Little Fauss and Big Halsy
A comedy-drama featuring the exploits of two motorcycle riders, this is one of Redford's lesser known works. Johnny Cash contributed the title song and soundtrack along with Carl Perkins and Bob Dylan. The title song, "The Ballad of Little Fauss and Big Halsy", written by Carl Perkins, was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.
The movie is the story of two motorcycle racers, the inept, unsuspecting Little Fauss (played by Michael J. Pollard) and the opportunistic, womanizing Halsy Knox (played by Robert Redford). Lauren Hutton played the role of Rita Nebraska, a role originally offered to Grace Slick.
Halsy Knox, a professional motorcycle racer, runs into Little Fauss, an amateur racer, after a race held near Phoenix, Arizona. They strike up a friendship as Fauss is attracted to Halsy's carefree lifestyle. Fauss's father, however, regards Halsy as a bad influence on his son and refuses to help Halsy when his truck breaks down. When Halsy arrives later at the motorcycle repair shop where Fauss is employed he tricks the admiring Fauss into repairing his motorcycle for free. Halsy, who has been barred from racing for drinking on the track, proposes that they form a partnership in which Halsy would race under Fauss's name with Fauss serving as the mechanic. Fauss joins Halsy on the motorcycle racing circuit despite his parent's disapproval. Fauss is constantly confronted with his inferiority to Halsy, both on and off the racetrack. Their partnership is finally broken when Rita Nebraska, a drop-out from a wealthy background, arrives at the racetrack and immediately attaches herself to Halsy, despite the attention Fauss pays her. Fauss returns home to his parents after breaking his leg in a motorcycle accident. Several months later, when his leg has healed, Halsy visits him and attempts to ditch Rita, who is now pregnant. Fauss, however, refuses to take her. He informs Halsy that he plans to reenter the racing circuit. The two men race against each other a short time later at the Sears Point International Raceway. Halsy's motorcycle breaks down. As he leaves the track, he hears the announcement that Fauss has taken the lead.
In addition to the above Plot summary, at the Sears Point meeting Fauss tells Halsy that he has been drafted. The difference between these two characters is further defined.
Robert Redford ... Halsy Knox
Michael J. Pollard ... Little Fauss
Lauren Hutton ... Rita Nebraska
Noah Beery, Jr. ... Seally Fauss (billed as Noah Beery)
Lucille Benson ... Mom Fauss
Ray Ballard ... Photographer
Linda Gaye Scott ... Moneth
Erin O'Reilly ... Sylvene McFall
Ben Archibek ... Rick Nifty (billed as Benjamin Archibek)