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      The California Kid

      TV-PG 1974 1h 15m Drama List
      Reviews 74% Audience Score 100+ Ratings A small-town sheriff (Vic Morrow) who runs speeders off the road is challenged by a victim's hot-rod brother (Martin Sheen). Read More Read Less

      Audience Reviews

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      Crom W Fin Small tv-movie, good guy - evil sheriff, plot like the western from the '40 Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/17/23 Full Review christopher c. m The IMBD plot description says, "A deranged desert town sheriff has a murderous habit of forcing speeders to their deaths, until a young man with a souped-up hotrod arrives to possibly end it." But I didn't see that, it's not like Roy drive up next to the speeder and knocks them off a cliff, that never happened. I think either director Richard T. Heffron or writer Richard Compton must be the type that don't believe in speed limits. Plus the 1970s were full of hippies that thinks any law is unjust law that anarchy was the only way to be "free". There was no speed trap. The speed limit is there because of the dangerous turn that claimed his brother's life. But the movie paints the Roy as the villain when he's just doing his job. Hell, this should have been a PSA against speeding considering it was speeding that killed people not a "deranged" sheriff. Pretty car, bad movie. Rated 0.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Excellent movie. It has full character development in a very short time and you feel like you are there with them. Excellent and pure acting! Top names before they were top! And, you are left hanging. Like in the end, I was very surprised. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 01/28/23 Full Review Audience Member Wow, I had this pegged as a much older picture. It was filmed in 1974 (for TV no less!) but it feels exactly like a '50s hot rod drama. Martin Sheen is basically channeling James Dean as a hot rodder seeking justice for his brother, driven off the road by a homicidal policeman as part of a speed trap. Captured here is a lost piece of Americana: the small towns kept alive by the traffic directed along their mountain roads. We get to spend some time here and see the ins and outs of small town life: the way everyone knows each other, the centralness of country diners, the clannishness and nepotism. There's not really much plot here to go around. The brother dies within five minutes. Sheen shows up just after that and immediately has a run-in with that cop. He then chooses to hang around, working on his car and making friends with the locals until the inevitable chase at the very end. Even at only an hour and ten minutes it felt long. Yet somehow it does keep occupied. It's that glacial pacing that left me so sure this was a true '50s film; that and the whole hot rod culture and the vehicles. This feels like the sort of film James Dean would appear in. Aside from such '50s films, what this film reminded me of the most was Duel, which must have come out at around the same time. Also a TV movie, also set on the roads of northern California, also built around a chase... Only that film feels very '70s and more grandiose than its scale should allow. That's largely because it was directed by Stephen Spielberg, whose tight editing and action scenes put the chases here to shame. Still, they're both good films, and if this one's not super ambitious it's still more than capable and captures a lost time in American history very well. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/22/23 Full Review Audience Member Good rotten cop movie, car is great. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/18/23 Full Review Audience Member I love that 34 coupe, the first rod I went gaa gaa over. California Kid is eternal Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/15/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      The California Kid

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      Cast & Crew

      Movie Info

      Synopsis A small-town sheriff (Vic Morrow) who runs speeders off the road is challenged by a victim's hot-rod brother (Martin Sheen).
      Director
      Richard Heffron
      Producer
      Howie Hurwitz
      Rating
      TV-PG
      Genre
      Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Runtime
      1h 15m