By the 1970s, both Jane and Peter Fonda had emerged from the rather formidable shadow cast by their father Henry,
and both had achieved a certain iconic status as leading members of the counterculture. Peter of course had become
an instant exemplar of the so-called "youth movement" when he co-wrote, produced and starred in 1969's Easy Rider, a film which many attribute as
jump starting the Independent Era which would soon flourish in Hollywood and help put yet another nail in the coffin of
the big studios. Jane had already started making waves with various activist causes in a number of social issues,
including Civil Rights and, a bit later, the brief Native American occupation of Alcatraz. But shortly after Easy
Rider stormed the beaches of American cinema, Jane became probably the most notable celebrity to regularly voice
anti-Vietnam sentiment, including her infamous trip to North Vietnam that resulted in the "Hanoi Jane" soubriquet which
still follows her around in certain right leaning circles. What's kind of ironic about all of this is that both of the
Fonda children actually started their screen careers rather traditionally. Both Fondas got some training on the stage
before matriculating to the silver screen, but in the early 1960s at least, both of them essayed roles that probably any
young actor or actress would have played. Jane, while showing her range in such early pieces as Walk on the Wild
Side, was just as often a glamour girl or "nice" girlfriend type, while Peter was a surprisingly bland leading man in
such fare as Tammy and the Doctor. But there must be an almost genetic political streak in the Fonda bloodline;
many people either don't know or don't remember that Henry himself was a vocal supporter of Democratic candidates
and office holders through the years. And with success (and in Jane's case at least, an Oscar for 1971's Klute)
at hand, both Fondas could pretty much set their own course in the 1970s. Which brings us to the rather odd pairing of
two Peter Fonda films in this Shout! Factory release.
For complete reviews of the films included on this two-fer, please see the individual listings:
This is a fun, if odd, little two-fer that offers a double dip of Peter Fonda in two completely different films. Dirty Mary,
Crazy Larry is the lesser of these two outings, but it's hugely entertaining if taken on its own relatively unambitious
terms. Race With the Devil is rather unexpectedly scary and deserves to be better known than it generally is.
Shout! Factory has done a great job all around with this release and it comes Recommended.
For the week of May 28th, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is bringing Joseph Mankiewicz and Darryl Zanuck's Cleopatra to Blu-ray. This historical epic about the iconic Egyptian queen was, for a time, the most expensive film ever made. In 1963, it cost ...
Dirty Mary Crazy Larry / Race with the Devil Blu-ray, Forum Discussions