Here’s the last disc in the first half (more or less) of this TV-movie megapack. Three war-related movies and the making of a revolutionary!
Coach of the Year, 1980, color, Don Medford (dir.), Robert Conrad, Erin Gray. 1:36 [1:34, jacket time 2:00].
Chicago Bears star comes home from Vietnam partially paralyzed; Bears want to hire him, but as a PR person, not a coach. Meanwhile, his nephew gets sent to juvenile hall for one of many offensesâ€”and, visiting him, the old football player offers to coach the juvies. Naturally, after getting clobbered when he challenges a hotshot local high school team, his team comes back to win in a rematch. ClichÃ© city, with Robert Conrad mostly being angry. Not quite as bad as the worst IMDB user reviews, itâ€™s still mostly a rehash of a rehash of a done-to-death plotâ€¦ Decent print, no special virtues. $0.50.
Wake Me Up When the Warâ€™s Over, 1969, color, Gene Nelson (dir.), Ken Berry, Eva Gabor, Werner Klemperer, Hans Conried, Jim Backus, Danielle De Metz. 1:14.
This oneâ€™s a charmer. Berryâ€™s an American officer who falls out of a plane (heâ€™s supposed to be throwing out propaganda leaflets) over German-occupied territory. He lands in a young widow Baronessâ€™s (Gabor) estate. She hides him and takes advantage of the situation (ahem)â€¦and continues to hide him for five years after the end of World War II, hiring local ex-Nazis to come once a week and tromp around looking for him. When he finally escapes, still not knowing the warâ€™s over (and, after five years, not speaking a word of German), he causes a certain amount of havoc before, of course, Everything Turns Out Fine. Fluff, but well-done fluff, with a first-rate TV-level cast. $1.25.
Katherine, 1975, color, Jeremy Kagan (dir.), Sissy Spacek, Art Carney, Henry Winkler, Julie Kavner, Jane Wyatt. 1:37.
Apparently based on the life of Diana Oughton, an upper-middle-class young woman turned Weatherman. Portions are characters talking directly to the audience about their motivations; the rest is Spacek going from Peace Corps-style reformer to agitator to underground Weathermen-style radical. Carney and Wyatt play her wealthy parents. Winkler, in the most sinister role Iâ€™ve seen, plays her revolutionary lover. Everything most definitely does not turn out fine. Good songs from the period. So-so print and sound quality. Well acted for the most part, dramatic, could work as a modest theatrical picture (with a big cast); Iâ€™d give it a higher price if the transfer quality was better. $1.
The Ballad of Andy Crocker, 1969, color, George McGowan (dir.), Lee Majors, Joey Heatherton, Jimmy Dean, Bobby Hatfield, Marvin Gaye, Agnes Moorehead, Pat Hingle. 1:14 [Jacket time 1:30].
With a cast like that, how can you go wrong? Turns out itâ€™s easy when thereâ€™s no worthwhile plot and the hero loses our sympathy ten minutes into the movie. Majors, a grade-school dropout from Texas who lives for racing motorcycles on weekends and repairing them during the week, gets injured just enough in Vietnam to come home with a medal. First night out in LA, a hippie chick takes him to a pad shared by several couples. They donâ€™t spit on him or anything like that, but eventually make it clear that heâ€™d be better off elsewhere. So the vetâ€”the apparent hero of this storyâ€”steals a motorcycle from one of the hippies and drives home to Texas, where he finds that everythingâ€™s a mess. His girlfriendâ€™s married (and pregnant, but still Joey Heatherton using the talents for which sheâ€™s best known). His motorcycle/race track â€œbusinessâ€ (co-owned with Jimmy Dean) is in ruins (and Dean winds up selling it out from under him). His farmer father (Hingle) is reduced to driving trucks. Marvin Gayeâ€™s in there somewhere, as an Army buddy now in Oakland, maybe in five minutes of the flick. Lots of good old boys offer help, but the vetâ€™s only interest is reviving that worthless business. The vet winds up beating up his partner, trashing the stolen cycle after a long chase with cops, somehow getting to Oaklandâ€¦and the movie ends with him waiting for the Army recruitment office to open. What a waste of talented players. Generally good video and sound quality. $0.50.