The Sweet Ride
|The Sweet Ride|
|Directed by||Harvey Hart|
|Produced by||Joe Pasternak|
|Screenplay by||Tom Mankiewicz|
|Based on||The Sweet Ride by William Murray|
|Music by||Pete Rugolo|
|Cinematography||Robert B. Hauser|
|Edited by||Philip W. Anderson|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$1.5 million (US/ Canada)|
The Sweet Ride is an 1968 American counter-culture drama with a few surfer/biker exploitation film elements. It stars Tony Franciosa, Michael Sarrazin and Jacqueline Bisset in an early starring role. The film also features Bob Denver in the role of Choo-Choo, a Beatnik piano-playing draft dodger. Sarrazin and Bisset were nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer, Male and Female respectively.
The Sweet Ride was directed by Harvey Hart and written by Tom Mankiewicz, based on a 1967 novel of the same name by William Murray (d. March 2005), a native of New York City, who had moved to southern California in 1966.
The story, told in flashbacks, concerns a middle-aged tennis bum (Franciosa) who shares a beach house with Sarrazin and Denver. Their carefree life becomes complicated, and later turns tragic, after they become involved with a mysterious young woman (Bisset) and a biker gang.
The San Francisco rock and roll band Moby Grape contributed to the soundtrack, and appeared, credited, in the film, performing the song "Never Again" in a Sunset Strip nightclub called the Tarantula. Other famous Sunset Strip locations include Gazzarri's and Scandia, as well as location filming in Malibu, according to reviews of the film.
Dusty Springfield sings "Sweet Ride" over the film's opening credits.
- Tony Franciosa as Collie Ransom
- Michael Sarrazin as Denny McGuire
- Jacqueline Bisset as Vickie Cartwright
- Bob Denver as Choo-Choo Burns
- Michael Wilding as Mr. Cartwright
- Michele Carey as Thumper Stevens
- Lara Lindsay as Martha
- Norma Crane as Mrs. Cartwright
- Percy Rodriguez as Lieutenant Harvey Atkins
- Warren Stevens as Brady Caswell
- Pat Buttram as Texan
- Michael Forest as Barry Green
- Lloyd Gough as Parker
- Stacy King as Big Jane
- Corinna Tsopei as Tennis Girl
- Charles Dierkop as Mr. Clean
- Arthur Franz as Psychiatrist
- Paul Condylis as Sergeant Soloman (uncredited)
- Lou Procopio as Diablo (uncredited)
- Ralph Lee as Scratch (uncredited)
Jacqueline Bisset was cast on the basis of her short appearance in Two for the Road starring Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney. By the time The Sweet Ride was released she had been cast in The Detective starring Frank Sinatra and Bullitt starring Steve McQueen.
Tom Mankiewicz, who wrote the screenplay, later said the problem with the film was "it tried to touch all the bases at once: drama, comedy, porn, dropouts, surfing, true love, a touch of perversion, and the general malaise of 1960s young people. Frankie and Annette it definitely wasn't."
Mankiewicz also says producer Joe Pasternak had suffered a stroke shortly before filming which impacted his effectiveness.
Musical score and soundtrack
|The Sweet Ride|
|Soundtrack album by Pete Rugolo|
|Label||20th Century Fox
|Pete Rugolo chronology|
The score was composed, arranged and conducted by Pete Rugolo except the main title written by Lee Hazlewood and performed by Dusty Springfield with the soundtrack album released on the 20th Century Fox label.
The Allmusic review by Tony Wilds noted: "Rugolo hits many of the same areas that made several Lalo Schifrin soundtracks great, but unlike Schifrin, Rugolo lacks the killer pop instinct. It all sounds like soundtrack music (the average cut is only about two minutes long), and there's nothing here that hadn't been done better elsewhere, earlier.".
All compositions by Pete Rugolo except where noted.
- "Sweet Ride (Main Title)" (Lee Hazlewood) - - 2:02
- "Vicky Meets Danny"- 2:30
- "Collier's Riff" - 1:35
- "Come Bossa With Me" - 1:53
- "Thumper" - 1:20
- "My Name Is Mr. Clean" - 2:09
- "Lost Wages Brash" - 1:50
- "Turn Me On" - 3:08
- "Sock Me Choo Choo (Sweet Ride Theme)" (Lee Hazlewood) - 1:50
- "Bedroom Time" - 3:08
- "Where's The Melody" - 1:00
- "Swing Me Lightly" - 2:31
- Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p255
- "Big Rental Films of 1968", Variety, 8 January 1969 p 15. Please note this figure is a rental accruing to distributors.
- Tom Lisanti, Hollywood Surf and Beach Movies: The First Wave, 1959-1969, McFarland 2005, p343
- Tom Mankiewicz and Robert Crane, My Life as a Mankiewicz, University Press of Kentucky 2012 p 94
- Mankiewicz p 95
- Edwards, D., Eyries, P. and Callahan, M. 20th Century Fox Album Discography, Part 2: TCM 3100/SFX 4100 Series accessed October 6, 2016
- Wilds, Tony. The Sweet Ride (Original Soundtrack) – Review at AllMusic. Retrieved October 6, 2016.