SECOND-HAND HEARTS (director: Hal Ashby; screenwriter: Charles Eastman; cinematographer: Haskell Wexler; editor: Amy Jones; music: Willis Alan Ramsey; cast: Robert Blake (Loyal Muke), Barbara Harris (Dinette Dusty), Collin Boone (Human Dusty), Amber Rose Gold(Iota), Jessica Stansbury and Erica Stansbury (Sandra Dee), Bert Remsen (Voyd), Sondra Blake (Ermy), Shirley Stoler(Maxy), Woodrow Chambliss (Deaf Attendant), Gwen Van Dam (Waitress); Runtime: 102; MPAA Rating: PG; producer: James Guercio; Paramount Pictures; 1981)
“Disappointing quirky comical country love story.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Hal Ashby(“Being There”/”The Last Detail”) directs this disappointing quirky comical country love story from a screenplay by Charles Eastman. It’s one of the talented directors poorer films, supposedly done while he was on drugs and acting strange.
Aspiring actress Dinette Dusty (Barbara Harris) is a hard-luck recently widowed waitress who marries the loser just fired car wash worker Loyal Muke (Robert Blake) when both are drunk. Once wed, they leave Texas in a run-down station wagon for California with her three children living with her in-laws since the death of her husband. Dinette hopes to begin a new life in Hollywood.
Dinette’s children are the mute Human (Collin Boone), the chatty Iota (Amber Rose Gold), and the toddler Sandra Dee (Jessica Stansbury and Erica Stansbury).
Bert Remsen and Sondra Blake play the in-laws.
En route adventures include Loyal getting jailed, fixing a flat and the family attacked by a gang of angry young Mexican-Americans..
It’s an uneven film, that fails to keep my interest. The dialogue is inane and the performances are cartoonish. The road film drags despite a fine performance by Harris, great location photography of the Southwest by Haskell Wexler and perhaps a few bearable cutesy moments.
REVIEWED ON 4/19/2017 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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