There's Always Vanilla

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There's Always Vanilla
There's Always Vanilla.gif
Title Screen
Directed by George A. Romero
Produced by John A. Russo
Russell Streiner
Written by Rudy Ricci
Starring Raymond Laine
Judith Ridley
Johanna Lawrence
Music by Jim Drake
Steve Gorn
Mike Marracino
Cinematography George A. Romero
Edited by George A. Romero
Distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment
Release dates
  • December 1971 (1971-12)
Running time 93 minutes
Language English
Budget $70,000 USD estimated

There's Always Vanilla is a 1971 film and was director George A. Romero's second motion picture and, as of 2013, his only romantic comedy.[1]

It is one of the few Romero films that does not deal with a zombie apocalypse or other supernatural horror themes. It was released on DVD from Something Weird Video and in the Anchor Bay Entertainment DVD release of Season of the Witch. The film has also been circulated under an alternative title, The Affair.

Romero himself has stated that he considers this film to be his worst, and has referred to this film as "a total mess". Like many of Romero's earlier films, he cites the reason as undercapitalization.

Plot[edit]

There's Always Vanilla follows the life of Chris Bradley (Raymond Laine) a retired U.S. Army soldier who has become a drifter and makes money by various means, from pimping to guitar playing. Chris returns to his home city of Pittsburgh and visits his father who owns and operates a baby food factory. After an evening of drinking at a local bar, and visiting an old girlfriend named Terri Terrific (Johanna Lawrence), Mr. Bradley wants Chris to abandon his bohmeian lifestyle and do what was agreed upon when he retired from the military; return to the family business, but Chris refuses.

At a local train station, Chris meets Lynn (Judith Ridley billed as Judith Streiner) a beautiful young woman who works as a model and actress in local TV commercials. Chris charms his way into Lynn's life and moves in with her. At first their relationship is a pleasant escape from daily life, but when Lynn starts to resent supporting the freeloading Chris, she motivates him into getting a steady job. Lynn learns that she's pregnant and, knowing how irresponsible he is, decides to get an abortion without telling Chris.

Chris lands a job at a small advertising firm but when he's given an account to advertise enlistments for the U.S. Army, he quits out of his resentment of military past. Meanwhile, Lynn cannot bring herself to have an abortion, she abandons Chris, and moves in with a high school boyfriend who agrees to marry her and raise the baby as his own. His romance with Lynn ruined and his lifestyle destroyed, Chris swallows his pride and moves back in with his father, still unable to decide what to do with his life, but believing he ultimately must accept the old values like his father has. Chris has more encouragement after a talk at dinner at a Howard Johnson's with his father where he tells Chris life is like an ice cream parlor, and that of all of life's most exotic flavors to choose from, there's always vanilla to fall back on.

References[edit]

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