Drive, He Said
|Drive, He Said|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jack Nicholson|
|Produced by||Steve Blauner
|Written by||Jeremy Larner
Terrence Malick (uncredited)
|Music by||David Shire|
|Edited by||Donn Cambern
Robert L. Wolfe
Drive Productions Inc.
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
| June 13, 1971
June 30, 1971
July 24, 1971
Drive, He Said (1971) is an American motion picture released by Columbia Pictures, based upon the 1964 novel of the same title by Jeremy Larner. The film is mainly notable as the first directorial effort of Jack Nicholson after his success as an actor in Easy Rider (1969) and Five Easy Pieces (1970).
It stars Karen Black, Bruce Dern, and regular Nicholson collaborators Robert Towne and Henry Jaglom in leading roles. Towne and Jaglom are better known as screenwriter and director, respectively. Familiar faces such as David Ogden Stiers and Cindy Williams were also featured in small supporting roles. It was filmed on the campus of the University of Oregon and other locations in Eugene, Oregon.
The film is an examination of libidinous basketball star Hector Bloom (William Tepper), and contrasts his sporting prowess on the court to his bedroom antics. Most notably, Hector has an affair with his favorite professor's wife Olive (Karen Black) that goes nowhere. This, and many other events, occur within a heated early 1970s backdrop of university politics, sporting hijinx, and anti-war sentiments.
- William Tepper as Hector
- Karen Black as Olive
- Michael Margotta as Gabriel
- Bruce Dern as Coach Bullion
- Robert Towne as Richard
- Henry Jaglom as Conrad
- Michael Warren as Easly
- June Fairchild as Sylvie
- Don Hanmer as Director of Athletics
- Lynette Bernay as Dance Instructor
- Joseph Walsh as First Announcer
- Harry Gittes as Second Announcer
- Charles Robinson as Jollop
- Bill Sweek as Finnegan
- David Ogden Stiers as Pro Owner
- B.J. Merholz as Pro Lawyer
- I.J. Jefferson as Secretary
- Kenneth Payne as President Wallop
- Cathy Bradford as Rosemary
- Eric Johnson as Private First Class Johnson
Contemporary reviews of the film were mixed. Steven Scheuer found the film "utterly downbeat, and unfortunately dated".  Roger Ebert found the film "disorganized", but also said it was "occasionally brilliant" with the performances being "the best thing in the movie", including the "laconic charm" of Tepper.
In contrast, Leonard Maltin found the film "confusing", and while he also praised the acting performances, he found that the film "loses itself in its attempt to cover all the bases". Vincent Canby was complimentary when he lauded the film as being "so much better than all of the rest of the campus junk Hollywood has manufactured in the last couple of years" but felt that the lead male performance was a let-down for the film as a whole.
- Canby, Vincent (1971) Nicholson's Drive, He Said, The New York Times, June 14, 1971. (accessed 9 January 2008).
- Ebert, Roger (1972) Drive, He Said, Chicago Sun-Times, January 1, 1972. (accessed 9 January 2008).
- Maltin, Leonard (1991) Leonard Maltin's Movie and Video Guide 1992, Signet, New York.
- Scheuer, Steven H. (1990) Movies on TV and Videocassette, Bamtam Books, New York.