Robby Benson and 70’s Movies

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He was too “goofy” (Jeremy) to take really seriously by many of us in the 70’s. Maybe it is the women in his films who account for his success, and success he definitely had from 1972 until 1978. It started with Jeremy and ended with California Girls (1985); in between were Ode to Billy Joe, One on One, and Ice Castles. If you paste Glyniss O’Connor in between (The Boy in the Plastic Bubble and California Dreaming), it is a feast for Mr. Hanson at the first link above.

I like the scale on Every 70s Movie–1-5 with an extra category for movies that are don’t miss even if they appear unappealing. Four out of 5 is pretty good, but I would move Jeremy up to Right On. I did not like “Boy” but it was fun to know it; Ode turned me off with the accents right from the start, so I’d lower those. Otherwise, I tend to agree with his ratings. While he is very good and always worth the effort (“wispy” for Jeremy is spot on), I don’t sometimes agree with his wording. I’m not here to criticize or attempt to out-verbalize anyone. I agree with his overall takes and realize he is picking apart films for professional and insider reasons.

Now I am halfway through watching Ice Castles, 1978. I have learned that promotion does have a big impact, particularly on teens or at the moment. People in the 70’s didn’t have the internet for instant downloads as well as forty years of since-then perspective. Lynne-Holly Johnson is eye-candy–they don’t put you on those now-maligned promo posters unless people want to see you and I remember her as Bibi the rejected Bond girl. When she throws herself at Mr. Benson as is sure to happen, I’m sure I’ll like it, but more to the point, it will be central to the film. I don’t even know what is going on but it looks a lot like The Cutting Edge franchise; I’ll put it in a loop as we say now, and catch up later. Johnson and Benson in the truck was magic. No one lasts long in their prime–the 70’s–so you have to soak it up while you can. Of course there are more titles and the principals have accomplished much, much more, but these are the only films I could find quickly online.

I am reminded as I watch that these are coming of age movies, my favorite genre. The genre spans history, but the injection of love is unique to the 1970’s. At least, it has not been repeated since. Each of these movies is about not just an injection of love, but the theme of it, as motivation.

It is relevant that Mr. Hanson has devoted a category, like “music” for women’s issues. The women along side Benson are all gorgeous, independent, and ambitious. Each brings not just respect and admiration, and here’s that taboo, too simple word again, love.

In Ice Benson looks better–more grown up. Women like whatever her name is in the movie do not come around very often, and why did she say “I love you” crying on the telephone? Movies like this are gems, and they seem to be a lot more common in the 70’s.

Jeremy is the best of the bunch. Without checking the web for anything else, just concentrating on the films themselves, I confirmed Benson (Jan ’56) and O’Connor (Nov ’55) were both 16 years old when they made it. I think it is near flawless. It is about falling in love. It is perfectly executed from start to finish. Benson is very good even with nerdy tendencies and O’Connor is outstanding. Their maturity, understanding, and enactment of such a complex subject is stunning. They are both, each of them, excited and understated at the same time, a rarity, and a virtue at any age.

Ice Castles fell off a cliff, but I was right about the magic in Ms. Johnson.

I really enjoyed the few days I spent on Robby Benson history. The too-lucky-to-be-true Robby Benson lived up to his major billing of the 70’s.