Drive, He Said

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Drive, He Said
Drive he said.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jack Nicholson
Produced by Steve Blauner
Jack Nicholson
Written by Jeremy Larner
Jack Nicholson
Terrence Malick (uncredited)
Starring William Tepper
Karen Black
Bruce Dern
Robert Towne
Henry Jaglom
Music by David Shire
Cinematography Bill Butler
Edited by Donn Cambern
Christopher Holmes
Pat Somerset
Robert L. Wolfe
BBS Productions
Drive Productions Inc.
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release dates
United States June 13, 1971
Sweden June 30, 1971
Finland July 24, 1971
Running time
90 mins
Country United States
Language English
Budget $800,000

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[1]), 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.


Critical reception[edit]

The film was entered into the 1971 Cannes Film Festival.[2]

Contemporary reviews of the film were mixed. Steven Scheuer found the film "utterly downbeat, and unfortunately dated". [3] 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.[4]

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".[5] 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.[6]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Drive, He Said". Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  3. ^ Scheuer, 1990: 294
  4. ^ Ebert, 1972
  5. ^ Maltin, 1991: 325
  6. ^ Canby, 1971


External links[edit]