Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Clint Eastwood|
|Produced by||Robert Daly
|Written by||Jo Heims|
|Music by||Michel Legrand|
|Editing by||Ferris Webster|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Release dates||November 18, 1973|
|Running time||108 minutes|
Breezy is a 1973 American romantic drama film, starring William Holden and Kay Lenz. It was written by Jo Heims, and was the third film directed by Clint Eastwood, who can be briefly seen in an uncredited cameo leaning on a pier wearing a white jacket.
Edith Alice "Breezy" Breezerman (Kay Lenz), a free-spirited teenage runaway, wakes up from a one night stand, gets dressed then walks out the door with her guitar. She catches a ride to the valley with a stranger who seems harmless at first, then when he starts to drive in the wrong direction and talks about "giving his last hitchhiker something to yell about", she runs-away and ends up on Frank Harmon's (William Holden) front lawn. Frank is a middle aged divorced man, who lives a solitary life at his post modern home in the hills. As he gets into his car to drive to work, Breezy jumps into his car asking for a ride to the valley. Breezy tells Frank about her the trouble she had this morning with the stranger and the two bond. Eventually Breezy sees a dog lying in the road and makes Frank pull over. Angered by Frank's lack of empathy for the poor animal Breezy becomes angry and then runs off crying. Realizing that the dog is still alive Frank carries the dog back to his car, when he opens the door the back seat Frank sees that Breezy left her guitar in his back seat and becomes angry because of all the trouble she has caused him.
He makes it to his job as a realtor and makes a call to Betty (Dusay), a woman he was going to have lunch with. They stop to look at a house which she says she would be happy in. Then she tells him that she is getting married to another man and would be interested in buying the house. When they sit down for lunch, he tells her he is sad to lose her, but she tells Frank that he is just sad for losing. Later that night Breezy turns up on his doorstep looking for her guitar. He seems annoyed by her presence, but she is persistent about keeping a conversation going. Eventually she manages to tear down the walls between them and he tells her she can stay for a while. She then asks to use his shower, starts to undress in front of him, but he leaves her to take her shower alone. Breezy then comes out to talk to him wearing only a towel. Frank thinking she is trying to use him tells her to put her clothes on and play her games on someone else. Breezy gets angry for Frank thinking she's trying to take advantage of him, so she gets dressed and leaves with her guitar; saying: "I've never woken up in the morning with someone that made me sorry I was there, but I bet you have..."
Frank spends the next day at work thinking about Breezy. He then has dinner with Betty and her new fiancée, but tries to discourage him buying the house he and Betty looked at before. Betty asks to leave in frustration. Later that night the cops show up at his door with Breezy who lied to them and told the police that he was her uncle so she wouldn't have to go to juvenile hall. Frank lies to the police and tells them that she’s his niece. He takes her in, gives her an apple to eat, then reluctantly agrees to take her to see the ocean for the first time. At the beach Frank starts to feel an attraction toward her, then takes her home and puts her to bed. As he tucks her in Breezy tells Frank that she loves him, but he asks if she would like to be loved back; she says she thought she already was.
In the morning, Frank is sad to see that Breezy is gone. Breezy spends the morning with her friends at a coffee shop. When her friend Marcy asks her if she's seeing anyone special Breezy tells her about Frank and says that even though he tries hard to be really rotten, he's really very nice. While Frank plays tennis with his friend Bob, Bob tells him his wife doesn't excite him anymore, but he is afraid to be alone. Frank drives home and is pleasantly surprised to find Breezy there waiting for him. They go inside and when Frank asks Breezy why she left, she tell him: "I didn't want you to wake up and be sorry I was there..." He tells her she can stay the night but that he has to go to a going away party for a friend and should be home around 10:00, but comes back much later after saying goodbye to Betty.
At first it appears that Breezy left because she got tired of waiting for him to come home. Then as he begins to undress in his bedroom he is surprised to find Breezy lying naked in his bed waiting for him, and they make love. The next morning Frank tells Breezy they are spending the day together and it's a surprise what they are doing. Breezy says her parents died when she was young in Pennsylvania, and she came to California alone to start a new life. Frank takes her to see the dog from the side of the road who has made a full recovery. Breezy admits she will love Frank until the day she dies. Frank buys her new clothes, plays with the dog, always being reminded how much older he is then Breezy. Breezy says: "I don't see why people make such a big deal about age? All it proves is that you've been here longer than I have!"
When they go for dinner, they run into his ex-wife who makes him glad she's out of his life. Frank admits he has feelings for her when they spend the day at the ocean. Frank runs into his friend Bob and his wife at the movies. He feels self-conscious about being with such a young woman around his friends. Frank feels good about his life, but Bob makes him feel bad again about dating such a young woman when they see each other again at the gym. Frank watches Breezy with her young friends and feels distant from her. He starts to pull away from her when she makes dinner for them. The relationship breaks when he says he can't cope with the pressure of their large age difference. Breezy says he should keep the dog because she can't afford to take care of it, but don't teach the dog to roll over and play dead, alluding to her image of Frank's own life.
After Breezy is gone, Frank's loneliness comes back and without her he realizes how lost he is. As time goes by Frank finds himself thinking about Breezy and worrying whether or not she is safe? One night he gets a phone call and learns Betty was in a car accident that killed her new husband. She tells him that even though all they really had was one week, took solace in the fact that she told him she loved him and that's all that really matters. Frank revealing how at any moment life could be over he seeks out Breezy again. Frank finds her and being ever the pessimist says that if they're lucky, the relationship might last a year. Breezy then reminds him a year is a long time and life is meant to be lived.
- William Holden as Frank Harmon
- Kay Lenz as Edith Alice 'Breezy' Breezerman
- Roger C. Carmel as Bob Henderson
- Marj Dusay as Betty Tobin
- Joan Hotchkis as Paula Harmon
- Lynn Borden as Harmon's Overnight Date
- Shelley Morrison as Nancy Henderson
- Eugene Peterson as Charlie
Jo Heims wrote the script about a love blossoming between a middle-aged man and a teenage girl. Heims had originally intended Eastwood to play the starring role of the realtor Frank Harmon, a bitter divorced man who falls in love with the young Breezy. Whilst Eastwood confessed to "understanding the Frank Harmon character" he believed he was too young at that stage to play Harmon. That part would go to William Holden, 12 years Eastwood's senior, and Eastwood then decided to direct the picture. Eastwood initially wanted to cast Jo Ann Harris who he had worked with in The Beguiled. After much auditioning, a young dark-haired actress named Kay Lenz, who had recently appeared in American Graffiti, was cast. According to friends of Clint, he became infatuated with Lenz during this period.
Filming for Breezy began in the November of 1972 in Los Angeles and finished five weeks later. With Surtees occupied elsewhere, Frank Stanley was brought in to shoot the picture, the first of four films he would shoot for Malpaso. The film was shot very quickly and efficiently and in the end went $1 million under budget and finished three days before schedule.
Early reviews were unfavorable, which caused the studio to shelve it for a year. It was then released with little marketing. It was not a commercial success, barely reaching the Top 50 before disappearing. Eastwood thought Universal had decided the film was going to fail long before it was released. He said "the public stayed away from it because it wasn't promoted enough, and it was sold in an uninteresting fashion". Some critics, including Eastwood's biographer Richard Schickel, believed that the sexual content of the film and love scenes were too soft to be memorable for such a potentially scandalous relationship between Harmon and Breezy, commenting that, "it is not a sexy movie. Once again, Eastwood was too polite in his eroticism."
Home media release
Breezy did not reach home video until 1998. Universal Pictures released the film to DVD in 2004 with a running time of 106 minutes (NTSC). The film is in widescreen and Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono.
In popular culture
Excerpts from the film are used on the music track "Breezy" (sometimes titled "My Name's Breezy") by French house/alternative group Make the Girl Dance, featured on their 2011 album Everything is Gonna be OK in the End.
- Hughes, Howard (2009). Aim for the Heart. London: I.B. Tauris. ISBN 978-1-84511-902-7.
- McGilligan, Patrick (1999). Clint: The Life and Legend. London: Harper Collins. ISBN 0-00-638354-8.