Little Fauss and Big Halsy
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|Little Fauss and Big Halsy|
|Directed by||Sidney J. Furie|
|Produced by||Albert S. Ruddy|
|Written by||Charles K. Eastman|
Michael J. Pollard
Linda Gaye Scott
|Edited by||Argyle Nelson, Jr.|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
Little Fauss and Big Halsy is a 1970 American comedy-drama film directed by Sidney J. Furie, starring Robert Redford and Michael J. Pollard, also featuring Lauren Hutton, Noah Beery, Jr. and Lucille Benson.
The film concerns the exploits of two motorcycle riders, and is one of Redford's relatively unsuccessful films and is therefore lesser known than his other works. Johnny Cash contributed the title song and other parts of the soundtrack, which also features both Carl Perkins and Bob Dylan. The title song, "The Ballad of Little Fauss and Big Halsy", written by Perkins, was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.
The main characters are the inept, unsuspecting Little Fauss (Pollard), and the opportunistic, womanizing Halsy Knox (Redford). Hutton played the supporting role of Rita Nebraska, a role originally offered to Grace Slick.
Halsy Knox, a professional dirt bike 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. However, Fauss's father 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.
When Fauss breaks his leg in a desert race, Halsy, who has been barred from racing due to drinking at 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 parents' 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 to find his father has died. Several months later, 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. The story is human variation on the children's fable of the plodding turtle beating the swift, but cocky rabbit in a race due to character, not talent.
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)