The California Kid (1974)


“I want you out of this town today McCord.” – Sheriff Roy Childress

Number of Times Seen – 1 (13 Jan 2021)

Brief Synopsis – A stranger shows up in a “speed trap” town and decides to take on the sheriff who rules the roads with deadly intentions

My Take on it – This is a film that I came across by accident and was intrigued by the cast.

Martin Sheen does a wonderful job in the lead role despite the simplicity of it all.

Vic Morrow is great as the local sheriff Hell bent on stopping speeder no matter the cost.

The twp of them do a nice job when they face off with one another both on the road and off of it.

The film has a short 75 minute run time and the choice to keep it short actually enhances things because there aren’t any scenes that feel dragged out.

This also allows the simplistic story to play out to the fullest.

The characters aren’t developed very much and they keep all of them feeling a bit too stereotypical.

This actually helps things a bit because it leaves the focus on the story and not the characters per se.

Nick Nolte has a small yet important role here and it’s lots of fun seeing him looking so young.

The speed scenes feel a bit too unrealistic and contrived, yet they still manage to show the kind of tings hat transpire in this small town to an effective degree.

Bottom Line – Intriguing idea that is presented in a far too simplistic manner. The cast is great with Sheen and Morrow doing a nice job going head to head. The choice to keep this film short was a wise decision because it allows for things to not feel dragged out at all. The characters are all pretty stereotypical, yet it actually helps keep things more focused the whole way through. Love seeing Nolte in a small, yet significant role.  The speed scenes are a bit contrived, yet still are effective in showing the kind of things that transpire in this town.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Joe Estevez, who played the sailor driving the car (Don McCord), is the real-life younger brother of Martin Sheen, who played Don’s brother in the movie. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)

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