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Film / Corvette Summer

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Corvette Summer is a 1978 American adventure comedy film. Car-obsessed teenager Kenny Dantley (Mark Hamill) helps build a customized Corvette Stingray for his auto shop class project, but the car is stolen almost as soon as it's finished. Kenny hitchhikes to Las Vegas, where he hears the car has been spotted. Along the way he meets Vanessa (Annie Potts), a runaway and self-described prostitute-in-training, who helps him search for the stolen car.

Corvette Summer contains examples of:

  • 555: The escort service Vanessa briefly works for uses this.
  • Book Dumb: Kenny doesn't care about most of his classes. He gets a D-minus on one exam.
  • Bringing Running Shoes to a Car Chase: Kenny spots the Corvette on several occasions while working in Las Vegas, but his attempts at chasing after it on foot aren't very successful.
  • Chain Pain: When Kenny escapes the car thieves, one of them attacks him with a chain.
  • Cool Car: The Corvette.
  • Diegetic Switch: The background music that plays during Kenny's attempts at hitchhiking is the music Annie is listening to on headphones when she picks him up.
  • Down in the Dumps: The movie opens in a junkyard as the students look for a car to fix up for their auto shop project.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: When one of the car thieves gets in a freeway accident, his car horn starts blaring. He shoots the car, causing it to explode, just to get the horn to stop.
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  • Fakeout Escape: When Kenny's locked in a supply closet by the car thieves, he escapes by smashing a window and hiding in a barrel of oil.
  • Foreshadowing: Early in the movie, Kenny's shop teacher Ed McGrath (Eugene Roche) tells him, "They're mechanical devices. They always let you down. You buy them, you drive them, you break them, you fix them, you sell them. Goods in the marketplace. Easy come, easy go. Don't get too attached to this car." It turns out McGrath stole the car to pay the mortgage and was trying to stop Kenny from getting too upset about it.
  • A Glass in the Hand: Kenny crushes the styrofoam Coca-Cola cup he's holding while he yells at his classmate Kootz (Danny Bonaduce) for letting the Corvette get stolen.
  • Kids Driving Cars: Kenny learned to drive when he was nine and was racing cars by age thirteen.
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  • Lives in a Van: Vanessa lives in a van with her name painted on the side and a waterbed in the back.
  • Punk in the Trunk: After Kenny escapes from the car thieves, the people who drive him back to Vanessa make him ride in the trunk so he doesn't get oil all over the interior.
  • Sex for Services: Vanessa says the work on her van was done "in exchange for services rendered." When Kenny asks, "What kind of services?" she says, "You know what I mean."
  • Voiceover Letter: Kenny writes to McGrath about his progress in tracking down his car.


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