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Film / Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry

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Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry is a 1974 American action film directed by John Hough, starring Peter Fonda, Susan George, Adam Roarke, and Vic Morrow.

NASCAR driver hopeful Larry Rayder (Fonda) and his mechanic Deke Sommers (Roarke) successfully pull off a heist to finance their jump into big-time auto racing. In making their escape, they are confronted by Larry's one-night stand, Mary Coombs (George), who coerces them to take her along for the ride, while evading Captain Everett Franklin (Morrow) and his troopers.

This film features examples of:

  • The '70s: Where to start? Hairs, clothes, music... You name it, you have it.
  • Badass Driver: Larry. He hopes to get into NASCAR, after all, and pulls quite the stunts while being chased by Captain Franklin. Too bad about the train at the end, though.
  • Car Fu: A few notable scenes of cars being used as weapons in the second half of the movie, both from Larry and the police cruisers.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Between Larry and Mary, as they are driving at high speed on a country lane while a police cruiser is trying to ram them off the road.
    Larry: He wants to play!
    Mary: I think someone's knocking on the door...
    Larry: Yeah, well I'm gonna open it.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Larry.
  • Cool Car: Larry and Deke's souped-up 1966 Chevrolet Impala. Then they later ditch the Impala for the film's best-remembered car, a lime green 1969 Dodge Charger R/T 440. Both cars are able to easily outrun Captain Franklin's patrols.
  • Determinator: Franklin is not giving up anytime soon. He even orders his pilot to land the helicopter on the car he's pursuing.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Discussed when Capt. Franklin is berated for not wearing his sidearm.
  • Farmer's Daughter: Downplayed with Mary, who is not as naive as some would assume.
  • The Film of the Book: A rather loose adaptation of Richard Unekis' 1963 novel The Chase.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The three main characters have all shades of this; coarse as they may be, they still care for each other.
  • Man Bites Man: Mary does NOT like to be fondled, and responds to her offender by biting him.
  • Mr. Fixit: Deke is Larry's competent mechanic.
  • Nothing Can Stop Us Now!: Larry says this at the end of the film and he really should have known better since he and his cohorts get killed after hitting a train straight after.
  • Only Sane Man: As the film goes on Deke seems to be the only level-headed member of the trio.
  • Pet the Dog: Deke reassures the two hostages whom he seized a few minutes earlier flatly stating that no harm will come to them.
  • Police Are Useless: Zigzagged. The cops seem to be fairly competent and a couple of times are on the brink of apprehending the trio. Larry is just better (and luckier).
  • Reality Has No Soundtrack: Apart from the credits theme and a small amount of music heard over the radio, the film contains no incidental music.
  • The Sheriff: Captain Everett Franklin, who in his pursuit of Larry and company comes off as a (slightly) more serious Buford T. Justice.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The film is all about Larry and co. trying to evade the police, only to, when they finally appear to do so, meet their end when they randomly collide with a freight train.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Adam Roarke is absent from the TV trailer. Downplayed in the case of Vic Morrow who appears but is not mentioned.
  • Sudden Downer Ending: At the end of the film, Larry and company appear to have beaten the police, only to meet their end when they randomly collide with a freight train. Alternately, one could see the main characters as villainous protagonists and their fate the result of well-earned karma due to their reckless driving.
  • Villain Protagonist: The audience follows Larry and Deke, who after all committed a heist, and spend most of the movie doing reckless driving and endangering others.