fast you wanna go?”

August 28, 2010

Tuesday August 31st, 8pm

Arlo & Esme 42 E. 1st street (between 1st & 2nd ave)

Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry (1974)

Larry: “Nice ‘lil town”

Deke: “Any town’s a nice ‘lil town, when you nail a broad”

“Hi, Asshole”

After a one night stand, amateur race car driver and Nascar hopeful, Larry (Peter Fonda) leaves a sleeping Mary in bed, and heads out to pull of a heist with washed up race car mechanic, Deke. While Deke holds a supermarket manager’s (Roddy McDowell) wife and daughter hostage, Larry collects the $150,000 in cash from the supermarket safe.

“Ok Miss Mary, have it your way, but any time you want out, you just holler”

The plan goes off without a hitch, until Larry returns to the escape car, a 1967 Chevy Impala, to find Mary sprawled in the front seat. Having followed him to the scene of the crime in her grandaddy’s 1947 Chevy 3100 pickup, Mary refuses to give back the keys, unless they let her come along for the ride.

“Alright so I didn’t say goodbye…I had a robbery to pull off, woman!”

On the road the trio bicker relentlessly. Mary’s all over Larry, but pissed that he slept with her and then bailed. Larry rags on Mary in a painful yet entertaining grade school crush sort of way, and Deke just wants her gone.

“Yea, ok so we’re off to a bad start…Know what a bad start means to a guy like me…Not a god damned thing!”

On the road, they try to get rid of Mary, but every time they end up needing to take her back. She gets pissed and walks, but Deke needs her help as a third to fix the car. Then they try to ditch her at a road stop but she knew to take their getaway map with her as collateral, and they soon return to pick her up.

“You get over to Steve’s and pick up that Interceptor”

Captain Everett Franklin (Vic Morrow), an odd ball cop with long hair, and a problem with authority, who refuses to wear a gun or badge, takes the heist and escape personally. He obsessively sets out to capture the trio in a dragnet, calling in a souped up police interceptor, and a Bell JetRanger helicopter to track the convicts.

“Car 13 out of commission”

Questioned at every turn by the sheriff, only Franklin seems to know how Larry thinks, and tries to use his race driver mentality against him, only to find his patrol cars woefully inadequate to catch Larry, Mary and Deke after they switch from the Impala to a souped up 1969 Dodge Charger.

“He’s crazy Deke, crazier than I am!”

Utilizing the 2 way radio, Captain Franklin sends confusing roadblock instructions, sending the Charger into a tail spin as it tries to evade the cop’s plan…Franklin knows the only way to beat Larry is to make him out drive himself, as no one else is a match for him.

“Remember Robert Mitchum at Thunder Road…I’m gonna powder his face!”

Having crashed the Interceptor, and run the copter out of gas, it’s just the charger and the outlaws on the wide, open road. Larry and Deke congratulate themselves on the heist and plan for their return to the race circuit. It finally looks like they made it. Mary, for the first time gets a contented look on her face as she comments to herself, “you know what? I think I’m ready to unload”….

….Just then…WHAM…The Charger slams into a passing freight train and goes up in flames.

Check out all the cars from the film HERE

See hundreds of images from the film HERE

Back story:

“Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry” is based on the novel originally titled “The Chase” (later renamed “Pursuit”) by Richard Unekis, and published in 1963. The story incorporated a phenomenon that was relatively new in 1963: major auto manufacturers were putting powerful V-8 engines into mid-sized cars (the dawn of the “muscle car” era), and young thieves behind the wheel of these cars were now able to out run the economy 6-cylinder sedans driven by police in many jurisdictions. The protagonists of “The Chase” used such a vehicle, a Chevrolet, and made use of the checkerboard of roads in the farm country of Illinois to outrun the police. – wikipedia

Stranger than fiction:

In the late 50’s, My father, Comic Book writer, and real life Legal Aid super hero, Bill Mantlo was taken hostage in a heist almost identical to this film’s plot. My grandfather William Mantlo worked as a bank manager in Long Island and was met one morning at the bank by a man who said he had my Grandmother Nancy, and their 3 boys, Arthur, Mike and Bill held hostage at gunpoint at their home near by. My grandfather of course complied with the robber, and my grandmother was let go. My father and uncles, just young boys at the time, knew nothing of the incident as they were upstairs asleep. I looked high and low for the newspaper article of this that I’ve had forever, with no luck….details to follow when I find it in the archives.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. Lydia permalink
    September 9, 2010 4:47 PM

    I’ve stumbled across your blog in search of Up At Lou’s Fish. I’ve searched all over for a full length copy of the film but haven’t been able to track one down. Is it available for purchase? If so, I’m very interested in obtaining a copy. I’d really love to watch this documentary.

    Thanks for your time!


    • January 4, 2011 11:43 AM

      so sorry for the delay. Yes, Up at Lou’s Fish is my film. Id be happy to get you a copy. We’re out at the moment but will be making more copies shortly. I’ll be in touch.



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