Dirty Mary Crazy Larry/Review
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
John Hough's 1974 carsploitation cult classic Dirty Mary Crazy Larry follows the adventures of Larry Rayder (Peter Fonda) an aspiring NASCAR racer whose plan is to pull some small robberies to get enough cash to build a brand spanking new stockcar. His partner in crime also happens to be his best friend and mechanic Deke (Adam Roarke). After holding up a supermarket, Larry's latest fling Mary Coombs (Susan George) becomes the third member of the modern outlaws when she mistakenly decides to tag along after the job goes down. What was supposed to be a simple in and out cash grab, soon turns into a motorized manhunt when police captain Franklin (Vic Morrow) is called in to track down the trio and uses any means necessary to bring them to justice. Larry ditches their junky getaway car for a suped up 1969 Dodge Charger and the situation really picks up speed as the outrageous thrills come fast and furious featuring several high octane car stunts that are some of the best ever caught on film.
Peter Fonda's Larry is a reckless, arrogant wiseass who doesn't stop cracking jokes throughout the entire film. He is constantly ragging on Mary who he treats as a sex object, comically referring to her as "Dingleberry". Meanwhile Roarke's Deke is the faithful friend who is the most level headed and mature of the three as he quietly surveys what's going on around him. The dialogue is certainly a highlight with its brand of pulpy fast banter. The chatter between characters is just as quick as the vehicles they drive.
Dirty Mary Crazy Larry was basically the 70s answer to popular New Hollywood crime films of the late 60s like Bonnie & Clyde and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Peter Fonda who was known for his roles playing fast livin’ rebels in films such as The Wild Angels and Easy Rider fit in perfectly as the lead. Adam Roarke made an excellent co-star since he had been in several rowdy biker classics himself like The Savage Seven, Hells Angels on Wheels, The Losers and Hell's Belles. British actress Susan George starred in Sam Peckinpah’s controversial Straw Dogs a few years prior and in her turn here as a freewheelin' American gal she made a great ball bustin’ foil for Fonda’s loose cannon Larry. This film is a true gem of its time and one of my favorite action movies.
Peter Roberts is the co-founder/editor-in-chief of the Grindhouse Cinema Database (GCDb) and contributor to the GCDb's sister site Furious Cinema. A Massachusetts native, he is an avid film fan that has been immersed in the world of entertainment and pop culture his entire life. He is currently majoring in Communications and Interactive Media Design.