92 In The Shade (1975)
Once a month Nitehawk Cinema hosts The Deuce, a 35mm film series devoted to showing films that were shown on 42nd Street in Times Square during its heyday. This is the 34th showing in that series, and they were very lucky to get a near impossible to find print of this very rare movie.
92 In The Shade stars Peter Fonda, Warren Oates, Harry Dean Stanton, Margot Kidder, Burgess Meredith, Louise Latham, Joe Spinell, and Sylvia Miles. It is one of those laid back 70s movies that could only have been made during this era. After Easy Rider became a huge hit, many movies were made with the thought that they might be able to have similar success. Many counterculture movies, no matter how odd, were made, and many have been mostly forgotten. This is one that has been out of circulation for many years, originally it was available on VHS, but there has been no proper DVD, although one is just about to come out any day now.
The story is based on a book by Thomas McGuane, who also was allowed to direct this film. He has written the screenplay or the novel for 7 full length movies, but this was the only directing job for him, to no surprise. The plot of the movie revolves around some guys who work in the Florida Keys as fishing guides in their small boats. These are small motorized boats which can take out a few people at most, for a day of fishing. Harry Dean Stanton and Warren Oates are the two main guys, and Peter Fonda wants to join their ranks and try his hand at the job. They of course do not want him to as there is not that many customers to go around, and they do not want to share their portion of the pie with a younger less jaded newcomer.
The older guys play a prank on the younger guy, who retaliates in what seems to be an overly aggressive way. After that, Oates says he will shoot Fonda if he tries to be a fishing guide. Most of the rest of the movie revolves around the will he or won't he shoot him idea. There are some subplots involving Margot Kidder as Fonda's boyfriend, Burgess Meredith as his grandfather, Harry Dean Stanton's wife and her shopping obsession, and a bit more as well. Keep an eye out for Joe Spinell (of Maniac fame) as the customer near the end of the film.
The movie is a haphazard lazy feeling kind of movie, not just due to the heat, but the directing and plot as well. It can be funny at times, especially when Burgess Meredith is on the screen, and the guy who plays Fonda's dad is pretty amusing as well. Margot Kidder looks pretty damned good, as do her boobs which never see a bra in this whole movie.
All in all this is not a bad movie by any means, it's just not a good movie either. It was enjoyable enough, especially to see a young Harry Dean Stanton and the great Warren Oates. Did I mention Margot Kidder's braless boobs? If you get the DVD you get both endings, as they filmed an alternate ending for some reason, though I am a bit skeptical on the reasons for it. I would love to know the full story of that.
7 out of 10 stars.